The dawn of the 2023 MLB season is right around the corner with the start of spring training and many Cactus League teams are offering deals and searching for methods to attract more fans from all over the United States.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox are no exception. The two teams have started a joint venture at their home stadium, Camelback Ranch, that allows residents of Glendale to buy up to four tickets to attend games Sunday through Thursday with a lawn or baseline seat for the low price of $7.
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“We’ve got a great partnership with the city of Glendale, they are our landlord, they own the building and we work hand-in-hand with them to build operations. It only seems right to the Dodgers and White Sox to make sure Glendale taxpayers can come out affordably,” Camelback Ranch President and General Manager Matt Slatus said of the Cactus League deals.
The pass, which is in its first year of this iteration, has already seen solid registration numbers despite the tickets not being available for purchase until the day of the game. (There had been a similar pass in years prior, but had some slight variations according to Slatus.)
“We’ve had hundreds of Glendale residents register to be eligible to purchase those tickets. It’s something we’ve been thrilled with quite honestly and I think as we get to game day there’s an opportunity for thousands of Glendale residents to come out and enjoy baseball here,” Slatus said.
While this is the only pass of its kind offered directly to residents of a city in Arizona, other stadiums and teams like Surprise Stadium and its tenants the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals offer a special rate to attract the local population.
“We don’t offer a pass, but we do offer a resident rate for a specific lineup of games,” Surprise Stadium sports and tourism supervisor Cecilia Cavarrubio said. “We have basically a resident ticketing promotion available for our baseline seating I think because we have several different ticketing opportunities.”
Two baseline seats are priced at $20 for residents of Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage and Waddell from Feb. 24 to March 11, according to the Surprise Stadium website.
While not identical to the Glendale resident pass, the promotion focuses on attracting Surprise residents to game – arguably the top priority that Covarrubio’s team has focused on this season.
“Our community of Surprise is a growing city and there has been a lot to be proud of and celebrate,” Covarrubio said. “We’re trying to incorporate those celebrations into the game of baseball, to celebrate the things that happen within our community.”
Covarrubio also acknowledged the goal of using baseball as a platform to shine a light on the “local heroes” and those making a difference in the community, especially in schools.
While getting local fans to the park is a point of emphasis, it’s important to note that visiting fans will be back in droves this season considering it will be the first “normal” spring training since 2019.
“Normal” in this instance means not being shut down halfway through or having attendance restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic like the 2020 and 2021 season, or having a work stoppage and player lockout that ate up a majority of games in 2022.
With the baseball season finally returning to normal, one Arizona stadium, Tempe Diablo, will rely on its tenants, not promotion, to local residents to fill seats.
The Los Angeles Angels call Tempe Diablo Stadium their spring training home, and with MVPs such as Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the roster, it’s safe to say that this is one of the hottest spring training tickets.
Relying on star power already proved successful last season when the team averaged the second-highest spring training attendance in MLB with just over 10,000 fans per game, even though the stadium capacity is listed at 9,700.
Tempe Diablo Stadium’s relationship with the Angels is unique from the other two stadiums due to a lack of ticket promotions and special rates to residents of its community.
“Unfortunately we don’t control the ticket sales, it’s all the Angels,” said Jerry Hall, the manager of Tempe Diablo Stadium. “I know they are willing to look at some non-profit groups to give some comped tickets to, but nothing has come to fruition for that as of yet, but it has become a directive from the Angels side.”
The Angels ticketing office declined requests for comment.
Despite the star power of the Angels team, it remains unknown why they are not more active in attempting to attract Tempe residents to games considering that they could potentially end up losing one of their highly marketable stars next season.
Even with a lack of local promotions and ticket deals, Hall says that the numbers for the upcoming season look promising.
“I’ve seen some numbers the last week or two, and we have good numbers a few times already. We are definitely trending up,” Hall said. “At least every game has over 3,000 tickets sold which is good. Hoping to sell out three to four of the 15 games, which is good, and maybe more.”
Author: Story and photo by Brevin Monroe, Cronkite News