Tickets for next year's Pirates exhibition game against the Curve at Peoples Natural Gas Field go on sale Dec. 1, and demand is expected to be great, with prices ranging from $13 to $20.
"The hope is that we have a nice, big crowd there and that every seat is full," Curve general manager Rob Egan said.
Not just every seat, but every nook and cranny of the ballpark could be filled as there's the possibility of approaching 10,000 fans. The ballpark seats 7,210, and the all-time record attendance was 9,308 for the 2006 Eastern League All-Star Game.
"Fortunately we've got a ballpark that has a huge open concourse and has a lot of standing-room space ... that allows us to put a lot more people than actual seats in the stadium," Egan said.
The exhibition game will be Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. and will mark the Pirates' second visit to Altoona. They also visited for an exhibition against the Curve in 2000.
|Ticket prices for the Pirates exhibition game against the Curve at PNG Field:|
|Diamond Club (100 level)||$18|
|Terrace (200 level)||$16|
|Grandstand (300 level)||$14|
|General adm./OF bleachers||$13|
Curve officials believe the ballpark will safely and comfortably accommodate 10,000 fans, but even with such a big number, that doesn't mean tickets will remain available once March rolls around.
Season-ticket holders and others who qualified during previous promotions have had and will have opportunities to get their tickets before Dec. 1, and there are maximums to the number of seats they can purchase.
Once those tickets are accounted for, the Curve will have a better idea how many will be available to the general public. Fans hoping to attend the game might want to consider purchasing tickets "as early as they can," Egan said, beginning Dec. 1, and there will be ticket maximums that each individual can buy.
"We're trying to do it in a measured way so we're not giving anybody false expectations, false hope, yet trying to give everybody a chance of getting tickets to the game," Egan said.
The Curve will hold a Holiday Bazaar at PNG Field on Dec. 1, and tickets will be on sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for fans in-person only. Tickets will go on sale beginning Dec. 3 over the phone at 877-99-CURVE and at altoonacurve.com.
Regular-season ticket prices at PNG Field range from $5 to $12, and while the Pirates exhibition game will cost more, Egan believes the prices are affordable given the rarity of the event.
"We looked at major league pricing versus ours, and we certainly didn't want to even come close to major league pricing," Egan said.
Season-ticket holders receive tickets for the Pirates exhibition as part of their plans, and Egan added, "The incentive for buying a season ticket or mini-plan is still there if you want to guarantee a better seat in the ballpark. People can still do that over the next few weeks before Dec. 1."
The Pirates announced during the spring that they would be visiting Altoona for the exhibition game. It will come near the end of spring training for the Bucs, and the Curve team will arrive in town a few days earlier than usual to host the game.
"It's an opportunity for us to say thank you to the great fans of Altoona who support us and support the Curve," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said of the exhibition.