I’m a week late to the party on this, but, in case you missed it, check out Mark Lamster’s feature on the two new ballparks in New York. It’s a very interesting read. Here’s a snip:
When I first started attending games on my own, some 20 years ago, a ticket to the Yankee bleachers cost $1.50, pocket change even for a kid on a tight allowance. That same ticket now costs $14: not an unreasonable sum, but more than a movie and enough to keep a student on a limited budget from making it too much of a habit. The new stadium, for that matter, doesn’t beg that kind of relationship. It’s a special-occasion place, somewhere to visit a couple of times a season. Why empty your wallet for an entertainment event that might not be entertaining? (Even the best teams lose roughly 40 percent of their games.) When you’re stuck in the nosebleed seats, and a beer, a dog, and a bag of peanuts cost upward of 20 bucks, thoughts of exploitation inevitably percolate through the mind. It is in those moments that the fan-team compact seems hopelessly broken, and one begins to wonder about the difference between being a fan and being a chump. Sometimes it seems like there’s no difference at all.
When Mark says that the new Yankee Stadium is “a special-occasion place, somewhere to visit a couple of times a season,” I believe that he’s dead-on with that one.
And, that’s sad. Me? In a perfect world, I would go to Yankee Stadium about nine times a season. And, I would want to bring my wife and kids with me at least half of those times. But, today, I cannot afford to do that.
It was possible in the 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s. Heck, it was even possible in 2001. But, today? No – not at all. Shame. I hope the Yankees realize what they’re doing here…squeezing out the diehard fan with a family who wants to go to games more than just four or five times a season…