St. Louis The St. Louis Cardinals announced Friday they would leave season-ticket prices unchanged for the 2004 season, despite losing an estimated $10 million this year.
After winning three consecutive NL Central titles, the Cardinals finished in third place and drew less than 3 million fans for the first time in six years.
"The season-ticket holders represent the core of our fan base, and we felt that the decision to keep season-ticket pricing flat was an important step in our preparations for next season," team president Mark Lamping said.
The Cardinals' season-ticket base fell by about 5 percent last year, when the team raised prices by an average of $2.85. It still had a little more than 19,000 season-ticket holders, but the drop could be seen in early attendance figures, which fell for the third straight season.
Attendance totaled 2,910,366, down from 3,011,216 in 2002.
Tickets range from $40 per game for field box seats immediately behind both dugouts and home plate to $9 per game for upper terrace seats in the farthest reaches of Busch Stadium. Season tickets go on sale Nov. 10.
The club has not yet determined its price structure for single-game tickets, which go on sale Feb. 7.
The Cardinals also released their 2004 schedule Friday. As it did last season, St. Louis will open at home against Milwaukee April 5.
The Cardinals' longest road trip will be a 10-game stretch in the final two weeks of the season, with games at Milwaukee Sept. 20-23, at Colorado Sept. 24-26 and at Houston Sept. 27-29.