Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports that Pirates ticket prices will increase in 2012. It's likely that all ticket prices will go up, although it isn't yet clear by how much. The main reason probably isn't the Pirates' surprisingly strong play this year, but rather the fact that they're currently charging so much less than other teams after not raising ticket prices for a decade.â†µ
For six consecutive seasons, the Pirates have ranked among the five lowest in average ticket price among the 30 major league teams.â†µ
According to Team Marketing Report, an online publisher of sports marketing information, the average cost of a Pirates ticket this season is $15.30. That's 43 percent lower than the Major League Baseball average of $26.91 and the third-lowest average price in the majors.â†µ
When I and other bloggers spoke to Pirates president Frank Coonelly in July, he essentially told us that the Pirates would be raising prices. Basically, the Pirates' cheap tickets are keeping them from bringing in money at rates that can compete with other teams, which prevents them from spending much money. It's fortunate for the Pirates that their surprisingly decent play this year has provided cover for this move, but it might have happened even if the Pirates hadn't played so well.