Tix Hits: Scalping, SRO prices, single-game tickets

Negron won't turn state's evidence
Introducing the Fan Confidence Poll

With Opening Day 35 days and 16 hours (as of midnight) away, tickets are on everyone’s mind. The Yankees are trying to fill up the new Stadium, and over the last few weeks, they’ve faced a lot of criticism for their ticket polices.

Most notable was the brouhaha last week over the relocation policies. Many long-time season-ticket holders have been feeling slighted by the team, and the Yanks faced some flak over the obstructed views in the bleachers as well. While the team hasn’t been able to placate the rightfully disgruntled season-ticket holders, the Yanks dropped the bleacher prices $5.

Today, we have a few more ticket stories. First, Neil deMause reports that the Yankees are charging $8 more for standing room only tickets than they are for bleacher seats. DeMause sees this as a clear sign of things to come for the bleacher creature.

“The reason, obviously,” he writes, “has to do with the fact the Yanks held bleacher ticket prices at $12 from last year for PR reasons, but have no problem with charging through the nose for standing room, since there were no standing-room seats at the old stadium to compare prices with. Take it as a sign that bleacher prices will likely rise fast to meet market levels in the next year or two.”

If — or when — the Yanks raise their bleacher prices, the Creature will not take kindly to it. But as is often the case, ticket prices are about market economy. If the Yanks feel they can charge $20 for bleacher sets and sell out, they will do so, fans’ feelings or not. Ross at New Stadium Insider has a different take: He likes to roam the ballpark and sees SRO ticketing as a different way to enjoy the Yankee Experience.

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On the scalping front, WasWatching finds an analysis of the impact the high price of Yankee tickets may have on scalping.

Basically, Paul Mulshine at The Star-Ledger posits that because prices for many seats at the new Stadium are priced prohibitively expensive, scalpers won’t be able to turn a profit on them. The Yankees may then attempt to sell them through a so-called Dutch Auction on the day of game if they can’t package them to season-ticket buyers. That is, the Yanks will start the ticket off with a high price and lower it as the game draws closer. Scalpers can’t cash in if the seats are too expensive to sell.

It’s an interesting theory, but it doesn’t quite work that way. The high-priced tickets have earned headlines, but the vast majority of tickets in Yankee Stadium are closer to affordable. Scalpers will have no problem getting their hands on those tickets to sell at a significant mark-up this year.

Steve Lombardi does wonder though who’s really going to pay even $500 a ticket to see the Nationals face the Yanks in a Thursday day in June. That’s a good question.

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Finally, while we don’t have a set date yet for single-game tickets, Ross is eying sometime around March 17 for the big day. The Yanks are going to be offering a single-game pre-sale to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees season-ticket holders that day, and the general public should get a crack at whatever remains a few days later. We’ll update this info as we get a more concrete sense of the date.

Negron won't turn state's evidence
Introducing the Fan Confidence Poll
  • Tommy S.

    I’d buy a standing room ticket any day. I would just walk around and sit in empty seat after empty seat until I found one that people weren’t showing up for.

    • 50

      das was up

    • Larry

      Yeah, if the bleachers are blocked off, then they should be cheaper. If the new stadium has sight lines from the walkways like they do in all the newer ballparks in San Diego, Seattle, etc then the SROs will actually be good. I went to about 25 Mariners games when I lived in Seattle but spent most of my time standing against a rail in left field because it was such a cool view. There is something about being able to just walk around the park on gameday that is kind of nice.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Tickets to any sporting event in NY is a bit of a mess.

    Seriously, it cost me $300 to get crap seats for a Jets/Colts game in September 2006, but only $40 to get SECOND ROW seats for a Jets/Bills game in September 2007.

    If fans are really having problems with ticket prices, I’d totally recommend driving down to Baltimore (I’d say Boston, but Boston is even more expensive) or, if you live upstate, to Toronto or Cleveland.

    Road games are awesome, I’ve been to road games for football and baseball and they are tons of fun.

    Totally would recommend it.

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

      I’d actually say that your Jets experience is not indicative of a mess but a near-perfect market. In 2006, it should have cost far more to see the Colts play the Jets than it should have cost for you to see the Jets play the Bills. It’s all about supply, demand and the competition on hand. Variable pricing for sports events based on opponent, time of game, pennant situation, etc., will be the future of ticketing.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Yes, but I think you also have to consider that the Bills Stadium is WAY smaller than Giants Stadium (unless my memory sucks) and that the Bills/Jets are a division rival.

        In 2006 the Jets were coming off a 4-12 season (I think); in 2007 they were supposed to, uh, be better than they were.

        I totally see your point, but I think there are those factors to consider as well.

    • mustang

      “Road games are awesome, I’ve been to road games for football and baseball and they are tons of fun.”

      I totally agree and you get so much more for the money.

    • Yankeegirl49

      Im already going to 2 series in Baltimore and one in Cleveland, yes road games are great, but it is not the same as being “home”.
      There is supposed to be a presale for SI Yankee season ticket holders as well, but I havent gotten the info yet.

  • Joey

    So Ben, serious question, when will single game tickets go on sale?


  • Phil McCracken

    I don’t know why people are so worried about the price of standing room.

    According to Trost, for 20 bucks it allows you all access to the stadium and you can park yourself at field level as well. Ain’t that bad of a deal.

    • Yoni K

      I don’t know wy everyone is down the Yankees back. Bleacher seats cost 25-30 bucks in fenway. SRO in fenway can be as high as 30 and minimum 20. There is a precedent, and Yankees have a better park. The yankees did not price there seats wrong at all. You can’t even complain, because other teams cost more, and yankees are providing a better product. Everyone quit complaining!

  • A.D.

    are sat, sun, and friday packages still going to go on sale?

  • William

    Guys like Neil deMause are one trick ponies. They make their name off of one topic and then keeping pounding away at it regardless. I am not sure why deMause has gained as much credibility as he has because he really doesn’t have a solid grasp of the economics, but I think more and more he is becoming exposed.

  • Big Tony

    Some tickets are so high now that the middle guy will be cut from the deal.

    If a pair of tickets cost $700.00 at face value most fans or companies will not let these seats sit empty in this economy.

    Trouble is that the Yankees will even have trouble selling these seats at face value the day of the game.

    The Yankees priced their tickets too high, I wonder if they are smart enough to figure how how to fix this?

    The big thing will be taking care of those who already paid the high price. Do you refund money or give them food and drink for each game?

    Also, what’s the deal with the old SONY Stadium Club?

    It was nice to have a place where you could get in and not wait on long lines. We hear nothing on a private club fee for those that want it.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    The lack of demand for the $325 seats will impact the bleachers seats, but not due to any malfeasance on the part of the Yanks.

    The pricing was set up this year where the high end seats offset the costs of the lower end seats. If the burden of paying for the new ballpark was spread around evenly, bleacher seats would have been $20 THIS season.

    The high priced seats worked as a sort of ‘progressive tax’ system, where the rich paid a higher share of the costs than the blue collar bleacher creatures did, who got a brand new ballpark and NO price increase. But it failed, the economy collapsed and the seats didn’t sell. Losing half your net worth in the stock market will do that.

    So I would fully expect the high end seats to drop in price next year (or drop effectively with freebies thrown in) and bleachers seats to be anywhere from $16-20 next season, which is still one of the biggest bargains for NYC entertainment. And those that sell portions of their seats on StubHub will still mark them up 200-250% on a regular basis, and do even better for premium games.

    • Yankeegirl49

      If I want to see a Broadway show, even if I go to the 2 for one booth, it’s still 50 bucks a ticket. I have paid as much as $150 for a concert..and thats face value. Dinner at a halfway decent restaurant in NYC starts at 30 pp. Heck, there are movie theaters that charge 15 bucks. The MOMA charges 20 bucks.
      Yes, the “premium” seats are priced to high for the everyday Joe, but there are “affordable” seats..if you can get them. My problem isnt affording them.its getting them.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        “My problem isnt affording them.its getting them.”

        Bingo, which tells you how high demand is for seats in those areas. They would be cheap at double the $12 price.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    About the ticket scalping stuff, the Yanks will not raise their prices to anything close to what you see on StubHub for two reasons.

    -They know that many of their season ticket holders buy seats with the intent of selling many of them on StubHub/E-Bay to get some of their money back. If the Yanks raise prices to a point where their customers can’t offset the cost of the season ticket, they simply won’t buy them anymore. The Yanks don’t want to lose their season ticket holders. They already tried pricing their premium seats ($325) at a level where they couldn’t be resold at a profit, and they would up with many of them unsold, despite the huge demand for a brand new ballpark. That demand will dissipate over time as folks have already visited the new stadium.

    -The person who pays the StubHub prices is very a different customer than the one who buys the full/partial season plans. They’re typically a ‘last minute/convenience buyer’ willing to pay a fixed amount to entertain a client or have a night out with a friend/date. They’re not going down to the stadium to chance getting a lousy seat at the last minute. They’re a difficult customer for the Yanks to nail down, and probably too unreliable to set aside seats for.

    Also, just because you see a ticket LISTED for a high price on StubHub doesn’t mean it SELLS at that price, far from it. I’ve listed tickets on StubHub for years, I always price my seats in the bottom 1/3 of what seats in my section are going for and I STILL wind up with many unsold seats. You may see 5-10,000 listings on StubHub for an event a month before it takes place, but you will still see a few thousand listed the day before the event. Those are the ones that go unsold and wind up with the local scalpers around the stadium.

    • A.D.

      Basically the problem with pricing out the middle man is that people paying higher stub hub/scalper prices don’t want to be buying a bulk of games they want to go to a few games a year either at better seats than available through the stadium/ticketmaster for single game tickets, or at fairly short timeline where one knows they have a ticket & where it is (vs going to the stadium day of).

      So there are people out there willing to pay 100 bucks for a 70 dollar ticket (or even 300 for a 150 dollar ticket), but they want this for a few games a year, that they pick, not 20, 41, or 81 games that are set in stone.

  • Yankeegirl49

    I have bought very good seats on Stubhub for below face on the morning of the game. You wont get a premium game but if you don’t mind spending for a May game vs KC you can sometimes buy them last minute..at a discount.

  • steve (different one)

    Lombardi then added: “That Phil Hughes is a total dick for setting the ticket prices so high. When Cashman gets out of jail for his nun-beating episode, he should have a talk with Hughes.”