The Braves will put single-game tickets for their inaugural season at SunTrust Park on sale to the general public for the first time Friday and expect opening-night tickets to be gobbled up quickly.
“Whether it happens within minutes or hours, I can’t predict,” Braves president of business Derek Schiller said. “But I can tell you we will have a sellout except for the inventory of some tickets held back.”
Teams routinely hold back some seats from early single-game sales to keep them for ongoing sales of season-ticket packages. It’s possible some of the held-back tickets could become available for single-game purchase later.
It’s not clear how many tickets for the Braves’ regular-season home opener against the San Diego Padres on April 14 — the new stadium’s official debut — will be available when single-game sales open to the public at 10 a.m. Friday at www.Braves.com/tickets.
“It will be in the thousands,” Schiller said, declining to be more specific.
The vast majority of the opening-night seats already have been claimed as part of full-season and partial-season ticket packages and through various pre-sales, including one for season-ticket holders seeking additional tickets and one for people who registered their email addresses with the Braves. In addition, Schiller said some opening-night tickets have gone to sponsors and “other VIPs.”
Starting Friday, tickets will be on sale for the Braves’ other 80 home games as well. At the time of ticket purchase, single-game parking passes also will be offered for lots and decks in various locations around the Cobb County stadium.
The tickets available on a single-game basis currently range from $5 to $143 per game, depending on seat location, opponent, month and day of week. Premium seats in club areas, which cost more, are currently being sold only as season tickets.
Single-game parking passes cost $18 to $23, depending on lot or deck location, higher than at Turner Field last season.
The Braves this week released a lineup of 19 team-operated parking lots and decks — some newly built but most leased from other businesses in the area for game use. The Braves said 14 of the parking lots/decks are within 15 minutes walking distance of the stadium and that the others will be served by a free shuttle. Three of the lots are available only for limited games.
If achieved, that wouldn’t constitute a franchise record — the Braves reportedly sold about 29,000 in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1993 — but likely would double last season’s season-ticket base, which was believed to be in the vicinity of 10,000.
Schiller said this week that the Braves “are pacing very well” toward the goal of 20,000 season tickets.
“I think that’s achievable,” he said. “I think our bigger goal is still within reach — we want to try to get to 3 million total tickets sold for the year.”
That would be a steep climb from last season’s announced attendance of 2.02 million, the team’s second lowest in 26 years, and would require averaging more than 37,000 fans per game in 41,000-seat SunTrust Park. The Braves last reached 3 million in attendance in the 2000 season.
“It’s an ambitious goal of ours, considering where we finished last year,” Schiller said. “But we still feel good about it. We’ll have to have a lot of things falling into place.”
The Braves plan to use dynamic pricing on single-game tickets, meaning prices can fluctuate depending on market demand, similar to airline tickets and hotel rooms. The Braves said the prices at which tickets will be offered Friday are the lowest the team expects them to go.
“We believe that will be the floor,” Schiller said. “Then there’s a chance they would go up.”
Based on current single-game prices for most games, Schiller said 20,000 seats are priced at $30 and under, including 10,000 seats at $20 and under and 2,500 seats at $10 and under.
Those seat totals are smaller than previously announced figures for the same price points. Schiller said the earlier figures were based on season-ticket pricing, which is discounted vs. single-game prices.
Tickets for the Braves’ March 31 exhibition game against the New York Yankees at SunTrust Park are available only to season-ticket holders. Braves officials view that game as a soft opening that will serve as a test run for the stadium.