Bears raise ticket prices again

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears may have changed coaches, but one thing remains constant at Soldier Field: Ticket price increases.

The Bears announced Wednesday that season ticket prices will increase by 4.2 percent in the 2013 season. This past season, Team Marketing Report estimated the average season ticket at Soldier Field went up a league-high 9.2 percent to $110.91, making it the fourth-most expensive ticket in the NFL.

In the past decade, the only season the Bears didn't raise ticket prices was 2009. Since then, the average ticket price has increased about 30 percent, according to Team Marketing Report.

"We do our best to be fair with Bears season-ticket holders and will always be conscious of not pricing out Bears fans," vice president of sales and marketing Chris Hibbs wrote in an e-mail to ESPN Chicago. "Ticket-price increases are a reality we will deal with each year. It revolves around remaining economically competitive and building toward championships.

"Season-ticket holders are the foundation of the Bears and we are grateful for their passion. Our job is to provide them with a premium value for their commitment and to show our appreciation 365 days a year."

The Bears have made the playoffs only once since their 2006 Super Bowl season, resulting in coach Lovie Smith losing his job after nine seasons. Marc Trestman replaced him in January.

Ninety percent of the seats at Soldier Field saw increases between $3 and $10, according to the Bears. The cheapest tickets will be $79 and $83 for upper-deck seats in the 300 and 400 levels -- $3 increases each.

The most expensive non-club seat will be $165. Nine of the team's 14 non-club seat pricepoints will be more than $100.

United Club seats range from $265 to $540. The average club seat last season was $389, according to Team Marketing Report.

Last season, the Bears began charging $25 more for single-game tickets. The team said 85 percent of the seats are owned by season-ticket holders, and the remaining single-game seats sold out almost immediately when the team put them on sale in July.

Despite being located in the league's second biggest market, Soldier Field, which is owned by the Chicago Park District, has the smallest listed capacity in the league at 61,500.