After their North Side neighbors the Chicago Cubs made a big off-season splash by hiring Theo Epstein as team president, the Chicago White Sox are expected to lower most of their season-ticket prices following a sub-par 2011.
The White Sox have not yet made an official announcement about the decrease, but the team is expected to reduce season tickets by 2 to 16 percent, depending on seat locations, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.
Price reductions will likely be passed on to individual tickets, as well. But premium lower box and club level seats at U.S. Cellular Field will remain the same.
The White Sox were sixth in MLB attendance in 2011, right behind the Cubs, although average attendance at U.S. Cellular Field dropped to 24,705 from the 2010 average of 27,091.
During the 2011 season, the White Sox had the league’s fourth-highest average ticket price at $40.67, just behind the third-place Cubs ($46.90), according to Team Marketing Report (TMR). TMR’s Fan Cost Index, which calculates the total cost of taking a family of four to a game, also placed the Cubs in third at $305.60 and the White Sox in fourth at $258.68.
The White Sox finished the season in third place in the AL Central at 79-83, 16 games behind the division champion Detroit Tigers. Outspoken manager Ozzie Guillen resigned at the end of the season, after eight years with the White Sox, to become manager of the Miami (formerly Florida) Marlins.
Guillen, who in 2005 guided the ChiSox to their first World Series title in 88 years, was replaced in early October with former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura. That move came about two weeks before the Cubs overhauled their front office by hiring away Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein to become team president.
Chicago broker Max Waisvisz, owner of Gold Coast Tickets, has a premium seat sponsorship deal with the White Sox. He touts the South Siders as the more affordable alternative to the Cubs, particularly on the resale market where tickets to see the team at iconic Wrigley Field generally are priced higher than White Sox tickets.
“Some people cut back on their White Sox games last season, and we’ll have to see what they do in the off-season,” Waisvisz told TicketNews. “There’s talk of not signing [Mark] Buehrle, their No. 1 pitcher, so that’s not good. Still, tickets are two-thirds the price of a Cubs seat [on the secondary market].”