Feb
02

The travails of relocation

By

For the last 12 years, Scott B. and his wife have enjoyed Yankee games from Row A of Section 1 of the Tier Reserve. Located directly behind home plate, these are primo Tier seats, and Scott had hoped for comparable seats at the ballpark.

When his relocation information arrived, he was in a surprise. The Yankees had put him in Section 412, Row 9. Using the seat selector to find those seats reveals a location a few sections away from fair territory down the right field line.

“When I called to express my extreme dissatisfaction,” Scott told me via e-mail today, “no one even looked at my file. They said I should pay it and check in periodically to see if we can switch our seats.”

Bin’s story isn’t an isolated one among Yankee fans, and last week, the Yankees sent a letter to holders of the 41-game plan about the relocation. “Due to overwhelming demand for 41-Game Plans, we strongly suggest that Licensees accept their initial seat assignment. The demand for 41-Game Plans will definitely exceed the available 41-Game Plan seat locations,” the letter said.

It continued: “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.”

Meanwhile, the Yanks’ customer service seems to be handling this with a little bit less than grace and aplomb. “I asked if blocks of 8 seats open up often (semi-sarcastically). No answer,” Scott related. “When I asked if the fact that we’ve had these seats for 12 years meant anything to anyone, he said others were pushed out farther. There ain’t much farther or higher to go. I think [the section] only goes up 15 rows.”

Scott says that the ticket rep he spoke to didn’t offer up much. He didn’t give him the option to buy cheaper or more expensive seats in a different section. He didn’t look up Scott’s file to check on his 12 years of patronage. He just gave off what Scott called a “a basic ‘I have to be courteous but stop bothering me'” attitude.

Opening the new stadium should be a celebratory event. This tale and countless others like just leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
  • The Evil Empire

    Well at least we know there’s a demand for seats. But two thumbs down at the yankee reps, seriously, the guy was a customer for twelve years, where’s the customer relationship you’re supposed to build over time that’ll have them coming back for more?

    • Mo

      Not to be the “one-upper,” but I had was an 11 year B-plan holder of Tier Box MVP seats in Section 606 and was relocated to Section 411. After repeated calls to the Yankees, I was finally informed that any plan holder as of 2008 who had purchased enough seats for even one season was entitled to purchase full-season plans ahead of all those requesting 41-game plans, regardless of seniority. (As if they wouldn’t sell the seats anyway!!!) I was understandably upset and asked why they simply couldn’t have simply assigned a point system, attributing 1 point for every dollar spent continuously up to the end of last year and re-assign in that order. Let’s just say there was no reasonable response. And then I called my rep for the relocation and she said (quote) “What they did to do was disgraceful.” And I know of at least 6 other similar B-Plan holders who have the same issue.

  • Dave

    wow i cant wait to see the seats I am going to get after only eight years of sunday season ticket holding. That is less years and less games – i will probably be either mighty close to the exit or kicked out the door.

    I cant say I am shocked by the news however. When i changed my plan from 3 seats to 2 seats, they tried to knock us back from the first base line to homerun territory and i was also in the teir reserve. We decided against the switch, continues with our three seats and it took us about six years before we finally achieved VERY NICE seats in our seventh season and the same ones in the eighth – third base line in the main section under the awning so its never too hot and we never get rained on. They are pretty ideal after waiting seven years and now, of course, they will kick us out to the curb because we have not had the same seats for 20 something years.

  • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    Impersonal big business strikes again!

    Btw do you mean “travails” as opposed to “trevails”?

    • BJ

      yeah, unless it is some sort of weird pun I am not getting

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

        Typo. Fixed. Thanks.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    oh man I wish I lived in NY. Ill catch 2 games a year if I’m lucky.

    12 year customers should not be moving seats, that’s blasphemy.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I don’t want to defend this but I thought it was clear that those holding the “lesser” packages might not be “accommodated” in the new Stadium. It’s impossible to get your same location even if you upgraded to full season. From what the reps said when I got my seats, pickings were pretty slim at THAT point (months ago).

    • andrew

      But why? Why were pickings slim? Who had first access to those seats? Shouldn’t a guy whos been buying tickets for 12 years have his loyalty honored? Would it have been so hard to give him his seats back? The Yankees still would’ve sold the tickets and made the same amount of money.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        His seats don’t exist anymore. Look at the seating plans of the old and new stadiums. The seats closest to home plate in the lower part of the tier in the new stadium are now premium seating and are at a very different price point than the rest of the tier. This wasn’t the case in the old stadium. Unless ticket-holders in those areas wanted to upgrade, they were moved out of those sections. Not saying it’s right, but that’s what happened and that’s why the pickings were slim.

  • Brian Cashman is watching

    Problem is EVERYONE wants tickets. I rely on Stubhub because many people buy these season plans and just sell the tickets online, jacking up the prices further, leaving the Yankees with no tickets to sell for individual games. We complain about ticket prices, but its not really the team’s fault if people are going to just buy up tickets to sell online. I’ll be honest: I’d rather pay the Yankees $100 than pay some scalper taking advantage of Stubhub charging $100 for tickets for which they paid $12. Small pet peeve.

    That said, lets be honest: the Yankees have always had horrible customer service.

  • MasterShake

    On the subject of tickets, does anyone know if/when individual game tickets will be on sale?

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      Last year, they went on sale on January 31st, should be any time now.

      • Matthew

        I wanna say Hal Steinbrenner said sometime in March, but I could be wrong.

        They just got finished giving out last year’s B-Plans, so they aren’t that close…

  • Matthew

    My Dad has had 4 seats in Section 81, 8 rows back (1b side, by the tarp), 41-game plan for the last 18 yrs. But, because they are in that field level premium section (500 dollars a seat, a night) we got move to the new section 105, row 25 (RF lower level)….

    It sucks, but we can’t do anything about it.

    • The Evil Empire

      How much do those go per game?

    • AMS223

      there are very comparable seats to section 81…they pretty much translate to section 111 (wherei actually have my season tix) which go for 100 a game. Yes that is pricey, but the seats immediately to your left are 500 so its kinda a steal.

      • AMS223

        i just looked at the seat maps again…and the old 81 were a bit closer toward the infield…but its not a drastic difference

        • Matthew

          Yeah, but when the Yanks relocated up, we got pushed out to 105.

          I don’t understand why that premium seat section went so far out…

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    It’s just not right to totally not give a sh*t even if they can’t do anything about it. No one can (or wants to) explain the process. A 12 yr season ticket holder, buyer of jerseys, hats, tshirts, sweatshirts, and anything else, Yankee fan since first grade is treated like a piece of “poop”.

    -Scott B.

    I wonder what the LA Dodgers equivalent of RAB is?….lol

    • Peedlum

      Dodgerblues

  • SVS Yank Fan

    Honestly, I find this hard to believe. I have been a partial season ticket holder for only three years now. I upgraded to the full season plan. I got essentially the same seats together (I have four) that I had in the old stadium.

    I think there is more to this story. Perhaps the guy didn’t fill out his paperwork correctly or on time. There just has to be something that’s causing this besides the Yankees being evil.

    With all due respect to this guy, the Yankees don’t need to give a shit about him or any of us. There are fans lined up to take his place or my place if we don’t accept the seats.

    With regard to scalpers, it’s the fans who drive up the price, not the scalpers. As long as there is a market to sell above face value, scalpers will exist. Moreover, these scalpers also have to purchase all of the tickets, not just the premium games. Look at the prices on stubhub come April and May. I’ve tried to get rid of some of my unneeded tickets in April and May and couldn’t even sell them for $5 on stubhub. Ended up giving them away or selling for $.99 on Ebay. Anyway, the scalpers serve a purpose, otherwise the Yankees would not let them exist.

    • Brian Cashman is watching

      Then wouldn’t it be better for the Yankees to just charge higher prices, and keep the cash for themselves? The Yankees can always lower the price on game day. why charge $25 so a scalper can make $100 when you can make the $100?

      Regardless, I don’t like fans complaining about high ticket prices when we know that the price will only get higher once a scalper gets a ticket.

      • BJ

        They sell tickets in blocks so that the unappealing games that would be sold for $5 balance out the premium games that sell for hundreds. Without the premium games, the packages would be much less marketable, or at least would have less value. The other reason they don’t wait till gameday to sell at whatever people are willing to pay is that they get the money in advance, which is better than waiting and having no guaranteed income.

      • BJ

        I know my college offered subsidized tickets to those “insignificant” games and even those did not sell out. Maybe thats just because it was NYU though.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I have a friend same story. Upgrading to the full season seems like the way to go. Pricey but I bet he can dump most of those tickets via StubHub.

  • Bryan V

    I agree that there has to be more to this story.

    -His old seats (Section 1, Row A, of Tier Reserve) cost $20 each.
    -Those same seats in the new stadium (in Section 420B) cost $25 each.
    -His new seats (Section 412, Row 9) cost $20 each.

    So all they’ve done is place him in a section that costs the same amount.

    Are the Yankees bad guys for not asking him if he was okay paying the larger amount for similar seats, instead of just assuming he wouldn’t want to pay more? I don’t think so. Sure, in order to provide “excellent” customer service they could have done so. But I’m hardly appalled at the fact they didn’t.

    Oh, and there are closer sections at the same price he was paying ($20 each). But not very much closer, as they are only 2 sections away and on the same level.

    • Mixx26

      You’re incorrect on this Bryan. I had very similar seats in the old stadium (Section 2 Row A) and in 2008 they designated these as Tier Reserved MVP and charged $27.00 per seat. Any of the Tier Reserved seats between first and third were designated as Tier Reserved MVP and cost more than the Tier Reserved.

      • Bryan V

        Two things…

        1. There is no such thing as “Tier Reserved MVP”

        2. There is “Tier Box MVP”. However, there is no Section 1 there (It’s Sections 601-636 there)

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

          Bryan: That’s just not true. There were Tier Reserved MVP seats last season.

          • Bryan V

            I’ve looked at a few different seating charts. And none of them have a “Section 1″ that is called “Tier”-anything.

            I see something called “Tier Box MVP”, but those boxes are 601-632. No “1”.

            I don’t mean to say “you’re wrong, I’m right”. I’m just going by what I’ve found. And what I haven’t been able to find.

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

              Try this. That’s 2008 Old Yankee Stadium info. Tier Reserved MVP are right there. I sat in those seats plenty of times last year.

            • Bryan V

              Dammit! I’m confusing myself now. Not that it’s terribly difficult.

              There IS a section called “Tier”-something (called simply “Tier Reserved”…at least in 2006 when this particular chart was made) with a Box 1 in it. But those seats go for $20.

              • Bryan V

                To stick to the point…

                Are the seats he was sitting in, and the seats that were offered to him, the same price?

                I’m honestly asking. Because that’s what it looks like to me. But I may be wrong.

                • Mixx26

                  No the seats he obtained this year were less. He paid $27/seat under last year’s plan and the seats he obtained cost $20. But your theory doesn’t hold water because the equivalent seats cost $25 and are still less than what he paid last year.

                • Bryan V

                  It was a misunderstanding then, and it was rooted in Semantics. And at least partly caused by shoddy research.

                  My apologies.

                  I just can’t imagine the people at ticket office screwing over somebody that badly.

        • Mixx26

          I must be imagining the tickets I’ve bought for the last 8 years.

          There was 100 % definitely a Tier Reserved MVP. Above sections 601 and 603 was Section 1. I was above sections 602 and 604 which was section 2. Formerly known as U2 and last year known as Tier Reserved MVP 2. On the Yankee Stadium map it was the dark brown color coded section. They included sections 1-18 in the Tier Reserved. Advanced game price was $29 and game day price was $30. Price to season ticket holders on Sunday Plan – $27. Price to season ticket holders in the B plan $25.

          Want anymore info? I have the 2008 fan guide in front of me right now along with all my tickets from last season.

          • LiveFromNewYork

            you are correct.

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    While there is no need to defending myself, I thought I was giving some backgroud info on what happened to me – not expecting to be the main person quoted in the story. Believe what you want. I would have no reason to lie aboutt the facts. It does nothing for me and I didn’t know I’d even be mentioned in the story.

    Ben I’m not saying I minded or I’m mad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I was surprised to be quoted. I thought it was a well written piece.

    -Scott B.

  • Bryan V

    Scott,

    Would you be, or would you have been, willing to pay more for similar seats?

    And if so, did you ask them if you could do that?

    And if so, what did they say?

    • Mixx26

      See what I posted to you above…the seats equivalent to Tier Reserved MVP cost less this upcoming year than last.

      • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

        I would haave considered it, but the only option offered was pay and we’ll try to change your seats later…

        Translation: Take em or don’t. If you don’t someone will.

        -Scott B.

        Posting sections doesn’t help if you don’t know availability (& remember,, I have a block of 8 seats with 4 other couples).

        • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

          3 other couples that is…2 seats per couple

          -SB

          • Bryan V

            Scott. I got confused when it came to the exact name of the section, since there seems to be like 3 different levels of “Tier” seating.

            I’m sorry if I came off as being a jerk or something.

            I’m just incredibly surprised that the Yankees ticket office would screw over somebody like that.

          • Mixx26

            Maybe that was a big part of it??

            I’m sure blocks of 8 seats are hard for them to place.

            Just my opinion which obviously doesn’t amount to much but I think the Yankees pricing levels caused this problem. Such a huge discrepancy in pricing between the grandstand and the field levels is causing a high demand for the grandstand. By claiming they were making half the stadium affordable, they gave the people who had prime real estate an opening to move if they couldn’t afford the increases. The ticket holders who were not able to originally afford the lower sections are being displaced by ticket holders who cannot afford the new prices and are looking for cheaper alternatives. So if you have 81 game ticket holders and 46 game ticket holders moving down to the 41 game packages because they can’t afford the amount of money it costs to stay in the field level and you have the partial game packages trying to move up to the 41 game package because they think they’ll get better seating locations…..you’re ultimately going to have a logistical nightmare which appears to be happening. This combined with the bad economy makes the grandstand the hot seats.

            That’s why the Yankees just started marketing these new field level seat openings. They were probably earmarked for ticketholders who have since evacuated to the grandstands.

            • Bryan V

              If they are even a fraction as confused as I am regarding all of these different prices and levels, then no wonder there’s a problem.

              Geez.

  • Bryan V

    After working for many years in customer service, it doesn’t surprise me at all that you may have been treated poorly. Unfortunately, that tends to happen a lot more during stressful/busy times (which is what it must be like in the Yankee ticket offices right now).

    I just wonder if their intentions were good, by not making you pay more for similar seats. And instead offering you seats at the same price, but in a different location.

  • Brett

    Same thing happened to me. 10+ year B plan holder Tier Boxes behind home plate. They offered us the mulit-year full season suites they now have back there and we said no, we’d rather get similar seats in the 41 game plan. What they did was moved anyone who wanted a full season ahead of us, even if all they had was an 11 game plan last year. They totally ignored 10 years of spending thousands of dollars basically for anyone who wanted a full season. I didn’t see anything about this possibility in the paperwork or I’d have figured out a way to get a full season. Now I’m stuck in Section 411 and wish I was a Mets fan (not really). Its total crap. I said I would pay $70, $60 or $50 a seat in my relocation plan and I got stuck at the back of the grandstand. Customer service has been no help as Scott said.

  • Relaunch

    My experience going from the old to the new stadium has not been like what is mentioned above. I have been put in seats very similar to the ones I had in the old stadium.
    I agree that the customer reps are usually idiots, but the one assigned to you on your yankee’s account is usually good.

    Scott B, if you want, you can email me and I can give you the phone # and email of my Yankee’s account. She has always been helpful and prompt at answering questions.

  • Booch

    Boy this all sucks, I just wanted a Sunday plan and now know the reason why they aren’t even for sale. Everyone is getting pushed out into lower plans. I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell that any Sunday plans will even be made available to the public. Anyone see that the Home openr is already selling for 265 dollars just for a bleacher seat?

  • Wayne’s World

    Why did the guy want Row A behind the plate at the old ballpark? You had to watch the game with a rail blocking your view. Anyway, what the Yanks have done sucks. Dog bites man.

  • bigbankyanks

    we have the sat day plan(also a block of 8)…we are still waiting for our bill…they have changed the plan. I think it’s like sat plus 2 weekday games. our seats were also in Tier reserved mvp…we have had our tix for only like 4 years but listening to everyone, it does suck the way alot of people are being treated. We got these tix(besides going to the game) so we would have priority over people flooding the new stadium, I get we are not spending the 81 game package but I really feel like this could have been handled in a maore fair way with a little more preference with those w/ loyalty. The giants(- the psl) are handling it that way from oldest to newest…but theres no partials in there so I guess it gets mucked up with all the packages….the yankees should have shown preference to those who have been around the longest..plain and simple…

    • Relaunch

      I think they are showing priority with who has been around the longest. I just think its hard to do when they give so many options after the 81 game plan. I mean, should someone that has a 15 game plan for the last 10 years have seat priorty over someone that has had a 41 game plan for 5 years? I don’t know, but those are the questions they are answering I guess.

  • Mike

    I have had a Tier Reserve Sat Plan for the past decade and when I called my ticket representative to ask that my seats are in the tier level lowest row possible she fed me this garbage:

    Mike,

    I have no idea what availability is going to look like for partial plans. The director currently has all of that inventory hidden from us, so your guess is as good as mine. I spent my morning counting the seats in the grandstand, and I can tell you that the last row (row 14) still has a great view and it’s not nearly as steep as the Tier (where I would get scared above row M).

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