MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers on Friday announced a new ticket pricing structure for 2012 that includes an average per-ticket increase of $1.91.
"We have to really strike a balance, and that balance is continuing to be fan-friendly," principal owner Mark Attanasio said. "I look around the ballpark and I see a lot of kids there, and we don't want to price families out of the ballpark. We can't do that, because those are our future fans. Me and my family look forward to owning this team for a long time, so I care about attendance.
"But we have to balance, because that is our key revenue component. Everybody is enjoying being in the playoffs, but it does cost money. So we're trying to strike a balance, pure and simple."
Last year, the Brewers froze all ticket prices at 2010 levels and were ranked by Team Marketing Report's annual survey as the eighth most-affordable fan experience in Major League Baseball. For 2011, the Brewers' average ticket price as determined by Team Marketing Report was $22.10. In 2012, the average price will increase to $24.01.
The average 2011 Major League Baseball ticket cost $26.91.
The Brewers are introducing three categories of games and corresponding prices. Fifty-six games will be designated as "blue," 12 weekend games in June through August will be designated "gold" and an additional 13 games will carry the traditional "marquee" label.
Marquee games include Opening Day, nine games against the Cubs and three against the Twins.
For blue games, most category prices will increase either $1 or $2 over 2011, depending on the ticket purchased. Gold game tickets will be $1 to $6 higher than blue games but less than marquee games.
Marquee game prices will remain frozen at 2011 levels, with three fewer marquee games.
"We're trying to raise prices more close to the field than far away from the field so we don't price [anyone out]. You want to be able to have a family of four come out to the ballpark and enjoy the game," Attanasio said. "We also run all kinds of specials and things and packages to make sure that people can get in the ballpark."
The Brewers say they will offer savings for at least 43 of the 81 scheduled home games next season through various programs, including the 5-County 5-Day Celebration, Spring Madness, College Nights and Kids and Senior Citizen Discount Days.
On the Season Seat side, renewals for existing customers will increase by an average of 8.6 percent. Prices for existing Season Seat Holders did not increase last year.
"Setting another all-time attendance mark of over three million fans this season is a great testament to the passion of Brewers fans, and they played a major role in securing the Brewers' first National League Central Division title," Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger, said in a statement. "While our pricing reflects some increases for 2012, we will remain one of Major League Baseball's most affordable experiences. We remain committed to investing ticket and other revenue in player salaries, player development, and an improved Miller Park experience."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.