I’ve tried to keep an open mind about the new Yankee Stadium and the entire process of relocating ticket-holders, telling myself that the first Boston series would provide a true litmus test of whether the ballpark is a success or not. After attending both atrocities against the hated Red Sox, some glaring issues reared their ugly heads.
There always tends to be a strong presence of Red Sox fans at games between the two teams. After all, they are bitter rivals, and Boston’s less than four hours away by car. But the sheer number of Boston fans at the games the past two nights was ridiculous. And the reason why was pretty easy to figure out, especially after talking with some of them: Tickets were available on StubHub for, in some cases, less than one-half of face value.
Why were so many tickets for two premium games practically being given away? The answer is simple: Far too many fans, including the one writing this blog, were basically strong-armed into buying full season tickets, in order to avoid being assigned horrible seats or no seats, and the number of tickets available for every game via StubHub is simply staggering.
It truly pains me to praise a ball club that I hate as much as the Red Sox, but they’re clearly doing things the right way, while the Yankees’ top management is lucky to be breathing, considering how far up their asses their heads must be.
Let’s compare various facets of the two organizations:
The Boston Red Sox have won two World Series titles since the last time the Yankees won, in 2000.
The Red Sox play in a ballpark that opened on the day the Titanic sank (I am NOT making this up). Fenway Park has undergone several rounds of improvements, but it’s still nearly 100 years old, and it still has more than 15,000 fewer seats than Yankee Stadium.
The most expensive ticket in Fenway Park is $325. The Yankees, meanwhile, play in a brand-new, $1.5 billion ballpark with the equivalent of Fenway’s $325 seats having sold for $900, $1,050 and $2,500 before the Yankees were forced to lower their prices due to the embarrassing number of prime empty seats that were painfully visible on TV. But even after the price reductions and factoring in the extra seats being given to season-ticket holders, the Yankees’ premium seats are still far more expensive than Boston’s.
As I mentioned earlier, many of the Boston fans I spoke with at this week’s games paid less than one-half of face value for their tickets, and other blogs documented the staggering number of tickets available for each game and the desperation by sellers to just get some money back on their hefty investments.
I looked at StubHub’s offerings for the next Yankees-Red Sox game in Boston — Tuesday, June 9 at 7:05 p.m. — and the results were completely different.
The cheapest tickets available were standing-room vouchers at $78 (face value of $20-$30). The cheapest “real” seats were 26 rows up in the left-field bleachers, at $80 apiece (face value of $12). And while it’s tough to compare the two ballparks, as they could not possibly be more structurally different, tickets in section 9, which is the rough equivalent of my Yankees seats, ranged from $128-$397.75 apiece (face value of $30) — a far cry from the $20 (for $40 tickets) the Red Sox fans next to me last night paid for their tickets. Do you know what that means? The crowd June 9 will be heavily pro-Red Sox, as it should, since it’s a home game for them. As a Yankee fan, I’m not sure what a home game is anymore.
Red Sox fans are able to rake in serious profits, should they choose to sell their tickets, while Yankees fans are, for all intents and purposes, giving them away. Why? Because, as I said earlier, so many Yankees fans were forced into buying full-season tickets, and it’s simple supply-and-demand economics.
You would think the New York Yankees’ brilliant management would want the ballpark to be raucous and pro-Yankees all the time, but especially for big series, like the one Boston just swept. But thanks to their ticketing policies, not only will the Red Sox play virtual home games at Yankee Stadium, but so will the Mets, the Phillies and just about any other team with fans willing to travel.
And as the icing on the cake, the Yankees’ organization consistently does things to alienate the Yankees fans who do actually attend games. Just look at what happened Monday night. For those who don’t know, a 7:05 p.m. game didn’t start until 9:22 p.m. due to rain, and many fans left the Stadium after being told by Yankees’ personnel that the game would be canceled.
When an announcement was made that the game was indeed on, many of these fans were refused readmission into the ballpark, despite the fact that they only exited due to being fed erroneous information by representatives of the organization. How many of those people do you think are going to be in a hurry to fork over more dollars to the team after being treated that way? My guess is that the number will be small. Smooth move, Yankees.
The Yankees organization has always been sorely lacking when it comes to dealing with fans, ticket-holders and the media, but it seems to reach a new low every day. Things were far from perfect at the old ballpark, but crap like this makes me miss box 611 more and more every inning.