Continuing with my countdown to Opening Day, there are 74 days left, which gives fans plenty of time to purchase season tickets to their favorite team. To help you choose, or just to save you from hundreds of clicks across thirty different websites, I’ve compiled all season ticket and benefit information in this single blog entry for you.
I’ve left a link to the benefits of each team after my pricing and benefits description. Enjoy.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
The Braves have some really affordable tickets for their full season. Fans can choose any seat in the Upper Box level for $471. Even better, an Upper Pavilion Season Ticket is only $370. Outfield seats are $1132 per ticket. The Braves benefits are well worth it as they offer on field batting practice, including warming up in the pitcher’s mound, shagging fly balls in the outfield, and a behind the scene tour.http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/ticketing/season_tickets.jsp#tab4
The Marlins are christening a new ballpark this year, and have signed lots of high priced free agents to keep expectation high and fans in the seats. The cheapest season ticket is in the upper deck and costs $810. Tickets in the outfield cost $1,012.50 for the upper deck sections and $1215 for the lower level. The benefits offered are very vague. There’s a short generic list on the webpage that includes 10% off in the team store.
New York Mets
The Mets cheapest season ticket is $972 – to sit way up in the very upper deck of the outfield (left field). If you wanted to sit in the outfield and catch a home run, those season tickets are $2,341 per seat. Perhaps some awesome benefits could offset the price? A look at their webpage shows a 15% off discount in the team store, and an opportunity to exchange tickets. Additionally, the Mets allow STH early access to Citi Field, but only on Saturdays and Sundays. If you spend the $972, they’ll also throw in a Citi Field tour. Meh.
The Phillies are a large market team, and their prices reflect it. The cheapest season ticket costs $1,316 to sit in the nose bleed seats. Outfield seats are a whopping $2,794 per ticket. Yikes. The Phillies are one of the top drawing teams, so they don’t need to offer good benefits to get folks to buy season tickets. On their benefits page they list a Season Ticket Holder Picnic along with the standard exchange dates that all teams offer. I’m happy I don’t live on the eastern side of PA.
The cheapest season ticket for the Washington Nationals would cost $815 – and that’s to sit in the Upper Outfield Gallery. If you’d like to sit in left field or right field for your season tickets, well, that would run you $1,630 per seat. Pricey. As far as benefits, the Nationals will give a STH a Ticket Holder ID which entitles them to 15% off. Other perks include Free Spring Training Tickets, an exchange program, complementary tours, and other “events.” The Nationals do offer fans to take batting practice on the field, but only if you have a fortune invested in the club and you are a Suite Holder. No one else gets to hit.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
The Cubs aren’t even selling season tickets. They only offer a season ticket holder waiting list.
The Cincinnati Reds offer upper deck Kroger Bleacher seats for $632 if you pay before January 13th – afterwards its $672. Seats in left field cost $1,584 ($1,665 after 1/13) , and a right field season ticket costs $1665 ($1746 after 1/13). The Reds also have a decent benefits package. Full season ticket holders get to take batting practice on the field, receive early access to Great American Ballpark (30 minutes, and give away free RedsFest tickets. The on field batting practice almost makes spending $672 worth it alone. I was a Reds partial season ticket holder in 2010 with a 13 game plan. I thought that getting into GABP 30 minutes early would be a huge advantage, but it really isn’t, because the Reds allow tour groups in even before the season ticket holders, so there was always a bunch of people in there when I ran in.
The Astros were the worst team in baseball last year, losing 106 games. Surely they’d have affordable tickets? Not really. The cheapest ticket way up in View Deck II is $1,079. If you’d like to sit in those infamous Crawford Boxes and catch shallow fly balls, I mean home runs, it’ll be $3,071. Right field is a bit more affordable at $2,241. OK, so the Astros ticketing prices aren’t that great for a terrible team. Their benefits are alright though. They give away a Free Group outing of 20 tickets to each season ticket holder, as long as you attend the game in April or May. Each season ticket account also gets 2 free Spring Training tickets. As for their events, season ticket holders can watch batting practice early before the regular gates open on selected dates and they get their own Season Ticket Holder gate. Other perks are an MVP card that gives the holder 15% off and a few other standard perks.
The Brewers are taking deposits on full season plans, and only have the pricing per game available. Their cheapest ticket is $12 per game for an already existing season ticket holder, which comes out to $972. To sit in the outfield, you’d have to buy a loge bleacher ticket, which would run you $1377. However, if you’re a new season ticket holder, you’d have to pay $1539. Welcome aboard! Pay a $162 tax for joining! The Brewers drew over 3 million fans in 2011, so they really don’t need to concern themselves with awesome benefits. They give fans the opportunity to order additional tickets before the public, flexible exchange options, and the chance to buy playoff tickets. That’s about it.
The Pirates have one of the most affordable season ticket plans. Their cheapest season ticket costs $399. Left field bleacher seats only cost $699 per seat. Center and right field seats are $1,053. In addition to being affordable, the Pirates have lots of great benefits such as: Early entrance to PNC Park on Monday-Saturday, Taking Batting Practice on the field, play catch on the field, take batting practice in the PNC Park batting cages, Piratefest tickets, a Food and Beverage credit ($50), 15% off at the clubhouse store, and 2 Club tickets (more tickets if you have more than one season ticket. The Pirates great prices and benefits make me feel lucky that the Pirates are my home team despite their miserable play on the field.
St Louis Cardinals
It’s almost February, and the Cardinals are still taking deposits. Click on the seating and pricing option, and there is no pricing information available. Get with it Cardinals.
The Cardinals benefits are extremely generic and bland. Season ticket holders get an ID card to give them a discount at the team store, and that’s about it.http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/ticketing/season.jsp#benefits
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
The Diamondbacks offer an upper deck seat for $498. Their left and right field seats are all priced at the same rate, $996, not bad for a defending Division Champion. The Diamondbacks have the best benefit of all, opening the gates early for season ticket holders on Monday through Saturday games.
The Rockies benefits are generic and pale in comparison with some other teams, so let’s get right to the pricing. The Rockies cheapest season ticket is $640 in the upper deck. Left Field Pavilion seats are $1,120 and right field box seats are $1280.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been going through some tough financial times recently, so widening their season ticket base would definitely be beneficial to them. For the first year in 2012, season ticket holders will be allowed into Dodger Stadium early to watch batting practice. I’ve heard that it will be a full hour before the rest of the gates open. Additionally, fans get to play catch after some games on the field. When I looked at their season ticket prices, I was struck by how affordable they are. Seats in the top deck are $405. Left field pavilion seats are only $729 – the same as the Cleveland Indians and almost as cheap as the Pirates. Right Field is $1215.
San Diego Padres
The Padres website has said check back soon for 2012 Ticket Prices for over a month. Seems to me that their ticket staff is just lazy. For a team that finished in last place in their division in 2011, they should get motivated and provide some interesting and affordable ticket options. I’m not sure what a ‘let’s wait until a couple weeks before opening day to unveil our 2012 ticket prices’ will do in terms of brining in new customers. No joke – the Pirates had all of their 2012 ticket prices out and were recruiting 2012 season ticket holders in AUGUST last year. The Padres benefits listed were still for 2011. Their unused season ticket exchange program is terrible, with only 5 exchange dates. Although nothing is listed here, I do believe that they allow season ticket holders early entrance to Petco Park.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants are completely sold out of left field season tickets ($1750) and Arcade (Right Field, $2500) season tickets. The cheapest ticket available was a $1775 upper deck season ticket, although there is a $1000 ticket that is sold out. The Giants offer some perks such as 20% off, and invitation to special events, but after looking at every team’s benefits, they all start to look the same.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
The Orioles call Camden Yards their home, considered one of the better ballparks in baseball to watch a game. Season ticket holders get early access into the entire seating bowl of Camden Yards, whereas non season ticket holders are confined to right field for the first half hour. Also, the Orioles give away free Spring Training tickets along with free minor league tickets and ballpark tours. Additionally, season ticket holders get Free Admission to Area Museums. The cheapest season ticket at Camden Yards is $988 on their website, with left field being $2025 and right field being $1215.
Boston Red Sox
There aren’t even any season ticket links on the Red Sox website, so…
New York Yankees
After looking through dozens of seating categories, the Yankees cheapest season ticket is $1620, and it is Grandstand level seating in the upper deck. The season ticket map is ridiculous with lots of different pricing for yellow sections, so I can’t really tell how much an outfield season ticket would be, but it looks like it’d be $5670. By the way, the Yankees benefits are extremely generic.
Tampa Bay Rays
The cheapest Rays ticket costs $930 for an upper deck seat. That seems pricey for a team that struggles to draw fans despite being in contention consistently the past couple years. An outfield seat costs $1506. For individual games a confusing 4 tier pricing approach is used, so it’s better to buy a season ticket. For example, a seat in the upper deck could cost $9, $12, $17, or $19, depending on the opponent. Their benefit lists the opportunity to enter through a season ticket holder gate, but says nothing about early entrance to batting practice. I’m thinking it might be like Washington, where there’s a special gate for STH, but everyone still gets in at the same time. Not much here, no wonder no one goes to their games, despite a great team.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are offering season ticket holders the benefit of entering the stadium early to watch batting practice from a designated Season Ticket Holder Area (it better be in the outfield somewhere). It sounds like it could be a deal where you just stand on the field though. The cheapest Blue Jays ticket is $635 Canadian. ($616 US) Outfield seats for $1907 Canadian. ($1861 US)
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox cheapest season ticket is $974, and it looks like the cost is $2270 to sit out in the outfield bleachers. The White Sox benefits are vague and generic and list season ticket holder gifts and events as one of their top benefits.
The Indians offer some decent benefits, such as a Suite for free (includes 16 tickets) which is a $2000 value. They also give away a free Terrace Club Membership, and Free Club seats to one game. Their cheapest ticket is $648 in the upper deck, but you can get a left field bleacher season ticket for just $729. Right Field and Center Field seats are $1701 per season ticket.
Detroit was hit hard by the recession, and still hasn’t recovered. It looks like the Tigers had Skyline season ticket plan for $5 per game which has sold out. So, the cheapest season ticket a ballhawk can purchase now is in the upper deck and costs $1294. But get this, for only $5 more, you can buy a bleacher ticket in the outfield for $1279. Outfield box cost $3317, and RF Grandstand cost $2021, and the Comerica Park was inconclusive as to where these sections are located – its all just one color.
The Tigers have the most important benefit available this year. From their website: “Exclusive Season Ticketholder early entry to select games.” That’s important, because in the past Comerica Park has been a 90 minute stadium – meaning that they open their gates 90 minutes before the first pitch, one of the latest opening times in the majors. STH also have their own gate.
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royal host the All Star game in 2012, making their season ticket base grow. The cheapest season ticket is $648 for seats known as Hy-Vee Outfield. An Outfield box seat is $1863 per ticket. They Royals have a long list of benefits, but most of the best ones, such as taking batting practice on the field are for the big spenders. It’d be nice if they’d open their gates early to season ticket holders, since KC has the latest opening time of any stadium in the majors. The best benefit of all is getting an All Star Game strip with tickets to the Futures Game, Home Run Derby and the All Star game.
Currently the Twins are only taking deposits, but they list their cheapest ticket as $11 in the upper deck. Seats in the outfield are $22 per seat. That’s $891 for their cheapest seat, and $1782 for an outfield seat. The Twins offer some cool benefits such as giveaways throughout the season. They also let season ticket holders in early on Monday-Thursday to watch batting practice from right field, but it appears that a limited amount of fans that can participate, so you have to be pre-chosen. Everything seems that way. Batting in the cages indoors? Sure, but they only select 18 season ticket holders. How about take batting practice on the field? Sure, they offer that too – to 12 season ticket holders. http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/ticketing/sth/gen/benefits.jsp
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels saw their season ticket holder base jump 4,000 in the week after the signings of Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. Their season ticket prices are $9.50 for the cheapest seat in the View All Star Upper Deck Area ($769.50 for the season), and $17 for left field ($1377) or $14 per game for right field ($1134). The Angels benefits are standard and boring.
The Athletics cheapest seat is a bleacher seat which costs $720, that’s also prime home run territory, all the way from right to left field. The A’s benefits suck. Buy season tickets and get a pin. Whoop dee doo.
The Mariners cheapest season ticket is $1025 for a left field bleacher ticket. Not bad. Its the upper bleachers in left field though. If you want to sit in center or right field, well that’ll be $1754. The Mariners offer nothing to get excited about benefits wise. Nothing stands out here.
The Rangers have a season ticket plan for only $334 in the upper deck (Grandstand reserved). Now THAT’S a bargain! The Rangers have also been known to have a season ticket holder gate that opens early and lets season ticket holders in before the public, although they don’t advertise it on their benefits page.
74 more days!