MLB ruling: Ballpark office tenants must pay to see playoff games

Ballpark offices

Credit: WFAA

Tenants at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington say they've never before been charged for watching a game from their pricey office space.

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by MATTHEW HAAG

The Dallas Morning News

Posted on October 7, 2010 at 6:59 PM

ARLINGTON — Major League Baseball won't back down from a policy to charge tenants who invite guests to their office suite balconies for the Texas Rangers playoff game Saturday despite attempts from the baseball club.

Since the league announced the decision on Monday, the Rangers had tried to reach a compromise with Major League Baseball. But team spokesman John Blake said the attempts were unsuccessful. The offices overlook center field and have an entrance separate from the ballpark.

The league has said that guests must buy a $25 standing-room only ticket to see the Rangers play the Tampa Bay Rays in the team's first postseason home game in more than a decade. That ticket price jumps to $40 for the next round and would be $50 if the Rangers reach the World Series.

League spokesman Pat Courtney said the ticket price is intended to protect the 30 baseball teams, which all receive a part of the postseason ticket revenues.

The fee has frustrated some tenants, who already pay for the balconies as part of their lease.

"This thing is an absolute mess," said Chuck Elhoff, a personal financial planner who has had an office in the Ballpark in Arlington since 1994. "It's really rather stupid."

But Elhoff and other tenants might end up spending less money than they initially thought. An Arlington fire marshal measured the tenants' balconies Wednesday and ordered them to have only a certain number of guests on the balconies at one time.

For jeweler David D'Aquin, that means he'll save thousands of dollars. He still plans to invite 80 people to Saturday's game, but he'll buy only 34 tickets -- the same number of people allowed to be on his balcony. He paid $1,700 for them.

The rest of the invitees will stay inside his office suite, which might not be so bad. He has five kegs of beer on ice and plans to have an assortment of food.

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