Pirates announce guidelines for obtaining All-Star tickets
Wait til next year• That's fine if you want to obtain tickets for the 2006 All-Star Game at PNC Park, but don't wait any longer than that.
Fans who wait until after the 2005 season to purchase Pirates season tickets likely will be shut out of the All-Star Game process, according to new ticket-plan information that was released Thursday.
"If people want to take advantage of (the All-Star Game), the earlier they get on board, the better," said Mike Berry, the Pirates' vice president of marketing and sales.
In announcing ticket information for next season -- there will be no price increase for a third consecutive year -- the Pirates put policies in place for fans wishing to get seats for the All-Star Game.
The guidelines are as follows:
And what if a Pirates fan decides not to buy a full-season ticket plan until after the 2005 season?
"It's hard to project that," Berry said. "Everybody's best bet would be to renew now for 2005, or if you are a new customer, come on board as early as possible."
Berry reiterated that fans currently holding partial-season packages will have a chance to get All-Star Game tickets as long as they continue to renew their plans.
"Those are some of our best fans," he said. "We didn't want to turn everything upside down and make it difficult for them to get an All-Star Game ticket. We didn't want to penalize them with some outrageous requirement."
Major League Baseball controls the number of tickets the Pirates will allot to their fan base. There is a chance a select number of seats will be made available for the general public via a lottery, but that is diminished by PNC Park's small capacity. At 38,496, the ballpark has the second-smallest capacity in the majors.
"You have to develop some minimum guidelines because we have one of the most intimate ballparks in the country," Berry said. "This is not like Three Rivers, where we had 60,000 seats."
Berry said the Pirates had the equivalent of 8,000 full-season tickets sold for the 2004 season. He also said the All-Star Game is just one vehicle the Pirates can use to expand that ticket base.
"I don't look at this as a two-year window," he said. "We want to keep people on board well beyond 2006. We think that with the direction of the franchise, there's a good chance that's going to happen."
Berry cited the economy as a factor in the Pirates' decision to hold the line on ticket prices for 2005. The per-ticket discounts offered to full-season and partial-season ticket holders last season will remain in place. Full-season ticket holders will receive a $3-5 discount per ticket based upon seat location. Partial-season ticket holders will receive a $1-$3 discount off the individual game price.
The Pirates also have lowered individual ticket prices for the Pittsburgh Baseball Club section. Tickets in that location have been dropped by $8, from the $55-60 range to $47-52.
Individual ticket prices for the remaining sections will stay the same, ranging from $35 for dugout box seats to $9 for grandstand and bleacher/general admission seating.
The average price for Pirates tickets last season was $17.08. The MLB average was $19.82.