All tickets -- except for the cheapest, left-field, upper reserve seats which will remain at $8 and $9 -- will increase in cost for 2011, ranging from $1 to $7 extra depending on the game desired and when the tickets are purchased.
Greg Bader, the club’s director of communications, said non-prime, advance tickets will increase on average $3, which would make the average price for those tickets roughly $28. The average season-ticket price remains at about $23, below the 2010 Major League Baseball average of $27, according to Bader.
“We believe that the average increase of $3 per ticket is not going to negatively impact someone’s decision to buy, although we recognize no one ever wants to pay more for anything. We certainly understand that point,” Bader said.
Season ticket prices did not go up for 2011 and this is the first, full seat hike for advance tickets since after the 2003 season, Bader said. The increase after 2006 affected some but not all of the tickets sold.
However, this increase comes after the Orioles lost 96 games in 2010, their 13th consecutive losing season. Fans who have not seen an increase of production on the field are being asked to pay more for that product.
“I understand that reaction, but the reality is that there are other factors that are part of that decision-making process,” Bader said.
The Orioles will also continue to implement higher prime-game prices – for all contests against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox as well as Opening Day on April 4 against the Detroit Tigers – and an extra charge for walk-up ticket purchases the day of the game.
Gameday charges were implemented last season and Bader said it had little to no effect on the number of walkups in 2010. The drop in attendance to an all-time low at Camden Yards last season had more to do with a drop in advance sales after the Orioles began the year 2-16 and 9-24, he said.
“The 2010 walkup figures were essentially unchanged from previous seasons. The difference in attendance from 2009 to 2010 was directly attributable to the lack of advanced sales, which was directly attributable to the team performance during the first two weeks of the season,” Bader said. “So from early April until July, we simply were not selling tickets in advance at the rate we did in previous years. But game day sales were practically identical. And we do not believe that the average $2 difference (for walkups) is going to prevent most fans from making a game-day purchase.”