Rangers chief operating officer Rick George discussed the club's decision to raise ticket prices on all but one section in the ballpark. The increases ranged from $1 to $10. George acknowledged that increasing revenues contributed to increasing the prices, but he says the club feels it's fair.
"I do think the prices are fair," George said Tuesday. "We don’t do this in a vacuum. We look at what MLB is doing, what our market is doing and the number of seats we have, plus the fact that we're different from any other sport in that we've got 81 games and a lot more inventory than they do. We look at it all and as we’ve looked at it, we feel strongly that our pricing is fair and we think it’s affordable for everyone. We always want to be family friendly and we think we are. We wanted to look at every area individually."
George said he also feels that fans will get even more from their experience this season. Besides watching the two-time defending AL champions, fans can enjoy the new Vandergriff Plaza area in the outfield, which includes new seating areas, concession stands, a sports bar/restaurant and an air-conditioned kids area. It's a $12 million investment, and the club is spending about $1.1 million to increase the height of the railings.
"We're doing what we can to improve the ballpark experience," George said.
Parking was also increased, going back to $12. The club had dropped it to $10 when new ownership came in late in the 2010 season and they kept it at $10 for 2011. It will be $10 on Fridays this season, but $12 for the other games.
"Part of the decision was we haven’t addressed our parking prices for a while," George said. "We looked at it and what people are charging and we feel it’s affordable."
George said the club didn't want to increase as much on the cheaper seats, thinking that families might take advantage of the prices. There is no increase in the grandstand reserved and a $1 increase in the upper box and upper reserved sections.
"We want to maintain a ticket that families can afford," George said. "We think baseball is a great family outing and we think that's important. Then we looked at other areas of the ballpark to see where we're undervalued. So we have seats that went up higher than others. But our thought process is that we want to have an area in the ballpark that’s affordable to anybody that wants to come."