Blue Jays to alter ticket-pricing structure for '17

New tiers designed to reflect value of games based on date, opponent

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays announced on Monday morning that they are making some changes to the structure of how their tickets will be sold for the 2017 season.

Toronto has introduced a five-category pricing system for its games after using a two-category system in 2016. The 81-game home schedule will be broken into five pricing categories: A+ (two games), A (32), B (20), C (18) and D (9), compared to a model this season that was either "premium" or "regular" games.

The exact pricing for individual tickets has not yet been revealed, but season seats are rising an average of nine percent for early-bird renewals, which is available until Sept. 8. New season tickets go on sale on Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. ET.

"This is very in line with the way Major League Baseball teams have evolved in terms of pricing structures over the last few years," said Andrew Miller, who is the Blue Jays' executive vice president of business operations.

"In 2011, there were a handful of teams that literally had one price for all games, and it has evolved to the point where almost every team has a structure much more similar to this where you have a few game tiers and then you dynamically price single-game tickets when they're on sale."

According to the Blue Jays' public relations staff, season tickets will see a 13 percent average increase for 54 games and a seven percent decrease for 27 games. Current season-ticket holders can save up to 20 percent by renewing during the early-bird period.

Miller said the decision to overhaul the pricing system was based on a number of factors. There is clearly more demand for games on holidays, summer weekends and games vs. division rivals, and the new pricing structure is designed to reflect the different values.

"The idea is that it's acknowledging that 81 games are not equal," Miller said. "That Canada Day and Opening Day ... may have a very different level of interest from fans than say a typical Tuesday night in April. All it's trying to do is more appropriately match the values assigned to each of those games with the ticket prices."

More information on the pricing for tickets next season is expected to be made available in the coming weeks. The Blue Jays' 2017 schedule likely will be released in early September, and around the same time, the club also will introduce its new Game Packs.

Toronto has led the American League in attendance for most of the year, and since last year's July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the club has sold out 51 games, including 28 this season.

"We've done quite a bit of research, and it's very typical of across the league, even across Toronto sports, to have this type of pricing structure," Miller said. "I guess what I would say, it may be different than what was done in the past, but it's very common across sports at this point.

"In the past, if we used one average price, it means there are some games that should be higher and some games it should be lower. The only thing we know about that average, we're either overpricing or underpricing that ticket. What we're trying to do now is make it more accurate in terms of aligning that price with the true value for fans."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.