Feb
01

Yankees continue to struggle to sell high-priced seats for all but the top matchups

By

Yankees Tickets

A guest post from Dan Groob at TiqIQ.

It’s no secret the New York Yankees have struggled to fill the new Yankee Stadium since it opened its doors for the 2009 season. What many folks on the couch don’t realize however is that the Yankees haven’t had a problem selling tickets in the slightest — they’ve just had a really big problem selling the extremely high-priced seats you see while watching a game on television.

Many of the empty seats behind home plate at Yankee Stadium carry face values of over $2,000 dollars. Generally speaking, such seats tend to belong to season ticket holders who typically do not attend every game.  However, in the post-2008 economy, it has been near impossible for anyone to resell these tickets on the secondary market at anything close to what was paid for them. As a result, fans have begun to give up their season tickets to those seats while nobody has stepped in to replace them. Thus they remain vacant.

Though the Yankees have always sold out the rest of the stadium, the higher-priced ticket sales are largely responsible for driving the team’s average ticket price figure. This is particularly true on the secondary market. Because more fans have given up these seats every year, fewer have hit the secondary market, while fewer still have sold. As a result, the Yankees average ticket price has declined steadily in each of the past three years. According to TiqIQ, the average seat at Yankee Stadium in 2010 came in at $85 dollars on the secondary market. In 2011, this declined to $81 dollars. Last year, you could find a ticket on the secondary market at an average price of just $75 dollars.

Currently, New York Yankees tickets in the Bronx for the 2013 season run about $114 dollars on average. While this figure seems promising on the surface and indicative of a rebound in demand for Yankees tickets, the underlying details actually seem to suggest a further decline in Yankees ticket prices. Typically, the market exhibits some downward pressure on ticket prices between the beginning of Spring Training and the start of the season. At this time last year, the average ticket ran about $135 dollars — an 18% premium to where they are now — before settling at the average of $75 dollars once the season began.

Of course these are still the Yankees, and certain games will carry elevated demand for any and all seats. Most notably, three of the top five highest-priced series of the season include a common opponent — the Boston Red Sox. Although this could be one of those rare seasons when the AL East does not come down to New York and Boston in the final month, the September 5-8 series against the Sox is the most expensive of the season, with an average ticket price of $171 dollars and a get-in price of $39. The Red Sox are also responsible for the season’s second highest priced series on May 31-June 2, also at an average of $171.

The third most expensive series of the season will be the Subway Series against the New York Mets on May 29-30. These tickets are going for an average of $157 dollars, and $41 bucks just to get in the stadium. Following the Mets, the fourth most expensive series will be another interleague matchup, this one against the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. This September 20-22 series against a Giants team, which formerly resided a subway ride away from Yankee Stadium, holds an average ticket price of $149, with a get-in price of $29 dollars.

Rounding out the top five most expensive series of the 2013 season will be the opening series against the Boston Red Sox on April 1-4. While this series checks in at an average price of $144 dollars, it actually contains the single highest-priced individual game of the season. This is of course the Opening Day afternoon game, which currently prices at a whopping $279 dollars serving well to exemplify how high a game average can go at Yankee Stadium when the home plate seats are selling.

Just missing the cut for the top five most expensive Yankees series? A two-game interleague series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 18 and 19. These two teams have met in the World Series a ridiculous eleven times, more than any two teams in baseball history.

However, this certainly isn’t your grandfather’s skip school to snag an Ebbets Field bleacher seat for a nickel game — a ticket to this series will put a little dent into grandpa’s pension at an average cost of $142 dollars. If your grandpa is an old Dodgers fan, do right by the man and take him to the ballgame. Just don’t tell him how much the tickets cost if you don’t feel like getting an earful on inflation and the good old days.

Remember, for the best deals on MLB tickets throughout the season, visit TiqIQ.com. TiqIQ has also teamed up with SeatCrunch to bring you additional options for New York Yankees Tickets.

Categories : Guest Columns
  • trr

    Absurd, but it’s an absurd world

  • Mike

    What a joke ! ..

  • jsbrendog

    i’m still hoping for the same as last year, $1-$10 day of tickets on stubhub, which I don’t think will be a problem at all.

    I may end up pulling the trigger on one game for the legends seats. I saw them get as low as $300 last year…

    everyone freaked out about the ticketmaster exchange thing but season ticket holders will still sell their tickets on stubhub for something, anything, because no one will pay face value on the ticketexchange site and if i remember correctly it stipulates lowest sale price must be face value haha.

    scorebig is great as well.

    • MB923

      So did anything change for the consumers for Yankee tickets on STubHub? What exactly was the change? Because I still see Yankee StubHub listings. That whole thing confused me.

      • jsbrendog

        yanks opted out of using stubhub as the official reseller which probably gave stubhub access to tickets first or soemthing i dunno.

        now season ticket holders “have to resell on ticket exchange” i believe but there is no way to prevent someone from putting it on stub hub. i mean, they could ban you from buying season tickets but that doesnt seem like itd make sense.

        • CBR

          Right.

          The official reseller of the Yanks is now Ticketmaster (ugh!) so you can print out your tix online.

          If you go through StubHub, you will have to pick up your tix physically. So you’ll either have to meet up with someone or Stubhub will have a place where you can pick up tickets. They had a pickup booth outside the stadium a couple of years ago.

  • Jamey

    Clearly they aren’t selling because they’re too cheap!

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    Why not use dynamic pricing for single-game tickets?

  • justin r

    I moved out of town and probably only see 3-4 games during the regular season – so when I do, I’m willing to shell out for decent seats. I am ALWAYS able to snag legends seats for around $225 or seats elsewhere in the first 5-6 rows for around $150 on stubhub. As far as I’m concerned, let the yanks continue their stupid pricing scheme as its completely out of whack with reality.

    The only issue is this same scheme has resulted in a terrible atmosphere in new YS. I live in Philly – where box seats face value at 10% what they do in YS and the stadium atmosphere is exponentially better. As a yankee fan, it pains me.

    • CBR

      Good point. I’m not crazy about the atmosphere at the new YS either. Its too corporate, too mundane.

      I keep hearing Camden Yards is great. I might do a trip this year.

  • Monty

    I’d rather buy tickets behind home plate for the entire Baltimore Series at Camden Yards in June, get a nice Hotel for the weekend eat steak dinners every night and still have money left over than go to one random Legend’s suite at Yankee stadium… Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating or am I?

    • Gonzo

      You got one thing wrong. You’ll be eating crab instead of steak. :)

    • 189,189,189,

      you are not, that is why fans are staying away in droves…

  • Count Zero

    Basically a bad business strategy decision on the part of the Yankees.

    They assumed that the Wall St. companies et al would always continue to gobble up premium-priced season tickets at the same rate they were doing so in the 90s and early-mid 00s. So they built a stadium with less seats, but many very high-priced seats and services which would result in a net revenue increase. Then came 2009.

    Now they face a difficult problem. If they lower the prices on those premium seats it will likely increase unit sales. But will unit sales increase enough to outpace the drop in revenue from existing customers whose price will also have to be lowered? I.e., will a 10% price reduction result in > 10% increase in units?

    Rock to the left — hard place to the right.

  • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

    What a shock they can’t sell their seats.

    Let me see, should I spend $250 for 2 people for food and tickets plus another $50+ on parking and tolls, sit in traffic for hours trying to and from the stinking Bronx or watch on my 62″ high def TV in the comfort of my own home for free??

    • Havok9120

      “Can’t sell their seats” is a bit of an exaggeration though, as that article points out. Yeah, the Legends seats aren’t selling right now, but they had the second highest home (and, I believe, highest total) attendance in the MLB last season. That’s by both avg attendance per game and total. Even by % of stadium sold they ranked, I think 5th or 6th.

      People making it sound like they can’t sell tickets to the game or the stadium is deserted are just wrong.

      • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

        You could have bought seats from Yankee playoff games last year for less than face value the day if the game. I was at game 5 against Baltimore and not only wasn’t the stadium full, there was orange everywhere.

        Never would have happened at YS2 and I’m sure this development can’t make team happy.

        • Get Phelps Up

          I think that part of that was the fact that nobody knew that that game was going to be played until less than 24 hours before, and it started at 5:00 on a Friday. I only saw it on TV but I think saying that orange was “everywhere” is a gross overstatement.

          • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

            Dude, I was at the game and there had to be 10,000 Orioles fans easily. It was my 4th or 5th game this season and I remember being taken back by the number of Orioles fans that were there.

            I think your perception from home was incorrect.

          • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

            The only other time I could remember seeing that many visiting fans at a Yankees home game was an interleague game vs the Mets I went to a couple of years ago.

            It kind of reminded me of Giants-Cowboys games at the meadowlands when 20%+ of the stadium is wearing Dallas jerseys.

          • CBR

            I agree. I hate the playoff scheduling. No one knows when the games are going to start because the TV network sets the start of the game, not the league (which is ridiculous). When games start at 4:35pm, dont’ expect too many people to show up.

      • 189,189,189,

        you are wrong!

      • joe

        please that is crazy to say…the Yankees have yet to sell out a game in this new stadium..they said the opening day game was sold out but there were hundreds of empty seats that were visible by all…the fact that you can get a playoff ticket on the day of proves they aren’t selling out….you could never get a playoff ticket in the old stadium

    • 189,189,189,

      me too,but gave up my tickets for an 81 inch beauty!

      • Get Phelps Up

        a 1500 beauty!!!..

        • 189,189,189,

          thanks for the shout out,you get it….we love the yankees but hate what they are doing…………..

  • Evan

    Shouldn’t they figure a system to give the empty seats that appear on tv to underprivileged kids or veterans and other groups, seems like a win – win. If done through a charity can be used by the yanks or the ticket holder as a tax write-off, would fill the seats for TV, and would put people in the seats that actually care about the game.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/2013 alan hersh

      HI, EVAN, WHEN I STARTED TO READ YOUR COMMENT ABOVE, I THOUGHT, HEY, I WROTE THIS. THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS TIMES WHEN I HAVE GONE INTO A TIRADE SAYING THE EXACT SAME THING, I.E. GIVE THE DAMN TICKETS TO THE KIDS IN HARLEM WHO ARE TRUE FANS OF THE TEAM. I AM LIVID WHEN I SEE ALL THESE EMPTY SEATS WHOSE PRICE IS AN ABOMINATION. ISN’T IT EMBARASSING TO THE YANKEES FOR THE WORLD TO SEE THESE GREAT SEATS GOING TO WASTE. I JUST DON’T GET IT. I HAVE YET TO GO TO THE NEW STADIUM AS I PREFER TO SIT UP CLOSE. BUT I CAN’T COME NEAR AFFORDING THE COST OF A TICKET.IF I COULD GET A LEGEND SEAT FOR ABOUT $200 THEN I WOULD CONSIDER IT. HOWEVER, AS IT STANDS NOW THE WHOLE THING IS OUTRAGEOUS. I HOPE YOU GET THIS NOTE. THANKS FOR LENDING ME AN EAR.

  • Rufus

    I live in Philly – where box seats face value at 10% what they do in YS and the stadium atmosphere is exponentially better. As a yankee fan, it pains me.

    Tell me about it. I live in Boston, and while the sell out streak at Fenway is a joke, they certainly still do sell out the seats close to the field, especially behind home plate. Makes for a much better atmosphere.

    Here’s my plan for Yankee Stadium, which they will ignore: 1) rip out giant seats; 2) fill in the moat; 3) add way more seats than you had before; 4) sell them for way less.

    You could still charge a lot (just not an absurd amount) for these close seats in NYS, and I guarantee that they would sell and fill them virtually every game.

    • Havok9120

      And they may do that at some point if the complaints get loud (and costly) enough.

      Until then, there is really no incentive to do so. And as the economy should continue it’s snail-speed rebound it’s likely that they’ve seen the worst of it regarding the weakness of the market.

    • CBR

      I never understood the moat. Was a physical separation between the haves and have-nots really that necessary?

  • JLevs

    If you believe that all but their most expensive seats are sold out I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you. Whoever wrote this has no idea how many ticket holders in “regular” seats have dropped their plans this winter.

    • jsbrendog

      or how those plans got picked up by people on a waiting list.

    • Dan

      Well, I’m the one who wrote this article, and I have actual ticket data provided by TiqIQ. Suffice to say, I have trouble figuring how you’d have any idea how many ticket holders in “regular” seats have dropped their plans in the off season. While teams across baseball certainly fudge their ticket sale numbers, the Yankees have had very little trouble selling seats outside the Legends Suite.

      • 189,189,189,

        they do not sell out anything…you can buy tickets for opening day and the playoffs..absurd prices!!!!!

  • Scott

    So…I will be in NY (from CA) in June during the Dodgers series and wanted to get tix. Any recommendations in where I could get the best seat for the cheapest? This will be our first game at YS3.

  • joey

    i have been to the new stadium 3 times. its like a freakin mall i hated it. prices are out of this world. been to camden yards for two series. every game nice seats and nice hotel. great place to watch a game. gonna take a lot to get me to yankee stadium again. JMO

  • gmadkins2

    My father and I go to YS once every year for a father son trip. I would love to surprise him this year with Legend s seats. Which site is best to get tickets? I looking to pay 300 a piece.