The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t increased the price of tickets often at PNC Park since the stadium opened in 2001. It’s not like they could exactly raise prices with the losing streak going on. So it’s no surprise that the first winning season and playoff appearance gave them the opening to raise prices. In 2014, the average ticket price will go up from $17.21 to $18.32.
The $17.21 figure was the third lowest in Major League Baseball, and the new figure only moves them up to the fourth lowest. The average price across the league is $27.48.
In 2014, the Pirates will also adopt a tiered pricing plan, which has become more common among sports teams in recent years. The three tiers will be as follows:
Gold Games – Opening Day, all Saturday games beginning in May, and match-ups against the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies (17 games).
Black Games – Saturday games in April, and Friday games beginning in May– excluding the Phillies game on July 4 (12)
White Games – All other home games (52)
The Gold Games will be the highest priced, followed by the Black Games, and then the White Games. This has been a trend in sports, charging more for the games that will sell out no matter what, and charging less for the games where attendance is harder to come by. Of course, it has also been a trend in everything since supply and demand was invented. This isn’t a totally new concept, as the Pirates had premium game pricing this year for Opening Day and all Saturday home games.
I’d imagine there will be some backlash to raising ticket prices, as there is when any company raises prices. But it shouldn’t be a surprise after seeing so many sellout games in 2013. The increase in price probably doesn’t bring a ton of extra revenue, since it’s not a huge increase. If you consider all things the same with the budget between the old price and the new price, then the increase would bring an extra $2.2 M per year before taxes, with two million fans per season. The National TV revenue will probably make a bigger impact in the Pirates’ ability to spend over the off-season.
The season ticket plans that will be offered are priced as follows:
Lower Outfield Box – $1,499 (previously $1,399)
Outfield Box – $1,199 (previously $1,099)
Bleacher Reserved and Grandstand – $999 (previously $799 and $899 respectively)
Upper Grandstand – $499 (previously $449)
Half-Season Plans start at $479. 20-game plans start at $235.