Sox change spring pricing, but not for better

The White Sox released single-game ticket sales for spring training to the public on Saturday, and bowing to popular demand, they lowered prices.
Well, a price.  The top ticket now goes for $42 instead of $45.  Except on days when they play the Cubs.  Then it’s $47.

cranch0111

Awesome, huh?  At least the White Sox trust the proletariat to not amass at Camelback Ranch’s gates because they’re utterly confused by different ticket prices on different days.  A point for the Sox marketing department for recognizing that its fans to have more intelligence than a Legacy Brick.

Phoenix-area
Highest Lowest
Brewers $21 $13
Padres $23 $12
Mariners $23 $12
Rangers $23 $13
Royals $23 $13
Giants $24-30 TBD
Athletics $25 $10
Reds $27 $12
Indians $27 $12
Cubs $28-30 $15
Angels $29 TBD
Dodgers $42-47 $20
White Sox $42-47 $20
Tucson-area
Rockies $17 $9
Diamondbacks $18 $7

To the right, I’ve compiled the ticket prices of Cactus League teams (two prices denote a premium game scheme, and the Angels and Giants will announce their ticket prices later this week).  Here’s how the Sox and Dodgers are hosing fans this year:

  • They’re the only teams to charge more than $40 for any ticket.
  • They’re the only teams to charge more than $30 for a regular game.
  • They’re the only teams to charge more than $30 for any game in its second-tier section.
  • Their second-least desirable section costs more than nearly every team’s closest section.
  • They’re also the only teams to charge $20 for the cheapest ticket in the house.
  • They’re the only teams to charge more than $15.

Once again, I’m ignoring lawn seating.  Sure, you can sit on the berm if you wish, but that’s not great for a lot of people, such as the elderly, or, say, childless adults with dignity and self-respect.
Now, last year, Jerry Reinsdorf blamed just about everything besides ticket prices for the lackluster attendance in Camelback Ranch’s inaugural season.  He almost sorta kinda addressed it when he said the economy prevented many fans from making travel plans, but never connected the final dot.
However, he also said a lack of local marketing hurt the numbers as well.  It’s going to be fascinating to see if there’s any difference in attendance this time around, because I still don’t see any reason for local, unaffiliated baseball fans to pay premium prices in Glendale when they have 11 other far cheaper options in the vicinity.  There are about a half-dozen games to choose from on a daily basis, so why on Earth would they pay more to watch a team with little to no national appeal? The idea that the Sox bank on local fans this much when they’re giving this little seems absurd to me.
It’s even more painful to look at when you consider that the Sox finished 79-83.  The Mariners, who finished with a better record than the Sox before they went on an offseason buying binge, have the third-cheapest tickets in the league.
Oh, and I also included the Tucson prices because that’s what Sox spring training games used to cost, before they paid $5 million to leave Tucson for a $100 million complex in Glendale.  It’s great to see that they’re still passing the excess onto us.
******************************
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Over at South Side Sox, Larry created an organizational depth chart that should be useful throughout the season.
*At White Sox Examiner, J.J. tries to figure out what Freddy Garcia can provide for 2010.
*Buddy Bell says C.J. Retherford is working on adding a catcher’s mitt to his utility belt.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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soxfan1

Once again, another rip off for Spring Training tickets. Another excuse that I heard somewhere is that the Sox couldn’t charge less than the Dodgers. Could they???
Not sure if they’ve released regular season single game prices yet, but I expect no change from last year.

knoxfire30

At the turn of the century the sox had really started to make some fan friendly adjustments, to the ballpark (lowering the upper deck, adding the fan deck, fundamentals ect), in the way the players approached fans and the media, and basically in their marketing campaigns lead by brooks boyer which also brought in half price monday half price pepsi tuesdays ect ect.
But this spring training thing is an absolute flop, what the hell are they thinking charging these outrageous prices for practice games. Good god those prices would have you thinking they have 5 championships this century and just spent 150 mil on payroll. Get real, if moving to this new complex was going to drive away every single fan of spring training then was it really worth it?

ricksch

Three words Jim – DO. NOT. GO.
Much as I love baseball, folks used to have to beg me to go to see the Sox when I lived in Tucson. And none of those tix were over $15. Spring Training is fun for one game. You soak in the atmosphere, have a hot dog and then settle in and realize — that the game you’re watching isn’t competitive. They have guts charging dollar one for ST. IMO you have to be a bit of a fanatic to even go. Christ, you can play golf for less than $35 in AZ.
The reg. season is a huge rip-off too. People on this board are devout fans and will go see games come what may. I understand. But ever since the ’94 strike, I realized who these folks are actually playing for — and it’s not the guy wearing the Big Frank jersey sitting behind the dugout. If pro sports ever get reasonable, I’ll start going to games again. Until then, there are too many things I can do with my money that are far more worthwhile, even if I do nothing at all with it.

ricksch

I get it, the guys on the bubble of making the team or being assigned to either AA or AAA are playing hard. AND, you get to see new faces and players who are going to be talked about down on the farm all year long.
But for most of these guys, they’re just gradually getting loose, getting their timing and making sure they don’t seriously pull or dislocate anything.
Charging serious money to watch these guys round into playing shape is crazy — but these teams get away with it because people are crazy enough to pay! Again, $40 can get you just about anything in the Phoenix area. For $75, the actual price of going to the game, you can practically own the place.
I’ll bet ST attendance suffers bad this year, what with travel costs, safety BS and the fact that those who have jobs are worried about losing them and saving their money — or perhaps they’re paying down some of the massive debts they got charging up a $600 night for a family of four at U.S. Cellular Field? Love baseball, hate the greed.

cushinglee

Are the prices the White Sox are charging tied in with the Dodgers’ prices? Do the White Sox share proceeds from this facility with the Dodgers?
I’ve never been to a White Sox spring training, but if that’s what they’re charging, I don’t think I have to go.

K8T

My mom and I nearly had strokes when we saw the prices. We’ll still go, but I think we’ll be seeing a lot of Phoenix and one, maybe two games instead. Very disappointing.

K8T

3/26-3/31… the dates are pretty set because it’s my spring break

knoxfire30

Ramon Castro is back and somehow got a mil for his efforts or should I say lack there of
wow, just wow