Pirates raise ticket prices for first time in nearly a decade

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The Pirates raised prices on some of their tickets for the 2012 season, the first time they have done so since 2002, the team announced Tuesday.

The average price of a ticket will remain one of the lowest in baseball. Seats in the lower level will become more expensive, but the prices will fall on some upper-deck seats.

The increased prices, Pirates president Frank Coonelly said, did not result from the team's improved performance this season.

"In order to continue to make the investments that are required to build a winning team, we have to be a competitively priced product," Mr. Coonelly said.

The average price of a ticket will increase from $15.30 to $16.11. The Pirates split the sections according to row for the 2012 season and will charge more seats closer to the front of the section, something they did not do in 2011. Single-game tickets behind the dugout will cost $45, up from $35 this season, and tickets behind home plate now cost as much as $225.

The price of season tickets increased by as much as $30 per game for seats directly behind home plate, and season ticket prices for seats in the lower infield box on the lower level increased by $4 per game.

The Pirates announced the prices now, Coonelly said, because they recently mailed ticket renewal information to season ticket holders. The organization, he said, did not discuss the fact that the Pirates are 15-29 after the All-Star break when deciding when to announce the prices, nor did the team's success before the break prompt the price increase.

"We need to be competitive in terms of the revenues that we generate, and it's my job to generate the revenue that is necessary to be able to invest what is necessary to invest to have a winning product on the field," Mr. Coonelly said.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com .


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