Bears’ season-ticket prices rise 4.1 percent
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter February 5, 2014 9:48PM
A Chicago Bears fan arrives at Soldier Field before an NFL football game between the Bears and New York Jets in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: February 24, 2014 10:10PM
Bears’ season-ticket prices will rise for the 11th time in 12 years, a trend that doesn’t figure to stop any time soon.
The team announced Wednesday an average increase of 4.1 percent for next season, and CEO/president Ted Phillips told the Bears’ website that “it’s pretty much a given that there’s going to be some type of ticket-price increase.”
At issue, he said, is the 61,500-seat capacity of Soldier Field, the smallest stadium in the NFL.
Half the Soldier Field seating bowl will see a $2 hike in 2014, the team said, with some tickets going up by $12.
United Club season tickets will range from $275 to $550, an average uptick of 3.2 percent.
Non-club seats — which make up about 85 percent of Soldier Field tickets — will run from $81 to $175, an average increase of 4.6 percent. The team said 58 percent of those seats will go up $2.
When the renovated stadium reopened in 2003, the range for non-club seats was from $45 to $85. Since then, average season-ticket prices have increased all but once, in 2009.
Despite reaching the playoffs once since losing the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, Bears tickets remain among the most expensive in the NFL.
Last season’s average Bears ticket price of $103.60 was the fifth-highest in the league, according to Chicago-based Team Marketing Report, which tracks ticket prices across all sports.
Only the Patriots, Giants, Jets and Cowboys charged more.
In 2013, the average NFL ticket cost $81.54.
“These kinds of incremental things, they’re normal,” TMR executive editor Jon Greenberg said of the Bears’ price increase. “Especially for a team that plays in the second-largest market in the NFL with a small stadium.”
The Bears play to the second-smallest capacity in the NFL, given that the Oakland Raiders tarped off parts of their stadium last year.
The Vikings’ temporary home, TCF Bank Stadium, will become the league’s smallest next year.
Bears prices jumped an average of 4.2 percent in 2013, with non-club tickets ranging from $79 to $165.
Greenberg called this year’s increases “pretty responsible,” given the demand for seats, but said he understood why fans would be frustrated.
Season-ticket prices are $25 cheaper than those bought on a game-by-game basis.
Season-ticket-holders, who began receiving notice from the team Wednesday, must renew their accounts by April 7.