White Sox spring training ticket prices on the rise, but sneakily

Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

All weekend games carry premier pricing, Cubs or not

Spring training tickets are on sale, and it looks like we've probably seen the White Sox and Dodgers' last attempt to bring Camelback Ranch prices more in line with the rest of the Cactus League. The upcoming season brings a new way to raise prices while allowing the teams to claim that they've kept base prices steady.

Last year, they introduced a differentiation between advance sales and day-of-game sales, keeping the base prices same for the former, but charging $2 more for the latter. They also maintained the unavoidable $5 increases across the board for the Cubs' Camelback Ranch visit.

This year, they took it one step further. They raised the day-of-game prices an additional $1, but now they've assigned the premium price for any and all weekend games, Friday through Sunday (the Sox-Cubs game at Camelback is on a Friday this year). That accounts for six of the Sox' 14 home games at Camelback Ranch in 2014.

Seat location 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Home plate box $42 ($47) $42 ($47) $39 ($44) $39-41 ($44) $39-42-44
Dugout field box $32 ($37) $37 ($42) $34 ($39) $34-36 ($39) $34-37-39
Premium infield box
$28 ($32) $28 ($33) n/a n/a n/a
Legends deck n/a n/a $28 ($33) $28-30 ($33) $28-31-59*
Infield box $26 ($30) $24 ($29) $23 ($28) $23-25 ($28) $23-26-28
Baseline field box $26 ($30) $28 ($33) $19 ($24) $19-21 ($24) $19-22-24
Baseline reserved $20 ($22) $15 ($20) $10 ($15) $10-12 ($15) $12-15-17
Lawn seating $10 ($12) $8 ($13) $8 ($13) $8-10 ($13) $8-11-13

(*The $59 ticket for the Legends Deck includes all-you-can-eat food and nonalcoholic drinks. The food is probably non-alcoholic, too.)

It's not a supply-and-demand response on the White Sox' part. They drew fewer fans per game in 2013 compared to the year before (6,049, down from 6,137), and this year didn't figure to be any more inspiring.

However, if they're yoked to the Dodgers' desires, that would explain it. That big price hack came when the Dodgers' spring attendance dropped precipitously -- from 137,000 in 2009 to 103,000 in 2011 -- during the last days of the Frank McCourt era. But the new ownership and its wide-open wallet has reinvigorated the fan base, and now they're back to their 2009 days. The prices are returning to those levels as well, just in different ways.

(Meanwhile, the tickets for games at Scottsdale's Salt River Fields, considered to be the class of the spring sites and in a more vibrant part of the area, top out at $28 this year.)

That's not to say White Sox fans can't find ways around paying those specific prices for those particular sections, but the lopsided nature of the agreement between the Sox and Dodgers has always interested me, and the gap seems to only be growing.

Star-divide

If none of this interests you, the Tigers are in "serious negotiations" with Brian Wilson. People seem to have opinions about him.

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