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Sox announce '06 ticket prices

CHICAGO -- The current demolition and rebirth of the .406 Club and the infield roof boxes stand to make Fenway Park more aesthetically pleasing in 2006. The offseason alterations, the club acknowledged yesterday, also will provide an uptick in revenue, which means two things for fans.

1. Prices in more than 70 percent of the park -- including all bleacher, grandstand, standing room, and right-field roof and box tickets -- will not increase next season. The foremost exception is field box seats, which will increase from $85 to $95 (the season-ticket rate will go from $80 to $90).

2. If you want to sit in the new ''Pavilion Level," which is under construction and will replace the erstwhile .406 Club and infield roof box seats, be prepared to pay heavily. A seat in the new areas will cost from $90 to $275.

''The popularity and anticipated revenues from these new premium areas, long a deficiency at Fenway, are allowing us to rescale the house and bring some stability to the lower-priced tickets," Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said in a statement.

A breakdown of the 2006 ticket prices:

On the whole, ticket prices at Fenway will rise 5 percent (they increased 7 percent following the team's World Series championship in 2004).

The following existing seating will increase in price in 2006 (all figures are single-game prices, not season-ticket prices): Loge box seats will increase by $5, from $80 to $85. Field box seats will increase by $10, from $85 to $95. All Green Monster seats in the first three rows will increase by $10. Those seats all cost $50 in 2003, the year they debuted. They will now cost from $90 to $130, depending upon whether a game is classified as a red or blue game (color designates demand). Seats in the right-field roof table area will increase by $5 and will cost $65 or $90, depending on color of game.

Prices for the following seats will remain unchanged: upper bleachers ($12), standing room ($20), lower bleachers ($23), outfield grandstand ($27), infield grandstand ($45), right-field roof box ($45), right-field box ($45), and Monster standing room ($25 and $30). Those seats will cost the same for the third consecutive season, with the minor exception of the $45 seats, which cost $44 in 2004.

What was the .406 Club will become a two-level, outdoor seating environment. Row 1, known as the EMC Club, will cost $275 per seat. Row 2, classified as Home Plate Pavilion Club seats, will sell for $190. Other Pavilion Level prices: third base and first base ($150), box ($90), and standing room ($25), and right-field roof table area standing room ($25, $30).

''As we have done each year, we will invest that revenue to assemble a team worthy of our fans' support, and to maintain one of Major League Baseball's most competitive payrolls," Lucchino said.

Under Lucchino's watch the Red Sox have sold out 226 consecutive regular-season games.

The Sox released their 2006 schedule. As previously reported, the club will open the season Monday, April 3, at Texas, with the home opener coming Tuesday, April 11, vs. Toronto at 2:05 p.m. The Sox face the National League East in interleague play in 2006, hosting the Nationals, Phillies, and Mets in late June, while visiting Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Florida.

The Sox will play 75 games against AL East teams (19 each vs. New York, Toronto, and Tampa Bay, and 18 vs. Baltimore). They will play 34 vs. the AL Central, 35 vs. the AL West, and 18 vs. the NL East.

Mike Timlin, the 39-year-old free agent reliever, has cut ties with his agent, David Sloane, and will take the unusual route of attempting to negotiate his next contract by himself, Sloane said last night. Sloane, who has negotiated 11 contracts for Timlin totaling close to $30 million, learned of Timlin's decision yesterday in a letter.

''What he conveyed on the phone is he's going down, as he said in his letter, 'a different path . . . into unknown territory for myself,' " Sloane said.

Sloane isn't sure whether Timlin's top priority is re-signing with the Red Sox. The agent said he and his former client never got around to discussing where Timlin wanted to play, how many years he wanted on his next contract, or how much money he thought he deserved to make.

Sloane did say that Timlin and Sox general manager Theo Epstein loosely talked at the beginning of the year and periodically throughout the season about extending Timlin's contract. The two last discussed a new deal before the Red Sox-Yankees series the last weekend of the regular season, Sloane said. Sloane doesn't believe Epstein and Timlin have talked since.

Timlin, who will turn 40 in March, was 7-3 with a 2.24 ERA in 2005. Timlin did not immediately return a phone message last night.

Sox principal owner John W. Henry confirmed last night that he is scheduled to meet next week with Manny Ramirez's agent, Greg Genske. Ramirez continues to be bothered by a lack of privacy in Boston and could request a trade, as he has multiple times during his five-year Red Sox career . . . Sox scout Tom Moore has left the club.

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