A Connie Mack World Series player signs an autograph for a fan.
A Connie Mack World Series player signs an autograph for a fan. (Daily Times file photo)
FARMINGTON — The Connie Mack World Series Committee announced Tuesday it is raising ticket prices for this summer's games.

Officials for the amateur baseball tournament said the increase — which amounts to about a quarter per game -- is needed to keep Ricketts Park a quality facility and to keep the World Series in Farmington. They also said the cost of hosting the tournament increased in recent years.

Double-game general-admission tickets will increase from $4.50 to $5 for adults and from $3.50 to $4 for students.

Single-game general admission tickets will stay the same.

Reserved seat packages for all 19 tournament games will increase to $50, $30 and $25 per ticket booklet if bought before May 31. Those ticket packages will cost $50, $33 or $27.50 in June or later.

The ticket packages previously cost $46, $24.80 or $21.40 if bought before May 31 and $46, $27.80 or $23.50 in June.

An annual tradition since 1965, the Connie Mack World Series is an amateur baseball tournament for 17 and 18 year olds held at Ricketts Park in Farmington in early August.

Kim Carpenter, the chairman of the Connie Mack World Series Committee, said the increase in ticket price will allow the CMWS Association to put revenue back into the facility. Arena improvements are needed because cities around the country have offered to pay the American Amateur Baseball Congress -- the governing body of Connie Mack Baseball -- for an opportunity to host the tournament.

"The (American Amateur Baseball Congress) gets approached every year about how the tournament can be moved," Carpenter said. "We are always looking at ways where we can improve the tournament. We don't ever want to lie idle with what we are trying to accomplish."

Carpenter said the committee considered a struggling local economy and what was fair in setting the new ticket prices.

"We were very mindful of the decisions we made about the price of tickets. We didn't want to gouge anybody," he said. "I've been to tournaments all over the county. To go and pay $2.50 to watch a game is unheard of. With the quality of athletes that come through here, the quality of play, and the quality of the facility, (the tournament) is a great value for the community and for people who come and visit."

Ticket revenue from the series is shared between the CMWS Association, the American Amateur Baseball Congress and remaining funds are used for facility improvements, Carpenter said.

"We have to keep making money to put it back into the stadium," said Kim Stradling, a committee member.

The announcement to increase ticket prices comes just as the CMWS Association is preparing to unveil a $520,000 improvement project for Ricketts Park, which the city of Farmington owns and operates.

The renovations, expected to be finished in March, are the first phase of a two-phase, $1 million improvement project planned for Ricketts.

The first phase included improvements to the ticket booths and entrance, a new scoreboard, electrical work and other aesthetic improvements, Stradling said.

The CMWS Association and a successful community fundraising drive combined to pay for about $400,000 of the total project cost. The city of Farmington covered most of the remaining cost.