Apr
22

Missing the point on the empty seats

By

Over the last week, we’ve extensively covered the Yankee Stadium/premium seats story. We’ve had other people’s pictures and our own pictures. We’ve received numerous e-mails on the topic, and I even appeared on TV to talk about it last night.

As momentum on this story has swelled, The Times tackled it today on the front page of the sports section. For the most part, Ken Belson’s article is a recap of events so far. He talks to Maury Brown, owner of The Biz of Baseball, and a few marketing experts about the Yanks’ PR problems. That it looks bad is a story we know well by now.

The Yankees in the article continue to push the line that the seats are sold but remain empty for various reasons. Either, as Jason over at IIATMS speculated yesterday, once-rich companies bailed out by TARP don’t want to be associated with $2500 per-game tickets at Yankee Stadium or the expensive seats don’t sell on StubHub. As bad as it looks in pictures and on TV, the Yankees, though, don’t mind the empty seats because, hey, money in the pocket.

There is, however, a few very telling pieces of information that comes out of The Times article. First, Belson reports that premium ticket prices average over $500 at new Yankee Stadium. That’s nearly in line with the maximum premium price at the old park. Second, Belson reports that the average non-premium price increased by 76 percent this year. If it seems as though everything across the board costs more, that’s because it does.

Finally, Belson drops in a great kicker of a closer line with info from Yanks’ President Randy Levine. He writes: “For next season, the Yankees plan to raise premium ticket prices 4 percent.

That’s right; after withstanding bad press for the first five days of new Yankee Stadium’s life, the Yankees are already publicly discussing a four percent increase for 2010.

Now, there is no denying that it’s early. The Yankees could find that, come June, all of those premium seats are filled and the 20 percent — around 1000 seats in the Legends Suites — that remain unsold will find buyers. This early-season negative press will seem like a distant memory. I wouldn’t bet on it, and that top Yankee officials are already talking about price increases shows just how out of touch the Yankees are with their fan base.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
  • steve (different one)

    i am willing to bet that the 4% increase is what was planned ORIGINALLY and is probably no longer the case. color me skeptical that the yankees will raise prices in the face of slacking demand.

    you don’t build a billion dollar brand by failing freshman ECON.

    if the sales don’t pick up, they will lower prices next year. it’s not rocket science.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Steve, I’d generally agree with you, but Belson reported that statement as though Levine said it to him this week. I know Randy Levine isn’t the most diplomatic, but he can’t be that dumb, right?

      • Yankee1010

        I don’t know – Randy Levine seems like he’s quite the windbag.

      • steve (different one)

        Steve, I’d generally agree with you, but Belson reported that statement as though Levine said it to him this week.

        could just be clumsy arrangement of the paragraphs.

        there is no direct quote and he doesn’t attribute that information to Levine at all.

        it just follows another quote by Levine.

        • steve (different one)

          however, re-reading it, if it is INDEED true that the Yankees have sold 80-85% of those seats, then i am confused.

          if that’s true, then there is something else going on with the empty seats that we don’t know about. b/c those sections are not 80-85% full.

          if they sold that many seats, where are the people??

          • AndrewYF

            They’re simply not going to the games. Hence all the tickets on StubHub.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

            Read the article I linked to above on It Is About the Money, Stupid. That offers up an explanation.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        He is a Republican. ZING!!!!!!

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I know Randy Levine isn’t the most diplomatic, but he can’t be that dumb, right?

        No, he can be.

        • zack

          Call him what you want, but the one thing Levine ISN’T, is dumb. The man knows how to get things done. He may be a blustery a-hole who doesn’t give a flying F#@k about the fans or anyone but the Yankees, but he is most definitely NOT dumb…

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Eh, I’ve seen him speak in person many a time… he’s not “dumb” but he’s also not exactly Jack Kennedy with the smooth, calming oratory and impeccable public relations skills.

            If the question is “Do you think Randy Levine is dumb enough to openly confirm the Yankees plans to raise ticket prices for next year even in the midst of the current sky-high prices and unsold ticket fiasco and economic recession?”… then, my answer is yes, Randy Levine is dumb enough to openly confirm a ticket price hike even as the world rails against the Yankees ticket prices being so high that they’re unsellable.

            I’m sure he’s a smart man. I’m not sure he has a good grasp on Public Relations 101.

  • CountryClub

    I for one think this story is way overblown. I can really care less that a couple thousnad seats that avergae $500 a ticket are empty at Yankee stadium. But I guess I’m in the minority.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Do you feel that the empty seats are overblown or the fact that the Yankees are trying to price out a lot of fans? They’ve been more than upfront about it. Right now, the new stadium is an experiment in sports economics, and if it succeeds, it’s going to become prohibitively more expensive to attend pro sports events in New York. That’s what’s really going on here.

      • steve (different one)

        yes, but you are only looking at it from the most negative angle. there is a flipside here.

        the market for tickets is undergoing a massive correction.

        you can go on stubhub right now and get TONS of tickets for BELOW face.

        the Yankees did run an experiment, and that experiment looks like it could BENEFIT the fans in the long run.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        Do you think this is a problem? I’m just curious, not challenging. Why should the Yankees demand any less than the market can bear? Even if the ticket prices come way down because the Yankees misread the market, they will still be pricing out most fans. I couldn’t sit up front at the old place, and I wont be able to do so in the new place. Now, it may be that I will not be able to even afford to get into the park in the new place, but I really cannot begrudge the Yankees for pricing the tickets as high as the market can bear- if they seel those upper level seats at higher prices than I can afford, wha right do I have to demand that the prices be lower? I have no inherent right to see a ballgame. We have no problem with capitalism in regard to other goods, why when it comes to baseball games?

        • JohnnyC

          You are much too reasonable and sane vis-a-vis this issue, Moshe. And absolutely correct.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Well, it’s not a problem economically, but it’s a problem image-wise.

          You’re absolutely correct that it’s pure capitalism, and as Steve pointed out above you, the Yanks’ experiment is seemingly failing. But I think there’s another element of sports that has to transcend ticket prices. The Yankees work as a business as long as the customers — their fans — are happy. If the fans aren’t happy because they can’t get to the park, their business will suffer.

          Right now, the Yanks’ experiment is showing that you can price tickets only so high before they don’t sell. For field level seats, the breaking point is somewhere between $500 a game (2008 prices) and $2500 a game (2009 prices). What’s the breaking point for Grandstand seats? I recently paid $25 a ticket for Grandstand seats down the line. Even that’s pushing the upper bounds of what I would pay for those seats.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            You’re absolutely correct that it’s pure capitalism, and as Steve pointed out above you, the Yanks’ experiment is seemingly failing. But I think there’s another element of sports that has to transcend ticket prices. The Yankees work as a business as long as the customers — their fans — are happy. If the fans aren’t happy because they can’t get to the park, their business will suffer.

            Absolutely true.

            The Yankees thinking (that they won’t share with the public, for obvious reasons) is no doubt:

            “When we win a title this year, and start becoming the dominant franchise in the sport again, the complaints about those high prices will disappear in no time.”

            They’re going long on porkbellies, to paraphrase Billy Ray Valentine.

            If you build it, they will come and complain. If you win, they’ll stop complaining and happily fork over the bushelfuls of their money.

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            That’s a fair point, in regard to the image of the whole thing. I just think that even if those seats were full, people would feel really bitter about the prices in this economy. While I understand the sentiment, I feel that complaints about ticket prices in a country built upon a market economy are a bit out of place. There are other things that I cannot afford, but I dont complain about BMW pricing me out of the luxury car market.

            That being said, I have seen one theory about baseball in particular being required to hold tickets for fans as a sort of public trust because they get an anti trust exemption, unlike other sports. Maybe that means that they have some sort of civic responsibility to resonably price tickets? it is tenuous, but it does have some merit. Thoughts?

          • Chris

            None of this relates to whether or not the Yankees should sell their tickets for as much as the market will bare.

            You say that $25 is at the high end of what you would pay for grandstand seats, but if there are 20,000 people in line behind you willing to pay $50, then why should the Yankees still price it at $25? Eventually, the ticket prices will settle in at what the market will bear, and that level will price out most people. That’s always going to be the case when you have 50,000 seats and millions of fans wanting to go to games.

            • Hobbes

              +1

          • Steve S

            I have to disagree here Ben. Yes they are being elitist and they are pricing certain people out of the games but is that ultimately effecting the fan base? You can always watch the games. When YES started they made a point to have it included on basic cable packages which in the end they got. And while that move was not altruistic and meant more for generating more revenue, the fans did benefit (and I give you cable companies have increased prices but there is no way to know if it is directly attributable to YES). I just dont believe that attending a game is a god given right. I’ve never had season tickets and I manage to go to 3-5 games a year. I’ve arranged for 3 games this year at an average price of $50 a ticket (some better some worse). I think almost anyone could do that if they wanted. The people who are really hurt by this are the season ticket holders, whether it be the 81 game plan or even the 15 game plan and to be honest thats a small demographic when contemplating all the Yankee fans out there. Ultimately I can sit at home and watch 162 Yankee games with the best seat in the house and the cost to do that is minimal. The empty seats suck but its part of the aesthetic of the team not the actual substance of it. I really only interested in the results in the field, the stadium, ticket prices or the attendance figures, or the uniforms, the amenities, etc…are all just small accessories to the ultimate product. And to be honest, between baseball, football and basketball (not going to get into hockey here it is the best the live sport though) in this town, baseball is still by far the most approachable for actually attending a live game when the team is actually good.

          • cult of basebaal

            For field level seats, the breaking point is somewhere between $500 a game (2008 prices) and $2500 a game (2009 prices).

            That may not actually be true.

            Last year NYC was still living in bubble land.

            With big fat bloated wall street types making big fat bloated bonuses on toxic derivatives, with all the assorted trickle down effects pumping money into the NYC economy.

            That’s not done shaking out and draining out and it’s virtually certain that a whole bunch of those profits and a whole bunch of those people aren’t coming back.

            Plus, last year was the last year of OLD Yankee Stadium. You either went, or you’d never be able to go there again.

            You miss Yankee Stadium this year, it’ll still be there if you want to go next year.

            All of which is to say, who knows where the eventual equilibrium is going to be found for ticket prices?

            If i were the Yankees, I’d watch the secondary markets *very* carefully this year and then reprice to a level slightly below that over this offseason, based on the expectations that the elements of the economy that affect ticket sales, specifically unemployment, will continue to weaken into 2010.

            Better to underprice on the seat to get someone into the park.

            You can always raise prices the next year (as the economy likely improves).

      • CountryClub

        Ben, I think the fact that there are empty seats is overblown. Like someone said below, the seats in the first 15 rows have been too expensive for most fans for years. These have been corporate seats for a long time. I know because I’ve been lucky enough to score these seats in the past through friends with corporate ties. Too many fans act like that if the Yanks suddenly cut the price on those tickets that “real” fans will buy them up. It’s just not true. If they cut the prices it’ll just allow corps that are skittish at the current prices to jump back in with both feet.

  • Steve B-BALL

    it would be nice as well as prudent for the Yankee Brass to fill “those” seats up with some needy folks who can’t afford even the least expensive seats
    Good Publicity never hurt

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      This idea, while charitable and compassionate, is utterly unworkable from numerous fairness standpoints.

      • El Generalissimo

        Only way to pull that off is to give them to NYPD, FDNY and soldiers. No one will complain about that for 10 or 15 games in those last field sections that literally are completely empty.

        • BJ

          Yeah, this would be the best, it still does not fill in those corporate seats that are bought but unfilled though. The other problem is if one of the guys you let in causes a problem its embarrassing to kick them out.

    • BJ

      Seriously, even if you don’t want to give away seats and open the area up to random fans so as to preserve an air of exclusivity, or prevent a “bleacher creature” ambiance, at least hire some seat fillers. This way, if the corporate clients come and take their seats there will be no problem, but if not you can avoid the pathetically empty stands and bad PR. I am sure in thhis economy you can find some people who can look and act corporate but don’t have anything better to do than catch some baseball.

      • Chris

        Could you imagine the PR nightmare when people found out the Yankees had to hire fans?

        • BJ

          Meh, they use seat fillers in the Oscars, and a TV broadcast of a baseball game is as much an entertainment spectacle as an awards show. Besides, if the numbers are right, its not like the seats aren’t paid for, they are just unfilled. Besides, its not like the corporations that would normally be in those seats are real fans anyways.

          But ur right, the Yanks would probably catch grief for it, but that happens no matter what they do.

  • eahls

    When the Yankees were selling premium seat packages, they pushed really hard to lock all buyer’s into a 4 year contract that promised “only” a 4% increase per yer; insinuating that the seats were probably going to increase by more than that making it a good deal.

    Thats probably where they got the 4% from.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      In that case, I’d have to believe that idea is firmly off the table.

      • eahls

        Ya, but it will be interesting to see how they handle those contracts if they end up lowering prices. Hopefully they will bring them in line with the other tickets, but given all that’s happened lately, you never know.

  • Rich

    Looking at the bright side, at least you don’t have to buy a PSL in order to purchase season tickets.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Actually, you sort of do. For many seats, the Yankees are charging a per-seat, per-game fee that grants access to the seating area. So $65 Tier seats become $100 with the fee, and if the seats are renewed, both the ticket fee and the access fee are renewed. I just found this out this week, and I’m working on getting more concrete info on this.

      • Marsha

        And if you decide to sell your ticket with a face value of $65 for which you paid $100, it looks like you’re trying to scalp your ticket when you really are just selling it for what you paid. Not fair.

  • Giuseppe Franco

    This probably won’t be a popular opinion but I’ll say it anyways.

    I’ve never been a class warfare guy and I don’t understand why Yankee fans are so upset and shocked that the club has catered to the wealthy for those premium seats.

    I mean, the Yanks went corporate the day they bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox and then built Yankee Stadium a few years later.

    The “corporate” Yankees is nothing new. They’ve been that way for 90 years. We’re just now seeing it on a grander scale in the 21st Century because of the new digs.

    People who have such contempt for rich people are hypocrites because we all want to be rich ourselves. Millions of people buy lottery tickets everyday for a reason – they want to be rich, too.

    I hope those who continue to whine over this issue are not the same people who insist on the Yankee payroll to be over $200M+ a year and demand all the best free agents year after year – especially when they have the gall to miss the postseason as they did in 2008.

    Yankee fans demanded they get Sabathia at whatever cost. Many wanted Burnett as well – although not as many as Sabathia. They demanded the Yanks get Teixeira, ya know, for a measly $180M because the Yanks print money in their basement.

    A large contingent is going to demand Matt Holliday next offseason.

    The Yanks have to pay for all of these things (and their new $1.5 billion new home) somehow, so they are entitled to charge whatever they want if people are willing to spend that kind of money. If not, the market will fix this issue and the Yanks will have to lower their prices for those premium seats.

    Basically my point is that Yankee fans helped create this monster so they’re going to have to live with it’s consequences.

    • CountryClub

      Well said

    • huuz

      seconded.

  • Frank

    The Yanks braintrust is simply out of touch with reality. It’s all about arrogance and sense of entitlement. They are simply pushing the envelope to see how far they can go with these ridiculous prices. Unfortunately, comapanies/fans are willing to pay it and as long as they do, this will continue. It defies logic to pay $2500 to sit behing HP- I don’t care how rich you are. Heck, to pay $100 to sit in the upper deck is a freaking joke. I just feel bad for the average working Joe who wants to take his son to the game and has to dish out around $300 (adding in food/drinks/souvenier) to sit in the nose bleeds. That’s just wrong. The Yanks could price the $2500 seats at $500 and drop the prices of all the remaining seats to $25-$100 and they would still be raking in cash hand over fist. Unfortunately, greed prevails.

    • Hobbes

      How is it against reality? People are still packing the rest of the stadium. Regular people, many of whom are facing tough economic situations, are still dropping thousands of dollars on season tickets for the privilege of sitting 500 feet away from the field with obstructed views and eating 12 dollar hot dogs.

      Sports fans are not logical consumers who follow the usual economic laws, so why should the Yankees play by those rules. If you don’t like it don’t buy tickets. That is your only resource.

    • steve (different one)

      They are simply pushing the envelope to see how far they can go with these ridiculous prices.

      isn’t that what EVERY company does?

      I just feel bad for the average working Joe who wants to take his son to the game and has to dish out around $300 (adding in food/drinks/souvenier) to sit in the nose bleeds

      this is a strawman. “nose bleeds” are $25/seat. you are telling me food/drinks cost $250?

      go on stubhub right now, you can get tickets for $5.

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

    My brother-who works in the financial industry, and that he still works should be telling-told me that if the Yankees keep doing what they are doing, they will eventually go bankrupt.

    I don’t know who’s most at fault for the debacle, but there is utterly no good that can come of it.

    My brother’s bank has a box with 32 or so seats. He took a client to Friday’s game and there were six there. Six for a box for 32!

    Does it remind anyone else of the Titanic launching half-full lifeboats?

    • zack

      Um, but isn’t that more telling of the bank than the Yanks? the Bank bought those 32 seats and aren’t filling them, but in this case, the Yankees have the $.

    • CountryClub

      The financial industry probably shouldnt be giving anyone advice about going bankrupt.

      • Chris

        Why not? They’ve proven so good at it themselves….

    • jon

      Remind me never to invest money with your brother

      you really think that a handful of empty seats in a 48k+ stadium is going to bankrupt the yankees?

      The yankees don’t have to sell tickets to keep the franchise running with the income they get from mechanise and YES

      • LiveFromNewYork

        Yeah nothing is ever going to bankrupt the Yankees so long as the Steins are at the helm.

        The team spends RIDICULOUSLY on players and now on a Stadium. They may have overpriced the lowest seats and screwed up the relocation plan to a certain degree but I am still happy they spend the big bucks to get players like CC, AJ and Tex. And if they overpriced some seats, then that’s a small issue compared to how they spend their money on building a winning franchise.

        What the Steinbrenners give the Yankees and the fans EVERY SINGLE YEAR is the ability to bring home a championship. Most owners do not do that.

    • Muel

      i always thought those boats were half-empty

  • zack

    The fact of the matter is, all this talk of “If the fans aren’t happy because they can’t get to the park, their business will suffer” simply doesn’t hold when it comes to the Yankees (or Sox or a few other teams). Perhaps that’s true for 90% of baseball, but people will go to Yankees games no matter what. Heck, the Yankees have been treating their fans like garbage for at least a decade now, and they’ve been doing just fine. Because they win. And they’re the Yankees.

    Even now, with that level of treatment reaching new lows, fans are still going to the park. And when it gets warmer, the #s will only increase. And this is at about the worst point that the economy will hit.

    When (I suppose if) the economy recovers, fans will, for better or for worse, head to Yankee stadium. Pretty much no matter what.

  • Sean McNally

    Once a season ticket is sold, the team generally doesn’t care if you show up. As a Nationals ticket holder, they already have my $32 per game (for two seats), so what they miss out on is the $20-$100 I spend on food, drinks, t-shirts, hats, etc… which is not insignificant, but is also not all theirs.

    The visuals are bad, but they are bad everywhere. It’s early April, there’s been crappy weather, a preponderance of day games, etc etc…. I’m willing to bet that over time those seats will have butts in them at some point.

    However, I’ll add this long-term caveat: The current ticket pricing/business model of the Yankees is entirely dependent on winning.

    If the Yankees have a sustained period of non-playoff baseball (two or three years let’s say) the model breaks. Winning brings people to the ballpark – at all price ranges – so if the winning stops, so does the gravy train.

    So that’s the Faustian bargain that Yankee fans hoping for a populist twist from management have to contend with: more affordable tickets probably mean a less desirable team.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      So that’s the Faustian bargain that Yankee fans hoping for a populist twist from management have to contend with: more affordable tickets probably mean a less desirable team.

      Agreed. It’s much cheaper to go to an Orioles game than a Yankees game. Only problem is, you’re at an Orioles game and not a Yankees game.

  • Simon B.

    This seems to me like they’re more out of touch with supply-and-demand rather than some elitist plot to screw the common fan.

  • Rob in CT

    It’s jarring to see it on TV, but otherwise I don’t really care.

    I can’t imagine paying more than $75 for a ticket (I’ve never paid more than $25), so I was priced out of the best seats a long time ago. I am slighly concerned about the upper-deck seats in the NYS being set back more than in the old stadium, but that is something that will bother me, at most, once per season.

    Mess with my YES-HD, on the other hand, and we’ve got problems :)

    • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

      Heh, I’m with you here. I know being at the game is awesome and I enjoy the experience of being there. But, sitting at home and seeing it from all the angles is solid for me.

  • http://itsaboutthemoney.blogspot.com Jason @ IIATMS

    Randy Levine has no regard for your/mine/anyone else’s thoughts on the matter.

    The truth about the missing fans is that it really won’t have the worst impact, as most of the seats are already sold. The Yanks will miss out on parking and concessions, but not the gate.

    Worst of all is the optics, the perception.

    Jason @ IIATMS

  • Axl

    Does anybody know the stipulations of being able to get into any of the “lounges” or “clubs” in the stadium?? I saw people walking into the “Jim Beam Lounge” while I was walking near my seat on Sunday and I’m guessing it’s for “premium ticket holders” only. What is considered a premium ticket? Anything that’s not in the Grandstand or in the bleachers? What are the qualifications? And why is this the case? Is it trying to get the already cheap fan base to spend extra by making them feel left out of a lounge area?? If you’re cheap…you’re cheap. You probably wouldn’t have the money for the food/alcohol in that lounge anyway…who cares??? The Legends Suite or whatever looked like a decent joint to sit down and eat before the game…cheap fans probably wouldn’t go in there regardless…but you’re going to punish the extreme few higher class people who decided to get a cheap ticket that day?? I don’t see how this gets any point across…odds are he bought the seats for a reason anyway…and if he has money and wanted to buy a good seat…he very well could.

    I, on the other hand, just wanted to check it out and maybe buy a drink and sit down and check out the food prices…odds are I wasn’t going to get anything other than 1 drink. I just don’t see the big deal.

  • harold

    Nothing about that statement (re: 4% increases) attributes the line directly to Levine, the author only wants you to think that. Since the Legends ticketholders were required to agree to multi-year season plans, the 4% increases were included. I actually went on a tour of the stadium during construction, and they handed out basic details of the multiyear season ticket plan and price increases were included in the original plan.

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    I posted this above but it got kind of lost, was looking for thoughts on it:

    I have seen one theory about baseball in particular being required to hold tickets for fans as a sort of public trust because they get an anti trust exemption, unlike other sports. Maybe that means that they have some sort of civic responsibility to reasonably price tickets? it is tenuous, but it does have some merit. Thoughts?

    • Hobbes

      When has the gov’t required anything in return for its actions? Teams regularly gank millions from taxpayers for stadia, with promises galore of infrastructure improvements and tax base increases. Do you think that ever occurs? The gov’t just gave out trillions to poorly managed businesses and attached zero stipulations as to how the money could be used, do you thinjk they give a shit about fans who think Yankee tix are too high?

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        Right, but if we believe that there should be something given in return, it gives the complaints an air of legitimacy rather than just complaining because I am too broke to afford a ticket.

  • Stryker

    it’s always kind of bugged me that in my 18 years of following the team, i’ve only been to 3 yankees games in new york – all through corporate ties my dad has had.

    now that the team is in the new digs, i probably won’t be able to catch a game there simply because of the higher prices. i don’t know which i feel worse about – the fact that they’ve priced out fans or that i’m not going to be the type of fan to buy tickets no matter what the price.

    • Yankeegirl49

      Why wouldnt you just buy a bleacher seat or upper deck seat?

      • Stryker

        even if my family were to buy bleacher/upper deck seats, buying for a family of 4 still puts it at 100+ dollars for seats alone when all is said and done – which unfortunately my mom and dad can’t afford to spend on something like a baseball game.

        • LiveFromNewYork

          There are seats cheaper than $25.

        • steve (different one)

          the Yankees have run the Fuji Film $5 promotion for the past several years.

          i am honestly sorry if your family can’t swing that, but it’s not really fair to blame the yankees for that.

          you can’t ask for much better than $5/seat, no?

    • Stryker

      i’m not looking for top of the line concessions or premium lounges. all i want is a beautiful looking ballpark with affordable seating so i can enjoy a nice day watching baseball how it’s meant to be seen.

      • steve (different one)

        but there IS affordable seating.

        this is the one part of the debate that bothers me.

        just because the seats behind home plate are obscenely expensive, it doesn’t have to follow that there are ZERO affordable seats.

        yes, for the Red Sox and Mets, this is going to be the case.

        for ANY OTHER GAME, you can probably get tickets RIGHT NOW for $20-30.

        • steve (different one)

          here you go dude:

          http://www.stubhub.com/new-yor.....09-720221/

          hundreds of tickets for $17 or less.

          • LiveFromNewYork

            RIGHT! I had tix to yesterdays game on StubHub for $10 (much lower than the face value) and they DID NOT SELL.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Correct.

          I wasn’t sitting in the “Legends Field Box” seats with catered wait staff in the old stadium for $400 a seat. I’m not sitting in the “Legends Field Box” seats with catered wait staff in the new stadium for $2600 a seat.

          I sat in the bleachers, the tier, or the loge at the old stadium. I’ll be doing the same at the new one. My ticket prices went from $10-$20 to $15-$40. Not that big of a deal for me personally.

          The only real ramification for the non-rich fan is that there’s slightly fewer cheap seats. But they’re still there.

          • Kilgore Trout

            The new main section is more like the old loge, but close to double the price. Was there last night. They are good, but should be closer to the field.

            • steve (different one)

              i respectfully disagree.

              IMO, the main level seats are better than some of the FIELD level seats of the old stadium and actuall cost less.

              hear me out.

              i sat near the front of the main level on saturday. ticket was $45.

              it was a better seat, in my opinion, because it was slightly elevated and closer to the field, than sitting near the back of the field level (under the overhang) which cost $90 in the old park.

              i think the new main level is FANTASTIC.

        • Stryker

          yeah that’s the thing though. my family has never had a nice, stable financial cushion for one reason or another. especially now – with loans/second mortgages, etc. it’s not something my family is looking to spend on right now.

          • steve (different one)

            i am really sorry to hear this. i really am, you seem like a good dude, but…..

            is it fair to blame the yankees for this?

        • LiveFromNewYork

          And if this perception is keeping people from looking for tickets then it is screwing the long-time regular fans who do have season tickets and sell them on Stub Hub. I have sold the majority of my tickets for slightly over face value but I have priced some of them half of face value.

          Go to Stub Hub! If you see someone with 12 tickets, that’s a broker but if you see 2-6, that’s a regular fan most likely. Buy from regular Joes like me! (I want to go on the campaign trail as Joe the Baseball fan ;))

          • steve (different one)

            i think a lot of it IS perception.

            i think, mostly b/c of the timing of the stadium with the economy, that the Legends seats have generated so much bad press that many people have the impression that you can’t get ANY affordable seats.

            it’s a shame, really.

            • Stryker

              thanks for the kind words, dude. you also seem like a solid dude.

              as far as perception – i think i have to agree with you. now that i’ve looked into it (and was provided with a link to stub hub) i can definitely see that there are affordable seats (and i should take advantage of that).

              i think its just the timing of everything – a billion dollar stadium, seats that are over-priced, and a bloated payroll that rubs people the wrong way.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Get a job, deadbeat hippie. jk

  • Januz

    It seems like there are certain people who are actually happy that the seats are not sold. The Yankees are not responsible for the economy: Look at the politicians, of BOTH parties (BOTH Obama and McCain voted for the Bush bank bailout bill) and the bankers who did not exactly work for the shareholders of their firms (See John Thane of Merrill Lynch who had an $80,000 rug in this office).
    Ben who constantly complains about the cost of Yankee Stadium, should be as angry at the cost of the Fulton St Train Center (At least the Stadium was FINISHED, and the Metro North Station will be completed ON budget and ON time (Perhaps the ONLY MTA project you can actually say that about)). Another thing about the Stadium is the fact, that the Yankees were ahead of the curve, and put in stuff like an advanced computer operating system, UNLIKE the MTA who has transfers at the Broadway-Lafayette station from the B, D, F, & V, to the 6 in one direction (Downtown), so they have to spend tens of millions adding an uptown transfer (While ripping up the streets for the next four years). Do you think that money could have been better spent fixing up a pig sty “F” Train Station? Pick anyone of these: 14th St, 23rd St, West 4th St, 2nd Ave, East Broadway, Smith & 9th St, or 4th Ave.
    This issue is simply sour grapes, and I am sick of it.

  • http://billyballyankeesblog.blogspot.com Bill

    In time those seats will sell, in the mean time they should reduce the price on a game by game basis. But nothing will happen until the Yankees get sick of looking at empty seats.

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