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Pirates notebook: Pirates raise season-ticket prices

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 11:48 a.m.

CINCINNATI — One of the by-products of a winning season usually is higher ticket prices the following year, and the Pirates are no exception.

With the team poised to make its first playoff appearance in two decades, the Pirates on Friday announced season-ticket prices will go up for 2014. The club also will introduce a three-tier pricing system next year, meaning fans will pay more for marquee games.

The average ticket price next season will be $18.32. According to Team Market Report, the Pirates' average of $17.21 this season was the fifth-lowest in the major leagues.

All home games will be designated as “gold,” “black” or “white” games and priced accordingly.

The 17 gold games are Opening Day, Saturday games from May to the end of the season and games against the Red Sox and Phillies. These games are at the top of the price scale.

The 12 black games are Friday games starting in May (except the Phillies game July 4) and Saturday games in April.

The lowest prices are set for the remaining 52 white games.

“The introduction of a third level to our variable pricing model helped us keep pricing for the vast majority of our games at the lowest level possible,” president Frank Coonelly said in a news release.

Single-game tickets are not yet on sale. The Pirates have not released prices for those tickets, although the three-tier system also will apply.

Playoff points

Whichever team wins this series will gain home-field advantage for the wild-card game. If Sunday's game does not figure into that equation, manager Clint Hurdle said he will not use Gerrit Cole as the starting pitcher Sunday. Cole then would be available to pitch Tuesday in the wild-card game.

Around the horn

When pressed for details on the playoff roster, Hurdle did not blink. “I'm not sharing anything,” he said, adding that the coaches and general manager Neal Huntington huddled Thursday. “We've had a lot of conversation (about it),” Hurdle said. Teams can alter their playoff rosters from round to round. ... There will be a city- and team-sponsored playoff rally at noon Monday in Market Square. ... Hurdle and shortstop Clint Barmes recorded video tributes to Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who is retiring after this season. The video clips were shown on Coors Field scoreboard Wednesday during Helton's last home game. ... Habitat for Humanity will hold “An Evening with Andrew McCutchen” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Roberto Clemente Museum. Tickets are available at pittsburghhabitat.org/events.

Minor matters

The High-A Florida State League nominated the Bradenton Marauders for the John H. Johnson Award and the Larry MacPhail Award. The Johnson Award honors the minor league franchise for its stability and contributions to the community, league and baseball industry. The MacPhail Award honors creative marketing and promotional efforts.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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