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February 24, 2009

Bronx Bummer

The Yankees Stick It to Their Ticketholders

by Jay Jaffe

Eleven years ago, I banded together with four of my friends and bought a Yankees partial season-ticket package which gave us a pair of tickets to 15 games of our choice. We were instantly rewarded with the opportunity to frequent a once-in-a-generation ballclub, the 1998 Yankees. Expanding our plan to three seats the following year, we were fortunate enough to attend the World Series clincher, the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the vast majority of baseball fans never get to experience first-hand.

With an introduction like that, we were hooked. Our ticket package eventually ballooned to 26 games, the cost per ticket tripled, and friends came and went, but we never had a problem assembling a posse willing to spend their hard-earned cash to fill those seats. We witnessed some amazing baseball, even as Yankee Stadium itself devolved into a less hospitable environment thanks to the increasingly heavy-handed security in the years following 9/11.

Sadly, the days of our ticket group appear to be at an end, with our worst fears about the transition to the new Yankee Stadium not only realized, but surpassed beyond our wildest diminished expectations. Not only was our 26-game flex plan phased out in favor of a 20-game "inflexibility plan" with the choice of dates restricted to an every-fourth-home-game cycle, but the $60 Tier Box seats we had enjoyed for so long were recessed about 30 feet further from the field of play, and the overall capacity for the ballpark decreased from 56,936 to 52,325. When the time came to order our 2009 seats, those facts-spelled out for us in a forebodingly titled relocation program that conjured up images of Stalin sending peasants to Siberian gulags-coupled with a concern for finances due to the growing family obligations of group members, led us to choose the $25 Grandstand seats between the bases instead of the $65 or $75 Terrace seats which would have provided the closest equivalent to our former experience.

As the mere existence of the relocation program suggested, we knew that others would share our plight. A considerable portion of the moderately priced seats that were popular among partial-plan holders at the old stadium are now luxury seats which are priced from $150 to $350. Taking into account the decreased capacity to accommodate a fan base which had set a franchise attendance record with 4,298,655 patrons last year (the third straight year they had drawn four million fans), it was apparent that someone was going to get squeezed.

Nonetheless, we eagerly awaited word on our new tickets, or even an official communication telling us when we might expect to hear about them. All to no avail, until the point last Thursday when we read a clumsy, un-spellchecked memo from the ticket office that Yankee beat reporter Pete Abraham posted on his blog at LoHud.com:

Good Morning, Do [sic] to the overwhelming demand for season tickets, all plans were distributed subject to availability. In the event that the partial plan you requested was not available, you were assigned an alternative plan (subject to availability). From here you have the option to either accept or decline, if you decline (if the plan does not meet your needs or budget) you can go into your my Yankees account (under personal preferences) and mark down that you wish to decline and/ or enter the pool process for your preferred plan, At this point you cannot change your seats or plans unless your [sic] interested in the $350 seats. If you accept then the full payment will be due on Feb 27th which you can pay online or by calling (718) xxx-xxxx. Because of the demand for all season tickets, we stronly [sic] suggest that ticket Licensees accept their initial seat assignments. The demand for many plans will definetely [sic] exceed the available seats locations and if you decline your assignment there may not be any availability in the alternative seat location and/ or plan that you request. If you have any questions or concerns I would suggest to call (718) xxx-xxxx and we can try to assist you. Sincerely, New York Yankees Ticket Operations Yankee Stadium 161st Street & River Avenue Bronx, NY 10451

Say it ain't so, Joe! Prompted by this ominous and pricelessly incompetent memo, still lacking any official communiqué, and unable to get through on the provided number (callers aren't even put on hold and are instead told via recorded message to call back later before being unceremoniously disconnected), we logged into our account to discover the damage. Instead of being offered our $25 seats, or even anything between the bases, we had been assigned $85 seats in section 107

... right behind the right-field foul pole. Obstructed view, at more than triple the price of what we were prepared to spend. Are you kidding me? No, really, ARE YOU &*^%$#@ KIDDING ME?

Without even discussing the desirability of the particular seats which, to put it politely, are about as far as you can get from the type of ballpark experience that I typically pursue, that kind of monetary outlay is an impossibility for our group, leaving us no choice but to decline the seats, which subjects us to this charming little policy (emphasis in original):

If You Wish to Decline: If you wish to decline your assigned seat location, because you prefer an alternative seat location for the same type of Plan or wish to select an alternative 2009 Plan, you must decline your assignment online by accessing your "My Yankees Account" at www.yankees.com, selecting the "Account Settings" banner and clicking on "Personal Preferences." If you decline your assignment in this manner, we will place you in a Plan pool in accordance with your preferences. Please remember that: (a) all Plan pool participants will be ranked according to seniority when and if participants are being considered for alternative seat locations; and (b) all requests are subject to the inventory that is available at the time each request is fulfilled. If you decline your assignment, the assigned seat location set forth on the enclosed invoice will be immediately forfeited and released into available inventory. There can be no assurance that such assigned seat location or any other requested location and/or Plan will be available to you at a later date. Thus, we strongly suggest that Licensees accept their initial seat assignments because the demand for many Plans will definitely exceed the supply.

In other words, either let us strong-arm you into buying these overpriced and slightly irregular seats, or settle for nothing at all, because there are plenty more suckers where you came from.

It's not entirely clear what's happening here, but one can hazard a guess that the economic crisis has driven down the demand for those $350-per-game seats among the corporate classes, that the average fan is wary that he'll actually be served a large enough quantity of caviar in a Yankees mini-helmet to justify that kind of three-figure expense for a trip to the ballpark, and that the team is shockingly out of touch with a fan base that it's trying to bully into spending beyond their means during hard economic times.

This is hardly the first ugly little fact about the new Yankee Stadium to come to light; tales of the publicly funded new park's fuzzy math go way back, and any fan of good conscience reckoning with the inconvenient truths about the ballpark had plenty of reason to be uneasy.

Still, even if one could block that all out and simply focus on the relationship between one customer's wallet and his ability to put his butt in a seat at this new park, the bottom line is that this is an outrage, a disgrace, a catastrophe on the level of Joe Torre summoning Jeff Weaver from the bullpen in Game Four, a Bambino-rolling-in-his-grave nightmare over the successor to the House that Ruth Built. A chorus four million fans strong should be shouting four- and twelve-letter words at Yankee president Randy Levine and every incompetent front-office numbskull who played a role in this fiasco. A pox on the House that George Built.

The Yankees deserve every pixel of bad publicity they receive over this, every blankety-blank karmic quantum of bad yankety-blank karma. My friends and I are hardly the only customers wronged in such a fashion; an informal discussion with a few other longtime Yankees ticket holders who write for various sites (including this one) reveals similarly shoddy treatment. Indeed, all of us who have something at stake short of a full-season ticket package are being screwed because the Yankees have bungled this so badly that they can't possibly fulfill the demand. So naturally, their impulse is to trample the loyal customers who helped carry them past the three million and four million attendance milestones over the past decade. This is a story worth illuminating, not only to fellow Yankee fans who may commiserate about finding themselves up the same fetid creek, but to baseball fans everywhere.

Those of you who snicker and mock Yankee fans for some perceived sense of entitlement may wish to dismiss this story as one of those "only in New York" tales, like alligators in the sewers. You may find some karmic justification for this travesty via the team's bloated payroll or their inability to shake free from wave after wave of the steroids scandal. Certainly, your claims about the Evil Empire in the Bronx gain even more traction as the multiple facets of this abomination come to light. But just remember that if this is happening here, it can happen in your city as well. Even the green cathedrals of Wrigley Field and Fenway Park will someday fall to the wrecking ball, and when you emerge from the rubble with a lesser opportunity to visit your new ballpark, you'll have plenty of company.

Jay Jaffe is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jay's other articles. You can contact Jay by clicking here

Related Content:  Decline,  The Who,  Yankees Fans

67 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Hokieball

This is hardly an "only in New York" thing. Similar shenanigans occur with pretty much every major sports franchise when they get a new stadium. Count the number of empty club level seats next time you see a Washington Redskins game ... and that one was built during the height of the boom market!

Feb 24, 2009 09:45 AM
rating: 3
 
Drew Miller

Does any other stadium charge that much money for that quality of a seat?

Feb 24, 2009 15:18 PM
rating: 0
 
oira61
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Nyah nyah. I weap tears of joy when hearing that Yankee fans get a chance to feel the same way about their abhorrent franchise that the rest of us do. Will you stop telling us how many titles they've won now? Will you stop telling us that it wasn't the free agents who did it? Will you stop claiming that "A-Rod isn't a real Yankee like Posada and Jeter."?

I repeat, nyah nyah.

Feb 24, 2009 09:52 AM
rating: -26
 
Peter Hood

Sounds awfully like the Toronto maple Leaf Hockey club with one huge difference. The Leafs know they can find 20,000 rears to put into the seats for 40 games a year so pricing is maxed out. Can't pay for season tickets, too too bad ... there's lots more who can and will. Unfortunately, the Leafs don't have the same commitment to putting a very good team together as the Yankees and the club is horrible and has been so for decades.

Feb 24, 2009 09:56 AM
rating: 1
 
joel3green

The real solution is to let Florida buy half of Yankee stadium and YES network and move the Marlins to NY. Then Yankee fans, like the Marlins owner, could be accommodated every day of the season for a reasonable price. Half could watch the NL Yankees and half could watch the AL Yankees.
Long Islanders could watch the Mets.

Feb 24, 2009 09:56 AM
rating: -3
 
molokai

When the Lakers moved from the Forum to Staples I had the same thing happen. We went from great corner seats to twice as expensive seats behind the basket where you couldn't see if someone 5'8 sat in front of you.

Feb 24, 2009 09:59 AM
rating: 1
 
tbraxton34

hate to say it, but good for the Yankees. Second only to air travel, sports tickets are the most underpriced commodity on the market today. Want proof? The scalping industry. Teams are simply selling tickets too cheap, and no amount of hand-wringing about the loyal fan base can change that. The Yankees are doing what they should do here: maximize revenue. And yes, that leaves "long-time fans" out in the cold. But there will certainly be another sucker waiting in line for that ticket. If there isn't--don't worry! The price will come down until there is one.

Feb 24, 2009 10:06 AM
rating: 3
 
tbraxton34

which is not to say, of course, that they get a free pass for handling the situation so poorly. That memo is ridiculous and they should at least have communicated more clearly with potential customers in case they do eventually need you to come back to the stadium.

Feb 24, 2009 10:07 AM
rating: 4
 
Bob

There's no golden rule that states a sports franchise must act like any other profit-maximizing business. There are plenty of other organizational models out there, which more efficiently balance the costs and benefits of running and following a sports team.

Feb 24, 2009 10:24 AM
rating: 0
 
Ben Solow

But more importantly...why would any sports franchise NOT act like a profit-maximizing business? It is... you know... a business after all. The only scenario in which I can conceive of it making sense for a sports team not to increase ticket prices when there's excess demand is if you've got a sports team owned by a fan's trust, as is occasionally the case in British football (more often in the lower leagues).

Feb 24, 2009 14:52 PM
rating: 2
 
anderson721

Ummm...maybe when they borrowed 600 million from the public coffers to build their castle that only plutocrats can afford-and that after writing off the cost of the tickets?

Feb 24, 2009 18:31 PM
rating: 3
 
tbraxton34

Unless the public got an ownership stake in the team (which they didn't), the team doesn't have any greater obligation to keep games affordable in a publicly-financed stadium than in a privately-financed one. At least not in economic terms. You could argue that they **should** try to keep things affordable, but that isn't really the right paradigm for what is a private-sector, profit-maximizing enterprise.

Feb 25, 2009 08:21 AM
rating: 0
 
Bob

If the commissioner had a shred of concern for the vast majority of baseball fans, he could institute rules whereby, say, every team must provide a significant number of decent seats (read: infield and/or lower level) under $10 for every game, or no seat can be sold for more than $20, or fans must be allowed to move from upper deck or outfield seats to any vacant seat of their choice after the sixth inning, or scalping (whether through stub-hub or on the street) is not only strictly punishable by law but technologically impossible (photo-ids with ticket sales or something that would brand the ticket buyer to his/her tickets), etc. Baseball is not a competitive industry. It's based on monopoly power and as someone else pointed out, an increasing portion of the revenue doesn't even come from ticket sales in the first place. So the industry as a whole has very little to lose by including more fans in the process.

Feb 25, 2009 09:39 AM
rating: 0
 
victor19nyc

I think this is only true in certain markets and/or for certain games. A lot of teams are using a variable price structure to try to capture differing demand (regular, value and premium game pricing) but that's really the best a team can do over an 81 game schedule to try to capture demand efficiently......specially when you have to consider your team might be out of the running in September and people would rather stay home.

Tickets will always be difficult to get in Wrigley and Fenway, but I've gone to many baseball games and had great seats for $5 or less in other cities by buying in the secondary market. If the Yankees have two or three down years in a row those $350 seats will sit empty even in the best of economic times.

Feb 24, 2009 14:33 PM
rating: 0
 
Drew Miller

My only beef with this notion is that the price of alienating lots of longtime fans, while probably unquantifiable, is doubtless high.

No wonder they aren't advertising the policy change. They don't want mass "average fan" protests. They don't want all that bad karma to wreck their brand.

Feb 24, 2009 15:14 PM
rating: 0
 
ttomae8833

Jay,

My girlfriend and I have been partial-season ticket holders as well (15-game Saturday package) for the last five years. We found out, probably at the same time you did, that not only did we not get the package we requested, the 15-game Saturday package that also included two-weekday games, but our package had been swapped out entirely to be the 12-game WEEKDAY package. Our seating area generally remained the same, but we were bumped back about 12 rows to the point where the new seats would be two rows from the top of the upper tier.

To compound this insult, in the Saturday package we requested, we had two games against Boston, one against the Mets, visits from the Twins, Angels, Rays, Tigers (Old Timers Day), and World Champion Phillies. Those games were replaced with such epic battles against Baltimore (twice), Kansas City, Seattle, and the Nationals.

My theory on this is that many of the ticket holders that used to buy the partial ticket plans on the field level decided not to spend the $400 per ticket on a similar plan this year when they could get a full-season plan for the same cost in the upper deck. Just keep the tickets you want, sell the rest at face value or tidy profit to those suckers that want to experience a game in the "House that George Built". This influx of buyers (for plans that cost more than the partial plans) pushed us partial season holders further back, or out altogether.

If the same people that wrote that clumsy email handled the ticketing process, it's no wonder it ended up the way it did. Either way, it's a disgrace and the team should be ashamed of the way they handled this.

Feb 24, 2009 10:15 AM
rating: 6
 
kcboomer

Jay, I think you are under the delusion that the Yankees owe you something. The Yanks just signed up for $425M to three guys this off-season. They intend to pay those guys and still make a serious profit. They believe they can make more money at the new prices than the old. If that involves you not being at the stadium then so be it.

Feb 24, 2009 10:17 AM
rating: 1
 
gjgross

They owe their customers better customer service.

Feb 24, 2009 10:38 AM
rating: 7
 
Kate Kirby
(93)

That may be, but if it's their right to change their policies dramatically, it's surely the customer's right to complain publicly about it.

Feb 24, 2009 12:46 PM
rating: 3
 
Bob

I'm sorry to hear that, Jay. Your earnest devotion to the Bronx Bombers is abundantly evident and you deserve better. Nonetheless, there are 29 other teams you could support. This might be a good opportunity to make the switch.

When I moved to New York in the 1990s, I didn't have an allegiance to either team. But I wanted to follow some form of New York baseball. I chose the Mets simply because you could get a much better seat for a much cheaper price. Up through last year, you could still pay $5 for a behind-the-plate upper deck seat (for a handful of games). That's cheaper than the cheapest seat in Keyspan Park. Unfortunately, however, I fear that the Mets won't be offering any comparable $5 (or even $9) seats this year.

Feb 24, 2009 10:18 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

I grew up a Dodgers fan and I remain one, but when I moved to New York 14 years ago - the first time I'd ever lived in a big-league city - I too wanted to follow baseball up close. I was pleasantly surprised how attainable Yankees tickets were, and there really was no comparison between that park and Shea aesthetically, not that I didn't enjoy the times I went to the latter.

I can only imagine the squeeze Mets fans must be experiencing given the loss of over 12,000 seats.

Feb 25, 2009 10:00 AM
 
ephinz

This is how businesses are run now. No longer is customer loyalty valued. All that matters is running some spreadsheets and finding ways to maximize pricing.

How about mobile phone service providers who give non-customers free stuff but ignore their existing customers? Or Netflix who rewards their long time customers with crappy selections and provide the recent releases to the newest ones?

With the free money drying up and the mistakes and limitations of the recent wave of spreadsheet smartie pants becoming more and more obvious, I expect this too to change as will our expectations for consumption.

Feb 24, 2009 10:29 AM
rating: 1
 
Drew Miller

There is probably a market inefficiency to be exploited here. If it is true that nobody cares about customer loyalty, being the one team that DID care about customer loyalty might produce an advantage, if leveraged correctly.

Feb 24, 2009 15:25 PM
rating: 0
 
Bogomil

This item illustrates how a team can afford to pay out 3 of the top 6 contracts in 2009 and 5 of the top 10 in 2008. That's fine, they're entitled to compete under the rules, but fans of the teams that lost their star players in free agency to the Yankees aren't going to deliver the sympathy you're looking for.

The fans crushed over their team's prospects when they lost their stars: Texeira, CC, Chuck Knoblach, Giambi, Carl Pavano, Johnny Damon, Abreu and on and on and on are going to delight in your discomfort and in signings like Kei Ikagaw, Jose Contreras, Pavano, etc.

As an aside, instead of the Yankees, can we call them the "Hessians"? A mercenary seems more appropriate than a home grown patriot.

Feb 24, 2009 10:40 AM
rating: 0
 
eighteen

I got news for you, Jay: The Cubs are already doing the same thing to their fan base, without bothering to tear down the POS that is Wrigley Field. At least you get screwed because of a new stadium - Cubs fans just get screwed.

No, I'm not a Cubs fan.

Feb 24, 2009 10:44 AM
rating: -1
 
Erik Nagel

I'm not sure where you get this from. The annual price increase was happily gobbled up as soon as tickets went on sale, and their season ticket office are communicating with ticketholders on a regular basis for the first time in years.

Feb 24, 2009 14:22 PM
rating: 1
 
Ryan V.

I'm a Red Sox fan, and yet even I find myself outraged by this. In the past, I've found myself the target of many an insufferable Yankee fan and their braindead "1918" chants. However, NO fan base should ever be subjected to this type of shoddy treatment. You would think that MLB teams would realize that it's the fans that pay the bills and treat them accordingly, rather than with the contempt that seems evident here.

My sympathies. I may hate the Yankees, but their fans don't deserve this.

Feb 24, 2009 10:46 AM
rating: 5
 
Bogomil

I'm more outraged by the lack of an index in BP, The Book. We subscribers pay the bills and should be treated accordingly.

(I kid. Frankly, we don't pay nearly enough for the BP products. The book and online subscription are way underpriced; they should cap online subscriptions and auction them.)

Feb 24, 2009 11:02 AM
rating: 0
 
destro55

If you don't like it, don't buy them. Thats solves the problem on multiple levels and makes your statement louder than any article could.

I mean, Boston fans have been getting the shaft for years, but they dont complain much because they simply cant get any tickets, ever.

Feb 24, 2009 11:04 AM
rating: 3
 
wilbrahambasebal

so true, Boston has had the highest ticket prices in baseball for a while. Really all of this is just a sham

Feb 26, 2009 11:10 AM
rating: 0
 
destro55

Also Bogomil, this is not how the Yankees afford a high payroll, that doesn't even make sense. They afford a high payroll by being a wildly popular brand, largely in part because they win quite a bit.

Feb 24, 2009 11:05 AM
rating: 0
 
ZeusIsLoose

As a cub fan with a share of a partial season ticket package, I fear this day is coming for me too. I started buying the "night and weekend games" plan back in 1999. In the ten years the price per ticket has doubled, the number of games has also increased, the total cost has just about tripled.

Now with new owners coming in, I'm dreading the time when the team decides they can go to their backlog of people waiting for season tickets and end the partial plan. Or sells PSLs. Or some other way they are going to try and soak me out of some more cash.


Feb 24, 2009 11:16 AM
rating: 0
 
Eusebio

Is the "relocation program' for re-education?

Is that a memo from Chairman Mao?

Feb 24, 2009 11:29 AM
rating: 0
 
nationalcoholic

On the other side of the table, I let my Nationals season tickets go because both prices and demand went down so much that I know I can walk to the stadium 20 times a year and see them for less than I would have paid.

Feb 24, 2009 11:38 AM
rating: 1
 
Bob

I don't know if they still do this given the legalization of scalping, but Camden Yards always had a "no scalping zone," in which anyone could buy or sell tickets for face value or less. I used to always be able to find great seats there, often at less than face value.

Feb 24, 2009 14:16 PM
rating: 0
 
Rob_in_CT

I haven't gone to a game in years. I used to go once per season to see a Yanks-Sox game. But it was getting harder and harder to get tickets. Given the hassle of getting to/from the Stadium (I'm in central CT), I stopped going. I'd rather watch on YES... even if it means listening to Michael Kay.

This makes me less likely to bother going in person.

Feb 24, 2009 11:42 AM
rating: 1
 
SC

Of course both Boston and Chicago will replace their parks with much larger stadia, likely minimizing the impact of the move on existing season ticket holders.

Feb 24, 2009 12:07 PM
rating: -1
 
Matt Kory

I'm not sure why it's a forgone conclusion that both of those will be replaced. Many old non-stadia buildings are preserved long past the roughly 100 years of age of both Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. Both receive lots of use, but I'm not sure why that means they'll both be destroyed in the foreseeable future.

Feb 24, 2009 12:58 PM
rating: 1
 
jamesanyc

Not to worry. By 2010, the state of the economy will ensure that the Yanks don't get near 4mm attendees and season ticket holders will be dropping like flies. You'll be back in good seats in 2011. Just watch the YES network for awhile and save that money.

Feb 24, 2009 12:11 PM
rating: 1
 
billm21

As I read the memo from the Yankees ticket office, I couldn't help but think that George Costanza is back working in the front office. He was typing that memo between bites of calzone.

Feb 24, 2009 12:16 PM
rating: 15
 
sandyk

Brilliant! Thank you for the laugh!

Feb 24, 2009 16:49 PM
rating: 0
 
scareduck

And at this exact moment -- why, I'm grateful to be an Angels fan. Thank you, Arte, for never being a jerk.

Feb 24, 2009 13:36 PM
rating: -1
 
GBSimons

Well, maybe not quite never. "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?" That's once right there.

Feb 24, 2009 13:58 PM
rating: 2
 
scareduck

In fact, the silly, legalistic name is a perfect example of why Arte's a great owner. Ridiculous? Of course, but the point was to meet a legal requirement (the name Anaheim had to fit into the team's name somewhere) while impressing on potential advertisers that the team played in the Los Angeles market, the second biggest TV market in the country. That focus -- extracting money from advertisers rather than directly with ticket prices -- helps to keep Angels tickets one of the best values in the majors if not all of sports. Not only is Arte a good owner, he's a shrewd one, too.

Feb 24, 2009 14:45 PM
rating: 0
 
eighteen

Yeah, just look at those Matthews and Hunter contracts. Shrewd.

Feb 25, 2009 07:53 AM
rating: -1
 
Karl Barth

Living in Philly, we know the experience of Jay and Yankee fans. Our new ballpark was an excuse for the Phils to gouge us massively. Every ticket went up at least $5 that first year. And the way they allocated the seats, well, let's just say they didn't handle it particularly well.

And now that they actually won, we all know that the new tickets will be crazy expensive. Everyone expects at least another $5/ticket bump.

So I feel your pain. It really is ridiculous and I hope the Yanks draw about half the fans of last year.

Fwiw, I am glad Yankee Stadium was torn down. It looked every bit of its age, even where it had been spiffed up. And frankly, the revamp back in nineteen-seventy-whatever was an abomination. I got to see one game in Old Yankee and it was amazing compared to what just got torn down, imo. So good riddance to that. I hope Citi Field (such a time honored name, eh?) is at least an enjoyable place to see a game. Assuming you can find a seat that isn't $85 for an obstructed view.

Feb 24, 2009 13:57 PM
rating: 0
 
gjgross

KBarth- My Phillies' season tickets went up $2 per ticket. I think it was a $2 increase for every price level

Feb 24, 2009 19:06 PM
rating: 0
 
repeater

This is only one of many slights and abuses that make me wish I'd grown up a fan of a different team. Though that run up to the millenium continues to go a long way.

Feb 24, 2009 14:39 PM
rating: 0
 
Drew Miller

There's always streaming video of baseball games that you can get online, of any team, from anywhere.

Feb 24, 2009 15:30 PM
rating: 0
 
jafessenden

For all the empty rhetoric about baseball being America's game, the game of the middle class et. all, it's amazing these are the people being priced out of attending ballgames.

Given our economic climate, I find it ironic that people in the 30's find money and time to attend ballgames as a diversion from the hardships of everyday life. (Despite the overall decline in attendance, MLB did well given the economy at the time.) Where will they go in today's economic recession? Certainly not Yankee Stadium.

If there's one thing I can't complain about when it comes to the Red Sox, is the owners committment to keep some seats affordable and to make as many tickets availble to as many fans as possible.

Feb 24, 2009 15:01 PM
rating: 0
 
Dan Malkiel

The notion that teams can maximize revenue by charging as much for tickets as the market will bear is myopic. Teams make most of their money not from ticket sales, but from TV contracts, merchandising, etc. By pricing out all but the rich, the Yankees risk alienating a large segment of their fan base and losing money on these other fronts.

Feb 24, 2009 15:03 PM
rating: 2
 
Drew Miller

They're pricing out the fans in the same way that they priced out other teams on free agents.

This is going to be negatively rated, but I couldn't resist.

Feb 24, 2009 15:17 PM
rating: 1
 
Drew Miller

Charging $85 for those seats is highway robbery, and will likely *still* be highway robbery ten years from now. The same seats in the smaller, perpetually-sold-out Fenway Park are about half that.

Feb 24, 2009 15:16 PM
rating: 1
 
Hendo

C'mon down to Nats Park, Jay. Decent seats here are apt to stay relatively affordable for awhile. (After Bowden goes, look out. :) )

Feb 24, 2009 17:43 PM
rating: 0
 
shmikdog

Let me get this straight. You root for the Evil Empire, yet you're surprised that your new ballpark is... an evil ballpark? [looks at camera, puts pinky finger to lower lip]

Sorry, couldn't resist... though my point stands.

Feb 24, 2009 19:15 PM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

Surprised? No. Read what I wrote last September about the demise of Yankee Stadium II. This is a not altogether unanticipated data point which only confirms the suspicions that I and many others had about the transition to the new ballpark.

Feb 25, 2009 10:20 AM
 
saigonsam

Sports teams don't care about the fans because they sell the majority of the high priced ticket packages to Corporations, who then deduct the expense from their corporate income tax. So, in some ways you are actually subsidizing the higher ticket prices without any of the benfits.

Feb 25, 2009 01:02 AM
rating: 1
 
IAPiratesFan

Move to Pittsburgh, become Pirates fans. That'll make it really easy to get cheap season tickets where ever the heck you like, there are full season ticket plans that charge $4.93 per seat. It's amazing how low the ticket prices are when nobody likes or cares about your team, besides about 10,000 loyal fans. You'll have to put with some really bad baseball, but hey, great seats for less than 10% of the foul pole section there.

As much as I don't like the Yankees, this treatment is just terrible. Why didn't they make the new Yankee Stadium bigger? Put even more butts in the seats? I figure since they're selling so well these days that they'd expand to 60,000 or 65,000. Instead they shrunk the ballpark and now are charging the difference in lost attendance. Oh well, that's Major League Baseball for ya.

Feb 25, 2009 05:29 AM
rating: 1
 
eighteen

Maximizing revenue doesn't necessarily mean maximizing attendance. The Yanks didn't just pull the new stadium's capacity out of a hat. The economic models they used no doubt showed decreased supply of seats wouldn't adversely affect ticket demand. Whether that assumption holds up over time will be interesting to see.

Feb 25, 2009 08:00 AM
rating: 0
 
eighteen

Oops, meant to say decreased seat supply would increase ticket demand and revenues.

Feb 25, 2009 08:03 AM
rating: 0
 
jafessenden

Part of what you have to consider too, is that the season tickets holder are more likely to keep their tickets when the team goes into the tank.

What's more valuable, maximizing profit when you can (i.e. when the team is winning.) Or helping to ensure a steady revenue stream even when the team stinks?

Feb 25, 2009 08:44 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

At least they didn't charge you a service fee for reassigning your seats, nor a convenience fee for placing your seats behind a protective barrier like a foul pole.

Feb 25, 2009 07:58 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

To say nothing of the truncheon fee which I still half-expect to be added on when the overzealous security notices I'm not singing along with the requisite patriotism to "God Bless America."

Feb 25, 2009 10:15 AM
 
lynchjm

Hopefully this becomes the final straw in stadium construction. Why would any governement waste government funds for something so clearly foolish.

Feb 25, 2009 11:12 AM
rating: 2
 
lynchjm

Also, perhaps finally some of the more stringent and militant Yankee fans with their lingo of 'us' and 'we', will finally realize that the team does not care about them in any way except from a financial standpoint. Is it worth fighting with Red Sox fans in the stands over a team that cares so little about you?

Feb 25, 2009 11:15 AM
rating: 2
 
Jared Cross
(694)

On this related topic, does anyone know when Yankees single-game tickets come on sale??

Feb 25, 2009 20:24 PM
rating: 0
 
LyleCox

have some Indians vs rays tickets in May- 8th row behind the dugout at progressive field face price is $19.53.

Apr 16, 2009 11:51 AM
rating: 0
 
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