Why are the Yankees building a New Yankee Stadium? To sell luxury suites. Who are the target customers for these luxury suites? Why, folks who would find a showroom for the suites on Fifth Ave. between 50th and 51st Sts. appealing.
According to Charles V. Bagli of The New York Times, the Yankees are set to open their very own Fifth Ave. showroom of sorts in January. The showroom will feature full-sized models of the luxury suites. What better to woe the suits at NBC and Tiffany & Co. who work in the neighborhood. The Cityroom blog has more:
The team just signed a lease at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets, for a showroom for the new 51,000-seat stadium now under construction in the Bronx. When it opens in January, potential buyers will be able to walk into a series of plush models of the 57 luxury suites planned for that stadium, which is rising quickly just to the north of the Yankees’ historic home in the Bronx.
Buyers who visit the showroom on the 32nd floor will also get the opportunity to test out a few of the 5,000 to 10,000 wider, more thickly cushioned premium seats that will also go on sale when the stadium opens, presumably for the 2009 season. Premium seats, naturally, have the some of the best views of the action on the field.
Currently, luxury suites at Yankee Stadium sell from $2,8000 to $6,600 a game (or $265,000 to $350,000 for the season). You can bet those prices will head north in a hurry. That is, after all, why the Yankees are building a new stadium and daring to tear down a piece of baseball history.
In the end, I’m not sure if this is more or less disgusting than this pleasant story about Barry Bonds. It certainly is baseball economics on display.