Ticket prices for Pirates will get slight bump
The Pirates on Tuesday raised ticket prices for the first time in a decade, but they remain near the bottom compared to other major league clubs, according to team and industry figures.
The average ticket at PNC Park will cost $16.11 in 2012, an increase of 81 cents from this year's big league low of $15.30.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly said neither the club's success through the All-Star break, which raised hopes for the first winning season since 1992, nor this year's higher attendance had anything to do with the decision. Basically, he said, it was time. The Pirates had gone longer than any other team without raising prices.
"As a result, not surprisingly, we have fallen far behind the industry in terms of pricing our product," Coonelly said.
According to Team Marketing Report, Pirates ticket prices this year were more than 40 percent below the major league average.
"Not only we were below the average, well-below the larger-market clubs as you would expect, we are well, well below our division rivals," Coonelly said. "In order to continue to make the investments that are required to build a winning team, we have to be a competitively priced product."
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.
Ticket prices last went up before the 2002 season, under previous ownership. Headed for a 19th consecutive losing season, the club has been reluctant to raise prices, especially because of the "backlash" — Coonelly's term — caused by the increase after the Pirates went 62-100 in 2001, their first year at PNC Park.
Despite a 10-game improvement in 2002, attendance plummeted by nearly 700,000.
"Ticket-price increases for the Pittsburgh Pirates probably is a more sensitive topic than for other organizations, given our history," Coonelly said. "We understand that and understand the reasons for that. The 2002 price increase was not well-received, and for good reason. And as a result of that, probably, the decision in terms of pricing our product ... was made more difficult."
Coonelly emphasized the Pirates are not trying to "make up lost ground" in raising ticket prices. He said most tickets would stay the same, decrease or go up $3 or less.
The lower level tickets, he said, would have the greatest increase because that's where the Pirates lag farther behind other teams. But he noted that while some dugout box seats would rise $5, the price would be only $2 more than in 2002. Other lower-level seats would cost less than in 2002, he said.
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.
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
- Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 29, 2015
- Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 28, 2015
- Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
- Cole collects MLB-best 14th win as Pirates take series against Nationals
- Pirates notebook: No sign of improvement for RHP Sadler
- Pirates notebook: Cervelli cherishes All-Star gift from teammate Burnett
- Making splash at MLB trade deadline not always in buyers’ best interest
- Pirates minor league report: Moore a breakout star in Morgantown
- Starting 9: Pirates help and the illusion of help
- Nationals pound Burnett, Pirates