SBD/Issue 111/Franchises

Buc Stops: Pirates' Season-Ticket Retention Rate Below Average

Pirates Season-Ticket Retention
Rate Below Industry Average Of 80%
While Pirates President Frank Coonelly yesterday confirmed that the team's season-ticket retention rate is "running below the industry average" of 80%, the team has "declined to divulge their season-ticket sales figures," according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Coonelly: "We still believe we will be at approximately 9,000 full-season ticket equivalents by the time all is said and done." The team sold 9,011 full-season ticket package equivalents in '07 and 11,320 full-season equivalents in '06, when PNC Park hosted the MLB All-Star Game. While acknowledging that sales of corporate suites have "taken a hit this year," Coonelly said that the Pirates are "slightly ahead of last year's pace for total ticket sales because of a renewed focus on group sales." The team also "hopes to spark sales by creating a mini-plan" that allows fans to pick eight games -- excluding the April 7 home opener against the Cubs and the June 24-26 Yankees series -- and get two additional games free. Additionally, the Pirates yesterday unveiled an "all-you-can-eat seating section that will be available through single-game and season-ticket sales" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/28).

TIGERS: Tigers VP/Marketing & Ticket Sales Bob Raymond on Tuesday said that the team has "cleared the 26,000 mark in season-ticket sales for this season," through a combination of full and partial season-ticket plans. In Detroit, John Lowe reported the Tigers sold 9,300 full-season tickets in '07, and all but 5% were renewed for '08, while about 5,000 new season-ticket packages have been sold. As a result, the Tigers have "sold 13,854 full-season ticket packages," which totals more than 15,000 after including luxury suites. Additionally, the Tigers plan to add 500-700 seats to Comerica Park, on risers in left field under the scoreboard and on the Pepsi Porch in right field. The team "hopes the new seats will be in place by Opening Day" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/27).

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