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In their first positive public relations move in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox have decided NOT to raise ticket prices for the 2013 season.
After all, it’s not like they could slip the media some “anonymous” story about ticket holders having a prescription pill problem to justify a price hike. And sadly, they had already used up the fried chicken and beer explanation that would have worked perfectly for bloated ticket costs.
The decision comes in the wake of the team’s last place finish in the AL East, with its worst record since the 1965 season (two seasons before the Impossible Dream! Hope abounds for…2014!). And that doesn’t even address the quarter of a billion dollars in payroll the Red Sox managed to pawn off on the Los Angeles Dodgers in August’s blockbluster trade.
Considering the John Henry ownership group celebrated the milestone eight year anniversary of the 2004 World Series Championship team to draw fans to Fenway Park at season’s end (the sellout streak lives!), the only real surprise here is that they didn’t turn The Decision into a televised event to make a few extra bucks…
In a much overlooked aspect of the press release, the Red Sox also announced they wouldn’t be raising ticket prices at last year’s brand new spring training facility, JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Red Sox Nation rejoice!
This marks the second straight year, and three out of the past five, that the team hasn’t raised ticket prices at Fenway. Of course, Fenway is already home to the most expensive tickets in all of Major League Baseball at over $53 on average, even more than the New York Yankees and their famously empty overpriced seats along the field, even in the playoffs (there are no cheap shots as a Red Sox fan these days). In fact, the Yankees and Red Sox are the only clubs that average more than $50 per ticket, with the Chicago Cubs (around $46) and Philadelphia Phillies (a mere $37) a distant third and fourth.
In light of the disparity in the teams’ on-field successes, apparently the box office represents the last bastion of the longstanding Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.