Yanks outpacing Mets in stadium memorabilia race


As the Mets bumble through another off-season and make headlines for all the wrong reasons, the Yankees find themselves pulling far ahead of the Flushing Nine in the stadium memorabilia race as well. As The Post reported over the weekend, Yankee Stadium seats are far outselling those from Shea Stadium.

According to Melissa Klein, only 10,311 of the 16,000 Shea Stadium seat pairs put up for sale over 16 months ago have been snatched up. The Yanks, meanwhile, have sold 15,000 seats in the last eight months. To make matters worse for the Mets, the Yanks’ seats at selling at $1500 a pair while the Mets’ seats go for just $869 per duo. That’s quite the revenue disparity.

Over at NBC’s Circling the Bases, Craig Calcaterra ponders the meaning of this discrepancy. He writes, “I’d be curious to hear New Yorkers’ take on the subject, but given that the Yankee Stadium seats only date back to the mid-70s renovation at the oldest, this can’t be a matter of some overwhelmingly disparate historical relevance of the given seats. On a gut level this just seems about right in terms of weighted fandom.”

I don’t agree with Calcaterra’s take about general views of weighted fandom in New York City. When it comes to seat sales, only the diehards with money are going to drop a grand and a half on some plastic seats. While the Mets have struggled in recent years to put a good product on the field, the diehards are always there, and the Mets don’t have appreciably fewer fans than the Yanks. The team should be able to sell out 15,000 seat pairs.

Rather, I think these numbers — wide even in the face of a huge price gap — show the love people had for Yankee Stadium and the general disregard even Mets fans had for Shea Stadium. Even though Yankee Stadium lost a lot of its original character in the mid-1970s renovations and even though many of the seats and other memorabilia for sale date back to just the Reggie Jackson era and not the Babe Ruth era, Yankee Stadium was still a baseball cathedral in the Bronx. It was a spot of Mystique and Aura, and it witnessed, even in its post-renovated incarnation, magical moments. It was also a baseball destination.

In Queens, meanwhile, Shea was often called the toilet bowl of Flushing. With a moving lower bowl, it was a hybrid baseball/football stadium that was state of the art for a few years and then fell into disrepair. Even when a replacement was no sure thing, the stadium suffered through years of tough love. The site lines were bad; the upper decks far recessed; and the amenities bare bones. It was just another cookie-cutter stadium built in a parking lot surrounded by chop shops. Can you blame the Queens faithful for wanting to put the Shea Stadium past behind him?

In the end, the seats will sell, and the stadiums will fade into baseball memory. One of them — that House in the Bronx — will live on in memory. The other will become a relic of a bad era of stadium architecture, and that is why the seats won’t go quickly into the night.

  • radnom

    I’d be curious to hear New Yorkers’ take on the subject, but given that the Yankee Stadium seats only date back to the mid-70s renovation at the oldest, this can’t be a matter of some overwhelmingly disparate historical relevance of the given seats.

    I’m pretty sure a wrapper from a hotdog sold at the old Yankee Stadium is more historically relevant than any part of Shea Stadium.
    That place was a dump.

  • JGS

    Yanks outselling Mets in memorabilia race

    in other news, the Pope is Catholic

    • thurdonpaul


      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        thurdonpaul says:
        January 19th, 2010 at 3:45 pm


  • J.R.

    It would be awesome to sit in your living room watch a game with a cold beer and sit in true Yankee Stadium seats.

    • Evan NYC

      Yea, awesome and incredibly uncomfortable.

      • J.R.


      • A.D.

        Yeah. I’ll take the couch.

    • scoopemup

      I sat in my Stadium seats during the WS,expensive,but my life(and daughters also)have been defined in some degree by the Yankees.These seats have a lot of baseball history attached to them,and are priceless to me.There also was a piece of gum stuck under one of them.

  • A.D.

    I would certainly hope something from Yankee stadium sold better than those from Shea.

  • steve s

    Are the marketing budgets and strategies the same? I remember Reggie Jackson doing a series of interviews/appearances on behalf of Steiner Sports marketing YS seats and other items. I don’t remember seeing any comparable specific marketing campaign for Shea stuff.

  • pete

    i’d say that this article is on par with Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” in terms of historically groundbreaking revelations.

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

      I know. You’d think Calcaterra could have figured that out himself. It’s not about fandom. It’s about the history of the respective buildings.

      • Steve H

        Agreed. I’d love to have a seat from Fenway. While I’m a Pats fan I’d love to have a seat from Lambeau. Shea just does nothing for me or anyone else, other than the wonderful memory of 1986.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          I’d love to have a seat from Fenway too. I heard they make pretty colors when they burn.

          • thurdonpaul

            lol, i heard that also

      • pete

        well anyway, I’m sorry if my comment was rude or offensive, it was not intended to be.

  • joe

    I think part of the issue is that the Yankee seats come in blue, while the Shea seats come in Blue, Orange, Red and Green. When the Shea seats originally went on sale, Blue and Orange sold out relatively quick. As much as die-hards love Shea, who would really want to own Shea seats in red or green, which aren’t the Mets’ colors. Yankee seats will continue to sell, but once the Mets run out of the team-colored seats (they just started selling orange pairs again) the disparity will only continue to grow.

  • Will

    Things could obviously change in a generation, but right now the Yankees have a lot more fans than the Mets do. All you need to do is ride the subway and walk around all of the boroughs. The amount of Yankee gear outnumbers Met gear almost 4 or 5 to 1. Obviously, much of that is attributable to casual, bandwagon type fans, but I think the overwhelming class of new diehards is heavily tilted toward the Yankees.

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