Via Richard Sandomir -
Why not cut more ticket prices at Yankee Stadium, not just the really expensive ones?
The Yankees’ move Tuesday to slash the price of slower-selling premium seats, including the $2,500 perches, and give away others affects a few hundred seats. It was a cosmetic move to quell criticism and put more bodies in front of television cameras.
There are only 100 seats priced for season-ticket plans at $2,500 — and only 55 to 60 have been sold.
The Yankees’ strategy exacerbates the visible divide between fans in exclusive areas and the tens of thousands outside of club access. The Yankees gave discounts to those who can afford $325 to $2,500 tickets for 81 games, but nothing to fans who might have had to stretch family budgets pinched by the recession to pay $50, $75 or $150 a game.
Those fans — many of whom could once afford box seats — deserve something.
There is nothing wrong with treating your highest-paying customers well. Anyone with a full season of $2,500 seats is paying $202,500 this year. That is a real commitment.
But by rewarding only the wealthiest, the Yankees might be inviting some sort of class conflict.
“I won’t predict that this will cause pitchfork riots at the stadium, but it will intensify resentment,” said Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University. “The people getting cut-rate deals are in the position of the bonus-getters from A.I.G. or the banks, and people could say, ‘How come these guys get a privilege when I’ve lost my job?’ ”