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Spike in ticket renewals energizes White Sox

Spike in ticket renewals energizes White Sox

Spike in ticket renewals energizes White Sox play video for Spike in ticket renewals energizes White Sox
Season ticket renewals have shown a sizable increase from 51.3 percent at this time in 2011 to over 90 percent renewal presently, White Sox senior vice president for sales and marketing Brooks Boyer said.

"We have what I would call significant momentum," Boyer said. "From what we have gotten in, we are so far ahead from where we were last year at this time. It's terrific. Now we have a little wind in our sails."

Season ticket renewals -- and ticket sales overall -- are important because anything brought in goes right back into the budget to operate the team. On Tuesday, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said the team's 2013 payroll would be at least as much as last year's $109 million.

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Increased ticket sales mean more resources available to general manager Rick Hahn during the offseason or for additions once the season begins. Individual tickets for the 2013 season go on sale at SoxFest, which begins on Jan. 25. With the help of playoff rollovers and the club's proactive ticket adjustment announced in October, the White Sox already are encouraged.

"In any pro sports franchise, you model everything off of the season ticket base," Boyer said. "There's a lot of enthusiasm there, spurred by the way the team played [in 2012]. The fans are comfortable with what [manager] Robin [Ventura] and his staff did.

"Last year, Robin was an unproven manager and it was about, 'What has he ever done?' He's shown himself as a very solid manager, and we have a solid core of players."

Boyer also mentioned that sponsorships are up. Television ratings were up for last year's broadcasts, and WSCR, the team's flagship radio station, is doing "as well as it ever has in the market."

"That's significant positive momentum," Boyer said.

Eighty-seven percent of White Sox season tickets decreased in price or stayed flat. As an example, the price of outfield season tickets was cut 30 percent and outfield bleachers went down 32 percent. Four full-season bleacher tickets now cost $2,800 less than in 2012.

Full-season tickets are available for as low as $810 per seat and split-season plans are available for as low as $297 per seat (both Upper Reserved). On split-season tickets, 27-game plans are decreasing in price, by more than 25 percent on average.

As for individual tickets, corner seats in the lower deck will be available for $20 per game and upper-deck corner seats will be available for $7 on a daily basis all season long (excluding only Opening Day and the two Cubs games on May 27-28), accounting for nearly 5,000 seats per game. The cost of parking also is being dropped to $20, down from $25 and $23.

"Family Sunday," a new promotion covering all 13 Sunday home games, features seats in Bleacher, Outfield Reserved, Lower Corner and Premium Upper Box sections for $15. Upper Box and Upper Reserved Seats will be available for $10, and Upper Corner tickets will cost $5. Parking at U.S. Cellular lots on Family Sundays will be available for $10. The reduced ticket prices for Family Sunday are for fans of all ages.

The White Sox also have formed partnerships with area youth leagues by providing uniforms and caps, training tips and special ticket offers to four area organizations, helping their cause while helping to create future fans.

"We like to think we've created Value Mondays every day," Boyer said. "We are going to have a very solid baseball team, and we have pitching that can hold up into October. We have a lot of encouraging things."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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