• Yanks Cut 2009 Season Ticket Prices

    Posted by on April 28th, 2009 · Comments (49)

    I’m working on getting the press release now. It’s not a lot of seats. But, the $2,500 seats are now cut in half and the $1,000 seats are now $650.

    Those who already bought seats will get a credit, refund, or free tickets.

    How embarrassing. Has a baseball team ever had to cut ticket prices during the season before?

    When you’re the New York Yankees, you should not have to conduct a fire sale to move your tickets.

    Update: Pete Abe has the release.

    Comments on Yanks Cut 2009 Season Ticket Prices

    1. MJ
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:01 pm

      How embarrassing.
      —–
      I actually don’t think it’s embarrasing, I think it’s a sign of good customer service and a measure of sensitivity given the current economic climate.

      Considering the numerous (annoying) populist arguments that have been circulating about how much the Yanks don’t give a crap about “average fans” or how they never take fan opinion into consideration, it seems as though they’ve done just that.

      You want to tell me that the “average” fan still can’t afford these tickets at the discounted price? Fine. But a lot more people can afford it now and that’s good. The Yanks did good here and I applaud them for it.

    2. Corey
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:02 pm

      nice, so they go from retardedly expensive to rediculously expensive

    3. YankCrank
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:13 pm

      When you’re the New York Yankees, you should not have to conduct a fire sale to move your tickets.
      —–

      If i’m the New York Yankees, i’d rather those seats sell for half price instead of $0, and i’d also take the positive press about it by dropping prices before the Mets did.

      Embarrassing? I wouldn’t go that far. It certainly sucks, but what would be embarrassing is if the games the rest of the year were as empty as the ones we’ve seen. Hopefully more people purchase tickets now.

    4. April 28th, 2009 | 4:16 pm

      It’s just an attempt by the Yankees to try and fill those empty seats. This is all about saving face on TV. They’re not helping fans here. They’re just passing out these complimentary seats and hoping that the owners try and resell them or give them away. And, then, they’ll have some of those seats not go empty for the TV cameras.

    5. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:18 pm

      It’s just an attempt by the Yankees to try and fill those empty seats. This is all about saving face on TV. They’re not helping fans here. They’re just passing out these complimentary seats and hoping that the owners try and resell them or give them away. And, then, they’ll have some of those seats not go empty for the TV cameras.
      ————
      And how does this not help the fans?

    6. April 28th, 2009 | 4:24 pm

      Raf – They’re not selling tickets now at prices that people can afford. More so, this is about giving free tickets to their MAJOR CLIENTS – the people rich and corporations who can afford to pay $1,000 to $2,500 PER TICKET.

      This way, they don’t piss off those MAJOR CLIENTS by selling tickets at normal prices, that the big boys paid $$$$ for…and they reward those MAJOR CLIENTS by giving them free tickets to pass out to friends…helping them and helping the Yanks with their image problem on TV.

      But, this is not helping the day-to-day fan.

    7. MJ
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:28 pm

      It’s just an attempt by the Yankees to try and fill those empty seats. This is all about saving face on TV. They’re not helping fans here.
      —-
      Who cares what the motive is? The net result is that more people can afford to sit in those seats and the Yanks go from unsold/unused inventory to incremental revenue. Both sides win.

      Who said motives had to be pure?

    8. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:29 pm

      But, this is not helping the day-to-day fan.
      ———-
      Is that what you meant? It never was about the day-to-day fan. If it was, they’d still be playing across the street.

    9. MJ
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:30 pm

      But, this is not helping the day-to-day fan.
      ——
      Steve, if the ticket price was $260 like it was across the street would you be sitting there? If not, then why do you even care?

      Any drop in ticket price is good for all sides, regardless of the motivation.

    10. Evan3457
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:31 pm

      I don’t think it’s an embarassment at all.

      It’s a response to the market.

      When oil was $160 a barrel, and futures were nearly as high, and possibly higher, and many people in the US cut their energy usage, and created a glut, the price dropped about 75% in a year.

      Should the oil producers and speculators have been “embarassed” by this?

      Nope; just the “invisible hand” of the market at work.

      The Yanks overestimated what the market would bear for their tickets? The market steps in to force a reduction, if the Yanks want to make more money than they made before they reduced them.

      Embarassing? Maybe the severity of the miscalculation of the market has some faces red. But I wouldn’t say it’s as embarassing as…well, putting your athletic career and multi-multi-millions in jeopardy by bringing a unlicensed, loaded weapon to a club, and shooting yourself in the leg.

    11. MJ
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:36 pm

      Embarassing? Maybe the severity of the miscalculation of the market has some faces red.
      ——-
      Indeed. Although the current economic climate and the preposterous populist outrage against Wall Street were unforseeable events which also contributed to the situation.

    12. April 28th, 2009 | 4:42 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Steve, if the ticket price was $260 like it was across the street would you be sitting there? If not, then why do you even care?
      Any drop in ticket price is good for all sides, regardless of the motivation.

      Look at it this way. If they were $260 each, at least I would A SHOT at buying them – if I really, really, wanted two tickets, in a great section, for a very special day – like an anniversary or birthday. For that, I might blow $500 or so.

      But, when they’re something like $700, or $1,000, or $2,500 EACH, then I have NO SHOT at all, EVER, of being able to afford them.

      Having a shot, and having NO SHOT WHATSOEVER, is night and day, my friend, night and day…and, that’s worth caring about, IMHO.

    13. April 28th, 2009 | 4:43 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Although the current economic climate and the preposterous populist outrage against Wall Street were unforseeable events which also contributed to the situation.

      Do you really need an economic downturn to be able to say that it’s OBSCENE to charge $1,000+ for ONE ticket to a baseball game? Really?

    14. MJ
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:49 pm

      Do you really need an economic downturn to be able to say that it’s OBSCENE to charge $1,000+ for ONE ticket to a baseball game? Really?
      ——-
      Yes, really. Courtside seats at Knicks games go for something like $1100 and even as horrible as the Knicks have been for the past 9 years, Spike Lee and every other celeb has no issue with paying to be seen sitting courtside in an old, decrepit facility watching horrendous basketball.

      If people want to pay those prices, then it’s not obscene. If you or I can’t afford to sit there, well that’s life. Tough shit for us.

    15. April 28th, 2009 | 4:52 pm

      MJ – how many seats does MSG have, and how many home games do the Knicks play, compared to seats in YS and the 81 home games that they play?

    16. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:56 pm

      Look at it this way. If they were $260 each, at least I would A SHOT at buying them – if I really, really, wanted two tickets, in a great section, for a very special day – like an anniversary or birthday. For that, I might blow $500 or so.
      —————
      Then the argument becomes “how much is too much,” because I know people why couldn’t afford to pay $260 for a ticket either.

    17. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:57 pm

      MJ – how many seats does MSG have, and how many home games do the Knicks play, compared to seats in YS and the 81 home games that they play?
      ————-
      Doesn’t matter, it’s what the market will bear

    18. MJ
      April 28th, 2009 | 4:57 pm

      MJ – how many seats does MSG have, and how many home games do the Knicks play, compared to seats in YS and the 81 home games that they play?
      —–
      Irrelevant. The point is that people will pay what they can afford. If this new, $1000 price-point will get more people to buy these tickets then it was a good move for the Yankees and, by extension, for those that bought the seats.

      There is no law that says that die-hard Yankee fans should be able to sit wherever they want in the Stadium. If you think $260 is reasonable for an anniversary or a birthday but $1000 is unreasonable then that’s just how it goes. To some other folks, $2600 was unreasonable but $1000 might be reasonable.

      I fly to Greece once a year to visit my relatives for Christmas. Believe me, just once I’d love to fly business or first class instead of being cooped up in coach for 11 hours. Sadly, I can neither afford the expense or justify it even if I could afford it. I’m not bitching that the prices to fly more comfortably are a result of the FAA and the airline industry being grossly mismanaged and prices being out of whack as a result. I accept that those that can pay for something will pay for something and prices move accordingly.

      I don’t get what the fuss is. The Yanks DROPPED ticket prices. We should all be pleased about it, not hostile.

    19. April 28th, 2009 | 5:03 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Doesn’t matter, it’s what the market will bear

      Huh? Yeah, it matters. It’s called supply and demand. Ever hear of it?

    20. Pat F
      April 28th, 2009 | 5:04 pm

      exactly raf. somebody is priced out at every ticket price in terms of even having a shot. the day to day fan might not win here, but when the day to day fan wins, the next level down still doesn’t. this is an improvement over the original. the team sells more seats and makes more money than they would have. they made a mistake here, and are working to fix it. it still won’t be perfect. but as long as they fix it next year to a point where most tickets are being bought, it’s tough to complain about pricing. can’t fault the yankees for wanting to sell as many tickets as possible at as high a price as possible, no matter if it’s corportations, the average fan, or someone else who is benefiting or not.

    21. April 28th, 2009 | 5:08 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Irrelevant.

      There is no law that says that die-hard Yankee fans should be able to sit wherever they want in the Stadium.

      I dunno. I think it would be NICE, again, if they had a CHANCE to do it – even if it was just once in a lifetime. And, at ~$500 for two seats, there would be many, many, people who could save/borrow, etc., to get to that point where, if they really wanted to, spend that $500 on tickets and not feel sick about it.

      Whereas, there are VERY FEW people out there who could spend $2,000 to $5,000 to go see ONE baseball game and not feel sick about.

      But, again, if you feel differently, I’ll gladly agree to disagree with you. And, leave it at that.

    22. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 5:14 pm

      Huh? Yeah, it matters. It’s called supply and demand. Ever hear of it?
      ————
      Yep, which is why you ain’t getting your tickets for $260 anymore.

    23. MJ
      April 28th, 2009 | 5:20 pm

      I dunno. I think it would be NICE, again, if they had a CHANCE to do it – even if it was just once in a lifetime. And, at ~$500 for two seats, there would be many, many, people who could save/borrow, etc., to get to that point where, if they really wanted to, spend that $500 on tickets and not feel sick about it.

      Whereas, there are VERY FEW people out there who could spend $2,000 to $5,000 to go see ONE baseball game and not feel sick about.
      ———-
      I don’t think you know that any more than I do.

      It’s not that I feel differently about it. I wish I could drop $1000 on a ticket to sit behind home plate but I can’t. It’s just that to complain about it makes no sense. The Yanks don’t owe anyone anything and they have every right to price their best seats at the highest possible price-point that will lead to their being sold. That it had to come down 50% is a step in the right direction for the team and, by extension, for those that can now justify the $1000 expense where they couldn’t justify the $2600 expense.

      Of course it would be NICE if I could spend that money but, as Raf said, there will always be a price-point that someone can’t afford. So, it seems to me that you’re just complaining that YOU (or I) can’t afford it. And while I don’t mean to call you out, I don’t get what you’re pissed off about. You’re bitching about the lack of altruism on the Yanks’ part, ripping their motivation for lowering prices, but the fact remains that as long as SOMEONE can’t afford those $260 “birthday/anniversary” seats, then your arguments are just as selfish as the Yanks themselves.

      Again, I am not trying to be insulting here but I don’t get why people are up in arms about a business being run like a business should be run. Do we bitch that we can’t eat $65 steaks at Peter Luger’s every night for dinner?

    24. yagottagotomo1
      April 28th, 2009 | 5:40 pm

      Steve, no offense, but I think Raf saying that what matters is what the market will bear is him saying that what matters is that supply and demand will interact in such a way to make these prices what the market will bear. Worded differently what the market will bear is defined by supply and demand. So you responded to what he said by just repeating what he said in an angry tone.

    25. yagottagotomo1
      April 28th, 2009 | 5:42 pm

      Exactly, MJ. And just as an aside, why is it a given that the people sitting in expensive seats are not big fans? That has been the general assumption (this doesnt cater to the day to day fan) but I just never got that. I know plenty of wealthy people who plunk down thousands for tickets because they are huge fans. They are just huge fans who can afford it more.

    26. April 28th, 2009 | 5:49 pm

      OK, yagot, you made me look.

      MSG seats about 19,000 and the Knicks play 41 home games.

      So, that’s 779,000 seats available for Knick games in a season.

      YS seats 51,000 and the Yanks play 81 games there.

      So, that’s 4,131,000 seats available for Yankees games in a season.

      That’s a HUGE difference: 780K vs. 4.1 million.

      So, the logic that the Yankees should charge as much as the Knicks flies in the face of S&D – and anyone who says that it doesn’t matter is wrong. Sorry if that comes across as angry.

      But, it’s the truth.

    27. April 28th, 2009 | 5:58 pm

      Great comment at BBTF on this:

      “So once again it is the rich and the corporations that are getting the charity and the plebes get to pay full price.”

      - that’s dead, solid, perfect, IMHO.

      And, I don’t see how the Yankees should be praised for doing this…

    28. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 5:59 pm

      I dunno. I think it would be NICE, again, if they had a CHANCE to do it –
      ———-
      It would be nice, but realistically, it won’t happen.

    29. Pat F
      April 28th, 2009 | 6:01 pm

      uh, no. it has little, nothing really, to do with the amount of tickets available per season. it has everything to do with the highest prices the yankees can charge and still get people to buy the tickets. period. the yankees are a bigger brand with a bigger fan base with more people wanting to see their games than everyone, including the knicks. they should be able to charge much more than the knicks. they messed up this time around charging way too much, but when they get supply and demand to meet, it will be much more than what the knicks can charge for their games, because the yankees are in higher demand.

    30. yagottagotomo1
      April 28th, 2009 | 6:04 pm

      Steve, you looked only at supply, but neglected to find a way to look at demand. The Yankees can charge as much as the Knicks if their larger supply is also met by larger demand. Considering that they sold out the most expensive in the old place every year, I would contend that there is a healthy demand for those seats even at high prices. The Yankees thought the market could bear even higher prices, they were wrong, so they are trying something lower.

    31. yagottagotomo1
      April 28th, 2009 | 6:05 pm

      Or what Pat F said….owe you a Coke.

    32. yagottagotomo1
      April 28th, 2009 | 6:09 pm

      “So once again it is the rich and the corporations that are getting the charity and the plebes get to pay full price.”

      So silly. Ticket prices on the more expensive seats were cut. The prices on the rest of the Stadium, while high, are not entirely unreasonable when compared to the old park, considering the increased amenities, etc. There was no reason to cut the prices on the other seats. This also corrects the market going forward- the middle class, so to speak, can move up because they can afford it, leaving the cheaper seats for the “plebe.”

    33. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 6:15 pm

      So, the logic that the Yankees should charge as uh, no. it has little, nothing really, to do with the amount of tickets available per season. it has everything to do with the highest prices the yankees can charge and still get people to buy the tickets. period.
      —————
      Yep. Nailed it.

    34. lisaswan
      April 28th, 2009 | 7:55 pm

      Steve, the Yanks numbers don’t add up. I wrote about it in my Subway Squawkers blog:

      If there were 4500 luxury seats, as the Yanks were claiming, and 85% were already sold, then we’re only talking about 675 seats. Which is obviously not the number of empty seats we’ve been seeing.

      http://subwaysquawkers.blogspot.com/2009/04/shocker-yankees-lower-some-ticket.html

      As for yagottagotomo1, who writes:

      “The prices on the rest of the Stadium, while high, are not entirely unreasonable when compared to the old park, considering the increased amenities, etc.”

      Really? You think a 67% increase on non-premium seats in one year is reasonable? Must be a heck of a lot of amenities!

    35. lisaswan
      April 28th, 2009 | 7:59 pm

      “they should be able to charge much more than the knicks. they messed up this time around charging way too much, but when they get supply and demand to meet, it will be much more than what the knicks can charge for their games, because the yankees are in higher demand.”

      No, they won’t, for the reason Steve suggested – Knicks have half the games, and less than half the capacity. Please tell me the baseball team that is able to successfully charge more than the basketball team in its town. Do the Dodgers charge more than the Lakers? The Red Sox charge more than the Celtics? The Cubs charge more than the Bulls?

    36. lisaswan
      April 28th, 2009 | 8:01 pm

      And really, I want to life the lives that some of you seem to, where spending three and four figures on one baseball game is no biggie. Must be nice!

    37. yagottagotomo1
      April 28th, 2009 | 8:13 pm

      Wow- none of us said its no biggie- we said that if people can pay that, you cant fault the Yankees for charging it.

    38. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 8:29 pm

      Do the Dodgers charge more than the Lakers? The Red Sox charge more than the Celtics? The Cubs charge more than the Bulls?
      ————-
      Do you honestly think that if the Red Sox got a new ballpark that they wouldn’t gouge the fans? Especially if they drew 4M+ like the Yanks have? Ditto for the Dodgers and Cubs.

    39. butchie22
      April 28th, 2009 | 8:39 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Do the Dodgers charge more than the Lakers? The Red Sox charge more than the Celtics? The Cubs charge more than the Bulls?
      ————-
      Do you honestly think that if the Red Sox got a new ballpark that they wouldn’t gouge the fans? Especially if they drew 4M+ like the Yanks have? Ditto for the Dodgers and Cubs.

      WE agree for a change! The Red Sox and Cubs are not giving cheap ticket prices to get in and watch those teams. The problem that Yankees had was that that nearly empty space behind home looked terrible on TV. Can you imagine how that would look on the REd Sox-Yankee games coming up?

      Lisa Swan I hate to say it BUT it’s a simple case of supply and demand. In this case, The Yanks sold out most of the Stadium BUT those most expensive seats being empty presented an eyesore of sorts. That had to be adjusted no matter what and was an appropriate response.

    40. lisaswan
      April 28th, 2009 | 9:03 pm

      Raf, actually, the Red Sox and Dodgers froze their ticket prices on all their seats this year, while the Cubs froze prices on the non-premium seats. All of them cited the economy (you know, the thing that so thoroughly confused and surprised the Yankees.)

      At any rate, neither team charges anywhere near to what the Yankees do (max tix prices are $500-Dodgers, $350-Cubs, $325-Red Sox for the best seats), and there are comparatively few tix even over $100 in their ballparks.

      Whether or not these teams theoretically could charge tons more with new ballparks is not the point. The reality is that all three of these teams have iconic ballparks, good teams, and great attendance. Yet all of them did some sort of ticket price freeze this year, as did most teams in baseball.

      And Butchie, the Yankees should have realized six months ago that these ticket prices were too high. They’re not even close to what any other teamm in baseball is charging.

    41. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 9:33 pm

      The reality is that all three of these teams have iconic ballparks, good teams, and great attendance. Yet all of them did some sort of ticket price freeze this year,
      ———-
      There’s also the reality that none of those teams opened a new ballpark. Matter of fact, the Yanks just left an iconic ballpark.

    42. lisaswan
      April 28th, 2009 | 10:35 pm

      “There’s also the reality that none of those teams opened a new ballpark. Matter of fact, the Yanks just left an iconic ballpark.”

      Really? I had no idea! Condescend much?

    43. lisaswan
      April 28th, 2009 | 10:52 pm

      Besides, the Mets have a new ballpark, yet their seats aren’t even close to the Yankees levels, even though they have 7-8 thousand fewer. Nor are the Nationals, or the Reds, or the Phillies, or the Pirates, or any other team with a fairly new ballpark, or any other team at all in baseball, for that matter.

    44. Raf
      April 28th, 2009 | 11:32 pm

      Besides, the Mets have a new ballpark, yet their seats aren’t even close to the Yankees levels, even though they have 7-8 thousand fewer. Nor are the Nationals, or the Reds, or the Phillies, or the Pirates, or any other team with a fairly new ballpark, or any other team at all in baseball, for that matter.
      ——————
      And how do those teams draw when compared to the Yanks? Do you think the brands of these clubs you mentioned can match the Yankees brand?

      Yanks drew 4M+ in a row 4 years in a row, you don’t think they’d try to take advantage of it?

      Like I said before, these prices were never about the day to day fan. It was about corporate butts and luxury boxes.

    45. lisaswan
      April 29th, 2009 | 10:03 am

      Raf, you seem to still be arguing that the Yankees were smart in having such high ticket prices. That doesn’t even make any sense, given that they just lowered those prices in an unprecedented way.

    46. April 29th, 2009 | 10:05 am

      I think some people will fight to the death rather than ever admit that the Yankees made a stupid or wrong move…and others get a kick out of pushing a debate for the thrill of debate…and when you mix both of these things into one…well, watch out!

      So, all, let’s agree to disagree, if needed on this one. It’s easier than banging heads.

    47. Raf
      April 29th, 2009 | 10:15 am

      Raf, you seem to still be arguing that the Yankees were smart in having such high ticket prices. That doesn’t even make any sense, given that they just lowered those prices in an unprecedented way.
      ————-
      I’m not arguing that it’s smart or dumb, wrong or right. I am trying to explain the logic behind the moves.

      Teams move to a new ballpark, they jack up the prices. Teams are successful, they jack up the prices.

      The Yanks took a shot, they failed. But I would be willing to bet, that before long those prices will be back to where they were. Especially if they win another series or 3.

    48. Raf
      April 29th, 2009 | 10:18 am

      I think some people will fight to the death rather than ever admit that the Yankees made a stupid or wrong move…and others get a kick out of pushing a debate for the thrill of debate…and when you mix both of these things into one…well, watch out!
      ————
      *shrug*

      I have no problem one way or the other, but it baffles me that the general public doesn’t seem to have a grasp on basic economic principles. Whether it’s the Yanks or the local neighborhood scalper, they will charge what people are willing to pay. If prices are too high or too low, then they will adjust.

    49. April 29th, 2009 | 10:38 pm

      [...] Yanks Cut 2009 Season Ticket Prices [...]

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