Yankees Attendance No Catastrophe

Red Sox rough up Hughes for first win of 2011
Game Eight: Super Nova

The following post is written for commenter Ross in Jersey, who told me he would donate $1 for every Tex RBI to the RAB Pledge Drive if I wrote an entire article without periods or ending punctuation and still had it make sense, and I figured  the flame comments I’d get from people lacking in reading comprehension were a small price to pay for helping inner city kids

"It's April, so I can only hit home runs when 40,000 no ones are here" (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

One of the reasons the Yankees are such amazing winners is that they have the financial power to make up for a lacking farm or surround the farm talent with high-powered free agents like CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira, and one of the places that that virtually unlimited cash flow comes from are the droves and droves of fans that pour through the gates of Yankee stadium to see these people play – the “Yankee Universe,” as it’s been coined by the Yankees organization, is one of, if not the biggest fan following in professional sports, and plenty of fans are at home ready to shell out cash, hop on a subway, train, car or bus and head to the House that Ruth (or perhaps Jeter, nowadays) Built, and people take notice when the seats aren’t filled in the stadium in the Bronx – no matter what the reason is for that and regardless of the numbers that count or the rest of the stadiums around the country, and quite frankly, the attention that has been drawn to the record-setting lows in the new stadium (sounds scary now, huh?) is pretty absurd

The record-setting low that was set for attendance in Yankee Stadium 3 was 40,267 – only 40,267, really – and that seems like a decent number of fans to turn out for one game in any sport, in any organization, and keep in mind, it doesn’t matter to the Yankees how many people actually show up to a game, just how many people buy tickets, because even if you make the stadium look empty on TV (and on a cold day, Legends needs no help with that, zing), you’re still contributing to the massive Yankees cash flow, and honestly the bottom line is all that matters when we get down to the nitty gritty of the whole thing, because looking embarrasing on TV does not pay Mark Teixeira, but buying a season ticket package and deciding not to go to a game does

Those people with season tickets who decided not to come are not, by default, Yankee haters, nor does that make them terrible fans, especially because a usual April day in New York is chilly, with a cold breeze and often rain and the third game of the year has no leverage for people to brave the weather to show up, such as is the case during Opening Day – that record low was set on a cold (average 49°F, with a low of 41°F), rainy, windy day – just the kind of day no one wants to be outside for an extended period of time for, and if you have season tickets and don’t mind blowing the money, the perfect day to skip a ballgame or StubHub your tickets, and unless you’re desperate to see the Yankees, no one on StubHub is flying to pick up tickets for such a miserable day, and that’s really what it comes down to after all – people go to ballgames to have fun, after all, and sometimes the weather just makes having fun impossible, and so there’s no reason to show up

For a little perspective on the matter, a table:


Obviously, small sample size applies, but all of these teams have played two different teams at home, and I’m fairly sure that the oh-so-terrible showing of 40,267 fans will not lead the Yankees to become bottom feeders or force them to start shedding salary – what matters to the team’s wallet is how many tickets are sold, not how many people show up, and the wallet is the most important part of an organization that uses its massive financial might to help itself win

Moral of the story: no one likes going to a baseball game when it’s miserable out, even if your team is amazing, even fewer people are interested in low-leverage April games that happen to fall on those miserable days, and the Yankees, once again, have the power to make something that means absolutely nothing newsworthy

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Red Sox rough up Hughes for first win of 2011
Game Eight: Super Nova
  • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

    Hannah #1

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

    Did you fail English class? God, this article is terrible yet I will read more and bitch here in the comments.

    Just kidding, good article Hannah.

  • Ed

    I think the really high attendance we’ve seen for the past 5 or so years isn’t sustainable. I think it got as high as it did because people had an emotional attachment to the old stadium. They went to more games than usual to enjoy that stadium before it got torn down. After the new one opened, the ticket demand stayed high because people wanted to experience the new stadium.

    Now we’ve got a very nice stadium with expensive tickets, and the new stadium smell has worn off. I think ticket sales will start settling into a range we can expect going forward.

  • Will (the other one)

    Awesome job, Hannah! Good take on a situation that, as you pointed out, could really only be a concern to those looking to make mountains out of molehills. And great work by you and Ross in putting your heads together for an excellent cause.

  • Yanks27rings

    *Gasp* You used a colon. Doesn’t count!

    I’m kidding of course. This article was pretty well written considering the whole thing was one sentence. I like the the idea of “helping inner city kids” with this. Good to know people still care.

  • lawyers love the yankees too

    There were also no huge free agent signings during the off season, so there hasn’t been a new shiny for people to want to look at and heckle.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      …so there hasn’t been a new shiny for people to want to look at and heckle.

      I laughed.

  • Yardisiak

    The overall numbers don’t look bad but all the empties are the good seats. The moat has been overpriced from the beginning and the ticket adjustment the Yankees made this offseason seems to have decreased the percent sold of the second tier seats. It kills the atmosphere and us embarrassing. Something has to be done but the Yankees are clearly ignoring what is painfully obvious, the best seats are simply too much.

    • Jericho Spade

      That’s actually not true. Believe it or not, at least last year, despite them being empty often they are sold. Most are business clients though, who stay inside. If you have ever had the legend’s amenities, there is a lot of food, tables and huge tv’s where these guys do business.

  • http://nyystadiuminsider.com NYYSI Ross

    Hannah, you’re missing the bigger sports business angle here. The Yankees are losing season ticketholders with each passing year. Sure, their attendance will still be impressive, and among the leaders in MLB. Come summer time, they’ll be drawing impressive crowds. But as the season ticketholder base dwindles, it leaves the team more susceptible to poor attendance due to weather, due to opponents, due to the economy, other events occurring in the city, etc.

    This week’s “poor” attendance wasn’t a result of the weather conditions, it was a result of there being less season ticketholders. Trust me, it is something that is concerning to the Yankees, especially if it continues to be a trend.

    • Yanks27rings

      Why are they losing season ticket holders? Is it perhaps the spike in the cost of those tickets? With the current economy, only the most dedicated (or richest) Yankee fans will be able to afford tickets.

      The raise in ticket prices, parking prices, concessions, and everything else only hurts the organization. They’re losing “customers,” but they ARE the Yankees. I’m not worried about being sold to the West Coast anytime soon.

    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

      How many fewer season ticketholders are there this year compared to last year and the year prior?

      • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Purely anecdotal evidence that may not even mean much, but (as has been noted in other conversations/posts and as I noted in a comment at Ross’s blog), we canceled our season ticket package after ’09 and have received many more calls from the ticket reps in the last few months than we did last offseason when we actually canceled. Again, it might not mean much, but it also might be a sign that the Yanks realize they’re losing some people who used to go to a lot of games.

      • http://nyystadiuminsider.com NYYSI Ross

        The Yankees will never, EVER release information about how many less season ticketholders they have.

        • Bob Stone

          GRAMMAR NAZI WARNING – Correct English is “fewer” ticketholders not “less”. Fewer denotes numbers while less denotes amounts.

          Example – John has fewer potatoes than Larry. Mary less mashed potatoes than Jennifer.

          • Bob Stone

            *Correction; Mary has less . . .

  • Laurie

    My friend wants to bring his kid to the Rockies series in June and can’t find good seats for under 1000 dollars! That’s crazy. I think it’s more about money than anything else. Any suggestions on how he can beat the ticket system to get seats for this series? At a reasonable cost? He lives in Colorado and can’t wait until last minute.

    • A.D.

      I’m going to assume thats a typo and you mean $100 because on stubhub you can sit anywhere for less than 1K for the Saturday game against the Rockies. Best advice, by lesser cheap tickets, i.e. bleachers so you know you’re going, then look to trade up last minute by trolling stubhub for deals.

    • Zack

      What’s your definition of good seats?

  • OkulaFan67

    LMAO!

  • Mickey Scheister

    I make at least one trip for at least 2 games each year and this year will be no different. I’ve lived in five different states the past eight years and from the west coast to the east coast I’ll always continue this tradition. I love NY and the Yanks even more so.

  • Mickey Scheister

    Also, I wish the RAB site had something that would do weekly withdrawals with RBIs or HRs linked for their fund raiser, I’d love to donate $1 for each A-Rod (my fav Yankee) RBI or $2.50 for each HR; While $100 seems like a lot of money at once, seeing it come out in weekly increments based on positive performance from my fav player would be a cool concept, see what I did there, no periods

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

    Hahah, well done. This was actually a lot easier on the eyes than I figured a zero punctuation article could be :)

  • Claudell

    Well done!

  • gargoyle

    Many of the Legends seats are empty during playoff games. Is it because of the weather? Those seats are too damn expensive in any economy.

  • Bob Stone

    I agree –

    Minor point – You used hyphens – Isn’t that sort of going against the idea of no periods and no ending punctuation?

    • Bob Stone

      Oops – This was meant to be a reply to Yanks27Rings and his comment about colons.

  • icebird753

    LOL it doesn’t make sense without any periods–Ross wins

  • Bob Stone

    And another thing – Isn’t using paragraphs a form of ending punctuation??

    I still loved it. Great effort.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

    For a little perspective on the matter, a table :

    Isn’t that and ending punctuation?

  • Jonathan

    I can’t believe people would miss a chance to watch the Yankees because it’s in the 40’s with some rain…I would like to think we have a diehard enough fan base that it would take more than a little bad weather to keep them at home. I know I’m in the minority in thinking this, which astonishes me considering we’re on a Yankee blog.

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

      I can’t believe people would miss a chance to watch the Yankees because it’s in the 40?s with some rain.

      You can’t? Really?

    • Granderslam

      In 2009, I waited out a serious 2-hour rain delay (Yankees had just clinched the Division the night before…Chad Gaudin was starting. B-lineup, Cano hit a Grand Slam…that game)…Needless, to say, I got Bronchitis. My advice: stay home.

    • Zack

      /sarcasm

  • Andrew518

    I think the greater problem here with the new stadium is that all of the expensive seats are remaining empty. All the real fans (who do show up in bad weather) are relagated to the further reaches of the stadium. On TV 40,000+ looks empty because all you see are the unoccupied seats. Looks an awful lot like LA, not a good comparison for the Yankees. Sure Tex will still get paid, but it should be as embarassing for the orginization as it is for me. Hopefully time will lower the prices or do away with this unneeded luxury and the focus will go back to baseball as it always was in the old stadium.