You’ve heard plenty about the Royals’ window of opportunity.
Following the 2017 season, a number of Royals will be free agents, including Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy and Alcides Escobar. Retaining them all will be a challenge beyond next season.
And some of those players will be line for pay increases in 2017 through arbitration.
Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president for publicity, said that’s a big reason why ticket prices in most areas around Kauffman Stadium are increasing for next season.
“I don’t know a whole lot about the finances of a Major League Baseball club other than what I read,” Cook said, “but what they tell us over and over again, the money we make gets folded back into the team on the field. So this is all about trying to keep this thing going as long as we possibly can on the field.”
Royals season-ticket holders have received a notice about renewing, and Cook said the increase for most seats is 2 percent to 3 percent.
The cost of Field Box tickets are set to increase roughly 4 percent, while Dugout Plaza and Dugout Box seats will be about 5 percent more expensive. The Crown Club, which was sold out for all of last year, will increase 10 percent. The Diamond Club box will go up 15 percent.
The Hy-Vee box and view seats will remain the same as this season.
“We always try to balance maximizing revenue with continuing to make it affordable for fans to go to the game,” Cook said. “Where we are maximizing our revenue is in areas where we didn’t have any inventory this year because people snatched those tickets up.”
These increases are for season-ticket holders, and those who renew by a certain date will receive an Eric Hosmer All-Star Game MVP bobblehead.
Single-game prices have yet to be announced. Cook expects they will go on sale in late February.
Capacity for Kauffman Stadium is 38,274, which has fluctuated in recent years. Seats were added in 2016 to Loge around the Frank White Lounge when it was refurbished, while adding “paid” seating in other areas such as Rivals and Craft & Draft areas of the park.
This season, the Royals set a franchise record with nearly 18,000 “full-season equivalent” ticket holders, which encompasses full- and half-season plans, as well as 20-game packages.
Cook said the Royals wondered if missing the playoffs this year would affect 2017 season-ticket sales. When the team sent a letter to members about postseason tickets, more than 75 percent made the first payment in early September, Cook said.
Unless the Royals have an incredible rally and make the playoffs, that money goes on season-ticket renewals for 2017, so the team likely has a good base for next season.
“We think that will at least get them in the lane that ‘yeah, we’re coming back,’ because they’ve already made that payment,” Cook said.
Also of note:
▪ The cost of reserved parking for season-ticket holders will increase from $12 to $14. They had the option of buying general parking passes for $10 this season, which will increase to $11 in 2017. General parking has been $12 for the past two seasons, and the Royals haven’t settled on a 2017 price for people without season tickets.
▪ People who renew full- and half-season tickets will be able to receive up to 12 giveaway items in 2017 mailed to their primary address, once in July and once when the season ends. That means no waiting in line for a bobblehead. That cost is $125.