The Red Sox announced this morning that it is holding prices at 2008 levels for all existing seats and standing room tickets available to the public at Fenway Park for the 2009 season.
It is the first time in 14 seasons the club has not raised at least some ticket prices.
“We have been listening to fans, friends, and family about the challenges they are facing in light of the current adverse economic conditions,” said Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino in a press release. “We are also grateful for the unwavering faith and support our fans have shown us year after year and we hope our ownership’s decision to hold prices for the upcoming season will in some way help ease the burden on Red Sox Nation.”
The last time the Red Sox held ticket prices across the board was 1995 -- the season following the damaging strike that led to the cancellation of the '94 World Series.
The Red Sox also said they will not raise prices on any tickets available to the public for their spring training games at City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, Fla.
“John Henry, Tom Werner, and our ownership always try to look at our business through the prism of the Red Sox fans who have stepped up to higher prices each year for several years,” said Lucchino. “We are taking this step to arrest the growth of season ticket and individual game ticket prices to ensure the great and distinctive Fenway Park experience is a viable option in 2009 for as many citizens of Red Sox Nation as possible.”
The decision to freeze ticket prices comes after another remarkably successful season on the field and at the gate for the Red Sox. The franchise set the major league consecutive sellout record Sept. 8, ending the season with 469 straight sellouts dating back to May 15, 2003. A new attendance mark at Fenway Park was also set in the 2008 season with 3,048,248 fans coming through the turnstiles.
“As stewards of this great franchise, John, Larry and I hold our positions as a kind of public trust, and from that perspective, a freeze in ticket prices for the 2009 season is both fair and appropriate for the times and economic conditions,” said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in the release.
The Houston Astros announced on Oct. 28 that they were keeping next year's ticket prices at 2008 levels, and the Pittsburgh Pirates said Nov. 4 they will maintain the same season-ticket prices for a seventh consecutive year. Some teams have reduced prices.
"We did not contemplate a reduction," said Sam Kennedy, the Red Sox executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer. "We did contemplate an increase, but it's fair to say this is the right thing to do given the realities of the economy."
Fans with contracts for premium seats can avoid an increase scheduled for 2009 if they agree to extend those contracts for one year, with the prices for 2010 to be determined. Kennedy said there are "several thousand" such seats.
The team plans to add about 350 seats before next season at Fenway, which has been sold out for the past 469 games, a major league record. New seats in the right-field roof section will carry the same $50 price as seats already there.
Fans’ first opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2009 season will be the annual “Christmas at Fenway” celebration Saturday, Dec. 13.
The Red Sox also announced that their special discount programs for active-duty military and clergy will continue in 2009.
The Red Sox said prices also would remain the same for tickets available to the public at spring training games.
Courtesy of the Red Sox, here is a chart of ticket prices for the upcoming season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this update.