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New prices, seating possibilities announced

Season ticket holders will have input in figuring out where they will be seated when the new CMGI Field opens for the 2002 season.

The Patriots mailed out information packets to their season ticket holders Monday explaining both new seating and ticket price increases. All season ticket holders will receive a seating survey asking them to prioritize their desired seating arrangements for CMGI Field.

Among the items fans will be able to request are aisle seating, non-alcohol seating, or group seating, which would allow ticket holders with multiple sets of seats at Foxboro Stadium to have all their seats put together at CMGI Field. Fans normally don't get any say in their seating location in stadiums, but those season ticket holders who return their survey by Sept. 1 will have as many of their requests met as possible.

The demand for season tickets to Patriots games is as high as ever. More than 99 percent of the season ticket accounts were renewed in 2000, and the paid season ticket waiting list has grown to nearly 40,000.

Ticket prices for 2001 will not change, but there will be an increase for the 2002 season when the new stadium opens. The new ticket prices are as follows:

Lower Level Sideline: $99
Lower Level Corner/End Zone: $75
Mezzanine Level Corner/End Zone: $75
Upper Level Sideline: $65
Upper Level Corner/End Zone: $49

The average ticket prices are technically the highest in the league. However, fans will not have to pay the personal seat licenses common in most new stadiums. The revenue generated from 6,000 club seats and 80 suites to be located in the mid-tier of CMGI Field will allow the team to privately finance the project without resorting to PSLs, which can call for fans to pay $5,000-$6,000 up front just for the right to purchase season tickets.

CMGI Field will also have higher quality seating. There will be 30 percent more seats on the lower level than there currently are in the 100 level of Foxboro Stadium. The total capacity in the lowest price location will increase by 35 percent. Unlike most stadiums, CMGI Field will not have upper deck end zone seats, keeping fans even closer to the action on the field.

About 2,000 seats per game are being held for individual game sales, which open Saturday via Ticketmaster at (617) 931-2222.

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