HOUSTON -

Despite owning one of the worst records and baseball and slumping attendance numbers, the Astros plan to raise ticket prices.

The loyalty of the Astros' fanbase has been tested by three consecutive seasons with triple-digit losses.

Next season will take an even greater toll on their wallets with the price of season-tickets going up for the first time in seven years.

While some season-ticket holders sound off, the Astros are quick to point out their prices will still ring up below Major League averages - even after they go up by as much as $12 a ticket.

The Astros say the profits will go straight back into the team's payroll. Attendance is up this year by about an average of 2,000 fans.

The Astros released the following statement regarding season ticket pricing:

"This will be the first price increase for Astros season tickets in seven seasons (since 2008). Not all season tickets will be affected. Despite the increase, Astros season tickets will remain below the Major League average for season ticket pricing. We value our season ticket holders greatly and provide them with significant savings and benefits as part of their plans.

"We will also continue to offer a variety of ticket price levels for all fans. The Astros popular ticket packages for families will remain as an option. The Coca-Cola Value Days program, which is good Monday-Thursday, offers a ticket, hot dog, popcorn and a Coke product for just $16. The Kroger Family 4 Pack for Sunday games includes four tickets, a parking pass, four hot dogs and four Cokes for $70.

"The Astros are committed to investing in the product on the field, which is improving, and in Minute Maid Park, one of the finest venues in the country. While Minute Maid Park offers award-winning food selections, fans still have the option of bringing in their own food and bottled water if they choose. Major League Baseball remains as the most affordable option among all of the major sports."