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Volume 25 No. 199
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MLB Rangers Attendance Woes Putting Strain On Team's Finances

The MLB Rangers claimed throughout the '18 season a decline in attendance "would not impact the long-term payroll and baseball-operations budget," but the drop in ticket sales ended up being a "bloodbath that will put a strain on finances," according to Gerry Fraley of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The sharp decrease also raises a "question as to whether a disenchanted segment of the fan base can be retrieved." The Rangers finished 19th in MLB for "tickets sold at 2,107,107, a drop of 400,653" from '17. By a "very conservative estimate," that adds up to a "decrease in revenue" of at least $16M this season. The Rangers have "squandered much of the goodwill they generated with strong showings" from '10-13. Coming off of a "second consecutive World Series appearance" in '11, the Rangers "set a club record with 3,460,280 tickets sold" in '12. The sales drop between then and '18 is 1,353,173, the "10th-largest decrease within a seven-season window in baseball history." Using a $40-per-ticket estimate, that "translates to a revenue shortfall" of $54M. However, the Rangers "believe they can win back the block of ticket-buying customers" who have "temporarily turned their back on the team." Rangers Exec VP/Business Operations Rob Matwick said that the team is "encouraged that it has maintained a season-ticket-equivalent base that ranks among the top 10" in MLB. That base was at "about 16,000 this season." Matwick said that the attendance decline over the past few seasons "primarily came from single-game tickets." The Rangers hope that the final season of Globe Life Park in '19 and the opening of Globe Life Field in '20 "spurs attendance" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/11).

MLB RANGERS TOTAL ATTENDANCE TREND
YEAR
ATTENDANCE
MLB RANK
'18
2,107,107
19
'17
2,507,760
12
'16
2,710,402
10
'15
2,411,575
16
'14
2,718,733
9
'13
3,178,273
5
'12
3,460,280
3
Download the
Rangers Attendance Trend

GOING OVER BUDGET: Matwick told Arlington city officials that the cost of Globe Life Field "has increased" by about $200M, from the "original target" of $1B to $1.2B. Matwick said that because the project is "not done," that figure is "also not final." Matwick added that the team has "not made a decision whether to go with real or fake grass" in the new ballpark. Matwich also said that the Rangers have "not finalized a new ticket price plan" for Globe Life Field, and that the team plans to reach out this winter to season-ticket holders about "new options that will include the dreaded R word: Relocation" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/11).