10-22-11 Relocation Event, PNC Park

Near the end of the 2011 season, the Pirates, fresh off of a record 19th consecutive losing season, announced that they planned on raising ticket prices for the 2012 season.  Their rationale is that it was necessary to remain competitive against teams that are in a larger market.

The Pirates completely restructured their pricing tiers.  It used to be that the farther a section was from home plate, the cheaper it was.  For example, in 2011 seats in section 301, row A, would’ve cost $9 per game in advance, $11 on the day of the game, and $5 to a season ticket holder.   In 2012, those same seats will cost $16 per game in advance ($7 increase) and $12 for a season ticket holder (another $7 increase).

Season ticket holders could enjoy seats for $5 in any section in 301-308 and 325-333 last year.

Because of the restructuring, now the seats that are in the back of the section will cost less.  Rows S-Y in the upper deck will be the $5 seats for all sections in the upper deck.  Still, not a bad deal.

It’s virtually the same system on the lower level.

When I opened my season ticket invoice, rather than seeing the $798 that I had paid the last five seasons, I saw this:

The seats were DOUBLE what I paid in 2011.  So I didn’t renew.

Until today.

Sensing that many fans didn’t want to pay double to be in their original locations, the Pirates had a season ticket relocation event.  My time to meet with a Pirates representative was 11:00-11:30 AM.  Despite arriving at 11 AM:

and being the hall of fame club at 11:05, Amy, Olivia, and I had to stand around for about a half hour before a representative finally came around to taking us up to the seats.

And when we were shown the seats, the whole thing seemed rushed, because the rep we were with kept getting questioned where he was.

Some seats were color coded with papers taped to them.  Those were available seats that a fan could take the papers off of and turn them in to a rep to claim the seats and buy them for the 2012 season.  I wasn’t a fan, because there weren’t many seats that I liked with red tags (full season) in the area I wanted.

I was told that the red tagged seats were the best available.  I didn’t agree.

The seats were in row S, which was the best available section, but they were in such an area where people would be constantly walking in my line of sight if I were to watch a game (up and down the aisle).

So after sitting in a few seats and weighing the pros and cons of each location, I finally settled on three seats that I liked.  That’s right, I’m getting 3 seats.  Olivia won’t be under 30 inches much longer, so she’ll likely need a ticket at some point either at the end of next season or 2013.

PNC was looking beautiful, even roughly a month after the regular season ended:

Panorama:

Before leaving the seating bowl, the rep offered to take out picture.  Here’s the Jabs family:

Upon returning to the Hall of Fame club, I stood in line to get to a rep at a computer and handed him the sales sheet that had been prepared by the guide and paid for my 2012 tickets in full.

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