Record low attendances at Yankee Stadium this weekend

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The Yankees previous low attendance at the new Stadium isn’t much of a surprise. On May 3, 2010, the Yankees drew only 41,751 against the Orioles. An early season games against a non-contender will always draw fewer people, so this is to be expected. What’s surprising is that it is now the former low. Both of the games this weekend against the Tigers drew fewer fans. Ross at Stadium Insider examines the trend. While I don’t agree that “casual fans got their first chance to catch the 2011 Yankees live” on Saturday — countless casual fans made it out for Opening Day — Ross does bring up some interesting information about the weekend games.

Of particular note is his point about dynamic ticket pricing. On the primary market, tickets cost the same whether you’re going to a July game against the Rays or an April game against the Indians. The secondary market helps correct for this, but the tickets hit the primary market before the secondary. In other words, someone’s taking a loss here. Maybe it was just the ominous weather forecasts that had everyone staying home — after all, snow was originally predicted for Friday/Saturday. But it’s still a bit of a disturbing trend.

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  • CS Yankee

    Wasn’t Saturday also going to be Cliff Lee’s debut?

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

      Who?

  • http://deleted JoeyH

    Well they weren’t going to match the last two years. 1) 2009 was obviously the first year in the stadium and 2) last year was a ring ceremony 3) This year follows a free agent off season where they lost out on their #1 target and their arch rival Red Sox got a ‘ton better’

    • KeithK

      Attendance was bolstered the last two seasons by the new stadium factor (2009) and the championship factor (2010). These two don’t apply anymore. With ticket prices as high as they are and the economy still slow I can easily see a drop off in attendance this season.

      I’m not saying it *will* happen: NY is still a huge market for Yankees baseball and the team is probably going to be good and in the race. But it wouldn’t surprise me.

      • http://deleted JoeyH

        Well the economy factor goes without saying. Attendence doesn’t matter to me for now. They went 2/3 this week.

    • Jenny

      That’s a good point (the lack of offseason headlines). I wonder how season ticket sales were impacted.

  • dkidd

    there’s also the whole “the middle class is evaporating” thing

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals

      what does the middle class have to do with Yankee tickets?

  • TogaSean

    Ticket prices likely play a role here. At some point people are going to draw a line, and let’s face it, a day at the stadium for a family of 4 costs a small fortune these days. I made a couple trips last year and that’s enough for me for quite awhile, it’s simply too expensive now. That’s coming from a diehard Yankee fan.

    • Slugger27

      i think this is really the only point worth talking about. the cheapest season ticket on the field level is $5000 and the cheapest in the main level is $4000. and again, those are the cheapest, with most of the field level being $10,000 and most of the main level being at least $6500 or $7000.

      these are where most of the empty seats are. they have a LOT of very fair priced tickets, mostly in the terrace levels and bleachers, which is why those seats are always full. but up and down those baselines (ignoring the obvious issues with champions and legends) theres just not good value to be had.

  • Tubby

    I think the fact that they didn’t start selling single game tickets until March has played a role in this.

    As an out-of-state fan, I need to be very selective about the 1 or 2 games that I attend each year. For planning purposes, I can’t wait until March to see what’s available, so I purchase my tickets earlier through the secondary market and end up paying inflated prices. Therefore, a game against Detroit in 45 degree weather isn’t at the top of my wish list.

    That said, as a fan who remembers when 25,000 was considered a big crowd, I never thought I’d see the day when 40,000+ was considered a disappointment.

  • MONKEYJAW

    When it costs over 30 bucks just to park one’s car and ticket prices continue to climb…I’m sorry, but games are becoming too cost prohibitive…especially in this economic climate.

  • Francis

    Going to YS is a complete hassle, especially if you’re coming from North Jersey, where there is no mass transit that takes you directly to the stadium. Paying $35 for parking alone is enough of a reason that going to the stadium to watch a game just isn’t worth it, especially if you have an HDTV and can enjoy the game in a comfortable environment without dealing with the minor annoyances while attending a game (annoying/unruly fans). I went a Yankee game last summer and decided to take the NJ Transit to NY Penn and then walk to Grand Central to take the Metro North train to the Stadium. Overall, it cost $37 to take two different commuter rails just to get to YS. Point is, coming from Jersey, you are screwed either way getting to the stadium.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      100% agree. Even with parking prices raised to $35, it’s still cheaper (nevermind faster) for someone coming from North Jersey to drive to the Stadium. We often talk about Yankee Stadium being the most “mass transit accessible” stadium but to the rather large percentage of people in Passaic or Bergen county that’s just not the case. I usually split parking with a buddy, which makes it a bit more bearable, but it still is frustrating having to pay inflated parking prices or just staying home.

      • Slugger27

        in the yankees defense, therye not the ones setting the prices on parking.

        but i agree, parking is another major issue w/ attendance at almost any stadium.

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          its free in Tampa.

      • Jenny

        “We often talk about Yankee Stadium being the most “mass transit accessible” stadium but to the rather large percentage of people in Passaic or Bergen county that’s just not the case.”
        ============================================

        Why is Passaic and Bergen the exception to the general rule?

        • squishy jello person

          NJ transit trains from these counties do not go directly to Penn Station

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

            That’s not what she’s saying, I think. The question is, why do a few exceptions stand to a general statement? Look around the league. You will not find a more mass-transit friendly stadium than the one in the Bronx.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      Why the hell would you do that from NJ Transit? Just walk one block over to the D and take that all the way up to the Stadium.

      • Frigidevil

        That’s what I always do. Even so, any more than 3 people coming from Jersey together would save money by driving there. Costs me $16 round trip from my town by NJT & Subway.

        • Jimmy

          This right here. Last week, I used TiqIq (thanks RABbi’s) to buy 4 tickets to tomorrow night’s game for $5 a piece for my little guy’s 12th birthday. Cheap right? NJT from my closest station is $19 round trip (x4) + 4 subway tickets goes up over $80. The parking and tolls are cheap in comparison. How dumb is that? I’d love to take mass transit, but I’m not shelling out $40+ extra to use it.

  • Yank the Frank

    Any game I ever went to in April or May I froze. It’s not worth it to pay what you have to pay to freeze. So I say:

    Warm and toasty with HD
    Is the way to go for me
    Just please don’t take away
    My DirecTV.

    • Frigidevil

      I remember going to a game in May that was 75 degrees and freezing up at the top of the nosebleeds. It gets damn windy up there.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    with attendance plummeting, these guys should be contracted.

  • PagsRags

    I’m a die-hard Yanks fan but there are two problems with the organization right now:

    1-The radio announcers- get rid of ‘em
    2-The empty seats around the entire field that looks like a toilet bowl seat around the field. Do something about the empty corporate seats- maybe give them away if nobody shows up after the 3rd innning. Do something- it’s downright annoying and those lame corporate spectators (during the playoffs most aren’t fans I suspect).

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      I don’t see how the rich simply can’t be fans. They must not be selling those seats, because even the rich cringe at the price.

      • PagsRags

        It’s not rich people, it’s corporates. You have to understand how tickets get passed around, sometimes lost, sometimes end up in the hands of someone who is indifferent. A lot of waste in corporate America- like govt only they go out of biz when they suck for too long (ideally)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      It’s not that they’re not showing up. It’s that they’re taking advantage of the bars and restaurants around the Stadium.

  • Jenny

    Ticket prices are too high for certain sections.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/a.....otostream/

    The lower right field stands were 45% full and the lower left field stands were maybe 20% full. But the bleacher sections were packed.

  • JerseyDutch

    I blame in order: 1) The cold weather. 2) An unexciting opponent. (Yes you, Detroit Tigers.) 3) No more new-stadium smell at YS3.

  • Stultus Magnus

    Not surprising. It’s just too expensive to go. I may have gone to about 10 games in the past per season, now I may only go once. If the Yanks start some sort of tiered pricing for individual games, I suspect it would only raise the cost of tickets overall. For a halfway decent seat I need to pay 65 bucks? Burger and a couple beers you are up to $100 per person. No thanks. I’ll watch it on TV.

  • nathan

    Have relatives in Baltimore. I combine my summer visits there with a Yankee series generally. I save upto 50% on costs for way better seats and so much easier access. Unfortunately, I cant afford the same seats [@ YS 3] that I can at Camden Yards.

    • http://drawingwalks.wordpress.com/ Raphe

      Deals to be had with last minute shopping on stubhub. For this past Sunday’s game I got a pair of Sec 134 for $19 (with fees) each. April is the time to get the fancy seats for grandstand prices.

  • http://nyystadiuminsider.com NYYSI Ross

    When I said “casual fans” had their first opportunity to attend a game this weekend, I meant people who don’t like to deal with the craziness of Ticketmaster.com and trying to score tickets as soon as they go on sale. Opening Day tickets usually sell out pretty quickly and often go for over face value on the secondary market. To me, if you take off work or school to attend opening day in 40 degree temperatures after doing all of the research to know when tickets go on sale and then score tickets, you’re not a casual fan.

  • Jay

    Last year I bought tickets off the secondary market (Stubhub) because the game I wanted to go to was sold out, and it turned out the seller was the New York Yankees.

    I am convinced that the Yankees post lower priced tickets at the box office, only to say they are sold out and then sell them at a markup on the secondary market. This way they do not get killed in the media and can still sell the tickets at the price point they want.

    I would love to hear if other people have had a similar experience with Stubhub.