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.