White Sox pitch deeply discounted game packages


Kaitlin Hetterscheidt

The new ticketing package offered by the Chicago White Sox will allow fans to attend games of their choosing between Mondays and Thursdays in April and May 2015.

By Sports & Health Reporter

The Chicago White Sox unveiled two new ticketing packages March 30 aimed at college students for the team’s upcoming season.

The Ballpark Pass is an 11-game package available for $29, while the Ballpark Pass Plus, priced at $49, allows fans access to 21 games of their choosing. The pass can only be used for home games Monday through Thursday in April and May.

“The way it works is that a fan would go to WhiteSox.com/ballparkpass and buy the pass online,” said Beth Grabowski, the White Sox’s director of marketing and analytics. “If you wanted to go with friends or a family member, you’d want to buy those passes together at one time. You buy the pass online and download MLB.com’s ballpark app.”

Fans are able to attend, based on the package they select, are loaded into the app before April 10, according to Grabowski. 

“On the day of each game that you have a pass for, you’ll get a text message asking if you’re coming to the game,” Grabowski said. “When you say, ‘Yes, we’re coming,’ your seat assignment will be allocated.”

Fans are guaranteed a seat in the Upper Corner of the stadium, Grabowski said. Tickets to the Lower Corner and Outfield Reserved seating are allocated to Ballpark Pass users when those seats are available. Upper Corner tickets are typically $7 while Lower Corner tickets are $20, and seats in the Outfield Reserve section are $24. If a fan takes advantage of every game available through the Ballpark Pass, Grabowski said their ticket price averages out to less than $3 per game.

“We hope the price point is at an affordable level,” Grabowski said. “When I was in college, dollars were tight. You want to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. We think this is a really great opportunity for college students to make a relatively smaller investment for a lot of games.” 

According to Jonathan Lang, a freelance marketing consultant, the White Sox’s digital marketing package could be an effective strategy to connect baseball fans on a budget to seats that are more difficult to fill on a consistent basis.

“With the location of schools in the Chicago area close to the stadium, I guess we can see this being kind of a first push toward that,” Lang said. “[They’re] gearing the lower end seats toward college students on a budget who are close to the ball park.”

Grabowski said she expects the affordability and flexibility of the packages to appeal to college students. 

“We hope this will provide students who are in town in April and May a very affordable opportunity to check us out,” Grabowski said. “Just because you have all 21 games loaded into the app doesn’t mean you have to use them. If something comes up where you have to study, we hope students will feel that opportunity to be flexible with their schedule.”

White Sox fan Michael Hymen, a junior business & entrepreneurship major, said he plans on purchasing the package.

“The fact that it’s a Monday through Thursday kind of deal means that I can go right to the game after class,” Hymen said. “The low cost for the amount of games available is a pretty good draw for me. They have trouble getting people in the [park] during the school year. I think it’s a really good way to get fans in and the last-minute kind of people who want to go to these games.”

Hymen said the package is appealing because of the digital aspect.

“I don’t have to take the time to go print anything out,” Hymen said. “I can get up and go from wherever I am and head right over with my phone and be at the game.”

The Ballpark Pass packages are an innovative way to attract new fans, Hymen said.

“It’s going to bring a ton of people into the U.S. Cellular Field,” Hymen said. “It brings a new idea [of] selling tickets to baseball games into an area where a lot of people don’t want to go. I think having this pass brings more people to the ballpark and entices more people to say, ‘Hey, I may just want to go some day, so I’ll buy this pass and choose whether to go this day or not.’” 

Lang said while this package could appeal to students like Hymen, there are some drawbacks to the price breaks.

“For a college student on a budget, having the ability to purchase a block of games in their price range would certainly be appealing, but it’s going to be lower-end or outfield seating,” Lang said. “It’s going to be a give and take.”