Matt Britt photo

Pirates Want to Set Record, Will They Follow Yankees Lead

Oct 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Fans arrive through the turnstiles before the National League wild card baseball playoff game between the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates were a hot ticket in the ‘Burgh last season.   Frank Coonelly wants to sell a record number of tickets in 2014.  The team has done very little in the offseason to add talent to the roster, instead relying on a wealth of internal home-grown talent to carry the buzz of 2013 into the season that gets rolling today.

So is there anything else the team could do to assist in Coonelly’s goal?  If you look to the North or West, yes there is.

Today, Jesse Lawrence wrote an interesting story about the topic for Forbes.  The man has some insight into the secondary ticket market as he is the CEO of, which is the leading ticket search engine online. Be sure to check out the article if you are interested in the idea of not paying ridiculous prices for tickets to see the Pirates.  After reading his article, it’s easy to understand that StubHub loved the resurgent Pirates.  The ticket giant made mega cash of all of those silly fees they charged fans who bought tickets during the bandwagon stretch run.

But of course marketing ideas always seem a little slower in Major League Baseball.  The Pirates are especially behind in any sort of forward thinking this year as their Marketing Director position is still not filled.  Leading the way on improving how their fans can purchase or sell tickets are the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels, a team that is always savvy in their marketing approach.

Here are a few lines from Lawrence’s article this morning.

While branded exchanges have been around at a league level for several years–through the NFL, NHL and NBA Ticket Exchanges and FlashSeats–the Yankees and Angels ticket exchanges have taken the model one step further by putting the team brand, and all the credibility that comes along with it, in front of the secondary market. Based on data from year one, the exchanges are off to a good start. Last season, the average number of per-game listings for Yankees tickets on Stub Hub dropped 40%, from 7,000 to 3,000 across the entire Yankees Stadium seating chart.  For those that used the Yankee Ticket Exchange, they not only paid less in fees, but they also got tickets from real season ticket holders who weren’t in the business of making money on ticket sales, but were just looking to unload games they couldn’t use, and recoup some of their investment

Pittsburgh has an increasing number of people that want to see the Bucs without being stressed out about whether they’re getting ripped off, or if the ticket is real or not.

Here is the bottom line.  The Pirates want to sell a record number of tickets this season.  Everything the organization does should be about reaching this goal.  Look, sales cures all.  It’s been a mantra of mine forever.  The Pirates need every penny and also must do their fair share in order to increase ticket sales.  It’s their survival.  Everyone knows that Pittsburgh wont be able to buy players like the Yankees do.

So is having an innovative (well not really), but is having an improved ticket exchange system in place to assist in the sale of tickets really too much to ask?  We think it would only help them reach their record setting goal.


Next Pirates Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 2323 Aug6:10at Milwaukee BrewersBuy Tickets

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates

  • scott stevens

    So the main goal this off season is to increase ticket sales, that’s wonderful. How about improving a team that’s close to a championship. I for one do not believe the cry poverty game they play. You do realize that each team gets 25-30 million each year from MLB TV rights? I thought if attendance increased, which it did, payroll and team improvement would follow. We play cheap with AJ and could lose him and his 10 wins, Byrd gone with no offer and we roll the dice with RF and hope a young savior in Palonco can bail us out. First base is still a crap shoot when we had the answer with Morneau, who is still better than all the other cheap options that have been mentioned.
    So you write an article about the Pirates main goal is to increase ticket sales and follow the Yanks and Dodgers lead, yea right. We could sell out every game next year and Nutting would still pocket the money and not spend it on this team. How about writing a critical article on why this Owner has not lived up to his word and why all the extra profits are not being used to improve the Pirates.

  • scott stevens

    Hey Tom, how are those ticket sales going with the Pirates now? CLUELESS in Pittsburgh!

  • JadedFan


    10. Robert Nutting (Nutting Family)

    Estimated net worth: $1.1 billion
    Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

    The 10th-richest owner is the chairman and principal owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Robert Nutting. According to Wealth-X, the net worth of Nutting and his family comes to $1.1 billion, with a majority ($630 million) arising from their ownership of Ogden Newspapers, which owns papers in 13 states, according to the company’s website. Other assets include an estimated $250 million stake in the Pirates, a $95 million stake in Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Mountain Resort and approximately $130 million in liquid assets.

    Just saying.