Stars to cut premium season-ticket fares

FRISCO, Texas -- In an effort to put more fans in the seats at American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars are reducing full season-ticket prices for the 2010-11 season in the lower bowl.

The club is dropping prices on 5,267 seats between the blue lines, including one of the most expensive areas in the lower bowl -- the 2,134 seats in the StarsClub Premium section -- to $99 per game. That's an average of a 23 percent decrease off the 2009-10 prices.

The Stars are offering the reduction to increase what is currently a section with 56 percent capacity.

Other seats are discounted at a smaller percentage, but no season-ticket price is higher than $99 per game. The last time every season seat was $99 or less was the 1998-99 season at Reunion Arena.

The organization had nearly 15,000 season-ticket holders when the club moved into AAC for the 2001-02 season, on the heels of winning a Stanley Cup and returning to the finals. This season, they have just over 11,000 season-ticket holders.

"Demand and supply are unaligned for the 2009-10 Dallas Stars," team president Jeff Cogen said. "When the building is empty, people look around and go, 'This isn't as fun.' Or they wonder if others think it's worth it to go. We scratch and claw to get that building filled and do a pretty good job of it. I think we're more successful than other teams in our situation."

The Stars have now reduced season-ticket prices in nearly the entire building since the 2007-08 season. Renewals will be mailed out next week with details on the reductions. Season-ticket holders who renew by March 22 are receiving some sort of benefit, including access to one of the clubs at AAC, better parking or both.

Some season-ticket holders in the upper bowl are also getting an opportunity to move to a better seat for a handful of games.

"Nothing sells tickets like selling tickets," Cogen said. "The team plays better in a lively building, and that can help sell tickets. It's a cycle."

Richard Durrett covers the Stars for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.