The Texas Rangers are trying to pull off the seemingly impossible: Capitalizing on a World Series appearance while still making their ticket prices affordable to the majority of their fans.
The Rangers, who reached the World Series for the first time in franchise history last year, announced last week they would raise the prices of most single-game tickets this season. The Rangers also increased the number of pricier “premier” games by 10.
However, the Rangers cut their premier game price tickets in four sections, including the two most expensive areas in The Ballpark At Arlington — Lexus Club infield (from $85 to $81) and lower infield (from $80 to $75). Overall, 69 percent of the premier game tickets will be cheaper than a year ago.
The Rangers also lowered or maintained the regular prices in three of the most affordable sections of the Ballpark (Upper Box, bleachers, upper reserved). In addition, of the nine areas at The Ballpark that did see price increases, seven were for $5 or less per game.
Rangers CEO/managing partner Chuck Greenberg told the Star-Telegram newspaper that it would cost a family of four less to see six games this year — three premier, three non-premier — than it would have cost to see two premier and four non-premier games last year.
“We’re committed to being here for the long haul,” Greenberg told the Star-Telegram. “Our approach has not been to take advantage of the popularity we are currently riding. We’re trying to take the approach of what’s good to build and sustain long-term relationships.”
Individual game tickets for every game except Opening Day will go on sale Saturday, March 5 at The Ballpark as well as online at texasrangers.com. With tickets to Opening Day expected to be in high demand — the Rangers will raise their AL pennant before facing the ever-popular Boston Red Sox on Friday April 1 — the Rangers are hoping to cultivate goodwill with their fans by distributing the tickets via a lottery. Fans who sign up at texasrangers.com by Monday, February 21 and are selected can buy up to four Opening Day tickets.
“Tickets to Opening Day this year may be the most sought-after ticket in franchise history and there will be very few available,” Greenberg told the Star-Telegram. “We didn’t want to penalize fans who are working and can’t spend time on the phone or fans who can’t camp out.”
Greenberg also said the Rangers have experienced a surge in season ticket sales. Last August, Rangers spokesperson John Blake told TicketNews that it was essential the Rangers use their success to build a season ticket base that had fallen below 10,000.
The Rangers’ measured approach to ticket hikes comes after an eventful off-season in which the club avoided arbitration with reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton, who inked a two-year deal worth $24 million earlier this month, but was unable to hang on to ace Cliff Lee, who left for the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent for a five-year deal worth $120 million.
The Rangers also made a series of smaller moves, such as trading for catcher Mike Napoli and signing former NL Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb. But, the team is embroiled in a bitter dispute with popular team leader Michael Young, who demanded a trade after he said he felt he was “misled and manipulated” while he was dangled in trade talks all winter.