White Sox spring training ticket prices hold steady ... unless you wait

$8, $10 or $13. - Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

After two years of reductions, Cameback Ranch's ticket prices have settled into a range that's still well above the Cactus League standard cost.

Last time on White Sox Spring Training Ticket Prices, the Cameback Ranch cabal finally gave up some ground on their attempt to establish a high-class spring training experience. The Sox and Dodgers dropped the standard price of their top ticket below $40, and while that was still far more than every other park's most expensive ticket, it at least started with a "3." Better yet, they actually created cheaper (non-berm) seats down the baselines, offering two seating sections below $20, after having none in 2010. While still on the higher end of the price spectrum, they weren't ridiculously out of the rest of the Cactus League's range.

Since then, we've seen the Sox bring their regular-season ticket prices in line with the rest of Major League Baseball, including drastic reductions for the seats that seldom sell (lower-deck and upper-deck corners), with additional cost-cutting in parking.

So would that trend extend to another year of spring training?

Nope. The Sox released their single-game prices, and they've created a new pricing structure that prioritizes advance ticket sales with a little penalty for those who wait. Ticket prices remain the same if you buy early, but day-of-game prices go up a couple of bucks. And there's the premium tier as well.

I've updated the chart, with 2013 prices listed with advance price first, day of game second. Premium prices are in parentheses cross the board.

Seat location 2010 2011 2012 2013
Home plate box $42 ($47) $42 ($47) $39 ($44) $39-41 ($44)
Dugout field box $32 ($37) $37 ($42) $34 ($39) $34-36 ($39)
Premium infield box
$28 ($32) $28 ($33) n/a n/a
Legends deck n/a n/a $28 ($33) $28-30 ($33)
Infield box $26 ($30) $24 ($29) $23 ($28) $23-25 ($28)
Baseline field box $26 ($30) $28 ($33) $19 ($24) $19-21 ($24)
Baseline reserved $20 ($22) $15 ($20) $10 ($15) $10-12 ($15)
Lawn seating $10 ($12) $8 ($13) $8 ($13) $8-10 ($13)

The difference this year is that their Camelback Ranch partners, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have new owners who have spent roughly Africa's GDP on their payroll over the last several months. The Sox's prices usually match the Dodgers, but L.A. has yet to release its single-game prices -- the Sox seem to be earlier than the rest of the league in posting prices -- so we'll have to see if that's still the case.

Either way, the prices for the top-end seats are still way out of whack when compared to the prices the Colorado Rockies charge at Talking Stick at Salt River Fields, the crown jewel of Cactus League parks. For tickets closest to the field, the White Sox are charging anywhere from $9 to $14 more for the seating tiers nearest to the infield.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for Sox fans when considering Cameback Ranch attendance growth lagged behind the rest of the Cactus League, with the Sox posting the second-smallest gain (0.3 percent). Or considering Camelback Ranch is way out in underdeveloped Glendale, and Salt River Fields is part of Paul Konerko's fiefdom in Scottsdale.

I figured the prices might continue to descend and meet demand closer to halfway, but now that they've stuck well above what I assume the rest of the league is charging (Talking Stick is a good barometer), I guess Camelback Ranch is settling into its own model. Maybe the Dodgers are counting on the hype to drive fans to the park, and the Sox are getting dragged along.

If this doesn't matter to you...

The Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks pulled off a doozy of a three-team trade, with Cleveland getting the early upper hand.

Cleveland gets:

Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers, Bryan Shaw from Arizona
Drew Stubbs from Cincinnati

Arizona gets:

Didi Gregorious from Cincinnati
Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson from Cleveland

Reds get:

Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Donald and $3.5 million from Cleveland

Bauer is the centerpiece of the return for the Indians, and he's the third high-profile starting pitching prospect to join the AL Central this winter, preceded by Alex Meyer (Denard Span trade) and Trevor May (Ben Revere trade).

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