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Patriots to vary ticket costs for 2014 games

It will cost less to watch the Patriots play a preseason game at Gillette Stadium in 2014 if you’re a season ticket-holder, but it will cost more for four of the eight regular-season games.

Borrowing a ticketing approach that has been used in almost every other professional sports league and by many colleges, the Patriots announced Friday they will utilize a variable pricing plan for season-ticket packages next season, while also announcing a price increase in two lower-bowl seat designations.

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In essence, the plan creates three ticket prices for the same seat: a price for the two preseason games, a higher price for four “premier” regular-season games, and an even higher price for four “marquee” regular-season games. Next season’s home game against the Broncos — a rematch of this season’s AFC Championship game — will be one of the marquee games; the other three haven’t been announced yet.

The strategy is to charge less for the games that don’t have as much demand — such as preseason games — but charge more for the higher-profile games. The Red Sox instituted a similar tiered pricing system for games at Fenway Park this season.

According to the Patriots, the price for a preseason game will be approximately 50 percent less than a premier regular-season game, while the marquee game will go for roughly 25 percent more. As an example, an upper-level midfield seat for 2014 will be $99 in a season-ticket package for each of the four premier games, $49 for each of the two preseason games, and $124 for each of the four marquee games. The total price for such a seat — $990 — will be the same as it was in 2013.

Previously, a Patriots season ticket-holder would pay the same amount per game.

For five of Gillette Stadium’s seven seating areas, the total price for a season ticket will remain the same. Total season-ticket prices for lower-level sideline seats, and everything in the upper level, won’t change. Lower-level midfield seats ($10 increase per game) and lower-level corner/end zone seats ($18 increase per game) will rise.

Dates for the 2014 schedule haven’t been announced by the NFL, but the teams that will be coming to Gillette Stadium in the regular season are the Broncos, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Bengals, Bears, Lions, and Raiders.

Friday’s announcement pertains only to season-ticket packages. Single-game tickets will continue to be sold at a higher price.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.
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