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Shane Victorino #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a flyball for an out during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. On Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, the Dodgers announced their single-ticket pricing plan for 2013 including a four-star scale.

When Magic Johnson stood behind a lectern for the first time as co-owner of the Dodgers, among his first announcements was a crowd pleaser: The flat-rate cost of parking at Dodger Stadium was going down from $15 to $10.

There were a couple crowd pleasers embedded in Monday's announcement of the Dodgers' single-ticket pricing plan for 2013. Some were easier to miss than others.

The price of the cheapest ticket dropped slightly, from $10 to $8 for a seat in the top deck high above home plate. At the 16 cheapest games - called "one-star" games under the new plan - prices will drop in other sections of Dodger Stadium compared with a year ago. And unlike the Yankees-Dodgers interleague series in June 2010, single tickets will be available to the general public when the teams play July 30-31 this year.

STAR SCALE

ONE-STAR GAMES

Price range for first tier is $8 to $100. (16 games including games against the Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs).

TWO-STAR GAMES

Price range for second tier is $10 to $115. (33 games including Friday Night Fireworks and games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Bay Rays).

THREE-STAR GAMES

Price range for third tier is $20 to $120. (26 games including every Bobblehead giveaway game, games against the San Francisco Giants and Anaheim Angels).

FOUR-STAR GAMES

Price range for fourth tier is $30 to $160. (Six games including opening day vs. the San Francisco Giants, all three games against Boston Red Sox and both games against the New York Yankees).

Last time, only season-ticket and mini-plan holders were able to see the Yankees in person. The series sold out.

Regardless of when they attend and where they sit, fans visiting Dodger Stadium in 2013 will notice one major difference when single-game tickets go on sale Jan. 26.

Gone are the price points that vary based on when tickets are bought.

Pricing tiers will now be based on a one-, two-, three- or four-star scale.

David Siegel, the Dodgers' director of ticket sales, said he thinks the changes will simplify the process for fans.

"The past several years we had day of game pricing, up to $5 more per ticket if you bought on the day of a game compared to the day before," he said. "We did away with all that."

The six four-star games include Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants on April 1, both games against the Yankees and the three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 23-25.

There are 26 three-star games, 33 two-star games and 17 one-star games. All the Bobblehead giveaways - figurines include Johnson, Vin Scully, Matt Kemp and Sandy Koufax - are classified as three-star games. No giveaways are currently scheduled for any of the one-star games.

Robert Alvarado, the Angels' director of marketing, said this type of structure is more common among Major League Baseball teams. The Angels, for example, utilize a three-tiered pricing plan.

"Some teams tier it up to five different ways, some two different ways," Alvarado said.

Siegel said that some of the ticket prices at "four-star" games will increase compared with equivalent games last season. Some seats in the lower reserve, loge and field level sections will also be more expensive.

"There are mid- to low-tier areas that we maybe raised a few dollars from last year to this year," Siegel said.

Dynamic pricing, the practice of raising or lowering ticket prices based on demand, will still be in place next season, Siegel said. In theory, any single-game ticket could cost more or less than it does today on the day of the game.

In October, the Dodgers announced they were lowering the season-ticket costs for more than 10,000 seats, while an additional 38,000 seats would remain the same price compared to 2012. Overall, 86 percent of the estimated 56,000 seats in Dodger Stadium are staying the same price or going down for season-ticket holders. Season-ticket prices begin at $5 in the top deck for the second straight year.

Siegel wouldn't disclose the number of 2013 season-ticket packages sold, citing company policy, but he said that new season-ticket purchases and renewals are both "strong."

The Dodgers ranked fifth in MLB last season in total (3,324,246) and average (41,040) attendance, up from 11th in both categories in 2011.

jp.hoornstra@inlandnewspapers.com

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