Although I haven't seen a formal announcement or an article discussing it, the Rangers have posted their season ticket prices for 2012 on their website and sent renewal information to season ticket holders with a due date for deposits for renewals approximately one month from now.
Here is a comparison between this year's pricing (per game) and last year's pricing:
2011 2012 percent increase
Cuervo Club $105 $110 4.8%
VIP Infield $79 $83 5.1%
Premium Infield $50 $55 10%
Lexus Club Infield $47 $45 4.4%
Lower Infield $42 $44 4.8%
Lower Box $39 $41 5.1%
Lexus Club Box $39 $41 5.1%
All you can eat $28 $29 3.6%
Corner Box $27 $33 22.2%
Lower Reserved $20 $22 10%
Lexus Club Terrace $16 $17 6.3%
Upper Box $12 $13 8.3%
Upper Reserved $10 $11 10%
Bleachers $10 $16 60%
Grandstand Reserved $4 $4 0%
Increases everywhere with the exception of their continuing to hold the line on the $4 Grandstand Reserved season ticket. Most increases are in the range of 5% to 10% with two notable exceptions. The first, bleachers, is easily explained as the Rangers have announced plans to replace the bench seating with actual seats and in substantially reduced numbers. So, although we haven't yet seen the seats it is clear that while the locations will be the same, the seating itself will be substantially upgraded. The oher big increase, less easily explained, is in the corner box seats, jumping from $27 to $33, a whopping 22.2% increase. As there is no change in this area from last year--at least none that has been announced, the only possible explanation is that the Rangers viewed these seats as being relatively lower priced than they should be, and brought the prices back into line.
So, should season ticket holders be marching in the streets complaining about these ticket price increases? With the possible exception of season ticket holders in corner box seats, not hardly.
A comparison of the Rangers season ticket prices to those offered by other teams shows that the Rangers prices are very much in line. To come to this conclusion I compared the Rangers to other teams who had season ticket pricing information available on their websites, ignoring teams in the Northeast and in California. I ended up with the Twins, Cardinals (2011 prices), and Diamondbacks, and also threw in the Astros because of their geographical proximity and the Indians, who have a similarly aged stadium to our and at one point sold out regularly, but since have fallen on harder times.
I would have chosen another couple but their pricing wasn't as readily available on their websites, but even so I think this is a pretty representative sample Although all of these stadiums are a bit different and every team slices and dices their stadiums into sections a bit differently, all stadiums were similar enough that I was able to map the seating sections in other stadiums to the comparable section in the ballpark. Here is what I came up with:
Cardinals not available
Cardinals $35 (this mostly maps to the lower box seats at the ball park that are relatively further from the plate)
Lexus Club Infield/Lexus Club Box
Indians- not available
Grandstand Reserved/Upper Reserved
As you can see the Rangers aren't the cheapest in all categories, although they do offer the cheapest season ticket of any of these teams at just $4 a game. But, they are competitive throughout and often lower than their peers especially among the least expensive seats and among the best seats. Doesn't change the fact that I'm going to have to pay a big bill to the Rangers this winter, but at least it softens the blow a bit.