Fans who already pay handsomely to attend Texas Rangers games will be paying more this year.
The Rangers announced individual ticket prices Tuesday, but they feel that the increases overall aren't as significant as a year ago, especially considering the improvements being made to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The six most expensive tickets in 2011 -- spanning the lower bowl, the all-you-can-eat seats and the club level -- were raised $4 to $10 for nonpremier games and $4 to $11 for premier games.
The other 49.5 percent of tickets stayed the same or increased no more than $2. Cash parking will be $12 for most games, and $10 on Fireworks Fridays.
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With expenses up and with fewer single-game tickets available because of increased season-ticket sales, the team says the price hikes are an inevitable part of doing business.
"If expenses go up, your revenue has to grow or you have problems," Chief Operating Officer Rick George said. "It's just the general course of business, like any company in any business.
"We tried to make it affordable for all. We looked at the scope of the whole ballpark and said, 'Where do we have some areas that are undervalued?' We're pretty consistent. We may even be less of an increase this year than last year."
Ticket prices were up in 2011 to help offset a new video board in right field and an overhauled sound system, but the Rangers saw a record attendance of more than 2.9 million.
The Rangers have committed $12 million to renovate Vandergriff Plaza in center field and are spending another $1.1 million on taller railings.
The Rangers' payroll will also increase, from $94 million to more than $110 million. The reigning American League champions will play 67 night games at home, most of which will start at 7:05 p.m., and 14 day games, usually starting at 1:05 p.m. or 2:05 p.m.
Five of their Saturday home games will be broadcast nationally on Fox, and the first three Sunday home games will be shown on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
Opening Day is April 6, and the Rangers will distribute tickets through a lottery for the second straight season. Fans can register Feb. 1-20 at texasrangers.com/presale for the chance to buy two tickets to the opener.
"It's the fairest way to do it," George said. "It gives everybody an opportunity because there's a limited amount of inventory. It's an inventory vs. demand problem. Everybody wants to come that day, which is a good thing, but we just don't have the inventory."
The 10-game ticket plans, which go on sale Monday, include tickets to Opening Day.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760