SBD/August 31, 2011/Franchises

Pirates Raising Ticket Prices For The First Time In A Decade

Tickets in PNC Park's lower bowl will see the largest price increase for '12
The Pirates are "raising ticket prices for next season," the first increase since '02, according to Bill Brink of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The average price of a Pirates ticket at PNC Park will increase from $15.30, reportedly the lowest in MLB this season, to $16.11 in '12. Prices for seats in the lower bowl "will have the largest increase," and the Pirates "will charge more for seats closer to the front of the sections." In addition, the price of season tickets will increase “by as much as $30 per game for seats directly behind home plate.” Brink notes the decision was “independent from the team’s surprising success earlier in the season and their poor performance since the All-Star Game.” Pirates President Frank Coonelly said that because it “did not raise prices for several years ... the organization fell behind the rest of the league." During that time, the "average ticket price in the majors rose 40 percent.” Coonelly said that the Pirates announced the changes in pricing “now because they recently mailed renewal forms to their season-ticket holders.” Coonelly added that the team "will use the increased revenue in a variety of areas," including the MLB Draft, international signings and "capital improvements to PNC Park in addition to the team’s payroll” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/31). In Pittsburgh, Bob Cohn notes the Pirates “had the fourth-lowest Opening Day payroll this year, but the club has invested more money in the draft than any other club during the past four years.” Coonelly emphasized that the Pirates "are not trying to ‘make up lost ground’ in raising ticket prices." He noted that "most tickets would stay the same, decrease or go up $3 or less” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 8/31).
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