SBD/March 26, 2013/Franchises

MLB Rangers Seeing Strong Ticket Sales Despite Higher Prices, Uncertainty Over Ryan

The MLB Rangers' ticket sales "have been strong," as season tickets have "reached the 21,500 level" and all ticket sales are near the 1.9 million mark, according to Randy Galloway of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The numbers are "dead even" compared to this time last year, but "dead even is actually a gain." Despite a club that "unfortunately seems to be making a worrisome drift into the area of Cow-Mav mismanagement, the fans are hanging in there, and the loyalty is showing by the use of the hip pocket." Team officials said that the "worry in ticket sales this spring centered on how 2012 ended on the field." Galloway noted the Rangers this offseason made "no trades or acquisitions that excited the fans," and decided to "hike ticket prices after a bad finish by the team." The officials also "worry about a fan backlash" if CEO Nolan Ryan "leaves the club." But "so far, so good, at least with the fans" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/24).

OFF THE TRACKS: In Austin, Kirk Bohls writes "almost no one is betting" Ryan will stay with the Rangers. A source said that "it was '70-30' that he leaves, stung by his ill treatment." Ryan's lack of comment on the matter has "spoken loud and clear." A source said that he is "hurt, bitter, and confused." Bohls writes what is "sad is nothing really had to change." Team management has "worked well together," and Rangers President of Baseball Operations & GM Jon Daniels "remains a rising star in the game for mostly smart roster decisions." Ryan is "not completely blameless in this soap opera because he's overstepped his bounds at times." Daniels said that he "did little to instigate this coup." But Bohls writes Daniels "might not have done much to dissuade ownership from either pushing Ryan out or minimizing his role." Ryan has "done too much and meant too much to be treated so callously" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 3/26).

HOW YU DOING? The team on Saturday announced a new special section at Rangers Ballpark called the Kia Yuniverse, in honor of Rangers P Yu Darvish. All fans in the section for Darvish's starts in '13 will receive a free Kia Yuniverse T-shirt and K-Card. The promotion is part of the team's partnership with Kia, which also includes ballpark signage (Rangers).
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