With more than 500 million fans, baseball gets much attention worldwide. Baseball teams are treated to fine dining and accommodations at the world’s best hotels, thanks to the billions of dollars in revenue they generate annually. Baseball teams spend much time traveling during the on-season, much of it in the air. It would seem logical that teams own an aircraft, but do they?
Some Major League Baseball teams own planes. MLB teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks own a plane and other Major League Baseball Teams charter planes for the entire season. Baseball teams do not go through standard boarding like everyone else but are caravanned straight to the plane for boarding.
The Brooklyn Dodgers was the first baseball team to purchase a plane to fly the club during the season in 1957. Soon after the Dodgers, other baseball teams followed, and numerous teams acquired planes to fly them to and from away games. Not all the MLB teams still have planes, but they have dedicated planes sponsored to them for a season, and others charter private planes.
Owning a plane is expensive, and maintaining it can be costly for baseball teams. Some MLB teams cough up enormous amounts of money to still own planes, but most baseball teams choose charter planes. There are more fortunate baseball teams who get sponsored with a plane for an entire season.
When asked if baseball teams own planes, the answer is not straightforward because a few baseball teams do, like the Arizona Diamondbacks, who own a Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger. Other teams have sponsored planes dedicated to the team for a whole season and do not own them, but the team only uses them to fly them to and from their games.
Some baseball teams that own planes, like the Red Sox with their JetBlue Red Sox Airbus 320, are fortunate, but most baseball teams use charter flights in the on-season. To have a plane costing millions of dollars that does not fly and sit in a hangar in the off-season has led most baseball teams to acquire sponsored planes dedicated to them for the entire baseball season.
Airlines love to sponsor baseball teams’ planes, mostly to support the local team and boost the airline’s image. Sometimes the plane is given to the team for only one season, but sometimes it flies the team for multiple seasons, especially if the team performs well in the series. Being sponsored with a plane happens, and baseball teams prefer not to own a plane with high maintenance costs.
Delta Air Lines, based in Atlanta, dedicated a plane to the Atlanta Braves After they won the 2021 World Series. The Atlanta Braves has a dedicated 738 aircraft newly designed with flight attendants for six months of the year to use for team travel. Now this plane is not owned by the Atlanta Braves, but it is theirs to use in the on-season, so in a sense, they do own a plane.
Getting back to the original question, “Do baseball teams own planes?” is not a simple yes or no answer. Yes, some baseball teams own planes, but others are sponsored planes for seasonal use with their names graffitied to show the plane is for their use, and some teams rent planes for the whole season. Whether it is a baseball team’s plane or a charter plane, all baseball teams travel and fly in style.
Do Baseball teams Use Charter planes?
Some people prefer to lease cars rather than own them, so baseball teams use a charter service rather than buying a plane. Baseball teams can leave the problems of owning a jet to specialists that manage the plane on their behalf, and it prevents the baseball team from managing their own.
When the baseball season starts, teams have their travelling schedule already worked out. Close-to-home games are travelled by bus, but long-distance games are by air. Calculating the hours spend on a plane during a baseball season for most teams does not justify owning a plane, and chartering a plane is cheaper for the franchise and is the next best thing.
When a baseball team charter a plane, it is to prevent the players from being bothered by fans and the media. Baseball teams prefer a charter plane because they get direct access to the plane. The baseball team go through actual TSA agents that do baggage checks right there at the clubhouse before they get on the team bus that takes them straight to the tarmac.
A charter plane is not exclusive to a specific team but will be assigned to a team for a season to give them consistency and comfort. The following season another team could be using that plane. When the baseball season is over, the plane is used to charter other groups or sports teams whose season falls at a different time of the year.
Baseball team charter flights work differently compared to everyone else at the airport, as they don’t go through the standard airport security; rather, they board straight onto the plane. Only secondary teams still travel via scheduled commercial flights. Baseball players prefer to travel with the team to away games, but on rare occasions, a player will charter a private jet to travel solo or with a few teammates.
Baseball players prefer charter planes over owning one if they can afford one. Chartering a plane has all the luxury, comfort, and personal service you get from owning a plane without the hassle and expense that comes with the owner’s title.
Baseball teams only use air travel during the on-season, which does not justify owning a team plane for most. Most baseball teams prefer charter planes or planes dedicated to the team because owning a plane like the Arizona Diamondbacks is expensive. Sponsored planes like the Atlanta Braves 738 aircraft do not belong to them but are only used by the baseball team.