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Braves say their first exhibition game in the new ballpark is for season ticket holders only


The Braves have announced the first game in their new taxpayer-funded ballpark. An exhibition game, that is, against the New York Yankees next March 31. Fun!

If you want to go to that game, however, you have to spend a minimum of $747. Because that’s the absolute cheapest full-season ticket package the Braves offer, in their grandstand infield section, which are the nosebleed seats.

But wait, why would you have to shell out for 81 nosebleed tickets simply to go see an exhibition game in March? Because that exhibition is for the A-Listers only, baby:

The “A-List” is the game the Braves give full season ticket holders, ranging from the folks who pay that $747 for one bad ticket on up to those who pay $41,500 for a single season ticket to sit in the Sun Trust Club right behind home plate.

It’s probably worth noting that even the team with the hottest tickets in all of baseball — probably the San Francisco Giants, who have sold out something like 500 straight games — don’t sell out the park via season tickets. I saw a figure from a year or two ago showing them as having 11,000 seats available for individual game sales. That may be outdated information, but generally speaking, the dream for teams is to sell about 70% of their seats as season ticket packages. Few if any do. According to an official from a club I spoke to this afternoon, even clubs with great attendance have something like 15,000-20,000 seats available for single game sales. Many clubs have far more available.

Which suggests to me that the Braves either (a) are totally cool with their new ballpark being half full, or less, for that exhibition game against the Yankees; or else (b) today’s claim that the game will be available for A-Listers only is an effort to spur some season ticket sales and that, between now and March, that policy will be relaxed and single tickets will be available for that game.

All is fair in love, war and marketing, so good luck to them on that. This isn’t doing all that much, however, for the perception that the Braves move to their new ballpark is a cash grab aimed at maxing out rich fan patronage while leaving fans of lesser means out in the cold.

Video reviews overturn 42% rate; Boston most successful

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NEW YORK (AP) Video reviews overturned 42.4% of calls checked during Major League Baseball’s shortened regular season, down slightly from 44% in 2019.

Boston was the most successful team, gaining overturned calls on 10 of 13 challenges for 76.9%. The Chicago White Sox were second, successful on eight of 11 challenges for 72.7%, followed by Kansas City at seven of 10 (70%).

Pittsburgh was the least successful at 2 of 11 (18.2%), and Toronto was 7 of 25 (28%).

Minnesota had the most challenges with 28 and was successful on nine (32.1%). The New York Yankees and Milwaukee tied for the fewest with nine each; the Yankees were successful on five (55.6%) and the Brewers three (33.3%).

MLB said Tuesday there were 468 manager challenges and 58 crew chief reviews among 526 total reviews during 898 games. The average time of a review was 1 minute, 25 seconds, up from 1:16 the previous season, when there 1,186 manager challenges and 170 crew chief reviews among 1,356 reviews during 2,429 games.

This year’s replays had 104 calls confirmed (19.8%), 181 that stood (34.4%) and 223 overturned. An additional 12 calls (2.3%) were for rules checks and six (1.1%) for recording keeping.

In 2019 there were 277 calls confirmed (12.5%), 463 that stood (34.1%) and 597 overturned. An additional nine calls (0.7%) were for rules checks and 10 (0.7%) for record keeping.

Expanded video review started in 2014.