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Cubs Ticket Prices Likely To Remain The Same In 2009

So says Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney:

"We'll certainly want to keep a good number of our seats flat in ticket prices," Kenney said. "We'll look throughout the inventory to see whether there is the ability to increase the price in certain areas, but this is a tough economy for our consumers, as well as our sponsors and our fans. We recognize that. We don't want them to view our ticket prices as a burden."

Good. Ticket prices were already second-highest in baseball, on average, behind the Red Sox -- and the Red Sox, whose model Kenney says he wants to emulate, froze ticket prices for 2009. Times are tough; the article goes on to say that the current economic climate may reduce the price that Sam Zell will get when the team is eventually sold:

Dave Novosel, a debt analyst at Gimme Credit, said in a research note Wednesday that he has revised downward the franchise's expected sales price. "Our initial estimate that Tribune would generate proceeds of roughly $1 billion from the sale of the Chicago Cubs was eclipsed by the credit crisis," he wrote.

Notwithstanding the unintentional humor in the name of the firm quoted ("Gimme Credit"??), that's likely correct. However:

Decisions about ticket prices today affect revenue projections on which bidders are estimating the value of the franchise. If the Cubs freeze ticket prices, that would drive down the price of club, said a person close to one bidder who wanted to remain anonymous because the sales process is ongoing.

As always, we await further developments.