Pirates' season-ticket sales up 40 percent from 2013
The Pirates' breakout 2013 season paved the way for near historic levels of season-ticket sales in 2014.
Season-ticket sales are up almost 40 percent from last season and the season-ticket base is at its second-highest level in PNC Park history, according to club spokesman Brian Warecki. The Pirates also project to eclipse last season's total of 23 sellouts.
“The fan response this offseason has been tremendous,” Warecki wrote in an email. “What this reflects is the significant increase in fans securing seats early through the purchase of full and partial season-ticket plans. Due to this increased early demand, we encourage fans to secure seats for the games they want to attend now before inventory becomes even more limited.”
The Pirates were not willing to reveal the total number of season tickets sold.
Last season, the Pirates drew 2.3 million fans at PNC Park, the second-highest attendance total in the stadium's history, second only to the 2.435 million attendance mark set in the park's inaugural season in 2001. Pirates president Frank Coonelly has said the club was hoping to draw 2.5 million this season.
The Pirates will open the season with the game's 27th-ranked payroll ($78 million), according to the Associated Press.
Work in progress
Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton has worked on adding a third pitch this spring — a hybrid split-changeup — to better combat left-handed hitters.
Morton has had success with the pitch this month, but Phillies second baseman Chase Utley drove the pitch off the right-field wall for a first-inning double Friday. It was the only hit Morton allowed in his three shutout innings in his final spring tuneup. Righties hit .221 against Morton last season, but lefties hit .302. Morton will start against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday at PNC Park.
Pirates closer Jason Grilli replaced Morton in the fourth inning and faced the heart of the Phillies lineup in Jimmy Rollins, Utley and Ryan Howard.
Grilli got Rollins to fly out. Utley singled, and Ryan Howard grounded out to an inning-ending double play. Grilli's fastball velocity topped out at 92 mph.
Morris makes cut
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said after the game that reliever Bryan Morris will be on the Opening Day roster. Morris was part of a logjam of out-of-option relievers vying to make the club. Morris has enjoyed improvement in his throwing velocity this spring. He threw 96 mph fastballs Friday and a 92 mph cutter.
“He's thrown pitches that are hard to hit and sometimes hard to catch,” Hurdle said. “His confidence is in a good place.”
Said Morris: “I've been anxiously awaiting the (roster deadline). I was expecting to be here. I worked my butt off this offseason to take one of those spots.”
Hurdle declined to address other looming roster decisions. But if the Pirates are to keep 12 pitchers as is expected, an out-of-option pitcher in Vin Mazzaro or Jeanmar Gomez is in jeopardy of being cut.
Around the horn
The Pirates are holding back few tickets for public sale for Monday's Opening Day game, Warecki said. The Pirates will release any player-held or other tickets if they become available. Fans should visit pirates.com or the PNC Park ticket office closer to Monday's game time. ... Though he's expected to be in the Opening Day lineup, Pedro Alvarez again was out of the Pirates lineup Friday. Alvarez took part in infield work prior to the game.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Pirates notebook: Infield prospect Hanson used to playing elders
- Sawchik: Should McCutchen really get a huge salary bump?
- Ex-Brewers star Hart hopes to prove to Pirates he still can play
- Pirates notebook: Tabata rediscovering his power
- Rossi: Pirates better with Maz on scene
- Pirates willing to consider high salary to keep star McCutchen
- Pirates notebook: Mercer gains celebrity in Kang’s home country
- Lincoln tries to rejuvenate career in second stint with Pirates
- North Side start-up takes swing at mapping hitters
- Pirates notebook: Nutting expects club to win division title