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From the cheap seats...

Team’s 2009 Average Ticket Price Decreases 10.3% from 2008

(PHOENIX) — The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that their average ticket price of $14.31 for the 2009 season is the lowest among the 30 Major League Baseball teams for the third consecutive season according to Team Marketing Report’s annual Fan Cost Index report. The D-backs, who had an average ticket price of $13.79 in 2007 and $15.96 in 2008, are more than $12 below the MLB average ticket price of $26.74 in 2009.

"Keeping our experience at the ballpark affordable for families to be able to enjoy D-backs games at Chase Field is essential during these challenging economic times," said D-backs’ President and CEO Derrick Hall. "Not only do we have the lowest average ticket price in Major League Baseball, but we are also the most affordable among all of the professional sports teams in Phoenix."

The D-backs also have by far the cheapest Fan Cost Index among MLB clubs at $114.24. The next lowest FCI is the Pittsburgh Pirates at $135.06 and the MLB FCI average is $197.17 in 2009. The Fan Cost Index is a representative look at the costs for a family of four to attend a MLB game computed annually by Team Marketing Report since 1991. The FCI is comprised of four average tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking for one car, two programs and two adult-sized caps.

The D-backs have reduced or not raised ticket prices on 76 percent of the seats at Chase Field with their season-ticket pricing for the 2009 season, marking the third consecutive season the team has reduced or not raised prices on a majority of the seats in the ballpark. For 66 non-premier games in 2009, the team has 26,000 seats priced at $15 or less and more than 5,000 seats available for $5. The D-backs will identify the many affordable merchandise and concession items throughout Chase Field with their "value items" logo, including more than 10 concession items that are $4 or less and five items in the Team Shop available for less than $10. The team has also constructed new All-You-Can-Eat Seats that include a ticket and unlimited ballpark fare such as hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, chips, soft drinks and bottled water for as little as $25 per game. The team’s magazine, D-backs Insider, will also be distributed free to all fans in the ballpark during each homestand.

Okay, while we all know about the somewhat fuzzy math involved in the ticket numbers [I'm sure 'Hacks will pop by shortly to remind us], what impresses me is that we had the lowest total fan cost index in the majors - and still would have, even if you jacked up the ticket cost by a third or $5 a seat. Things like making the program free, and the availability of the discounted merchandise and concession items are a significant contribution towards the overall cost of a family trip to the park. In these economic times, such (relative) discounts are appreciated.