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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Passan: Yankees try to disguise empty seats at ALCS by moving fans

C’mon you interlocksteppers! Bald Vinny can only procreate so much!

For the second consecutive playoff game, swaths of empty seats filled Yankee Stadium, entire rows without a single fan. And on Saturday night, instead of letting them sit embarrassingly open for Game 1 of the ALCS, ushers were told to fill them with fans from other sections.

“We were up there,” said Bill Brady, 46, of Roxbury, N.J., pointing from his new seat in Section 334 to the top of 434b. “Way up there.”

Brady was one of dozens of fans ferried by ushers in the bottom of the fourth inning to Section 334 down the left-field line, which just an inning earlier had nine people sitting among more than 100 unfilled seats. One usher, who asked not to be identified, said he was told by a superior to start sending fans to the higher-priced seats.

“I don’t know what it’s about,” the usher said. “I guess they want to make it look better on TV.”

While some Yankees fans mobilized on Twitter and other social networks to rationalize the second consecutive non-sellout, fans in Section 334 were miffed and disappointed that a metropolitan area of 22 million couldn’t sell out a stadium with a capacity short of 51,000. The announced attendance was 47,122.

... Still, these are the Yankees. Winners of 27 championships. Purveyors of the most popular brand in American sports. Architects of a $1.5 billion stadium that was supposed to be the diamond of baseball diamonds.

On Saturday, it was cubic zirconia, the team resorting to desperate measures to fill seats.

“I don’t understand,” Brady said. “I figure at the drop of a hat Yankee fans would show up.”

Repoz Posted: October 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4269175)
It's bad enough that "attendance" is measured by tickets sold. Now we have sleight of hand attempts to fool us into thinking people are flocking to the game.
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4269198)
The indifference from the Yankees crowd for anything other than booing its players or cheering for Raul Ibanez homers is kind of depressing to see since the team is a perennial contender.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4269217)
If the Yankees can't sell out postseason games, perhaps the franchise needs to be relocated to a bigger market that will support the team or simply contracted.
   4. Chip Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:55 AM (#4269218)
Potemkin Stadium!
   5. DFA Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4269226)
Is New York the new Atlanta?
   6. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4269228)
If the Yankees can't sell out postseason games, perhaps the franchise needs to be relocated to a bigger market that will support the team or simply contracted.


There's probably room for a third team in the SF area, since apparently tickets for game 1 of the NLCS are on sale for something like 88K. Makes it hard as hell to move the slider thingy on stubhub; a miniscule mouse movement changes the ticket price window from $300 to $3000.

   7. Fat Al Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:54 AM (#4269241)
The indifference from the Yankees crowd for anything other than booing its players or cheering for Raul Ibanez homers is kind of depressing to see since the team is a perennial contender.


It is depressing. Tonight was the worst playoff crowd I've ever seen. Not remotely full, and uninterested in anything.

This is a listless team at the moment, and having sat there for 46 innings over the last four days, I'm tired too, but the Stadium is in heavy doldrums. And that's not only sad, it's unfair to the teams whose fans really give a ####. I assure you Camden Yards (I know they wouldn't actually have been there tonight) would have had some energy.

As a life-long Yankees fan I hate to say it, but this team might need to lose for a while to refresh itself and its fan base. Having lived through the 80"s, I'm not looking forward to going back there, but the mojo just ain't there in the Bronx these days.

Now I'd better go to bed so I can get back on the D train soon.
   8. JoeHova Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:06 AM (#4269246)
The indifference from the Yankees crowd for anything other than booing its players or cheering for Raul Ibanez homers is kind of depressing to see since the team is a perennial contender.

After Granderson struck out and TBS cut to a crowd shot that was just people booing the #### out of him, all I could think was, "look what finishing 2nd in the league in homers will get you."
   9. Xander Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:10 AM (#4269252)
When did this start and why? NYC is a great baseball city. I was at Game 3 of the ALDS, which had all the hallmarks of a classic postseason game and my section was empty by the time Ibanez came up to the plate to hit his 2nd HR. Granted, I was sitting in terrible seats (434B), but by the final inning each person in my section could have a 10X10 swath of seats to themselves. Now it's the ALCS and this still persists? Why?

   10. shoewizard Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:47 AM (#4269253)
Because the type of people that don't have much else going on in their lives and therefore were truly 100% emotionally invested in everything the team does would never dream of leaving early. This is all they had. But tickets are so much more expensive than they used to be and the economy has sucked for a while. So clearly there has been some kind of change in the makeup of the crowd.

   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 14, 2012 at 07:30 AM (#4269263)
When did this start and why?


Because the type of people that don't have much else going on in their lives and therefore were truly 100% emotionally invested in everything the team does would never dream of leaving early. This is all they had. But tickets are so much more expensive than they used to be and the economy has sucked for a while. So clearly there has been some kind of change in the makeup of the crowd.

Short run, it's an old team whose "freshest" face is a 40-year-old designated hitter. It's also a team filled with TTO hitters who seem to be topheavy with the wrong one of those three. I can't remember ever seeing so many rallies killed by strikeouts in my life, and it isn't just one player, it's practically the whole goddam lineup. Sabermetrcians may shrug their shoulders at strikeouts, but aesthetically they're like watching an epileptic who left his medicine at home, and the cumulative effect is deadening.

Structurally, it's a combination of insanely overpriced seats, long games, and because of those prices, a fan base with conflicts between post-midnight ball games and early morning work requirements. It's a lot easier to go to bed at 1:00 after the game by simply turning off the TV than it is to have to factor in the long ride home. It's hard to feel too much sympathy for the owners when they've consciously decided to create all these factors by themselves.

And specifically in the case of last night's game, it was the short notice of less than 24 hours. Logistically that couldn't have been too easy to deal with, especially with (once again) those insane ticket prices. On that one minor note, the empty seats were somewhat understandable.
   12. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 14, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4269266)
I'm glad people besides me are finally talking about this. It is not a recent thing...in September there were tons of empty seats for games in a tight pennant race against the freaking Red Sox. These are games that would have drawn 57000 in the old yard. And it isn't just people not buying tickets...you also have an entire inner ring section of dumbassed luxury seats that are sold but almost never filled. Talk about killing atmosphere. As far as the crowd energy, part of it is a changing crowd but mostly I think it is the open stadium design combined with the perpetual half empty inner bowl. Man I hate nys. I'm going to go watch my DVD of the aaron boone game.
   13. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 14, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4269267)
I'm glad people besides me are finally talking about this. It is not a recent thing...in September there were tons of empty seats for games in a tight pennant race against the freaking Red Sox. These are games that would have drawn 57000 in the old yard. And it isn't just people not buying tickets...you also have an entire inner ring section of dumbassed luxury seats that are sold but almost never filled. Talk about killing atmosphere. As far as the crowd energy, part of it is a changing crowd but mostly I think it is the open stadium design combined with the perpetual half empty inner bowl. Man I hate nys. I'm going to go watch my DVD of the aaron boone game.
   14. NattyBoh Posted: October 14, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4269275)
When the stadium opened I don't think they had any sellouts until mid-season. It was against either the Red Sox or the Mets. This is not new.

It's very expensive to go to a game. Remember you're paying for a ticket, $35 to park (I can find cheaper parking in midtown Manhattan.), and pricey concessions (though a beer is cheaper here than at Metlife Stadium). Women and foodies tend to like the new stadium, but it's not like you can't find a good mall or restaurant in the area.

And as many have mentioned, this team is not "loved" by the fan base. The NY Jets had better TV ratings on Monday night than the Yankees in both NY and across the nation.

   15. DKDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4269290)
It will get worse when the season ticket holders realize they are getting screwed and they are paying well above market price for tickets.

I bought stubhub tickets in the lower bowl for $100 each on the day of the game for games 4 and 5. I'm pretty sure those tickets were being sold directly by the Yankees since I saw a bunch of unsold tickets in that section on Yankees.com the day before (face of over $300).
   16. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4269294)
I'm in the same boat as DKDC - I bought field seats - and good ones, for $120 day of game 5, face was well north of 300 in a 'sold out' section.

The problems are two-fold. One, face amount has just gotten so much more expensive. Two , stubhub. These interact in a curious way:

With regards to price, one, there's no reason to buy face when the secondary market will, at worst, be marginally more expensive than face. Two, now that the usual partial plans (growing up, half the folks I knew had a Saturday or Sunday) are so expensive, people are dropping those. This has two effects; one, it makes them less likely to buy the playoff tickets attached to the plan (which are less of a "deal" then they used to be, anyways) and two, people are less attached to the team since they attend fewer games live (when they had large numbers of decent $5 seats, I used to go 15 times in a season, easy; you'd just show up with your buddies and hang out and drink a beer or two and spend no more than you would in a bar).

Stubhub adds to this. When I was growing up, part of the problems with the playoffs was access. Ticket scalpers were seedy and odd and playoff tickets were a big investment so part of the reason you didn't go was that you didn't know how much to pay, where to pay it, and if you were going to get ripped off. Now with stubhub, all the informational asymmetry is gone and the risk of being scammed is gone and, underneath it all, it's turned out that playoff tickets are not that hard to buy, even day of game. I'm a perfect target crowd for the Yankees; 30, enough disposible income to afford seats and a big fan. But why would I ever do anything other than buy tickets at 1PM, day of game? This way I don't need to worry about being stuck in the office; don't need to worry about weather, etc. I pay a - what, 10% premium? - and get total flexibility and a guaratee I can use the tickets efficiently.

That's death for the Yankees. 10 years ago, I would've had a partial plan and bought playoff seats in September.
   17. Chip Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4269295)
And as many have mentioned, this team is not "loved" by the fan base. The NY Jets had better TV ratings on Monday night than the Yankees in both NY and across the nation.


NY Giants @ 49ers this afternoon in the same time slot as Tigers-Yankees is going to be that much worse for MLB.
   18. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4269296)
I'm in the same boat as DKDC - I bought field seats - and good ones, for $120 day of game 5, face was well north of 300 in a 'sold out' section.

The problems are two-fold. One, face amount has just gotten so much more expensive. Two , stubhub. These interact in a curious way:

With regards to price, one, there's no reason to buy face when the secondary market will, at worst, be marginally more expensive than face. Two, now that the usual partial plans (growing up, half the folks I knew had a Saturday or Sunday) are so expensive, people are dropping those. This has two effects; one, it makes them less likely to buy the playoff tickets attached to the plan (which are less of a "deal" then they used to be, anyways) and two, people are less attached to the team since they attend fewer games live (when they had large numbers of decent $5 seats, I used to go 15 times in a season, easy; you'd just show up with your buddies and hang out and drink a beer or two and spend no more than you would in a bar).

Stubhub adds to this. When I was growing up, part of the problems with the playoffs was access. Ticket scalpers were seedy and odd and playoff tickets were a big investment so part of the reason you didn't go was that you didn't know how much to pay, where to pay it, and if you were going to get ripped off. Now with stubhub, all the informational asymmetry is gone and the risk of being scammed is gone and, underneath it all, it's turned out that playoff tickets are not that hard to buy, even day of game. I'm a perfect target crowd for the Yankees; 30, enough disposible income to afford seats and a big fan. But why would I ever do anything other than buy tickets at 1PM, day of game? This way I don't need to worry about being stuck in the office; don't need to worry about weather, etc. I pay a - what, 10% premium? - and get total flexibility and a guaratee I can use the tickets efficiently.

That's death for the Yankees. 10 years ago, I would've had a partial plan and bought playoff seats in September.


I'm a Tigers fan and this pretty much goes for me and the Tigers ticketing as well.

Tigers didn't sell out ALDS Game 2. Partly because it was a noon game that was played in cold weather and partly because Tigers fans are now terrible. But it's also because the playoff tickets are almost always available cheaper on StubHub than they are at the box office.
   19. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4269298)
In their hearts, most of the Yankees fans hate this old team, expect them to get knocked out, and don't want to be there to watch it happen. It's that simple. The other stuff is all just ex post facto rationalization.
   20. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4269301)
I can't imagine what effect Stubhub has on bad teams with small fan bases. I'm just trying to picture what Vet Stadium would look like 1999 or 2000 if the internet and stubhub were as ubiquitous and existed like they do now. Back then you could call up the box office and get a ticket behind home plate for less than $30 just hours before the game and the only games that were ever a sell out were the 4th of July games and Yankee games. If Stubhub existed back then the Phillies might never have sold a single ticket beyond season tickets and the cheapest seats in the house.


At this point I'll probably never buy another ticket directly from a team again. As others have said it is too much of a hassle/risk to do so and it costs more than just buying tickets from Stubhub.
   21. Jay Z Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4269302)
If the Yankees can't sell out postseason games, perhaps the franchise needs to be relocated to a bigger market that will support the team or simply contracted.


Does contraction include expulsion of all records involved with the team?
   22. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4269307)
I'm not sure how StubHub results in lower attendance. If you can get tickets cheap, shouldn't that boost attendance?
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4269308)
In their hearts, most of the Yankees fans hate this old team, expect them to get knocked out, and don't want to be there to watch it happen. It's that simple. The other stuff is all just ex post facto rationalization.


In your heart you know you hate America and are secretly aroused by the odor of bicycle seats, but I refuse to judge you.
   24. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4269313)
In their hearts, most of the Yankees fans hate this old team, expect them to get knocked out, and don't want to be there to watch it happen. It's that simple. The other stuff is all just ex post facto rationalization.


There's an element of that. But, on the other hand, take yesterday: you could go see Andy pitch and Jeter spray singles to RF. For a Yankee fan, that's enormously pleasing. Makes me feel 15 again. Hell, watching A-Rod collapse in the playoffs makes me feel 23.
   25. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4269319)
I'm not sure how StubHub results in lower attendance. If you can get tickets cheap, shouldn't that boost attendance?

Season ticket holders generally fall into two categories. Ticket sellers and people/entities that have no intention of going to every single game. The easier you make it for these two groups to unload their tickets the less likely someone is to buy a new ticket from the team.

To stay with the Phillies here. When I was in Philly back in the late 90's and early 00's I wanted to attend a Phillies-Cubs game that was being played a month later. I wanted some good seats between firs and third. Those tickets were always held back for season ticket holders so I called up several ticket agents listed in the phone book. They all were listing tickets at outrageously high prices. $150 to $200 for a ticket. So in the end I bought my usual seats in the 200 level between the bases and the outfield. If stubhub had existed I could have gone on stubhub and paid slightly more than face value for tickets to the area I wanted or paid less for them or even significantly less for the tickets I ended up getting. Either way the net result would have been that the Phillies would have had one less ticket sold.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4269320)
Going off what 'zop and McCoy just wrote, right now we're getting back to the point we were at in the 70's, when fans like myself could always count on going to pretty much any game we wanted at face value or less---postseason included---without having to commit to tickets months in advance. It's taken awhile for the news to spread about this, but once it sinks in the effect on advance sales is going to be almost impossible to reverse. About the only thing preventing this from snowballing for the time being is the lack of publicity about the enormous advantages of StubHub, but I wouldn't underestimate the cumulative effect of all those screen shots of empty seats.

   27. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4269329)
What's going to halt it is that the ticket agencies are going to have to work with teams or they won't be allowed to resell their tickets. MLB and such will want their cut and they'll set it up so that the minimum being charged will be face value of the tickets. Either that or the service fees will be so high that it makes no difference to the club whether they sell a new ticket or someone simply buys an already sold ticket.

Basically professional sports' greed will drive the black market back into existance and with the internet it will be even easier for the black market to thrive and to scam.
   28. DKDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4269331)
It's also interesting because it was the opposite in DC and Baltimore - tickets were going for well above face on stubhub there, and the market value of equivalent tickets was probably more expensive than the market value of tickets in Yankee Stadium.

Part of that is definitely the difference in excitement levels: there have been roughly 1000 divisional series games since the last one in DC or Baltimore and the Yankees are full of old, unlikable players.

But I actually think the Yankees might be maximizing their revenue better in the short run. They still sell a lot of tickets for 2 or 3 times market value to people who haven't figured it out yet, and they sell a bunch more directly on stubhub for well below face.

The only downside is that it creates a shitty atmosphere and pisses off their most loyal fans when they figure out they are being ripped off.
   29. BDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4269335)
'zop and McCoy make excellent points about fan psychology and StubHub. I haven't bought a ticket from a team in a while now – maybe one last year on impulse for a future game when I was passing a Ballpark ticket window, for convenience, and a few postseason tickets in the initial face-value lottery in 2010 (those were a good deal). With StubHub I can get seat locations and features that would not be available direct from the club.

OTOH they're not available direct from the club because they've already been sold ? as Andy notes, that's why from about 1995 through the late 00s we got used to a regime of scarcity: scalpers and brokers were inconvenient and squirrelly, and all the good seats were gone by the time you walked up to the ticket window. They're still gone, but they're reliably on resale.

What I'm not quite sure is how this hurts teams. There's either demand for seats or there isn't. I mean, let's say that the 1927 Yankees were resurrected for one game at the Stadium against the current Yankees, eked out with Joe Louis, the Beatles, and Pope Paul VI. Presumably they will sell every seat from sheer awesomeness, and resell a certain portion, but at game time every seat will in fact be filled, some of them sold twice.

I have to conclude that the real problem is an overpriced product that not enough people are interested in. StubHub is no more the problem than the existence of yard sales is the problem with the Presto Fry Baby.
   30. bobm Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4269337)
[23] In your heart you know you hate America and are secretly aroused by the odor of bicycle seats

No, that's actually Bobby V.

http://www.nesn.com/2012/09/bobby-valentine-caught-sniffing-baseballs-during-pitching-changes-acknowledges-habit-is-weird.html

"I like the smell of it," Valentine said. "Must be the [Delaware] mud mixed in with that Taiwanese leather. I don't know why I do it. It’s kind of weird."
   31. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4269344)
Part of that is definitely the difference in excitement levels: there have been roughly 1000 divisional series games since the last one in DC or Baltimore and the Yankees are full of old, unlikable players.

Nationals Stadium also only hold 45,000 people and that is with SRO counted while NYS can seat over 52,000 with SRO counted.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4269345)
It's also interesting because it was the opposite in DC and Baltimore - tickets were going for well above face on stubhub there, and the market value of equivalent tickets was probably more expensive than the market value of tickets in Yankee Stadium.

That was always the case for Redskins tickets that were being offered in classified ads in the newspapers during the George Allen and first Joe Gibbs eras. And yet by game day, I could always park myself in front of the DC Armory about half an hour before kickoff and by 1:00 be going in with a great seat at face value or less.** Of course the catch was that you could never get two tickets together for that kind of a deal, but if that didn't matter to you, you were holding all the cards.

**It helped enormously that there were always newspaper stories about the ginormous markups that scalpers and ticket brokers were getting for their tickets. All true, but completely irrelevant 15 minutes before kickoff, when the only effect of those stories was to scare off my competition.
   33. Koot Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4269355)
As a life-long Yankees fan I hate to say it, but this team might need to lose for a while to refresh itself and its fan base. Having lived through the 80"s, I'm not looking forward to going back there, but the mojo just ain't there in the Bronx these days.


I'm a Boston fan and I feel the same way about the Red Sox. It's kind of the silver lining to this awful season is that it might clean some of the grime off our bandwagon.
   34. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4269356)

I have to conclude that the real problem is an overpriced product that not enough people are interested in. StubHub is no more the problem than the existence of yard sales is the problem with the Presto Fry Baby.


I don't think the comparison works in this case. If there is demand then stubhub does not hurt the teams and in fact it helps them since the teams get a cut of every resold ticket (I believe, or at the very least they get a fee) but if there is not demand then the resell market will hurt the team since people will be less likely to buy a ticket.

Before stubhub your premium tickets would be sold and a few non premium tickets would get bought. With stubhub your premiums tickets get sold and less non premium tickets get bought since one can buy premium tickets on the secondary market at equal or lower than face value prices. The secondary effect of this is that people/entities will buy less season tickets as the cost to break even/profit will get higher and higher as prices drop. As my example about the Phillies illustrated in the old pre-stubhub days a ticket scalper could charge an absurdly high price for a ticket and selling that one ticket would cover the cost of many unsold tickets or severely discount tickets with those discounted tickets not altering the market since it was harder to disseminate price information to the masses. Nowadays if you list your tickets as 150 dollars a piece you'll have dozens to hundreds of tickets of roughly the same quality listed above you at vastly lower prices forcing you to either significantly reduce your prices or have your tickets go unsold.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4269364)

Short run, it's an old team whose "freshest" face is a 40-year-old designated hitter. It's also a team filled with TTO hitters who seem to be topheavy with the wrong one of those three. I can't remember ever seeing so many rallies killed by strikeouts in my life, and it isn't just one player, it's practically the whole goddam lineup. Sabermetrcians may shrug their shoulders at strikeouts, but aesthetically they're like watching an epileptic who left his medicine at home, and the cumulative effect is deadening.


Yea, this is the boringest Yankee team in a long time. The team was a pretty boring bunch when they first began their run in the mid-90s, but the fact they were great again after being mediocre to bad for so long was enough that people were excited. But now the team seems listless, the fans seem listless, and they play in a stadium that already sucks all the energy out of the crowd.


In their hearts, most of the Yankees fans hate this old team, expect them to get knocked out, and don't want to be there to watch it happen.


I think there is something to this.
   36. Rusty Mitchener Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4269366)
StubHub prices are well over face in St. Louis.

This isn't a Stubhub problem, this is a New York problem.
   37. BDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4269376)
if there is not demand then the resell market will hurt the team since people will be less likely to buy a ticket

Well, sure, but if you cut out "the resell market will hurt the team since" from that clause, you see the underlying issue :)
   38. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4269379)
StubHub prices are well over face in St. Louis.

This isn't a Stubhub problem, this is a New York problem.


Well, "face" for tickets at Yankee Stadium for the playoffs is obscene:

http://mlb.mlb.com/nyy/ticketing/postseason_pricing.jsp

Keep in mind, that list doesn't include the seats within the "moat" or the Delta Club- i.e., there are thousands of seats in the park better and more expensive than the seat they're selling for $450 for the ALCS.
   39. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4269383)
This isn't a Stubhub problem, this is a New York problem.


Isn't it a pricing/marketing problem? IOW, a Yankee management problem rather than a problem with the market itself? As McCoy notes, if you can get premium seats below face on the secondary market, why would anybody buy the cheap seats? Conversely, if the people who bought the good seats directly won't drop the secondary price enough to make them attractive, then those premium seats will be empty. The most thriving and efficient secondary market imaginable can't fix bad primary pricing policy. That's why Yankee stadium isn't the only place where the fancy padded seats behind home plate are always half empty.
   40. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4269386)
I was talking about this problem with my mom last night - she's a lifelong New Yorker, and she noted that back in the day, the ballgames were much cheaper than the shows or the opera, and the idea was that the ballgames were for professionals for weekend day games with the kids or blue collar folks at night, and at night the professional folks went to broadway, and the pricing reflected this. Then they made it so that the pricing for ballgames, regular season, is roughly the same as the shows, and that doesn't make much sense at all; you go to the games with your kids but the shows with your date, so the show should be ~twice the price. Now they make it so that the playoffs, even the more fungible early round games, are way MORE expensive than the shows or even the opera, and that makes even less sense - there aren't that many desirable performances at the Met and the experience of going to one of them, among the pool of people with the money to afford these things, is way better than going to an ALDS game.
   41. Fat Al Posted: October 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4269387)
It will get worse when the season ticket holders realize they are getting screwed and they are paying well above market price for tickets.


They've realized. I had season tickets for the first 2 years of NYS in the Jim Beam Suite section of the upper deck that were $115 a game (I had season tickets in the front of the upper deck old Stadium that were $45 a piece). Good seats, but after the first year I realized I was a total dupe and while I kept them for year 2 (now that I think about it I think it was a 2 year commitment), it was an easy decision to let them go after that.

Why? Because as people are noting, not only do you have to cut a huge check in January to buy these things, but these tickets are way over market. This year I could buy my old tickets for half the season ticket price for most games, and almost never more, even for the most in-demand games. And the one thing that they always try to use as a selling point for the season tickets is playoff access. And now that's been totally exposed too. I bought Jim Beam tickets for every playoff game through ALCS game 7 on Ticketmaster for face value the last week of the regular season. I thought at the time that maybe it was a coup, because people weren't planning ahead, but the truth is that there just isn't the demand. Turns out I could've bought them on StubHub day of for the same price or less.

Their ticket model is broken, there is no reason to buy season tickets, and every reason not to, and it's going to accelerate as this rolls downhill. Again, I grew up in the era when a good weekday game at Yankee Stadium drew 25,000, the big games drew 30-32, and sellouts were for the playoffs. I sat in upper deck general admission for 9 bucks and was very happy. I'm okay with a team that doesn't draw and having easy access to tickets, but I'm not okay with a fanbase that's just fading into the background. It's depressing. I much preferred when people just thought of us as arrogant, loutish, entitled ########.

(Actually, as I get myself ready to go back to that somber ballyard in the Bronx, I took a look at the 1978 attendance figures to check my memory. Interesting. Many weekday games drew under 20,000. A couple of Sunday sellouts or near sellouts (guessing one is Old Timers Day) and it picks up a bit as the summer rolls along, but not much. And remember, this team was coming off a WS championship and was mounting a furious comeback to get to game 163, and their last home game of the season was 16,000 fans short of a sellout.)

EDIT: I wrote this before I read many of the insightful comments from others making the same points. Cokes, etc.
   42. BDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4269412)
You make great observations, Fat Al. When the old Yankee Stadium was built, in 1923, there could not possibly have been a notion that the place would sell out ~70 baseball dates per year, or even anywhere fractionally close to that. They'd sell out for the World Series, or the Fourth of July, maybe, or in a September pennant race. Meanwhile, they'd sell out title fights. They'd sell out college football, particularly Army-Notre Dame, a fixture in the 20s and 30s. But the capacity of the Stadium was way too high for baseball on a daily basis, deliberately so. Hence the Yankees could cruise along happily for years with attendance averages in the 12-15K range, and then later in the 25-30K range. If they really built the new place expecting to draw 50K in perpetuity (and I don't suppose even they would be that vainglorious), then they were riding for a fall.
   43. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4269421)
now that the usual partial plans (growing up, half the folks I knew had a Saturday or Sunday) are so expensive, people are dropping those. This has two effects; one, it makes them less likely to buy the playoff tickets attached to the plan (which are less of a "deal" then they used to be, anyways)

When they changed over to the new stadium, the Yankees also changed the Saturday/Sunday partial plans. They took away the automatic postseason option, even for grandfathered plans. But on the plus side, they tacked on two mandatory weekday games, simultaneously making the plans more expensive and less convenient.

Longtime planholders have been dropping their plans. Many of those who have remained can no longer get playoff seats. Yet the smaller crowds, minus the departed regulars, are less enthusiastic than in years past? SHOCKING.
   44. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4269432)

Former NJ Sports Authority President George Zoffinger, griping about the expected ticket pricing and PSLs for a new Meadowlands stadium, once said something to the effect of, "The whole stadium will be filled with investment bankers who push out the real fans. I don't want that - and I'm an investment banker myself."

Zoffinger grew up selling pretzels at Roosevelt Raceway before becoming a mega-millionaire.....
   45. Fat Al Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4269436)
Former NJ Sports Authority President George Zoffinger, griping about the expected ticket pricing and PSLs for a new Meadowlands stadium, once said something to the effect of, "The whole stadium will be filled with investment bankers who push out the real fans. I don't want that - and I'm an investment banker myself."


It's a great comment, except for the word "filled." Once the novelty wears off, the investment bankers move on and the real fans are already gone.
   46. BochysFingers Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4269440)
I offer my services as a professional seat filler.
   47. Flynn Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4269446)
The Yankees have made their own bed on this. The team is old, getting a little worse every season, and the fans aren't confident #28 is coming any time soon. They've built a stadium that all but says #### you to anybody whose income isn't well into the six-figure range, pricing out a lot of long-time working and lower middle class fans that eat, breathe and sleep baseball. They're an arrogant institution that thinks they can charge the great unwashed masses whatever they want for admission, food and drink.
   48. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4269447)
They're an arrogant institution that thinks they can charge the great unwashed masses whatever they want for admission, food and drink.

The funny thing is that this can apply to virtually any team in the majors and in professional sports in general.

For years Nationals Stadium sat half empty or worse as the Nationals charged prices as if they were a perennial winner with a dedicated fanbase. Once you got inside the building they asked you to pay eye-gouging prices for products that cost them pennies to sell.
   49. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4269448)
The tickets are priced to maximize revenue, not attendance. This is the result. I don't expect that the Yankees FO sees this "problem" as a problem at all.
   50. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4269450)
In the mid-1990s, they developed Jeter, Pettitte, Posada, BWilliams, and Rivera. Great players, and cheap for a while to boot.

Now they have... Cano, who has little appeal for many hardcore fans. Has struggled in these playoff games, doesn't always run out grounders, doesn't have the "aura" of those other guys (ok, Posada aura-free, but the others have/had aura).

Sophisticated followers also realize that the current system is such that NYY fans should only expect to win about once every decade (and that's better than most fans can dream of). But 1996-2000 warped the expectations, and there is pretty much little beyond extraordinary luck that can solve this problem for the Yankees.

   51. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4269456)
I'm a Tigers fan living ~60 miles from the Bronx. Last year, my wife wanted to know if I was going to the Yanks-Tigers playoff series. I showed her the prices.

For some reason, she hasn't asked about it this year.
   52. BDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4269458)
The funny thing is that this can apply to virtually any team in the majors and in professional sports in general

Heck, the Metropolitan Opera charges $10 for a splash of champagne and $5 for a tiny slice of brownie. Though they are one of the least arrogant institutions I have run across, certainly relative to their prestige.

Concessions are almost universally a ripoff, but OTOH they're something that people think of as a treat, and will splurge for. I remember my last trip to the American Museum of National History, where I cheerfully paid $7.95 for a paper cup full of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and thought it was the best thing in the world, while various families were apopleptic at paying half their weekly budget for such crap. Ripoffs are largely in the eye of the beholder.
   53. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4269475)
Re 49. Just because the front office is focused on maximizing profits doesn't mean they actually are.
   54. Flynn Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4269478)
The funny thing is that this can apply to virtually any team in the majors and in professional sports in general.


The Giants and A's both allow you to bring food and drink into the stadium, so any team that does that would by definition not qualify.

And while the airline pricing system the Giants instituted made tickets for many games more expensive, it also reduced the StubHub problem by making many games cheaper provided you bought ahead.


   55. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4269479)
As this space has noted more than once, the Yankees have never been as popular as legend has it (*) but, more importantly, the multi-tiered playoff system has diluted the magnitude of a playoff game. You can get in to NYS in the 300s on the infield for $55 (if not lower, that's a noon price), but I'm going to pass.

Playoff games are just not that special anymore.

(*) Plus they've committed the cardinal sin of making their best customers realize they can live without the product. No amount of preposterous Randy Levine ######## about Stubhub is going to reverse that.
   56. BDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4269481)
I don't expect that the Yankees FO sees this "problem" as a problem

They see it as an image problem at least, if they're moving fans around to cover seats. Though that's possibly a cosmetic problem. I have this image of them selling a single billion-dollar playoff ticket to somebody like Dr. Evil or Dick Cheney, and then having to create a clone army to make it look like actual New Yorkers are there enjoying the game.
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4269484)
The tickets are priced to maximize revenue, not attendance.


As well they must be. Bolshevik Bud steals somewhere around $150 million in fairly-earned revenue from the Yankees each and every season, win or lose. The Yankees have to try and recoup that revenue somehow.

Say, perhaps someone should ask Young Masters Steinbrenner how much they'd reduce ticket prices if baseball ceased it's flirtation with billionaire welfare and stopped lavishing Jeffrey Loria and David Glass with free vaults of cash every year in perpetuity. Maybe then we'd find out who the real friends of the working man were, and who only wants to enrich themselves, their cronies, and on occasion, their daughter.
   58. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4269487)
Fifteen dollars for a fun night in the bleachers tonight.
   59. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4269488)
I check Stubhub pretty regularly and can safely report that tickets for today are cheaper than a typical summer weekend regular season game against almost every team. Tickets were more expensive for the Saturday extra innings A's game in September I attended with 2 off Stubhub.

   60. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4269490)
Say, perhaps someone should ask Young Masters Steinbrenner how much they'd reduce ticket prices if baseball ceased it's flirtation with billionaire welfare


As billionaires who've never worked a day in their lives, Young Masters Steinbrenner are well-positioned to do something about billionaire welfare.
   61. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4269491)
Trost's Folly.
   62. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4269494)
As billionaires who've never worked a day in their lives, Young Masters Steinbrenner are well-positioned to do something about billionaire welfare.


Well yeah, they pay for it. Makers vs takers indeed.

And let's not forget what happened when Young Master Hank dared mention the topic last year - the Supreme Selig will allow no dissent in his quest to create his crony utopia. Without those Yankee dollars to bribe the other owners Bud would have to rely on his charm and good looks to achieve consensus.
   63. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4269499)
Say, perhaps someone should ask Young Masters Steinbrenner how much they'd reduce ticket prices if baseball ceased it's flirtation with billionaire welfare and stopped lavishing Jeffrey Loria and David Glass with free vaults of cash every year in perpetuity.

If I were the Royals, I'd be happy to live without revenue sharing if I were allowed to move to Brooklyn and the city would assist me to build a stadium on similar terms as the Yankees got. If the Yankees want a duopoly in the largest market and government assisted stadia, they'd better pay for that privilege with revenue sharing.
   64. Obo Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4269501)
I guess there's a two hour cutoff at Stubhub. Too bad, I could have easily made it.
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4269502)
(Actually, as I get myself ready to go back to that somber ballyard in the Bronx, I took a look at the 1978 attendance figures to check my memory. Interesting. Many weekday games drew under 20,000. A couple of Sunday sellouts or near sellouts (guessing one is Old Timers Day) and it picks up a bit as the summer rolls along, but not much. And remember, this team was coming off a WS championship and was mounting a furious comeback to get to game 163, and their last home game of the season was 16,000 fans short of a sellout.)

All that's fairly well known to those of us who were around back then, but here's one other thing that I'd like to know: What was the season ticket base back then? I'll bet it was a small fraction of what it is today, with the possible exception of Dodger Stadium, where O'Malley began cultivating season sales almost from the git-go.

This doesn't apply to any one team in particular, but my recollection is that season ticket sales only skyrocketed in the final year(s) of play at a team's "old" stadium, and that these tickets were bought with the idea of securing high demand tickets for the first year in the "new" stadium. You could see this effect in cities like Baltimore, Cleveland, and Houston, and with the stock market boom of the 90's, there was a perfect storm of a booming economy and an enticing new place for corporations to "entertain clients" in an informal atmosphere.

But once the bloom wears off the stadium and the team goes into a funk, you can see the downward spiral kick in, as in----Baltimore, Cleveland, and Houston. It's hard to imagine any but the most well-heeled of season ticket holders renewing in the face of mediocre teams, and if you took away the tax breaks that corporate season ticket holders get, you might even see season sales sliding back to 1980's levels before too long.
   66. BDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4269515)
Fifteen dollars for a fun night in the bleachers

"You paid one thousand four hundred and ninety-five! We paid fifteen!"
   67. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4269517)
If I were the Royals, I'd be happy to live without revenue sharing if I were allowed to move to Brooklyn and the city would assist me to build a stadium on similar terms as the Yankees got.


Well then let's see what you Royals could do to get the ball rolling. First order of business would be to end all territorial rights in baseball, a concept which dates back to the 1940s or so. Since I assume only those selfish Yankees would support such anti-competative measures while the poormouth "small market" hobos like Glass, Loria, and Bolshevik Bud himself would gleefully jettison the protections granted to their small exclusive fiefdoms, that should be an easy vote to pass. After all, that's all the welfare teams want - a chance to compete, to win or lose, profit or fail, on their own merits, and I'm sure the vote would reflect their steadfast pursuit of opportunity.
   68. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4269519)
Well yeah, they pay for it. Makers vs takers indeed.


Given that Young Masters Steinbrenner have never made anything more complicated than reservations at Tavern on the Green, it's clear which side of that line they fall on.

And let's not forget what happened when Young Master Hank dared mention the topic last year - the Supreme Selig will allow no dissent in his quest to create his crony utopia. Without those Yankee dollars to bribe the other owners Bud would have to rely on his charm and good looks to achieve consensus.


Without a strong and well-functioning MLB, the property that got dropped in Young Masters Steinbrenners' ample laps would fall from billions of dollars in value to about $249.95. Hank and Hal should call Selig every morning and ask, "How can we serve you today, sir?"
   69. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4269521)
Given that Young Masters Steinbrenner have never made anything more complicated than reservations at Tavern on the Green, it's clear which side of that line they fall on.


Ah, so prior to their ownership you felt differently about this forced redistribution of profits from the successful to the well-connected, I take it? You wouldn't be wasting our time with irrelevant non-sequiturs would you?

Without a strong and well-functioning MLB,


Something whose existence predates Budshovik Redistribution by decades, of course. Or is this going to be one of those "Big Brother invented the airplane" efforts at revisionism?
   70. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4269524)
If the Yankees want a duopoly in the largest market and government assisted stadia, they'd better pay for that privilege with revenue sharing.


This doesn't follow at all. What politicians can be duped into doing for sports franchises at taxpayers expense has nothing at all to do with revenue sharing. Or do you actually think that Rudy wouldn't have wanted to build NYS and Citifield if MLB didn't have share revenue? Of course, without revenue sharing the old Mister Steinbrenner could have damned well paid for the thing himself, but that's another matter.
   71. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4269525)
When Mr. Steinbrenner owned a franchise whose value was in some part a reflection of his own contributions, playing in a privately built stadium, it was at least defensible that he shouldn't have to contribute to the well-being of his business partners. It would have been the wrong argument to make, IMO, but it was at least plausible.

For welfare fat cats like Hank and Hal to complain that they're the only people deserving of nine-figure handouts.... well, that's just laughable.
   72. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4269526)
If they wanted to really make the stadium look fuller, they would have asked the fans to remain in constant motion moving from seat to seat.
   73. DKDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4269527)
Of course, without revenue sharing the old Mister Steinbrenner could have damned well paid for the thing himself, but that's another matter.


Without revenue sharing, the Yankees would be selling tickets to exhibition games against themselves. Masturbation League Baseball?

The Yankees need MLB more than MLB needs the Yankees, so it's beyond silly to complain about revenue sharing as if it's some unfair tax on the Yankees.

If they wanted to really make the stadium look fuller, they would have asked the fans to remain in constant motion moving from seat to seat.


I'm pretty sure the Yankees did make this announcement over the PA and I missed it. There was a constant stream of people standing up in the middle of an at bat to go to the bathroom or the sushi bar or something. The most lively thing about the crowd was entire rows standing up to let someone up and the occasional person three rows back yelling at them to sit down.
   74. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4269531)
Without revenue sharing, the Yankees would be selling tickets to exhibition games against themselves.


Why do we always have to get this non-sequitur? The Yankees were not playing exhibition games against themselves prior to the 1996 CBA.

EDIT: and just to save you the trouble of further ranting: I do not oppose revenue sharing; I was simply pointing out that George would have had more money in his own pockets absent the current formula being put in place.
   75. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4269532)
When Mr. Steinbrenner owned a franchise whose value was in some part a reflection of his own contributions, playing in a privately built stadium, it was at least defensible that he shouldn't have to contribute to the well-being of his business partners.


And yet none of those factors seemed to dissuade the Budshoviks from demanding the forced confiscation of Yankee dollars to serve as payouts to cronies and old friends, annually, in perpetuity. So when do we cut the refund checks? Or is this just more post-hoc hand-waving in justification of theft?

Without revenue sharing, the Yankees would be selling tickets to exhibition games against themselves.


Wait, you think baseball just burst into existence in the late-90s?
   76. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4269535)
Without revenue sharing, the Yankees would be selling tickets to exhibition games against themselves.

Wait, you think baseball just burst into existence in the late-90s?
No, we think that the Yankees need the other owners. They're part of a peculiar economy, and they need to remain members in good stead of their community in order to reap the benefits of being a part of MLB. When the rest of the owners determined they were sick of paying the Yankees a massive subsidy, in the form of territorial rights, and wanted to get their fair share of the value, the Yankees had to play along if they wanted to remain members in good standing of the community.
   77. DKDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4269537)
This isn't pre-1996 anymore. What do you think happens if The Yankees try to refuse to pay revenue sharing or if they take a hard line against it in the next round of negotiations?

It's a cartel where the majority of teams have benefited from revenue sharing for almost 20 years. You either pay the tax or leave the cartel. There is no fair or unfair.
   78. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4269542)
You either pay the tax or leave the cartel.


Yankee revenues would drop precipitately if they played a barnstorming schedule against army bases and CYO teams, but at least Alex Rodriguez wouldn't look so washed up.
   79. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4269550)
There is more parity and competitiveness in baseball today than at any time in the last 40 years, perhaps more than at any time in the modern era (post 1903), so I think from the standpoint of results the current system seems to be working.

The current playoffs, not counting the play-in losers, featured the teams with the #1, #5, #6, #9, #16, #19, #20 and #30 payrolls. That's a remarkable range, and a credit to MLB.
   80. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4269553)
As to the atmosphere inside the park, I'm convinced that the advent of the smart phone has detracted from the atmosphere at many sporting events. Now, as soon as there's a slack moment, you have 20% of the crowd checking their email, looking for something online etc. You have a nother portion of the crowd just leaving that distraction or thinking of getting into it. These people used to be watching the game to at least some degree and the result was that you had more reaction to minor events, more anticipation of events both major and minor. You had a crowd that was more engaged in the experience.
   81. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4269556)
As this space has noted more than once, the Yankees have never been as popular as legend has it (*) but, more importantly, the multi-tiered playoff system has diluted the magnitude of a playoff game. You can get in to NYS in the 300s on the infield for $55 (if not lower, that's a noon price), but I'm going to pass.

Playoff games are just not that special anymore.

...in NYS at the moment (they've been extremely special for both Bay Area teams this year, and seem to have done pretty well in Washington etc...). Which probably reflects the fact that the Yankees have been in the playoffs every year but one since 1995 moreso than the expanded playoffs. I'm not dismissing that completely, as I'd expect a WS game to be more full if they get there, but it seems far less relevant than the unpopularity of this particular team after nearly two decades of sustained dominance, as well as the ticketing/NYS-gripes noted above. If they hadn't made it for five years and got in as a WC, I'd expect much higher attendance for the whole run.
   82. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 14, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4269565)
It's a cartel where the majority of teams have benefited from revenue sharing for almost 20 years. You either pay the tax or leave the cartel. There is no fair or unfair.
THIS, in spades. The Yankees play within the most protected cartel in the country. They're granted a lock, with the Mets, on the largest media market in the world. They've milked taxpayers for close to a billion-and-quarter for their new stadium. The 2012 incarnation of the Yankee Empire is the epitome of unfairness.
   83. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4269588)
One other thing that i don't think has been mentioned--last night was an 8pm Saturday start. I've heard there's a lot of stuff to do in and around NYC on a Saturday night.
   84. DKDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4269622)
I've also heard there's a lot of people in and around NYC on a Saturday night.

I think the basic formula is:

(People in and around city on that night
MINUS
people already doing other stuff)
DIVIDED BY
number of seats in the stadium

I'm pretty sure New York has a higher ratio than any other playoff team. All but 5 playoff games have sold out this year (all 4 in New York and the 1 in Texas).
   85. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4269668)
Like I said, the fact that the Yankees make the playoffs almost every year, the fans don't seem to like this team, and NYS is teh sux seem largely responsible. But the Sunday afternoon game sure looks more popular than last night.

Edit: also, your formula misses the plethora of options; should be more like
(People interested in going to a baseball game/other things to do)
   86. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 14, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4269693)
As to the atmosphere inside the park, I'm convinced that the advent of the smart phone has detracted from the atmosphere at many sporting events. Now, as soon as there's a slack moment, you have 20% of the crowd checking their email, looking for something online etc. You have a nother portion of the crowd just leaving that distraction or thinking of getting into it. These people used to be watching the game to at least some degree and the result was that you had more reaction to minor events, more anticipation of events both major and minor. You had a crowd that was more engaged in the experience.

The brief shot of the crowd as Jeter was being helped off the field last night featured at least three people taking pictures on their phones.
Presumably their Facebook friends were very impressed. THERE ARE ALREADY CAMERAS THERE, FOLKS.
   87. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 14, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4269764)
Such solicitude for the Yankees' financial well being! Although a lousy economy and some overly ambitious pricing may leave NYS attendance a bit lower than the Old Stadium, I'm pretty sure the Yankees are taking in considerably more revenue, while still leading the league in attendance. Not much to panic about.
   88. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 14, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4269897)
They've milked taxpayers for close to a billion-and-quarter for their new stadium.


Somehow YR never seems to discuss how the Young Masters Steinbrenner received an absurdly large and completely unnecessary subsidy from a group of people (taxpayers) who need that money far more than they need to take in even more than the many millions of dollars of revnues that already go into their pockets.
   89. WillYoung Posted: October 14, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4269988)
Recent thing? Büllshit. I bought tickets to game 1 of the 2004 ALDS the morning of the game when I checked to see if tickets were available and was stunned to find a whole bunch - this was from the Yankees website, not a second-hand site like Stubhub.
   90. BDC Posted: October 14, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4269998)
I'm convinced that the advent of the smart phone has detracted from the atmosphere at many sporting events. Now, as soon as there's a slack moment, you have 20% of the crowd checking their email

I have a stupid phone, but I confess to texting key game events to BDC Jr. Probably a habit I should break, it's obnoxious. But the immediacy is irresistible sometimes. Better than calling him, I reckon.
   91. BFFB Posted: October 14, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4270074)
Somehow YR never seems to discuss how the Young Masters Steinbrenner received an absurdly large and completely unnecessary subsidy from a group of people (taxpayers) who need that money far more than they need to take in even more than the many millions of dollars of revnues that already go into their pockets.


He's a single issue troll who says the same thing in any Yankee related thread, actually any thread where he can shoe horn in his one and only point. Either stick him on ignore or call him a prize tool and move on.
   92. smileyy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4270107)
If they want to move the people from the sparse outfield seats into the behind-home-plate seats that are empty because whoever bought those tickets is in the behind-home-plate-luxury-box, that's fine with me.
   93. DFA Posted: October 14, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4270151)
I'm pretty sure ML teams are in bed with stubhub. I have found the same tickets for sale on stubhub and on a team's website. MLB teams aren't stupid, Levine et al are just playing fans for fools. But what else is new?
   94. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4270415)

As well they must be. Bolshevik Bud steals somewhere around $150 million in fairly-earned revenue from the Yankees each and every season, win or lose. The Yankees have to try and recoup that revenue somehow.


You have it backwards. The conservative talking point is that if taxes get too high, the makers will have to quit (and go Galt!) because there is no profit incentive.


One other thing that i don't think has been mentioned--last night was an 8pm Saturday start. I've heard there's a lot of stuff to do in and around NYC on a Saturday night.


Has there not been Saturday night post-season games in NY before?

Maybe we can pin this on Bobby Valentine too. Yankees fans know how to hate the Red Sox. But when it comes to any other opponent, they just don't know how to feel about them, so they fail to show up.


I'm pretty sure ML teams are in bed with stubhub. I have found the same tickets for sale on stubhub and on a team's website. MLB teams aren't stupid, Levine et al are just playing fans for fools. But what else is new?


Yes, they are partners. IIRC, MLB gets a cut of tickets sold on the secondary market. When I had a partial season ticket plan with the Royals we were encouraged to sell any unused tix on stubhub.
   95. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4272865)
Somehow YR never seems to discuss how the Young Masters Steinbrenner received an absurdly large and completely unnecessary subsidy from a group of people (taxpayers) who need that money far more than they need to take in even more than the many millions of dollars of revnues that already go into their pockets.


But of course I have, and repeatedly. I'll mine the archives for the evidence if you doubt me, but I'll summarize for your benefit: I oppose all taxpayer funded stadia for all sports. That goes across the board with very few exceptions (the Olympics being the one I usually cite). However, unlike some spiteful losers I don't see the Yankees receiving a partly subsidized stadium as being any sort of injustice when:

1) numerous MLB teams obtained their own taxpayer financed stadiums
2) the Supreme Selig openly lobbies for such arrangements, and
3) the Yankees have some $150 million, and possibly more, confiscated annually by the league in order to lavish Bud's cronies with private jets and fat front office bonuses, monies that should be more properly used building their own stadium at their own expense.

Perhaps your outrage is a bit more purposefully selective than you'd care to admit.

   96. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: October 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4272903)
They see it as an image problem at least, if they're moving fans around to cover seats. Though that's possibly a cosmetic problem. I have this image of them selling a single billion-dollar playoff ticket to somebody like Dr. Evil or Dick Cheney, and then having to create a clone army to make it look like actual New Yorkers are there enjoying the game.


Or, you could buy 51,999 Carpool Kenny's to fill the stands, for a mere $1,039,460 (plus S&H!), and no one would ever know the difference.
   97. McCoy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4272920)
Didn't selig also lobby for revenue sharing?
   98. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 16, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4272921)
However, unlike some spiteful losers I don't see the Yankees receiving a partly subsidized stadium as being any sort of injustice when:

1) numerous MLB teams obtained their own taxpayer financed stadiums
2) the Supreme Selig openly lobbies for such arrangements, and
In other words, the Yankees aren't really stealing taxpayer dollars because
1) Everyone else is stealing
2) The commish is good with it
   99. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4272956)
What of #3 LAEHOH? They're meant to be considered collectively, as each relates to the other.

Taxpayers shouldn't be paying for private sports stadiums. Team owners should be responsible for building or leasing suitable facilities for their franchises, as they had done for decades, much in the same way they should be responsible for generating their own profits, as they had done for decades.

However, given that the Yankees, America's most popular and successful franchise, have found themselves forced to be responsible for the profitability of several other baseball teams, and since further several of these other teams have themselves obtained new taxpayer-financed stadiums while at the same time claiming those free Yankee dollars as integral to their ability to survive, for the Yankees to unilaterally forego the benefits of taxpayer financing would force an even larger and less fair burden on the team than has already be placed there by the league. If anyone can get a taxpayer stadium, I don't see why the Yankees should be singled out for criticism. I'd prefer that nobody get a taxpayer-funded stadium and no owner be responsible with lavishing other owners with vaultfulls of free cash, but obviously I live in some kind of crazy land where hamburgers eat people.
   100. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4273048)
What of #3 LAEHOH? They're meant to be considered collectively, as each relates to the other.
What about #3? The Yankees got over $1.2 billion in taxpayer dollars that they'll never have to pay back to build a money-printing machine. Now you're saying I have to weep for the Yankees because they have to give MLB — which lobbied hard to help get them that free money — a cut of their take? Pass.

If anyone can get a taxpayer stadium, I don't see why the Yankees should be singled out for criticism.
The Yankees DON'T get singled out for criticism on this issue. Every team that scrounges for taxpayer dollars to build themselves a new park gets scorched in these parts. You just feel picked on because the defense you've painted for the Little Stein Boys as little Galts flies in the face of the taxpayer-scamming, cartel-protected fortunate sons they actually are, and people are pointing it out. I don't understand how someone who says he's against taxypayer-funded stadiums can turn a blind eye to $1.2 billion in public funds, but then again, I don't live in some crazy land where hamburgers eat people.

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