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You'll dig deeper to attend games
By Wire services
Published April 4, 2006
Baseball ticket prices are up an average of 5.4 percent, and the Boston Red Sox have the highest average for the ninth straight season.
Tickets in the major leagues average $22.21, the Team Marketing Report said Monday, up from a revised average of $21.08 last year. The NFL averaged $58.95 last year, the NBA $45.92 this season and the NHL $41.19.
"From the standpoint of family entertainment, baseball remains very affordable compared against comparable entertainment," said Bob DuPuy baseball's chief operating officer. "MLB is a special, but fairly priced, family fare."
Boston, which has the smallest major-league ballpark, hiked its average 4.3percent to $46.46.
The Chicago Cubs, whose Wrigley Field has among the lowest capacities, was second at $34.30 following a 7.2 percent increase.
St. Louis, moving into a new Busch Stadium, was third at $29.78 after raising prices 12.1percent. The New York Yankees, who have baseball's highest payroll at $190-million-plus, were next at $28.27.
Oakland had the highest percentage increase, a 25.2percent rise to $22.10, followed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, whose average went up 24.7 percent to $17.09, the report said.
Kansas City has the lowest average in the major leagues at $13.71, leaving prices unchanged from last year.
Figures for the survey were either provided from teams, TMR's Becky Wallace said, or taken from teams' Web sites.
NOT FUNNY: A fan tossed a syringe near San Francisco's Barry Bonds as he came off the field after the eighth inning at Petco Park in San Diego. The Giants slugger picked it up in his glove and carried it off the field.
The syringe apparently did not have a needle.
"I just put it off the field so no one would get hurt," said Bonds, who is under investigation by baseball for alleged steroid use.
ANGELS: Right-hander John Lackey agreed to a two-year contract extension through 2008 that guarantees him an additional $13.25-million. Lackey, scheduled to start today in Seattle, agreed in January to a $3.76-million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.
INDIANS: Ace C.C. Sabathia will likely be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained abdominal muscle. Sabathia was forced from the rain-soaked season opener in Chicago on Sunday night after just 37 pitches. In the third inning, he felt his muscle "grab a little bit" while delivering a pitch to Tadahito Iguchi .
MARINERS: While the rest of the team was taking the field, Matt Lawton made his way out of the clubhouse to begin his 10-day suspension for a positive steroids test in September. Lawton can be in the clubhouse until game time, when rules state he must leave. The rightfielder planned to watch the opener against the Angels from a team suite. He did put on his No. 15 uniform and take the field during pregame ceremonies.
MARLINS: Florida extended the contract of general manager Larry Beinfest and three other executives through 2010. Also getting extensions were vice president of player development and scouting and assistant general manager Jim Fleming , vice president and assistant general manager Michael Hill and vice president of player personnel Dan Jennings .
PIRATES: General manager Dave Littlefield agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2008, the second time in three seasons he received a new deal on opening day. Pittsburgh has gone through 13 straight losing seasons. Littlefield was hired on July 13, 2001, and the Pirates are 314-407 since.
RANGERS: Roger Clemens made it to opening day - as a spectator - and the seven-time Cy Young Award winner said he still is leaning toward retirement. "That's where I am right now," Clemens said before watching Texas play the Boston Red Sox. "Obviously, it's opening day and I'm about to put a golf visor on and I'm going to enjoy a ballgame."