The Chicago White Sox are bringing back the Ballpark Pass ticket plan from last season. The plan is to help drive fans to games in April and May during the week, when attendance is lower than average, and this year the Sox have added Friday games to the package.
Last year, the offers were an 11-game plan for Monday thru Thursday home games in April and May for only $29, or the 21-game plan for $42. Tickets were uploaded to the MLB At Bat mobile app (which is required for the ticket plan) and fans received a notification on their smartphones approximately three hours before game time with the section their seats were located.
This year, however, the White Sox have modified the Ballpark Pass to just one option: 16 home games for $59. Plans go on sale on Monday, March 28 at 10 a.m. only at whitesox.com.
I compared the Ballpark Pass plan to other third-party sites just to see the cost difference if one purchased these tickets separately. Below is a chart that highlights the difference and the ticket plan saves quite a bit of money (costs do not include service fees and/or sales tax).
It's pretty clear that the ticket plan would be the way to go if one was able to attend all 16 games. However, that is quite the commitment. With the way the dates work, you'll spend an entire work week at U.S. Cellular Field. That's by no means is a bad thing, but I'm assuming most fans have families to go home to in between games. Based on the current ticket prices on third-party sites, a fan would have to attend 10 or more games to enjoy the cost savings.
The worst feature of this plan is that the ticket barcodes are not transferable. You can't put them up for resale or print them, so if you can't go, you'll eat the tickets and they go to waste. It's kind of counterintuitive for a ticket plan that aims to put fans butts in the seats.
Is it worth purchasing the Ballpark Pass? If you have some expendable income and your weeknights are free, sure. This is an opportunity to feel like a season ticket-holder without putting down a significant sum of cash. Personally, I would love to see a smaller Ballpark Pass package -- say, eight games for $29. That's just enough games that could fit my social schedule at a price point easier to swallow if I can't make it to the stadium. The Sox set the bar a little higher, though, and if a fan can't commit to the 10+ games in April and May, they would be better off buying tickets on a third-party site when they feel the urge.