New Atlantic League Ticket Idea Is Stroke of Genius
The Atlantic League has quickly established themselves as one who is not afraid to embrace changes. Their partnership with Major League Baseball brought rule changes to the league, including moving the mound back, the ability to steal first base, and much more. Many of these were panned as ridiculous but, as I frequently tell my incredibly picky grandson, “There is nothing wrong with trying something new.”
Some of these rule changes have fallen by the wayside, but the league has come up with an idea that deserves a round of applause. The introduction of the “Ballpark Pass” is one you are going to see across independent baseball.
What Is the Ballpark Pass?
The Ballpark Pass is an innovative idea that Atlantic League President Rick White is implementing for the season. This allows season ticket holders to receive an additional set of complementary passes to any ballpark in the league based upon the number of tickets they purchase for their home club.
Now, I will explain that in English. If a fan were to purchase four tickets for 10 games for the Staten Island FerryHawks as part of their season-ticket plan, they then receive the same number of tickets to be used at any ballpark in the league. They instantly double the value of their season-ticket plan while also getting the opportunity to travel and support their club when they visit other teams throughout the Atlantic League. The best part is that they do this at no additional cost to themselves.
This is a great plan that encourages fans to continue to support their club when they head out on the road. A fervent High Point Rockers fan could opt to travel to Gastonia, Charleston, or Lexington to watch the Rockers. One of the best features is that fans are not locked into seeing a particular opponent. They can use their complementary passes at any park within the Atlantic League at any time during the season.
Explains President White, “We treasure season ticket holders and Ballpark Pass will add tremendous value to their tickets, especially those in areas where teams are in close proximity, or for those who wish to explore other ALPB communities.”
Make Those Rivalries Heat Up!
This is a brilliant plan on many levels. It starts with the fact that fans get to double the value of their season tickets, earning the opportunity to enjoy watching their team on the road. That is just the start, however.
In the American Association, one of the things that has always made the Winnipeg Goldeyes one of the premier franchises in the league has been that fans will travel to Fargo-Moorhead, St. Paul, even to Texas to see the team play. They support their club, which has helped to fuel rivalries for the Goldeyes.
Now, one can expect that same kind of bitter rivalries blossom between Long Island and Staten Island, Gastonia and High Point, just to name a few. This gets fans more involved and excited about their team, and gives them an opportunity to see other ballparks. It is truly a win for the league as a whole.
This is a brilliant strategy that will not be ignored by other independent leagues. Do not be surprised if the American Association, Frontier League, and maybe even the Pioneer and Pecos Leagues jump on board with this or a similar plan. Think of how much more involved fans would be with the Milwaukee Milkmen rivalries if they received free passes to Lake Country, Chicago, Gary, or Kane County as part of their ticket plan, or what it would be like in the Frontier League if Quebec Capitales season-ticket holders could go to see Trois-Rivieres or Ottawa as part of their plan. It would be huge!
It is time to give credit where credit is due. Atlantic League, your “innovations” to improve your league may not have always resonated with fans. However, with this one, you have struck pure gold.
By Robert Pannier