The Rangers’ preview center includes two mock suites and a high-tech model but no virtual reality. (Courtesy Texas Rangers)

Texas Rangers say they have sales, commitments for more than 60% of inventory

The Texas Rangers have sales and commitments for more than 60% of the suite inventory at new Globe Life Field, according to Joe Januszewski, the team’s executive vice president and chief revenue and marketing officer.

For the 2,200 club seats and four-top tables, the number is greater than 50%, Januszewski said.

The new ballpark, designed by HKS and built by Manhattan Construction, opens in April 2020 in Arlington. It sits next to Globe Life Park, the Rangers’ current facility, and the Texas Live! entertainment district.

Globe Life Field will feature about 75 suites, priced at $125,000 on the low end to $500,000 annually for the Founders Suites. Contracts run from three to 12 years depending on the suite product, Januszewski said.

Club seats cost $75 a person per game up to $450. The high-end price is an all-inclusive ticket in the front row behind home plate. Food, beer, wine, hard liquor and parking are among the amenities.

The Rangers are selling suites and club seats in tandem with Evan Gitomer, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment’s vice president of premium ticketing. Gitomer fills the role of general manager for new ballpark sales. The sales staff members are all Rangers employees.

Together, over the past 4 1/2 months, they’ve held more than 1,500 meetings among current season-ticket holders at the preview center situated behind the right-field stands at Globe Life Park.

“We broke the new ballpark up into zones for a fair and equitable relocation process and are going through folks by location and seniority to look at commensurate seats, which is a little tough obviously because of all the premium offerings we now have that we don’t at the current park,” Januszewski said.

There’s a greater variety of premium products for the new venue, but at the same time, the Rangers have fewer suites to sell than at Globe Life Park. It opened with 126 suites in 1994, a time when MLB stadiums were built with many more seats.

To date, 4% of the Rangers’ premium seat holders have not committed to buying inventory at the new ballpark. The number includes customers that team officials have yet to schedule meetings for at the preview center, Januszewski said.

“We’re very pleased with our retention rate, and in the next month we’ll be through all of our zones and put a new marketing campaign into the community touting the benefits for new buyers,” he said. “It’s the second major phase of our sales process, moving from our incumbent suite and premium seat holders to the general population.”

As it stands now, the Rangers have sold most of the 10 Founders Suites, the most expensive product, situated 17 rows behind home plate. They’re similar to the high-end suites at Miller Park, another suite product that’s close to the action, but are closer to the field and come with 18 to 24 fixed seats, Januszewski said.

The Home Plate Suites, built below field level between the dugouts, are selling at a slower rate, he said. Those 14 suites, priced at $400,000 a year, come with seven to nine fixed seats and private lounge space.

“The Angels and Indians have something similar, but there’s no roof over these suites,” Januszewski said. “The sky is above you with no precast coming over the top like in Anaheim and Cleveland. We’ve got single digits left to sell.”

The preview center showcases two mock suites built to specifications, which has helped the Rangers sell a few units after customers got to experience the furnishings, Januszewski said.

“It’s been a difference maker versus a rendering,” he said. “It’s so much more impactful to sit in there, look at the TV, sit on a couch, see the storage space. They can see how roomy they are compared to our current product.”

Unlike other preview centers, the Rangers decided not to use virtual reality as a marketing tool after talking to other teams and to vendors marketing the technology. The  feedback they heard included people getting dizzy from wearing VR headsets, and others that simply didn’t like the idea of putting something on their head, Januszewski said.

“Why would I want to get someone out to our sales center and put them in a position where they’re uncomfortable physically?” he said. “The reality is, they’re the customer. We went with a nice blend of renderings and fly-throughs. Our ballpark model has a roof that opens and closes with different settings for game day and concert mode.”

Downstream, a design and technology firm, teamed with ModelWorks of Las Vegas and audiovisual firm Diversified to create the Globe Life Field model. It has six options to project onto the structure, including a night game configuration with field lights and a fireworks display, Januszewski said.

“It brings the ‘wow’ component,” he said.