Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
The Price of Success
2008-05-05 10:51
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Like rooting for the Yankees? Like going to see them play? As we already know, that ain't a cheap proposition. And when they move next door? Yikes, forget about it. Mike Lupica has the gruesome details.

2008-05-05 11:01:04
1.   Ken Arneson
Speaking of tickets: I will be in New York with my family on July 19-20, and would like to go to one of the A's-Yanks games that weekend. I know I can get tickets on StubHub, but if anyone else has any leads on scoring some tickets, please let me know. catfish at zombia com
2008-05-05 11:49:33
2.   Chyll Will
Enjoy the game, Ken and stand clear of the closing doors! >;)

0 I was very disheartened when I read that early on; perhaps I'll never see the inside of the new stadium for two reasons:

A.) Under the current circumstances, I can't afford what would go for decent seats.

B.) If I could afford it, i would be appalled at the idea of spending so much money that could be far more usefully invested or donated to a worthy cause.

Nowadays it's okay to just whistle and say, "oh well, that's the way it goes" as we let billionaires run us out of house and home to suit their own purposes. Did you know Mo Vaughn's been developing low-cost housing around the Bronx? But I suppose that's not as important as premium pricing schemes. I actually agree with him on this, unless he left out some critical details.

2008-05-05 11:51:18
3.   Bob B
The new prices are crazy. This is my last season purchasing season tickets. I can't afford going to a games anymore. I can't sell them at face value on StubHub. Parking is a nightmare. Getting there is a nightmare. I've been giving them to the Boys/Girls club of America through the Yankees for the Charitable deduction. But I'm not even sure the Charity is enjoying the games I'm missing. I knew when they announced the new stadium that I'd be priced out. Oh well, it was a fun run while it lasted.
2008-05-05 12:00:43
4.   Schteeve
I do feel bad that the average joe is getting squeezed out, but there is so much wealth in NYC, it's INSANE. There are people who can afford those prices, and corporations will snap them up like crazy. And the people who sit in those corporate seats aren't automatically not baseball fans.
2008-05-05 12:08:30
5.   jkay
1 Try craigslist and keep checking ticketmaster, they release seats from time to time.
2008-05-05 12:09:00
6.   Shaun P
As long as there's demand that's filled, they'll charge as much as then can get. Sigh.

Of course, at the first sign of a couple of years of no playoffs, that may all change. Did ticket prices ever go down (I'm thinking 1989-1992)?

2008-05-05 12:10:16
7.   misterjohnny
I think they are going to surprised when corporations DON'T buy season seats at $850 per seat. I work for a big company in Los Angeles and we have cut back on our season ticket purchases. $150k for two seats for 81 games? That is enough to make a line item on a budget of even a big company, and except for very CEO driven companies that kind of expenditure is going to get eliminated. The CEO driven companies will continue to spend, just as they sponsor golf tournaments so they can play in the pro-ams.
2008-05-05 12:11:12
8.   Shaun P
And speaking of the Stadium - what's the policy on cameras? Will they let you bring in an SLR with a telephoto lens?
2008-05-05 12:19:13
9.   dianagramr
I wonder what the suites will go for?
2008-05-05 12:21:04
10.   pistolpete
0 >> You're going to see that same sterile atmosphere close to the field like you see in the best seats in the Garden >>

Sorry to break it to you Mike, but anyone who watches the game from home can tell you it's been that way since the last few years of the 90's dynasty. People on cell phones, talking to the people behind them, etc, etc. — always sends me into a mini-rage during playoff time because I know if it was ME in those seats, I'd be fixed on the action for all 27 outs like a sniper targeting his prey.

2008-05-05 12:23:03
11.   pistolpete
8 I think as long as you don't have a tripod and anything else that could be viewed as 'professional' equipment, you're fine.
2008-05-05 12:25:48
12.   ny2ca2dc
11 Is that this year as well? Most policies say that SLR with interchangeable lens is the definition of 'professional', so I can't bring my big boy. Anyone had any luck bringing in an SLR? How about while using a big honking (WHITE) 70-200mm f/2.8 lens? Sure would love to bring my big rig to the All Star game.
2008-05-05 12:47:05
13.   Ken Arneson
Thanks for the ticket tips.

Here's the official policy on the web site re: cameras:

Single-frame flash photography is allowed. All forms of video and motion-picture cameras are strictly prohibited. Guests are also forbidden to use lighting or camera support pods at the Stadium.

2008-05-05 12:55:35
14.   Cliff Corcoran
Re ticket prices: This area needs a third team.

Re cameras: I just hope the new stadium will have modern security equipment that will allow fans to bring bags (including laptop bags) into the stadium. Their current policy is absurd.

2008-05-05 13:07:49
15.   Shaun P
14 So, I guess I can bring the SLR (do I have to promise to shoot one frame at a time?), but I can't bring the case for it? Is there any kind of bag I can bring? I don't want to have to lug that darn thing around my neck all day long. Or have it exposed if its raining.

That's almost enough to make me drive in, so I can leave the bag in the car, but I'll just use my little handheld.

Thanks, guys.

2008-05-05 13:17:57
16.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
7 the other types of businesses that will pay are entrepreneurial sales businesses where individuals/teams have pretty much full discretion to spend whatever they deem necessary on client entertainment.

i'm thinking specifically of the 4 seats my broker currently has (i get them 1-2 times/year) - completely great seats right off the home on deck circle.

he fully intends to re-up for the new stadium. i talked to him about this last week in fact. and he doesn't have to get anyone's approval for the expense (even though he works at a giant company) because it comes right out of his P&L and he thinks it's worth it.

2008-05-05 13:21:14
17.   pistolpete
14 If the NHL can do it, I don't see why a northern Jersey franchise (or LI?) couldn't co-exist & compete with the Yanks & Mets...
2008-05-05 13:23:42
18.   Cliff Corcoran
15 No, you can bring a camera bag. Or, at least, I've been able to bring the small bag for my digital point-and-shoot. I can't remember the last time I trid to bring my good camera.

The important thing to remember is their rules make no sense and are inconsistent.

2008-05-05 13:25:04
19.   Cliff Corcoran
17 Heck, the area could probably support four teams, a new one in Brooklyn and one in NJ in addition to the Yanks and Mets.
2008-05-05 13:26:29
20.   RIYank
Can someone explain the Lupica article to me?
He seems to be saying, the reason Yankee fans don't care about the team spending huge amounts of money, is that the fans are the ones footing the bill.
Uh. Huh??
2008-05-05 13:39:11
21.   ny2ca2dc
18 All good security theater requires nonsensical and inconsistent rules. All the easier to avoid logical dissent.
2008-05-05 13:51:42
22.   Chyll Will
4 "There are people who can afford those prices, and corporations will snap them up like crazy."

Just not in the Bronx. Where they play. In the middle of a working class neighborhood. Oh sure, Yankee Stadium was there first. That makes perfect sense. Uh huh, ignore the common riff-raff who have built tenements around us. They just want a piece of the action they didn't earn nor deserve in any way, nope. On with the gentrifica- uh,I mean, the game!

2008-05-05 14:54:04
23.   tommyl
19 Maybe the Brewers can be moved here so Selig can stop whining about small market teams.
2008-05-05 15:03:34
24.   Shaun P
18 Ah, so its a crapshoot. Maybe I should have an extra $20 on hand?

Thanks Cliff. Good to know the Yanks work hard to make sure its a fan-friendly experience. ;)

19 23 Would the Wilpons/Steinbrenners ever allow that? Sure, they could be overruled, but I can't imagine a majority of owners being willing to declare territorial rights void.

2008-05-05 15:33:38
25.   Jen
Speaking of tickets, I have an extra for the bleachers for Tuesday and Wednesday. Email me if interested.

jen AT nosenseworrying DOT com

2008-05-05 16:01:37
26.   Ken Arneson
Thanks for the advice to keep rechecking the Yankees web site. A set of seats in the Tier level for the Sunday game became available, so I snagged them.
2008-05-05 16:27:31
27.   rilkefan
24 - "extra $20 on hand" - I take it that means, in palm? I never learned how to do that sort of thing, sadly.
2008-05-05 17:50:27
28.   Mattpat11
Matsuzaka has walked 7 Tigers through four.

This Igawa game is going to fucking suck.

2008-05-05 18:33:52
29.   williamnyy23
As easy as it is to criticize the Yankees for charging a price that the market will bear, it ignores the fact that going to games is still affordable to most (and still much more reasonable than other sports). The Yankees have several discount dates available, so as long as you plan accordingly, families can still attend games on the relative cheap.
2008-05-05 18:37:12
30.   Mattpat11
29 That's the key. Its alot easier, cheaper and more convenient to go to Yankee Stadium than Giants Stadium.
2008-05-05 19:14:33
31.   DarrenF
29 The Lupica article has one wealthy customer who pays $250 per seat per game complaining that he's losing his seats to a wealthier customer. I usually end up in the upper decks or the bleachers and the seat location does not particularly detract from my enjoyment of the game. Skip the beer and the food and it's a good entertainment value.
2008-05-05 20:12:36
32.   Shaun P
27 I am no expert but they tell me I'm a fast learner.

29 Don't forget that, with the New Stadium's construction, the upper deck (cheap seats for the masses) will be farther back from the field, and thus worse seats than equivalent ones in the Old Stadium (v2.0). The New Stadium also will have less seats because, as we all know (thanks, Red Sox!), fewer seats = more demand = $$$$$$, because you can charge more for those seats.

Cheap or not, discounts or not, the Yanks did not have to focus solely on the bottom line generated by ticket revenue. What helps the bottom line more - a non-fan paying $500 to sit behind home plate for one game/year, or the 7 year old boy in good upper deck seats (ie, with a view like the Old Stadium (v2.0), and at similar cost) who becomes a fan for life, buys merchandise, comes back frequently, gets his wife, kids, etc involved? I pick choice #2.

29 30 31 All that said, the "Fan Cost Index" that (allegedly) says what it costs for a family of four to attend a game at each MLB stadium is full of crap. Its based on ridiculous assumptions (you need to buy a hat per person in order to go a game?!) and doesn't reflect realities.

2008-05-06 05:40:45
33.   williamnyy23
32 While the upper deck will be recessed, that doesn't mean the quality of the seats in the entire tier will be worse. The seats behind homeplate will be worse, but the quality will improve as you move down the lines. I would much rather be further from the field if it means fixing the bad sightlines that plague the current upper tier. While the upper tier behind YS is a great section between sections 7 - 1 / 2-8, once you get down the lines, they are pretty poor.

As for the fewer seats, even with the recent run of success, average attendance has peaked at just above 50,000 anyway. Once the novelty wears off, it will be possible to get a ticket to a non-premium game without extraordinary effort.

Also, to answer your last question, charging $500 when the market will support it is always better for the bottom line. It doesn't matter if the guy in the $500 seat paid for it or not because someone did and will continue to do so as long as the team is winning (and maybe even if they aren't). Besides, I don't think kids get hooked on baseball as a result of the quality of their seat anyway.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.