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Twins’ new-stadium ticket prices stay in the rational ballpark

When a new stadium comes on line, people tend to complain about prices. And as the economy continues to dip into the dirt like a wild pitch, discretionary income becomes oh-so-unavailable.

When a new stadium comes on line, people tend to complain about prices. And as the economy continues to dip into the dirt like a wild pitch, discretionary income becomes oh-so-unavailable.

That’s why the Twins announcement today about the team’s 2010 season-ticket prices in newly named Target Field was encouraging.

Maybe it’s called Target Field because the price tags won’t cause heartburn.

Single-game ticket prices weren’t released.

Bottom line: Of the 38,100 seats available to the general fan — not in suites or fancy club seats — 13,600 of them, or 36 percent, will cost $20 a game or less; 3,500 of those will cost $12 or $10.

Sure, there are plenty of $50 tickets and some reaching toward $300. And, as we noted earlier this year, there are $200,000 luxury suites.

But, even as Wall Street staggers, this market can bear numbers like that, I think. Indeed, this is a high-end ticket market; expensive seats are always the first to go.

It’s those whopper tickets and premiums seats that, essentially, subsidize the so-called “cheap” seats. If $20 sounds like a lot, have you been to a concert recently? A $20 Twins ticket is more than $5 cheaper than the national average for a Major League ducat today.

Two years from now, it’ll be an even bigger bargain. Average NFL ticket price this season, according to Team Marketing Report: $72.

It is increasingly clear that sports is not recession-proof. The Twins, who need to fill a new ballpark 81 days a season for a bunch of years, seem to have grasped that reality.