Pirates' average ticket price fourth-lowest in Major League Baseball
Just three Major League Baseball teams increased ticket prices from last season by a higher rate than the Pirates. But the actual costs of tickets and attending a game at PNC Park in 2015 remain among the lowest.
Although non-premium tickets rose 9.1 percent from a year ago, the Pirates' $19.99 average price is fourth lowest among the 30 MLB clubs behind San Diego ($16.37), Arizona ($17.98) and Atlanta ($19.14), according to the Team Market Report.
The average MLB ticket price is $28.94.
The survey represents a weighted average of season ticket prices in general seating categories. Premium and luxury suite tickets are excluded from the overall average. The Pirates rank 19th in average premium tickets ($61.84).
Meanwhile, the Pirates' Fan Cost Index is listed at $175.95 per game, up 3.9 percent from 2014 but eighth lowest overall. The average FCI is $211.68.
The FCI is comprised of the prices of four average adult tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car and two least-expensive adult caps.
The last time the club did not raise prices was in 2011, when the average price slightly declined to $15.30 after a 105-loss season. The Pirates have since posted winning records and made the playoffs the past two years as the team payroll increased from $44.15 million in 2010 to about $91.5 million.
The Pirates are among several teams that use variable pricing, which commands higher prices for the more desirable games.
When the increases were announced in October, Pirates spokesman Brian Warecki said variable pricing “will price our games more consistent with the market demand for those games.”
He added, “While we have taken incremental steps over the last four seasons, we still have not reached the pricing levels of our competitors.”
Although the Red Sox did not raise prices after finishing last in 2014, they still lead MLB with an average $52.34 non-premium ticket price and $350.86 FCI.