The cost of the new baseball in Arlington has gone from the original target of $1 billion to now $1.2 billion, which was the same price to build AT&T Stadium across the street.
Jerry’s Club seats about 100,000 whereas the new Rangers baseball stadium will seat 41,000.
Texas Rangers executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick recently told Arlington city officials that the cost of the project has increased about $200 million. Because the project is not done, Matwick said, the figure is also not final.
And as far as the new playing surface, Matwick said the team has not made a decision whether to go with real or fake grass. Feel free to draw your own conclusions on that one.
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Breathe easy, Arlington tax payers; your expense is capped at $500 million. However, there is no cap for Rangers’ ticket buyers. Someone is making up the difference.
Fans and Arlington citizens easily voted and approved overwhelmingly to build this new stadium that will feature a retractable roof, an air conditioner and all sorts of new toys. These types of toys and amenities are not free.
Now the team begins the process of adjusting its fans to the new costs, and that transition is normally full of righteous anger and frustration from customers when they see and hear the new price structure.
In an interview with the Star-Telegram, Matwick said the team has not finalized a new ticket price plan for the new stadium that is scheduled to open in 2020; he said the team plans to reach out this winter to season ticket holders about the new options that will include the dreaded R word: Relocation.
“In some areas the seats will be more expensive, because there will be more prime hospitality that we have not been able to do in (Globe Life Park), but it’s important to offer something for everyone,” Matwick said. “The nature of the game, because we have 81 home dates, is to be able to reach all price ranges in 41,000 seats.
“We are going to have affordable tickets for all fans, but there are going to be areas that are more expensive, that’s fair to say.”
According to the website ValuePengiun.com, which rates the affordability of attending an MLB game, the Rangers rank 14th among the 30 clubs.
In 2018, the average ticket price for a Rangers’ home game was $26.94; that figure ranks 19th in MLB. The highest was the Chicago Cubs, $58.57. The lowest was the Arizona Diamondbacks at $19.65.
At the Ballpark, the Rangers consistently have been around the middle of MLB in terms of the cost to attend a game. The Rangers have always done a decent job of being affordable, as it relates to all other MLB teams.
Fans best prepare their wallet for the prices at the new place to be higher. As to how much, Matwick won’t say. Typically when teams do make this announcement they have to take measures to brace for a storm of angry calls, email, boycotts, etc. be it over prices or seat relocation.
Customers typically loathe change, including in the face of improvement; even though old Turnpike Stadium was a glorified landfill when the team moved out of that stadium into the Ballpark in 1994, there were complaints.
When Matwick was with the Houston Astros when the team moved out of the AstroDome into what was then Enron Field in 2000, the complaints from fans and players were plentiful.
Per Matwick, despite the substantial rain this area has received lately, the new stadium is on schedule. There is no turning back, of course.
Globe Life II is coming. The club is preparing for the complaints, because those are coming, too.
“Generally you are going to work with the people that have been season ticket holders and who have the most tenure to get them to the closest proximity of their current seats,” he said. “We will try to find something within their budget means. No doubt it’s a sensitive process and it takes time. The only way you can deal with this is to be open and transparent. Will there be bumps? Absolutely but we are going to work with the fans so we can find them the best options in the new park.
“The long term benefits are going to outweigh the negatives.”
Making that possible will be your money.