Last post I'll ever do from a mobile, I swear. Just to clear up a couple things about the ticket price increases:
As far as I know, the Pirates didn't announce anything. The Trib did an article on it in which Frank Coonelly admitted the Pirates would raise prices. It's possible Coonelly volunteered this information, but as far as I can tell, the Trib asked a question and he answered it. A month ago, when the Pirates were winning, Vlad asked Coonelly if the Pirates would be raising prices, and he essentially said yes. I relayed that in one of my posts about the blogger interviews. The Trib apparently got him to give a definitive answer, but this is something he has spoken about before.
As for the substance, look, PNC is a bargain. We'll have to see how much the prices go up, and if they rise stratospherically, I'll be upset. But my guess is that going to a Pirates game, as an experience, will continue to be a bargain, and the price increase will quickly become irrelevant. The Pirates' reasons for doing this are, as far as I can tell, totally valid. They haven't raised prices in over a decade, and they're lagging way behind other teams in terms of the money they're taking in. The financial records leaked last year show that they're not making tons of money overall, either.
I was listening to talk radio on Saturday and a host was ranting nonsensically about how the timing of this move was "fishy," in that the news leaked right after the Pirates started winning. But that's not "fishy" at all. The Pirates started providing a better product, and they admitted they'd be raising prices to raise money it appears they genuinely need to eventually make the payroll increases fans want so badly. You can't have the best ballpark in the nation AND an $80 million payroll AND $9 seats. Obviously, none of us are privy to all the numbers here, but you don't need a spreadsheet to see that the math doesn't work.