MLB Teams Roll Out Passes as Ticketing Options
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Last week, the St. Louis Cardinals unveiled plans for a brand new monthly pass that will be available to fans this season. Under that package, fans can attend as many games per month at Busch Stadium as they desire for a monthly fee of $29.99.
The tickets are delivered digitally on game days, and can be used for standing room areas at Busch Stadium. The subscription can be renewed automatically each month.
With that package, the Cardinals are giving their fans some unique offerings—from a flat monthly rate that allows fans to attend any time—with the exception of Opening day—to the delivery of a digital ticket that can be obtained through the MLB.com Ballpark mobile app.
For 2017, however, the Cardinals are not the only team to feature this concept, as similar programs have been rolled out by other franchises.
The Minnesota Twins, for instance, are allowing fans to enter Target Field on a pass for the spring months. For $99, fans can have access to 30 games over April and May—excluding Opening Day—through a pass that is downloaded via the mobile app. Up to eight passes can be obtained per game, and the passes will allow for Ballpark Access, which the Twins formerly designated as standing room only.
This year, the New York Yankees are offering the Pinstripe Pass, which allows fans to enter Yankee Stadium for as little as $15. The Pinstripe Pass includes one free drink—fans 21 and over can redeem it for a 12-ounce domestic beer—and grants fans access to standing room areas at Yankee Stadium. That includes Masterpass Batter’s Eye Deck, Frank’s RedHot Terrace and Toyota Terrace, Budweiser Party Decks or AT&T Sports Lounge, the areas that have been added to the ballpark as part of its recent renovations.
The Yankees are not the only team that is introducing a pass that could grant fans access to a new area at the ballpark. Among the Houston Astros’ ticket offerings is the Astros Ballpark Pass, which allows fans to enter every game in April—except for Opening Day—for $59. Fans will be able to select up to eight passes for any of the games, which will be uploaded to the Ballpark app. A text message will be sent to provide the location of the seat, with one of the eligible locations being the Torchy Taco’s Party Deck, which is a part of the new centerfield area at Minute Maid Park.
Several other teams are featuring ballpark passes for the spring months. The Pittsburgh Pirates are offering a ballpark pass that will cover 26 games over April and May, and can be purchased for $159. Up to four passes can be obtained per game and ticket locations will vary, with outfield and grandstand seating as well as standing room only being among the options.
For $50, fans will have access to 11 spring home games for the Philadephia Phillies. That plan will allow up to for four passes—which will be scanned from the same device—to be obtained for any of the games, and the seating options include terrace, terrace deck, pavilion, pavilion deck, and outfield.
The Milwaukee Brewers are offering a pass that will include access to 13 of the team’s April home games for $49. Up to six passes can be purchased be purchased together, and seating options will include terrace box & reserved (sections 404-440), loge outfield (206-209 & 228-232) and loge bleachers (201-205 & 233-238). Seating information will be delivered via text message approximately two hours before game time.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will feature 12 games under the same pass for $49. The pass will include a dozen games in April, and up to eight passes available, with the seating location changing each game. Pass holders will have their seat location assigned about three hours before first pitch.
At a price of $49, the Detroit Tigers will offer access through a pass for eight select home games in April. That includes two games against the Boston Red Sox, and up to four passes can be purchased.
The Chicago White Sox are offering an 11-game April pass at $39, and for a limited time allowed fans access to Opening Day tickets at a starting price of $25. Up to eight non-transferable passes can be purchased, and the White Sox will send a text message with the seating location approximately five hours before first pitch.
Some of these plans come with restrictions, as Opening Day is traditionally omitted from the passes. Some teams may also lock out certain games, as the Brewers’ plan, for instance, does not include a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Most of the passes are non-transferable, meaning that they will have to be scanned from one device.
Still, the influx of flexible ticketing options and digital delivery is a trend that is reflected in the passes available this season. Depending upon how these plans are received by fans, more teams could jump on board in the coming years.