ARLINGTON, Texas – Major League Baseball has told tenants of the center field office building at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington that they will be required to buy tickets for home playoff games.
Tenants received letters Monday informing them that they would have to buy standing-room-only tickets for each guest at each game in Arlington. The first would be Game 3 on Saturday in the best-of-five American League Divisional Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Major League Baseball is in charge of all of all aspects of postseason games, not the host clubs. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told The Associated Press it was league policy not to allow complimentary tickets during the playoffs.
Rangers Ballpark is unique with its balcony setting that gives office tenants and their guests a pretty good view of the field, Courtney said. He said the Rays also have ballpark office space, but without a view of the field.
David D'Aquin has entertained clients at his custom jewelry shop on the second floor of the office building since the ballpark opened in 1994. The wall of his showroom is decorated with photos and signed baseballs from many of the baseball players who have been among his customers.
"It's even in my lease that this is not part of the ballpark," he told KXAS-TV of Dallas-Fort Worth
"Someone needs to read the fine print (in his lease) from the Rangers and let MLB know this is not their jurisdiction," he told WFAA-TV of Dallas-Fort Worth.
MLB has included the office building in the ballpark. That means tenants are on the hook for $25 per guest for each game in the divisional series, as well as $40 per guest per game during the league championship series and $50 for the World Series should the Rangers advance in their first playoff appearance since 1999.
Rangers spokesman John Blake said the team was working with MLB to resolve the issue. He didn't disclose any details.
Rob Matwick, Rangers executive vice president for ballpark operations, said Monday that charging tenants was not the team's decision.
"You're guaranteed the space, but the space doesn't necessarily guarantee a view," he told KXAS. "And baseball has said, 'If people are going to watch the games, you need to pay for it like everyone else.'"
Jamie Adams owns another tenant, real estate firm MVP Agents, and he does not object to the requirement.
"I've waited 11 years to pay that," he said. "It's part of being at the ballpark. We'll do anything we can to support the franchise.