SBD/November 22, 2011/Franchises

Pirates Fans Say Seat Licenses Are Worthless Without Price Break

Pirates said price break they guaranteed for only one year has lasted seven

Some holders of  Pirates Charter Seat Licenses said that “their seat licenses -- purchased for a one-time price of $2,000 per seat when PNC Park opened in 2001 -- are worthless since they no longer get a price break off the regular season ticket cost,” according to Michael Sanserino of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The Pirates said that they have “acted in good faith toward those customers, offering benefits and special ticket offers over the years, and that the price break they guaranteed for only one year has lasted seven.” Initially, the license “afforded exclusivity as it was the only way for fans to have access to the PBC Club level in the upper deck of the ballpark.” But “demand for those tickets waned, and the Pirates started selling season tickets in the PBC Club level to non-license holders, which took away the exclusivity once offered to seat license holders.” To make amends, the Pirates “offered two options to seat license holders.” One option gave the fans “the opportunity to sell back their seat licenses over a five-year period by offering reduced ticket prices -- about a $5 discount off the 2001 ticket price of a PBC Club level seat.” Those individuals “paid $25.07 per ticket, a discount that was worth $400 per year compared to the '01 price.” The second option “allowed license holders to keep their seat license and buy season tickets at a discount off the going rate.” These fans “paid $27 per ticket -- $6 less than non-license holders, a yearly savings of $486.” That discount continued for seven years, and “those who took the second option saved $3,402 per seat compared to what non-license holders were paying.” But some who held onto their seat licenses “expected the discount to be permanent” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/19).

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