A new Stadium, but at what cost?

Kevin Reese is back with the Yanks
Pictures from an exhibition

newyankeestadiumseats.jpg

Premium seats, marked in yellow, will sell for a pretty penny at the New Yankee Stadium.

Earlier this week, the Yankees launched a new Web site detailing seating options at the New Yankee Stadium. Welcome to Yankees Premium, the Web site says. The pages within hold “an exclusive experience for those with discerning tastes who seek the very best that life has to offer.”

What this flashy flash introduction neglects to tell the unsuspecting viewer is that this an exclusive experience for those with very deep pockets as well. But is anyone really surprised?

For the Yankees, this new stadium isn’t about necessity, and it sure wasn’t about history. Say what you will about the renovations in the 1970s, but Yankee Stadium, man, it has some history. It had Gehrig and Ruth and DiMaggio and Mantle and Reggie and Mattingly and the late 1990s. Sure, the concourses were a bit narrow, but if the Red Sox can eke our more seats in Fenway, the Yanks could have found a way to make their current stadium more hospitable for the 4.2 million fans who made the pilgrimage up the Bronx last year. They could have improved the food offerings and renovated the bathrooms.

But that would have left the Yankees right where they are now: with too few options to sell premium seats and too few options to milk money out of the luxury-box cash cows that ring more modern stadiums. They could have made Yankee Stadium nicer, but they couldn’t retrofit it with the proper money-making amenities.

Now, at this point, regular readers may just roll their eyes. “There goes Ben. He’s off on one of his anti-new Yankee Stadium rants,” the thinking goes. But wait. That flashy Web site the Yankees have put together is a treasure trove of information that proves my point, and the ones who are going to lose out when this new stadium opens are you and me, the obsessed fan who isn’t backed by Corporate America.

Last week, when I posted on the recently-spiking top ticket prices at Yankee Stadium, the unspoken conclusion was “watch out.” If you think ticket prices at Yankee Stadium are bad this year, wait until next year when the action moves across the street.

Now, draw your attention to the diagram at the top of this post. Those yellow bands are all a part of the new Yankee Stadium premium seating experience. I am dismayed to note that those yellow bands include my Tier Reserve seats right behind home plate. At the old Stadium, those are the best seats in the house. The seats hang low behind the plate, and the view from foul pole to foul pole is expansive.

At the new Yankee Stadium, those seats are a part of the Terrace Level Outdoor Suite, and prices are going to start at $100 per seat per game. Remember when those used to cost $30 in the late 1990s? Those were the days.

For that $100 price tag, guests of the Yankees will enjoy myriad services during their “seating experience” (the Yanks’ words; not mine). Fans will have access to a climate-controlled indoor lounge with private restrooms, HD TVs, food and a four-sided bar. Need I mention that there are 1300 of those seats? You do the math.

Meanwhile, on the lower levels, the Main Level Outdoor Suite, designated by the middle yellow band above, will occupy 1200 of the choicest seats. This time, guests who shell out at least $350 per seat per game will get access to their own lounge with the same amenities as the Terrace Level folks plus an espresso bar. Also available will be “a generous menu selection, featuring savory ethnic cuisine, traditional ballpark fare and made-to-order brick oven pizza, continues to underscore this world-class experience.”

Finally, we arrive at the field level boxes, now known as the Legends Suite. For a starting price of $500 per seat per game, you can enjoy field-level views from one of 1800 seats — with teak arms — that ring the field and dugouts. And what else do you get for the money? “You will delight in the premium amenities, including cushioned seats with teak arms, in-seat wait service, concierge services, private restrooms and a delectable selection of all-inclusive food and beverages. Exclusive access to the bi-level Legends Suite Club and two Legends Suite Dugout Lounges, helps make the Legends Suite the most coveted ticket in sports,” the Yanks say.

So outside of the new 74-seat, $700-per seat per game Club Suite section, now we know how the Yankees are going to repurpose and remarket some of the best seats in the house. And unsurprisingly, this new Stadium really is all about the money.

I hate to ring bells of doom and gloom, but I fear for the ability to go to games. There’s nothing better than heading up to a Yankee game on a warm summer afternoon to watch the Bombers play. But when the new Stadium opens in little more than a year, it will turn from a game to “an experience.” While these premium seats account for 4300 seats, that still leaves around 48,000 more for the rest of us, but the ticket prices, if these early warning signs are any indication, will be astronomical. The bleacher seats will sell for $20 or more, and the prices for the good seats — those not snatched up by season-ticket holders and the corporate accounts the Yankees will court — will make it next to impossible for anyone on a budget to go to more than a few per season.

The Yankees will get their $1.2 billion stadium. It will be fancy and luxurious. But at what cost to the rest of us?

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Kevin Reese is back with the Yanks
Pictures from an exhibition
  • mooks

    I’m going to guess you can only purchase these under a season plan….ala you ain’t going to be able to buy these tickets for just one game or for some kind of partial season package.

    Would have been nice if that was possible, I could have saved some money up for one of those special moments in the season type of things.

  • Sean O’Kane

    wonderful post, as sad as it is. this just adds to the b.s. of the 53,000 “capacity” they are already throwing at us.
    It’s sad to see that with all the social progress we’ve made in the last century, we are going to be right back in the same situation we started in – the rich get to see every game, and everyone else has to go to leaps and bounds to swing one, maybe two games.

  • Rusty John

    I’m not concerned- if it is too expensive then they won’t sell any tickets and the prices will have to be readjusted. Likewise, revenue they make on tickets may be offset by losses in food/beverages from folks not being able to afford both. They are basically hoping that the team keeps winning, which is never guaranteed- all it takes is some meddling by Hank, a couple of injuries, and we have plenty of seats just like in the days of Andy Hawkins and Tim Leary. Very few teams can get away with a pricing scheme like this-baseball is just not setup to be sold like the NBA or NFL when it comes to ticket prices

    • Sean O’Kane

      I don’t buy that idea. There are plenty of people outside every sold out game looking for a way in. and with over 3000 less capacity (even more when you take into account that the 53000 the new stadium touts includes almost 2000 standing room), there is going to be no shortage of demand. I guarantee they wont lower prices because the cost is scaring folks away.
      Imagine how much more they would make if they had ADDED to the capacity and only charged 10 bucks for deep bleacher seats or upper deck. they would sell out a bigger stadium and at no loss.

  • http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~hsac/Blog/ Bobby Swift

    You’re completely ignoring the other side of the coin. The more revenue the Yanks take in, the more they can spend on free agents, international signings, the draft, scouting, training facilities, doctors and trainers, the list goes on and on.

    The same people complaining about price hikes will be rejoicing when the Yanks sign Teixeira and C.C. this offseason. The money has to come from somewhere, and Hal isn’t willing to lose millions per year. I can’t really blame him.

  • Rich

    I am not particularly sentimental about buildings, as opposed to people, so I can accept the fact that the profit motive necessitated that a new stadium had to be built.

    I am angered, however, by the fact that the Yankees (read the Steinbrenners) have been the recipients of taxpayer funded corporate welfare in the construction of the stadium, which has facilitated their compulsion to squeeze every dollar out of their loyal fanbase. It is yet another instance of the corporate class and the political class forming an alliance to further the interests of the few at the expense of the many.

    That pernicious synergy is typified by the president of the Yankees, Randy Levine, who has been able to reap big bucks in the private sector because the Yankee realized that he could exploit the political contacts that he cultivated when he was employed in the public sector in NYC.

    The result is the skewed distribution of opportunities for the average fan to enjoy the benefits of the new stadium, as Ben has articulated so well.

    • Jon W.

      Great post. As much as I may not like it, teams should have the right to charge whatever they want. If we don’t like it, we can simply choose not to go. End of story.

      The problem is the millions of taxpayer dollars the Yankees are getting as subsidies for this stadium. This is just another prime example of self-serving politicians allowing the people they represent to be exploited because it benefits them. Every politician that voted to subsidize this stadium should be voted out of office.

  • JeffG

    I think this is all about the development of NYC… there are a lot of little rich kids young and old and the Yankees are becomming fashion – BS as that may be.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I don’t understand why we keep harping on this. I am a season ticket holder and have been affected by the escalating prices to the point where this year I didn’t think I could afford what the package cost. I am still getting late notices on bills I didn’t pay in January so I could scrape it together. Not everyone who is a season ticket holder is rich and I got my package when it was very affordable and can’t see letting it go now. I am doing what it takes to keep it because seniority means something when you’re a season ticket holder (ability to upgrade etc).

    I received a letter from the Yankees yesterday saying that there is no guarantee what your seats will be like in the new stadium. And I’ve had my seats for 7 years and I love them. I am just to the left of “luxury” seating and I have a feeling I’m getting bounced by the new configuration.

    But over the years I have heard fans do nothing but complain that Yankee Stadium was falling apart, was a piece of crap, didn’t shine like other stadiums….and I also heard people complain that the stadium was going to be moved to Manhattan or New Jersey. They also worried that it was going to be renamed Dunkin Donuts Field or some crap like that.

    So they built a new one, it’s called Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx, next to hallowed ground and it is what it is. I don’t think the constant complaining is going to change anything and is going to make me enjoy this season less and less.

    I just can’t keep worrying about things I can’t change.

    • Jeff

      That is exactly what I’m talking about… You or I can’t affort the seats you have enjoyed and in a couple of years some little brat that couldn’t tell you who plays right field will be sitting where the real fans used to be… just so they can say I went to the Yankee game last night as their friend asks where were your sitting.

  • http://riveraveblues.com JimT

    This a bit off topic, but I have a question. Looking at the picture posted it apears that the field will be symmetrical. Will the new Yankee stadium not have a short right field? Just curious.

    • TurnTwo

      from what i heard, the field dimensions will be exactly the same as they are right now…

      there was an idea out there that the yankees were going to amend the LF dimensions to give ARod a shorter porch from which to launch HRs over, but it seems as though they will not do that.

  • TurnTwo

    i really dont go to more than 3-5 games a year right now anyway, and i usually buy my tickets thru stubhub, so none of this particularly irks me. all i know is that when i do go to a game, i’ll have a more comfortable seat, and hopefully some better food options.

    but i can understand why someone who is an average fan would feel jobbed by this whole new stadium deal. it certainly does reak of a money grab, but for as much money as the Steinbrenners have put into the team, and the product they’ve given me through my lifetime, I can’t really argue.

  • coltrane74

    Is it just me, or is the team possibly overdoing this a bit? I mean, I go to a game to watch the game. not to have access to an espresso bar. A lot of these add-ons are nice but seems like overkill to me. The little Bob Costas in me also worries a little about tradition and how these uber-premium seats effect the game overall. Way beyond peanuts & cracker jacks at this point.

  • beantownbosoxh8er

    Sounds like fenway pricing but that place is not “fancy and luxurious”

  • marc

    Ben,
    Isn’t this what its always been about… didn’t Jacob Ruppert buy the team as a way to make money off of his brewing company? he saw that winners attracted fans, fans bought his merchandise and so he continued to pour money into a winning product… I don’t see why its so wrong for them to this. in fact, they should, who wouldn’t wanna take advantage of such an oppurtunity… but i’m one of the few who sometimes prefers a few friends, a bbq and a big hdtv to the trek that is to go to a game.. i mean, i go to my 10 or so a season (usually bleachers) because theres nothing like being there but i enjoy the HD experience, the lack of hassle, etc. I for one am excited about the new digs.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      “in fact, they should, who wouldn’t wanna take advantage of such an oppurtunity”

      People who realize there is more to life than generating profits.

  • GPM

    LOL @ Rich differentiating between the coporate and political classes.

  • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com/ Bruno

    TurnTwo, I’m in the same boat you are. However, we might have better food options but if a beer costs $6 now just imagine what it’ll be next year: $8,9?

    Ben, any info on how astronomical All-Star Game or Home Run Derby tickets will be this year?

    http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com/

    • TurnTwo

      if i’m willing to spend $7.25 for a beer, am i really going to make a big stink about a .75 increase to $8 a beer? idk about you, but i’m just not going to.

      i’m already going into the game knowing its going to cost me a lot of money to go to the game, so if i wind up spending an extra $10 bucks, it is what it is.

      to me, it’s like driving to the gas station across town because they have gas at $3.05 instead of the gas station that is right next to my house which is selling at $3.10. Sure, at face value i’m saving 5 cents a gallon; but at the end of the fill-up, am i really going to go out of my way to save 50 cents? after wasting money on other BS things i spend money on, i just cant make that big a deal out of it.

      • usty

        Where were these special 7.25 beers last year? The 16 oz were 8.25 and a big draught was $9.00. I figured we’re looking at 8.75 and 9.50 this year.

  • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com/ Bruno

    P.S.

    I remember when bleacher seats were $5

  • mustang

    Really, what did everyone think was going to happen. The Yankees are out to make money period !!!! What it amounts to is about 4,500 seats that I would never be in anyway. Old or new. If this is the cost of a upgrade for the rest of the stadium so be it. I have been to 6 of the new stadium in league and every-time I go back to Yankees Stadium I realize what we are missing. I’m all for tradition, but it’s time to move on.

  • pete c.

    I didn’t read all the posts yet, but I gotta say this, how can you tear down a building where you won 26 championships. Even Boston got that right.

    • TurnTwo

      you obviously havent been to many new stadium around the league… tradition is great, but comfort for the fan in the stands is priceless.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Think about what you’re replacing. I’ve been to nearly all of the new stadiums around the league. Some are great, and others are boring cookie-cutter “new stadium” stadiums. Luxurious comfort does not trump history, and with a few changes, the Yanks could have renovated the current Yankee Stadium to make it more comfortable.

        • Yankee Fan in Chicago

          All you’re replacing is a stadium essentially built in 1975. Big deal. I like what Yogi said when asked about, something along the lines of, “this [the current stadium] is not the place I played in.”

        • TurnTwo

          in the end, you’re replacing dirt and concrete with new dirt and new concrete… i agree with some of the other posters… i’m not very sentimental about buildings. it wasnt the building that won the championships, it was the teams, and even with the old, renovated stadium gone, you can still celebrate the players who won those championships in the new stadium.

          if you want to gripe about the plans for some random park that will take the new stadium’s place, I could understand that to some degree…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            That’s a matter of perspective.

            But I think you’re missing the overall point of this post. I’m resigned to the end of the building. The point is that it’s going to be very expensive to see the Yankees play in their new digs. That was the motivating factor behind building a new stadium and not some belief that Yankee Stadium was outdated.

  • AndrewYF

    The Yankees are a premium team. They’ve been among the best teams in baseball for 14 straight years, and that trend looks to continue for another 14 years. I know no one likes to pay more money, but seriously, if you don’t want to pay up, go watch another team play. To watch the most consistently good team in baseball costs the most. What a horrible thing!

    Bottom line, the Yankees are a business, and like it or not, business is booming. For them to charge less than they can would be bad business. If you want to watch a team that’s cheap to see, go watch the Twins. To see the best, you simply have to pay the most. And those are the undeniable facts.

    Plus, bleacher seats are a great bargain. I’ve heard that they’re going to be even more recessed, and some tier seats are going to be placed in front of them, hopefully that is not the case.

  • Steve S

    I have to say this article sounds like an advertisement to me. I love this idea. And yeah while I probably cant afford to do this regularly. I think Id go in with a buddy and spend $700 to get an “experience” like this. Ben, I think you said it, “there is nothing better than….”, I completely agree. And if there is nothing better, then if I can Ill be willing to pay almost any price. Lets just figure out how the Knicks charge what they do for floor seats, and people still pay for them. As for the Yankees, I love going to the stadium, but Im also pretty content and comfortable watching the game from home. Its established the stadium is going to be glitzy and meant to attract the corporate demographic. Doesnt mean that anything is changing about the nine guys on the field.

  • http://sverlyn@gmail.com ieddyi

    “[i]skewed distribution of opportunities for the average fan to enjoy the benefits of the new stadium,[/i]”

    Unless there are requirements for buying tix other than having the money, I don’t see that

    Who is going to determine what a “fair” array of ticket prices “should” be better than the free market place?

  • ctkaiser

    Nobody wants to see a shrine disppear but anybody who goes to games on a regular basis knows how tough it is just to walk around the Stadium when it is sold out, which is most of of the time now. I have my Saturday ticket plan that puts me in the main level reserved looking out at first base. Not a bad deal for $70 a ticket for 12 games (up from $61 last year). What I now realize from looking at the highlighted picture of the Stadium is that this view I have will be history after this year. Many of these field box seats (highlighted) are company owned. As these people decide if they can afford these seats or go to cheaper seats, chances are my seats will be further away. My neighbor at Yankee games had predicted $100 for our seat location at the new Stadium. Well, they might be $100 but I might not have the opportunity to be in them. I will enjoy this year. Probably the real tragedy in all of this is that apparently little if anything is being considered to honor the present Stadium site. It’s called “progress.” Do you think anybody will bid for naming rights to an old Stadium site?

  • wayne’s world

    The real cost of this will be realized in a generation when a new crew of young people move into adulthood without the experience of having spent large portions of their childhood summers in the stands at Yankee Stadium….the professional game of baseball will simply not own their hearts and minds as it does with so many of you who have posted here. Attending a game will be a precious experience, available to a small slice of people. The generation which comes of age under those conditions will simply not have the same passion for, and commitment to, the professional sport. It will not be a way of life for them and its hold on the culture will diminish. Rock concerts (which young people cannot afford) have already started down this path; basketball has long since gone down it; now baseball teams that price their product as the Yankees will are headed there. The economic impact will be felt in myriad ways beyond the confines of the ballpark–from merchandising to broadcast revenues. The seats in the stadium are only one part of a much bigger revenue picture.

  • pounder

    Wait until the price madness hits the airwaves and Cablevison and Dtv,use the YES channel to pump up their profits! Oh well,at least they stayed in the Bronx.

  • Ed

    The stadium isn’t being subsidized. The Yankees are paying for it.

    The city chose to build the parking garage with the stipulation that they would get all the money generated from it. The Yankees would’ve preferred to build it themselves and keep the money.

    The city is also paying to build a new train station nearby. There’s nothing abnormal or wrong about that. It’s the city’s responsibility to do things like that. Mass transit to the stadium wasn’t great before. Even with the new stadium, getting there from Jersey (where a huge portion of the fans come from) still won’t be great, so they could’ve done better.

    About the only benefit the Yankees got that was somewhat sketchy was the approval of the project and the acquiring of land was rushed through without much chance for opposition.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Ed, We’ve gone over this numerous times. From publicly-available totals, it’s possible to see how public organizations are picking up nearly $800 million worth of the construction costs while the Yankees are picking up about $350 million with private developers covering the difference. That includes all facets of this project from construction bonds to parking garages that largely benefit only the Yankees to a Metro-North stop that does include some community benefits as well.

      The Yankees are not picking up most of the tab here.

    • wayne’s world

      I believe the Yankees are getting ridiculous tax abatements for years that will ultimately equal the costs of constructing the new ballpark. So, the public is paying for this ballpark. And don’t tell me we needed to give those tax incentives to the Yankees. They weren’t going anywhere

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  • mike

    Let the market work as it should, and if 50,000 people wish to pay for that entertainment, then they will. If a ballgame becomes like Broadway – you pay for a relativley scripted but unique performance each night for about $100.00 apiece and have to add food and parking to the total – and you only go once a month, well then so be it.
    I remember the flip side of the coin – when tix were relatively cheaper than today, and yet the park had 25,000 people for a Yankee/Sox game, and the people were screaming to sign Bonds, Maddux etc and Big George was threatening to go to Jersey. well, what happened – we signed our ARod/Mussina/Giambi/Jeter/Posada, became a dynasty ( as defined by being a competitive franchise every year) and have a Palace to play every night. If I have to go to only 1/2 as many games over the next few years, but we have an incredbile team with star players, and each game I go to I can enjoy a few hours of Camden-like experience instead of getting stepped on at a bowling alley and drinking beer out of a garbage pail – I (and most of the rest of civilization) will sign in a heartbeat. This is the bet the Yanks (and Goldman Sachs) made, and they have made another smart move.

  • ceciguante

    all this website marketing-speak BS that ben quoted is nauseating. if everything is about the bottom line, it’s clear that there will soon be nothing egalitarian left about baseball in the bronx. “come, rich folk! you can have ESPRESSO on TEAK ARMRESTS, and escape the uncomfortable field for an EXCLUSIVE LOUNGE with FLAT SCREEN TVs!!”

    that’s not baseball. that’s the death of baseball culture. that’s some insipid notion of “luxury” invented by some jackass w/ a marketing degree. i remember my first trip to the revolutionary camden yards, and thinking how plastic and manufactured it was. all orange cable knit sweaters and designer handbag stands, packed with fans listening to the game on earphones, wearing only new merchandise. and now the yanks are copying that instead of surpassing it. they’re becoming a bad museum of their former self.

    • mike

      I agree the baseball culture will be changed again- but that “culture ” died a long time ago – with people acting like idiots at the game, vulgarity, disrespect of the national anthem, no day games or double-headers, needing an amex to get reasonable tickets, $20.00 parking in a parking lot, noise at every second when the ball is not in play, YMCA idiots raking the field, million-dollar athletes/merecnaries up-and-down the roster, $50.00 autographs at a tradeshow etc. Thse of us looking “back” to the good-old-days when we were younger would have our parents flipping over in their grave with the cursing where you cannot take a kid to a game – if they do not fall asleep at first pitch – or $20.00 yearbooks!!

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

        You forgot the insufferable Cotton Eye Joey.

  • Sean

    The Yankees aren’t raising ticket prices next year. They raised them this year so that they didn’t have to do it next year. This has already been discussed 1000 times.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Are you serious? That’s just not true at all. They raise ticket prices every year, and as this material from the Yanks shows, they’re already planning on a significant bump in ticket prices for 2009.

      Where did you come up with the supposed rumor that they aren’t raising prices next year? There’s no substance behind that.

  • Robert

    I am not one of those guys who buys into the “tradition” angle that so many people do. It’s a stadium. It’s a building. The building didn’t win championships. Players are the ones who win the championships. I’d guess that the majority of people who go see Yankee games are there because they want to see the team play, not because they are at Yankee Stadium. I for one am there to see the team, not the stadium. After seeing Monument Park what else is there to see at the stadium? I could care less if the team plays in a field out in the middle of nowhere. I’ll go see them there or where ever.

    It’s a nice concept that I think Ben is trying to get across that it shouldn’t be about the money and all of that. Well that’s a dying mentality in this day and age. Businesses, and yes sports franchises are businesses, are out to make money. I am not going to get all mad that the Yankees are going to have expensive seats in their new stadium. That is their right and they are allowed to do it so they are going to do it. This team is going to still sell out the games and I’m sure that they will still get enough of those “real” fans to make the game enjoyable in the stands. People are going to go if they have the money regardless. It’s what makes fans fans…..the dedication.

    Personally, I like just sitting in the comforts of my own home watching the games in high definition, with a BBQ or some other food choice with friends and family. I’ll go to a few games a year and that’s all I need.

  • Josh

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. Not only is this new stadium being constructed at the cost of building that should be given historical landmark status, it is going to prevent the die hard, regular fans from being able to go to the games. In the future, the atmosphere of the stadium(even in the bleachers) may suffer because rather than having the rowdy fans you will only have the rich in the the stadium. The moment plans for a new stadium was discussed I was disgusted because Yankee Stadium is The Stadium, I don’t care that this new stadium will be more comfortable and more esthetically pleasing, it will never be Yankee Stadium. Even on TV you won’t be able to hear Bobby Murcer or other broadcasters comparing an Arod homer to a Mantle homer or a legendary Ruth bomb. I’m not going to be ridiculous like some people I know and say ” I’m going to boycott” but thinking about Yankee Stadium being torn down just makes me a little sick.

  • barry

    Back in the good ol’ days people may of tried a boycott, but is that even possible now and are people willing to try it?

  • Ban Bud

    Concerned about high prices? Might I remind you that the “temporary” Commissioner of Baseball, one Bolshevik Bud Selig, has created a series of welfare boondoggles for the benefit of his wealthy pals that penalize the Yankee franchise to the tune of nearly $100 million annually?

    Someone just needs to get down to brass tacks and ask the Young Steinbrenners a simple question – if all of these confiscatory “revenue stealing” scams were immediately ceased, how much would you drop ticket prices? It seems that Yankee fans are starting to realize the obvious truth – all of that free money Bolshevik Bud has been spreading around hasn’t really been free after all.

  • Travis

    I agree completely with Ben’s original post and Coltrane74’s commentary. Ugh. I don’t want “an experience.” I want to watch a baseball game. And I don’t want to have to pay $300 to do it.

    Ben, you mentioned you’ve been to almost all of the stadiums. What are your favorite five in terms of atmosphere, comfort, and the ability to watch a game, not have “an experience?”

  • Jeterismyhomeboy

    As a native New Yorker, all this does is make me shrug. Honestly, NYC is not for poor people anymore, or even middle class ones. My home in Brooklyn is being saturated with such a high amount of high priced apartments and condos that I wonder if the world has enough rich people to sustain the market. 250K for a 1 bedroom, $3500 rents, no brownstones being sold for less than 1.2 million dollars in western and central Brooklyn. The neighborhood I grew up in and my father grew up in is now so rich, if you’re not making 150 grand, I don’t know how you can live there. That Yankee Stadium is being re-tooled for the uber rich is no surprise to me. It’s following the trend of this city, where few can live without being flush with wealth.

    While it’s sad that average fans have been priced out, it will continue to happen as they’re situated in an area that prices out average people. They aren’t trying to price out average fans because they hate us, they’re trying to raise ticket prices because there are rich investment banker morons who will pay it, and those are the only people within striking distance of Yankee Stadium these days. A nice losing season or two, and suddenly, it won’t be cool to be seen at a Yankee game, and they’ll all go back to being “seen” at fashion shows or charity events or whatever they do with their insipid lives.*

    It’s not particularly fair, but it’s a free market economy, so the rich will always have privileges over everyone else. That’s how it works. The good news is that free market means anyone can become rich and the rich can always become poor.

    *To be fair, there are plenty of rich people who do truly love the game and are paying for those seats because they want the best views, not because they are insipid and want to be “seen” there. Not everyone who can afford $500 bucks to see a game has no idea who plays in RF. Example: Warren Buffet.

  • Rusty John

    The espresso bar and other amenitiescome in very handy when your team sucks- so, if the Yankees blow you can at least buy some cheap(er)seats and enjoy a nice facility- we call that the Safeco Field effect here in Seattle.

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  • Neil

    With the Stadium configured as is, the team can afford to have the highest payroll in baseball by a margin of $50m – are people genuinely arguing that the move is needed so the Yankees can afford to compete for top free agents? Seriously?

    Like Ben, I have season tickets in what appears to be destined to be a “premium experience zone” – this year the tickets are effectively $60 a seat, we are not talking about a small jump in prices here – we are talking about a 66% increase.

    You don’t need to feel sorry for us, you may well believe that it will increase your chances of getting those seats next year, but taking a pop at people who think that $100 for seats that are $60 this year is pretty outrageous economics, seems pretty… well, outrageous really. And the better news is that these are packages “starting at $100″, so presumably the center sections, or “premium” games will be in excess of that!

    But I wouldn’t want to be accused of being a cheap or fair weather fan – count me in if that means we can give Pavano a $20m a year extension, Moose a $25m a year extension and Giambi $30m a year extension

  • Ed

    I know. Your numbers for public funding go up each time and are totaled up Hollywood accounting style. Repeating them doesn’t make them right. If you continue to repeat it, I’ll continue to correct it.

    The tax breaks the Yankees are getting here are standard fare for all large construction projects. And with or without them, the Yankees are still writing out something like $800 million worth of checks here.

    The biggest money break the Yankees get from this is that the stadium construction costs get subtracted from the revenue figures used to compute MLB’s revenue sharing. Considering the majority of baseball stadiums are fairly new, most teams have taken advantage of this themselves. This of course has nothing to do with the city, or with the Yankees being subsidized – it’s a break on how much the Yankees have to subsidize everyone else.

  • Flmd

    Whats the big deal…You will be able to see a game in the tier reserved and not pay $100. The seats blocked off in yellow in the third tier are not tier reserved they are Tier MVP. Calm down people.

    The Yankss should be able to raise the prices for those seats…do you have any idea how much money season ticket holders are making when they sell to a broker. They pay off their season tickets and then some.

    Anyone who wants a cheaper seat can get it…go to Craigs list a day before the game.

  • dan

    i’m new to this site (directed here from thebiglead). i read over this post and if my math is correct for the 4 sets of seating mentioned (terrace, level, legends, club)…$123,147,600 over the course of 82 games. i took the other 48,000 seats and just used an average of $50 a ticket, that’s another $197 million. that’s a total of a little under $320 million for the year. if you use an average of $60 per ticket, that’s another $236 million and a total of just under 360 million. insane! this better get them a few champions. i’m a yankee fan, but not a fan of wasting money.