Carolina Panthers raise ticket prices for 2014 NFL season.

jperson@charlotteobserver.comFebruary 17, 2014 

Amid a stadium renovation and on the heels of their first playoff appearance in five years, the Panthers announced Monday that they are raising ticket prices between $2 and $21 per game, depending on seat location.

It’s the first price hike since 2010 for the Panthers, who finished 12-4before losing in the Divisional Round after a playoff bye in 2013 to break a string of three consecutive losing seasons.

“We’ve stayed flat for four years,” ticket director Phil Youtsey said. “The NFL is an ultracompetitive business with 31 other teams. I’d say there’s just a handful that have not raised (prices) in the last four years.”

The biggest increase of $21 affects 2,400 (3 percent) of the team’s season-ticket holders, whose seats are in the lower level between the 40-yard lines at Bank of America Stadium.

The majority of the seats – 66 percent – will go up by $2 to $5 apiece for upper-deck tickets.

The price increases, announced in conjunction with the season-ticket renewal forms that went out Monday, are for both season tickets and single-game tickets, which will go sale in May.

Even with the increase, Youtsey said the Panthers remain in the bottom half of the league in terms of ticket prices.

The Panthers’ average ticket price has gone from approximately $67 to $72. The NFL average last year was $81, according to Youtsey.

Tickets in the 74,000-seat stadium now range from $41 to $130, but do not include suites and club seats. Those premium seats are sold in multiyear packages, Youtsey said.

The sticker shock for fans could come from the combination of the price increase and an expansion in the state sales tax. In Mecklenburg County, the combined state and local rate is 7.25 percent. It is 6.75 percent in most other counties.

The Panthers have begun work on a $125 million stadium renovation, funded by $87.5 million in city taxpayer money and $37.5 million from the team. The $65 million first phase includes the addition of two new videoboards, an improved sound system and three sets of escalators for easier access to the 300 and 500 levels.

The work is slated to be completed before the season. The Panthers’ home schedule includes games against the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in addition to their NFC South opponents.

The full NFL schedule is expected to be released in April.

The Panthers, who have sold out 114 consecutive home games, have about 2,000 personal seat licenses for sale, the majority for seats high in the upper deck. PSL prices start at $1,000 for seats that cost $41 per game, the cheapest the team offers.

Scott Fowler contributed

Person: 704-358-5123; Twitter: @josephperson

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