After a season of allegedly disappointing attendance numbers and the subsequent shaming of fans that followed, the White Sox have announced some changes to pricing for the 2013 season that should make it a bit easier for fans to watch games at U.S. Cellular Field.
All but 3 games (Opening Day and the 2 game Cubs series) will allow for $20.00 lower reserved tickets in the corners and $7.00 upper reserved tickets in the corners up top, which should amount to about 5,000 tickets total, according to Dan Hayes of Comcast Sports Net. Parking will also be reduced to $20.00, which had worked its way all the way up to $25.00 for the 2012 season, a rather absurd total given the expansive lots and the parking prices of other ballparks with similar parking resources.
The number one gripe that I’ve noticed during the ongoing discussion about why more fans don’t attend “enough” games are ticket and parking prices, and it seems that the White Sox have noticed the same. A lot of the pricing ire was placed with the selections of “prime” games, in which ticket prices were elevated for alleged desirability. At times these games seemed to be picked out of a hat, or were based on a long gone or anticipated rivalry that didn’t actually exist at the time. No word yet** on what games will cost what beyond these “locked” corner seats, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
Though I think it’s been well established that ticket prices and attendance numbers don’t affect the product on the field quite as much as a sour Kenny Williams would have you believe, it should be interesting to see if this ticket concession is an indication that the organization will not make a large effort to add, or retain any high salaried players. Or if they’ll even try a “you asked for it,” excuse when free agents walk and no new ones come in. Where ticket sales are concerned, the White Sox have not been shy about putting the onus on the fans rather than themselves as distributors of a product, so though I would be disappointed at such an angle, I would not be surprised.
It is also a possibility that the ticket lowering is being enacted as a counter to the fact that the CTA Red Line South will be closed beginning in the Spring of 2013. As the Red Line is a widely used mode of transportation to The Cell, this is likely to have a negative effect on attendance for the season. Either way, as ticket prices as a whole are expected to see rather large decreases, this is an excellent move for the fans.
**There will be no prime and premier game prices. Opening Day and the Cubs series will be on their own pricing structure but the majority of single game tickets as well as ticket packages will see a sizable drop in price. And according to South Side Sox parking will be just $10.00 on Sunday.