Cards lift prices on most tickets

Saturday, December 4, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- The price of admission to see the St. Louis Cardinals, the reigning National League champions, is going up in the final season at the current Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals will charge $1 to $3 more per game for most seats in 2005, an increase common to both season and individual tickets. Single-game tickets go on sale in March.

Dan Farrell, Cardinals senior vice president for sales and marketing, said another price increase would take place after this season as the team moves into the new Busch Stadium, under construction next to the current ball park.

Cardinals president Mark Lamping told season-ticket holders of the price increases by letter this week, saying their "investment" gives them priority for buying postseason tickets -- what he called a "no more coveted, no more valuable commodity in town."

The Cardinals increased ticket prices an average of more than 11 percent in 2003, the only season since 1998 the team failed to draw 3 million.

Owners OK Expos' move

Baseball owners took another step toward moving the Montreal Expos to Washington next year, giving conditional approval Friday but hinging their decision on the September agreement that did not cap the cost of a new ballpark.

Owners approved the move during a conference call by a 29-1 vote, with the Baltimore Orioles dissenting, a baseball official said on condition of anonymity.

Approval was "subject to all conditions set forth in the Baseball Stadium Agreement" signed on Sept. 29 by the Expos and Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams, major league baseball said in a statement. That agreement called for the District of Columbia government to enact by Dec. 31 funding for a new ballpark for the team, which would be renamed the Nationals.

"They know that we've still got to some work to be done," said Williams' spokesman, Chris Bender. "They're going to wait and make sure we get these things hammered out, and we're going to do that over the next two weeks."

The move would be the first of a major league baseball team since the expansion Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers after the 1971 season.

-- From wire reports

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