Bears raise ticket prices

CHICAGO -- Even with labor trouble brewing and the date of a possible lockout a week away, the Chicago Bears announced they have raised ticket prices at every price point for the 2011 season.

The Bears announced the ticket increases Friday in a news release, just after announcing that coach Lovie Smith received a two-year contract extension through 2013.

The Bears made a surprising run to the NFC championship last season, losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay at Soldier Field. That game was one of the most widely coveted tickets in Chicago sports history.

The cheapest general ticket at Soldier Field, which has the NFL's smallest capacity at 61,500, will be $74, or $6 more than the past two seasons. General tickets range from $74 to $140.

The most expensive ticket will be a club seat for $530, or $10 more than last season. Premium tickets range from $265 to $530.

Last year, according to the Fan Cost Index, the Bears had the fifth-most expensive average ticket at $93.55. They also had the third-most expensive "premium'" ticket (which includes club seats) at $372. The 2011 Fan Cost Index won't be released until September.

If any games are canceled due to a lockout, refunds will be paid no later than 30 days after the final determination of a schedule is announced, according to the team's news release.

This is the first time in three years that the Bears have raised ticket prices for all price points.

Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com.