Major sports team ticket price raises tend to be a guarantee; something just short of death and taxes.

And so it has been with the Chicago Cubs, whether they be through direct raises, season ticket holder raises, or the introduction of “marquee” games (and associated higher prices). But, at least for 2012, that’s changing.

Cubs season ticket holders were sent a letter on Friday, outlining the pricing for 2012, and the prices will either be flat or reduced when compared to this season. On average, a Cubs season ticket will be $1 to $2 less per game than individual game tickets in the same location.

Bleacher season ticket prices at Wrigley Field will decrease an average of 14.3 percent per ticket, the team said Friday. Individual game bleacher tickets will be, on average, lower by 10.3 percent.

The 13 designated “marquee games” that will result in higher bleacher prices, but the 68 platinum, gold, silver and bronze bleacher prices all will decrease in price for season ticket holders.

There will be fewer marquee/platinum bleacher games in 2012 (30 in 2011; now 22 in 2012) and there will be more lower priced bronze/silver/gold bleacher games in 2012 (51 in 2011; 59 in 2012). cubs.com.

Other ticket prices are expected to remain flat, and there’s more info at that link. Obviously the drop in season ticket prices is minimal, but those prices have risen or stayed flat each year since 2007, so this is a step in the right direction.

It’s hard to argue that this is not a response to the staunch criticism the Ricketts family received for raising ticket prices soon after taking over the team, despite a disappointing product on the field and a deep recession. And, while home attendance cleared three million once again in 2011, the trend is negative.

That the news came this weekend, when Cubs world was knee deep in Theomania is fitting. With Theo on the way, it’s high time to get excited about the future, and that means thinking about seasons to come.

Ok, sure. The 2012 team might not be among the league’s best. But at least watching them won’t cost any more than watching the 2011 team.



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