SBD/Issue 84/Franchises

MLB Rangers Keep Tix Prices Flat For Third Straight Season

The MLB Rangers announced yesterday that individual ticket prices at The Ballpark in Arlington will remain the same for the '04 season. The team will also roll back the price of over 15,000 seats to '94 prices for the final five games of the '04 opening homestand, April 11 versus the Angels and April 12-15 against the A's (Rangers). In Dallas, Evan Grant notes it marks the team's third straight season without a ticket increase. Rangers COO Jeff Cogen: "It's been well-documented that our attendance has dropped. The supply and demand quotient doesn't lend itself to raising ticket prices." Attendance has dropped from more than 2.8 million in '01 to 2.1 million last season, the fourth straight last-place finish in the AL West for the Rangers. Grant notes that in '04 the Rangers will increase the number of home day games from 13 to 19, the most the team has ever scheduled; and the "big switch is with Sunday starts." The Rangers traditionally played Sunday games at night but this year will play 11 of 13 Sunday games during the day, with all but two starting at 1:05pm CT (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/21).

A-Rod To Red Sox
Rumors Resurface

A-ROD: In Fort Worth, Kathleen O'Brien reports rumors of a trade involving Rangers SS Alex Rodriguez and the Red Sox "resurfaced" yesterday when ESPN Radio's "The Dan Patrick Show" and ESPN.com cited an MLB source as saying that "talks are continuing on a possible trade" for OF Manny Ramirez and cash considerations. But Rangers Owner Tom Hicks said, "There is no possibility of a trade" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/21). In a conference call with Boston media on an unrelated subject yesterday, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein called the report "completely baseless" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/21).

A-ROD JERSEY HOAX: In Boston, Bob Hohler writes a "number of Web pages displayed an image from MLB.com's shopping site of a replica Sox home jersey dedicated to Rodriguez that purportedly was available for $99.95." The sales copy read: "Be one of the first to own a jersey customized with the name and number of the newest ... Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez!" Hohler notes it seems "someone with access to private MLB computer material retrieved an image that had been prepared in case the deal was completed. The image apparently was posted briefly on the shopping site, reproduced, and circulated on the internet." MLBAM Senior VP/Corporate Communications Jim Gallagher said, "An authorized person conducted an unauthorized hoax. We're embarrassed. We take this very seriously, and we are currently investigating" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/21).

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