Those who know me know I’m a bit data obsessive once I get behind an idea. My history of uniform numbers is one thing which has gotten me some notice. However, I’m back with another one. It’s about pricing of seats at the now “old” Ballpark in Arlington.
Earlier this season, when talking about the new ballpark in the Facebook group I’m in, folks snarked in with “Everything will be going up” in price, with the implication that if we didn’t have a new park, prices wouldn’t be going up. That always rubbed me the wrong way. New ballparks are not an absolute guarantee that prices would be going up. Now I’m no fool, prices go up all the time, and they likely would, but the implication that if we stayed where we were prices wouldn’t have gone up always bugged me. However, that thought led me to wonder…. How often did prices go up in our current park? I always know a few core facts. When the place opened in 1994, a seat down the front row was $16, and in the last year of the park, the price of a seat in the last row behind home plate was around $26 (more on “around” later). So prices went up for sure – but the path and frequency they took to get there was lost to me.
I then realized that I had the material at my disposal to find out. I undertook an obscene level of research on the pricing in the ballpark, and produced a spreadsheet that will show you the price of a ticket in any year of the park in any section. It’s a ridiculous amount of research – it took me most of the year to complete it. I had access to some old documents that I had saved from the 90’s, I had access to all the media guides, and a handful of sales pricing sheets. So I started in on the spreadsheet. It quickly turned out to be a monster of a project, and I had to start over from scratch once when I realized my initial idea for getting the info out was unworkable.
So that’s what this is. A summary of my research into the prices of the ballpark. Given the massive amount of info on here, I made it a publicly viewable spreadsheet. I will point out a few of the highlights in this article, but leave it up to you to view the raw data for specific sections..
Price Point Comparisons
One of the things I thought was interesting was the mere number of price points in the new park vs the now old one. I decided to look and see what they were at the start and end of their lives. Here’s that detail:
- Arlington Stadium (1972): 4 – Highest was $4.50, and lowest was $2
- Arlington Stadium (1993): 5 – Highest was $14, and lowest was $2
- The Ballpark In Arlington (1994): 9 – Highest was $20, and lowest was $4
- The Ballpark in Arlington (2019): 18 – Highest was $343, and lowest was $13
- Globe Life Field (2020): 33 – Highest is $450, and lowest is $15 (81 game STH pricing)
The new park’s prices are season ticket holder pricing. What individual pricing will be won’t be known till later – that info is not yet available. There’s not much I can do about that because I am writing this piece in Nov 2019 before tickets are fully on sale. As a side note, the first year we were the Washington Senators in 1961, there were also four price points, with the highest being $3, and the lowest being 75 cents.
Here are scans of the seating charts from the first (1994) and last (2019) years of the park. The 1994 one originally contained pricing info, but in 2019, they didn’t release individual ticket pricing anymore. More on that later. This is to illustrate how much the ballpark got chopped up for “Additional price points” as the years wore on.
You can click on either of these for larger pictures. If you right click on them and “open in a new tab”, you’ll see the full size image, which is quite large.
Notes from over the years
I’m not going to list ALL of them, as there’s an insane amount of changes over the years, but here’s a few of the changes and oddities I picked up in my research that happened to strike my fancy.
- 1996 – The first price change of any kind was just two years after opening. And it was a PRICE DROP! Sections 201-209 & 241-245 went from $18 to $15. That was the first year they had what is now called the “Lexus Club Terrace”, but then was just called “Terrace Club Box”.
- 1997 – In 1997 & 1999, there were two price points in most sections between 201-242. I’m unclear why.
- 1997 – First year “Corner Box” was in existence. That’s Sections 10-12 & 40-42.
- 1998 – The 100 level of seats had two price points originally, the last couple of rows were cheaper in price (presumably because they were partially obstructed view), but in 1998, they eliminated that, and they were all the same price.
- 1999 – In the upper deck, Sections 310-313 & 339-341 changed from two tiers of pricing to just one, dropping prices at the time.
- 2000 – First year the “Commissioner’s Box” was in existence.
- 2000 – First year the sections between dugouts (18-34) were split up into different price points. Prior to this they were all “Lower Box”. Now these sections are “VIP Infield”, “Premium Infield”, & “Lower Infield” – with several more names to come over the years.
- 2000 – On the 200 level, there used to be just two price points. “Club Box” and “Corner Box”. Starting in 2000, there was “Terrace Club Box”, “Club Reserved”, “Club Box”, & “Club Infield”. these names changed over the years, but it remained mostly this for the rest of the time.
- 2002 – The first year that Section 43 was converted from regular seating to what was then called a “Party Area”. Prior to this, Section 43 had conventional seating in there, albeit behind a fence. From 2002 onwards, it was a flat area with tables that you could rent out as a party area. Later on in 2009, this was converted to Group Sales only.
- 2004 – Section 201 was deleted for part of 2004, as well as all of 2005 & 2006. This was because it’s where the “Ameriquest Bell” was for those two plus seasons. Section 201 returned in 2007, although with a railing that runs the whole length of Section 201 – that was a holdover from the Ameriquest Bell – said railing remained till 2019.
- 2009 – This was the first year we had “Premium Pricing”. For games that were deemed important (Yankees, Red Sox, opening day, etc) there was a higher price charged. The spreadsheet accounts for this by listing both prices.
- 2009 – The Rangers added two new rows of seats called “Home Plate Seats”. These new cushioned seats are in front of sections 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30, & 31 and labeled Row “A” & “B”. These are in front of the existing Row 1. I would imagine people who had the old “Row 1” were pissed at this, since they were now effectively “Row 3” despite being labeled “Row 1”.
- 2009 – Grandstand pricing used to be 301-309 & 339-345, but from 2009 onwards, Grandstand pricing was only in 341-345
- 2009 – In Sections 18 & 34, Row 4 has two price points IN THE SAME ROW! That’s because these sections span the far ends of both dugouts, and the first handful of seats were not over the dugout. This price point was created to cover the first row of seats over the dugouts, which was priced at the same level as the Commissioners Box. You can see this to some extent in the photo below of Section 18.
- 2012 – This was the first year of the reconfigured visitor’s bullpen. This was also the year they did away with the bleachers, and renamed “Bleachers” to “Outfield Plaza”, and did away with discount for kids tickets in this area which had been in place since 1994 (and into Arlington Stadium, actually).
- 2013 – The Rangers added an additional row in the front of the “Home Plate Seats” in what is now called VIP Home Plate Seats (Row A) or Premium Home Plate (Row B-C). What used to be “Row “A” is now Row “B”, and there’s a new “Row A” in front of Sections 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30, & 31. Additionally, they also created another price point in Rows 1-4 in those sections. So from 2013-2019, these sections had 5 total price points in them.
- 2013 – Section 126 disappeared off all seating charts completely. This was because of a new entrance to the seating bowl that was created – also a secondary reason was to help alleviate some of the “jet stream” wind issues.
- 2013 – In the upper deck sections 323-329, there used to be two price points, “Upper Reserved”, and “Upper Box”, with the split happening starting with row 13. From 2013-2019, these sections settled on the “Upper Reserved” (aka higher) pricing for all 23 rows.
- 2017 – From this point forward, “Variable/Dynamic Pricing” replaces “Premier Price”. The “Variable Pricing” scheme now lists no prices on the media guides or the programs. They have a base price, and then can charge more or less (less happened if low sales or bad opponent) based on a number of factors, such as demand and opponent popularity. The base price point, and the sliding price condition info is not made available to the public, sadly. For pricing, the Rangers would tell you “Check the website for latest pricing”. This affected my spreadsheet for the last thee years of the park – I have more detailed notes about that on the sheet itself.
That turned out to be a lot of highlights, but I didn’t even come anywhere near all the changes there were. Could have easily written about three times as much.
My primary source of research for all this was the media guides that I have. I have all of them from 1994-2019. Some of it came from old pocket schedules, too. I also had some ticket sales info that I hung onto from years past, and the most recent seasons I have the STH pricing charts.
This was a lot of fun – and a lot of time – to put together. I’d be curious to see what people think of this. Due to all the data I transcribed, there’s always the possibility of a data transcription error. If you find something you think is wrong, I’d like to hear it – but please – HAVE PROOF. Don’t say “I think it was…”, because if you do, I’m going to dismiss it. Please – have proof of your claim. I spent a lot of time looking this up, and since I have printed data for all this, I’m fairly confident in what I have here, but on the other hand, I know I’m not infallible either.
You can view the spreadsheet by clicking the following link. It will take you to an iCloud shared spreadsheet. You do not need to have an Apple iCloud account to view it. It just shows up in a browser. If you do have an Apple device, it will allow you to open it in Numbers. The sheet will be read only.
As you can see from the small screen capture above, there are colored squares in the document. The four colors are white, blue, red, & yellow. They denote:
- White – No change
- Red – Price increase
- Blue – Price decrease (they do happen)
- Yellow – Administration note
While I admit the sheet is mostly red for price increases, there are some price decreases. Not always mind you, but they do happen. More than just one or two of them as well. The yellow ones denote some major change to the park that I need to leave a note to explain what is happening at that point. There are also a handful of cells where there are “notes” in individual cells as comments. Row 13, Column CD is an example of one of those.
A couple of other notes:
- For some reasons, the most expensive seats are listed as “Sold Out” in some areas – I had no price available. When I ran into situations like that, I included that in the sheet as there wasn’t much I could do if the info was just flat out not available.
- When they added new parts like The Comssioner’s Box, The Jose Cuervo Club, & The Capital One Club – pricing wasn’t always easy to come by. I did what I could, but there’s some holes there, since they’re not “conventional seating areas”.
Here’s a collection of photos I took over the years showing various oddities relative to seating and section issues. They can all be clicked for a larger version.
The Ameriquest Bell
As I’ve said before, this was an epic amount of research I did in several bouts over the course of the 2019 season. I had fun putting it together, despite how maddening it was in places to put together (I’m looking at you Sections 18-34). Wanted to take a moment and thank a few people for some help they gave me along the way.. Thanks to Tim Lange who helped look up some obscure data stuff for me and with some exceptionally old stuff (like 1972 and earlier). Michael Gonterwitz for his opinions on a few things I was working on. To Levi Weaver, Jared Sandler, & Dave Sessions – all of whom I bounced a few ideas/questions off while I was working on this. Also Eric Nadel who is always awesome with sharing his time no matter now fiddly of a question I have for him.
Finally, Chuck Morgan – while you didn’t have anything to do with this article, so many things I’ve done at the park over the years are because of something Chuck Morgan had done either for me personally, or for the fans in general. I wanted to send a special shoutout to Chuck. Just because. Our gameday experiences wouldn’t be the same without him. Looking forward to making new memories with you across the street.
.. while there isn’t full pricing available yet, I have gotten my hands on the seating bowl diagram for Globe Life Field. This is what you’ll be getting used to from now on. All those colors are different price points. I’ll probably have something to say once public info comes out on that.