• Yankees Season Tickets: To Renew, Or, Not To Renew?

    Posted by on June 28th, 2011 · Comments (12)

    I’ve been a Yankees season ticket holder since 2001. Every season for the last 11 years, I buy the full 81-game package (2 seats) and split it nine ways with eight other parties. We each get 9 games – making sure that we all get at least one game for each month of the season and (when possible) one game for each day of the week. (Everyone gets at least one Sunday game, one Saturday game, one Friday game, etc.)

    In the last Stadium, the seats were in the Loge, Section 15, not far from first base. And, in the current Stadium, they’re in a similar spot in the Main Level. (Both times under cover – which is sweet when the sun is blistering or when it’s raining.)

    But, I’m thinking about not renewing my Yankees season tickets for 2012.

    Why? It’s the cost. When I started this in 2001, the tickets were $37 each and parking at Yankee Stadium was around $10 per game. This season, the tickets are $80 each and parking at Yankee Stadium is closer to $40 per game. When you’re looking at $200 to sit and park as opposed to $84 to sit and park per game, that’s a big difference. And, of course, this doesn’t include the cost of eating and drinking these days inside the Stadium.

    Also, lately, it seems like there’s an advantage to buying tickets on the secondary market if you’re willing to see games against non-premium teams/draws and wait until close to game-day to purchase the seats – since sellers are anxious to unload the tickets and willing to let them go under face value.

    There are two things holding me back pulling the plug.

    One is my “package-mates.” More than half of them are interested in doing the split with me next year. And, some of these folks have been doing this with me for a long time. I don’t want to pull the rug out on these guys – even though there’s never been any promise to anyone what this situation with the tickets is a guaranteed right or a long-term deal.

    The second is my ego. I like saying “I’ve been a Yankees season ticket holder since 2001.” And, I like it when I sell my tickets to someone I know and then they tell me, after attending the game, “Your seats are great.” Also, I see the look in my kids’ eyes when I tell them that I might not renew the seats again next year – even though I also promise them that we’ll still attend as many games each season, in the future, as we do now.

    Now, I know that the ego is a dangerous thing – in many, many, ways. So, I try and keep that in check and look at this objectively.

    And, I know that, while most of “package-mates” have said they’re in for next season, every year it seems like we have to replace two parties (or so) because they dropped out or were not invited back. Therefore, this thing has always been a house of straw as opposed to a house of bricks – and capable of getting blown down in any given season.

    I’m really on the fence with this one. If you were me, what would you do?

    Comments on Yankees Season Tickets: To Renew, Or, Not To Renew?

    1. G.I. Joey
      June 28th, 2011 | 4:36 pm

      It’s so easy to scoop up tickets on the secondary market now as you mentioned that the only real reason to keep season tickets is so that you have first crack at playoff tickets.

    2. redbug
      June 28th, 2011 | 5:31 pm

      Most times I don’t even wait till close to game day as long as it’s not a premium team.

      The Yanks have over-priced themselves.

    3. Corey Italiano
      June 28th, 2011 | 6:20 pm

      Personally, I like the fact that I get a different angle of the field each time I go to the Stadium (depending on what seats are available). It’s fun.

    4. Baseball Guy
      June 29th, 2011 | 6:53 am

      I have been a season ticket holder for years as well and came to the same conclusion this year.

      I have only had the 11 game package (upped from the 8 game package at the old Yankee Stadium). But, frequently find the games in the package are difficult to attend, it’s more difficult to sell the extra games to friends, and the prices are just too high.

      When I first got a package, the bonus was the ability to get post season games with the “pre on-sale” feature. The last few year, the tickets are sold out within seconds of the pre on-sale opening. I’ve been shut out of most post season games the last few years.

      I also had two rainouts this year- and while the Yankees offer tickets to “any other game,” every game I ask about (at the Advanded Ticket Window) is sold out.

      I then see games on the scondary market going for much cheaper than I spent on my tickets.

      I have discussed all these, and other concerns, with the Yankee Ticket Office and the say, quiety, “Yes, we know.” But they can’t seem to do anything about it.

      I have had to explain this to my children and extended family and they understand. It is great to say that I’m a Yankees Season Ticket owner, but it’s really not worth it any longer.

    5. Fat Al
      June 29th, 2011 | 9:25 am

      I had the same call to make last year. I had had season tickets (most recently in the Jim Beam area) since 2003. Last year I felt like a complete idiot having shelled out huge dollars to the Yankees in January and seeing that I could almost always have bought my identical seats on StubHub the day of the game (and buy the right number, wait to check the weather, etc.) for less than I had paid months earlier. I couldn’t justify it anymore and let them go.

      I’ve enjoyed the freedom and flexibility this season and really haven’t looked back. Until the Yankees get real on their pricing, including implementing flexible pricing, I find season tickets to be unjustifiable for me.

      Hope that helps.

    6. June 29th, 2011 | 5:19 pm

      I still wonder about the secondary market.

      Sure, if I go on StubHub now I can see seats in the upper-deck that usually sell for $30, for tomorrow’s game, going for $12.

      But, if I want tickets in the section I have now, for my season seats, I’m not seeing a huge sale.

      My seats are $80 each. And, if I go on Stubhub right now, for tomorrow’s game, I see seats in my section on “sale” for $65, $71, $74, $75, $88, $89, $91, $100 and $116. I’m not seeing them go for $40.

    7. June 29th, 2011 | 5:35 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      But the issue isn’t that you will necessarily save a huge amount of money. The question is what you are getting in exchange for pre-paying a big nut and locking yourself in to a particular number of seats in a particular place for every game (not to mention the hassle of managing and distributing 81 games’ worth of tickets). I think you should get something back in exchange for paying full price months in advance for a Thursday afternoon Royals game beyond the psychic income of being a “Yankees Season Ticket Holder.”

      In my view, these days, you are getting very little. You can’t get 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 tickets when you want them because you have a fixed number. You can’t decide last minute to scrap your plans because of weather, a sudden conflict, pitching matchups, whatever. You can’t move around the Stadium (although I do like having the same seats regularly, and I miss that). There are teams, including the Mets, that are really trying to keep their season ticket holders by offering them things that truly add value. Variable pricing, sure, but also perqs like being able to go on the field before the game, meet some washed up player, stuff like that that seems to make the season ticket holder a part of the family. I don’t get that from the Yankees, which is fine, but it left me without much reason to keep writing a big check.

    8. Evan3457
      June 29th, 2011 | 5:36 pm

      And you won’t because:

      1) School is out now
      2) The weather’s perfect tonight and tomorrow

      The best StubHub bargains are:

      1) Early in the season, especially before school lets out
      2) Mid-week night games, especially Monday and Tuesday
      3) Non big promotions
      4) Against non-rivals, especially teams from other divisions who are bad
      5) Especially in cold/threatening weather forecasts

    9. June 29th, 2011 | 10:22 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      So, if you’re not shopping in April or May, or willing to sit in the rain, or watch them play the Royals on a Tuesday night, you’re SOL on the really great ticket deals?

    10. Raf
      June 29th, 2011 | 10:35 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Not so much the Royals, but I suppose any team other than the Mets or Red Sox.

    11. June 29th, 2011 | 10:39 pm

      Fat Al wrote:

      But the issue isn’t that you will necessarily save a huge amount of money. The question is what you are getting in exchange for pre-paying a big nut and locking yourself in to a particular number of seats in a particular place for every game (not to mention the hassle of managing and distributing 81 games’ worth of tickets). I think you should get something back in exchange for paying full price months in advance for a Thursday afternoon Royals game beyond the psychic income of being a “Yankees Season Ticket Holder.”

      That’s a fair point.

      Many years ago, just for fun, I called the Oakland A’s and told them I was planning on moving to their area and wanted to talk about a season ticket package. You would not believe how nice they were – and willing to bend over backwards to get the sale. They even said things like “If you know in advance that you can’t make a game or two, let us know and we’ll give you a credit.” Imagine the Yankees ever doing that? Of course, supply and demand are different between NY and Oakland. And, this was many years ago – I want to say it was around 2003.

      FWIW, in the 11 years I’ve been doing this, I never had to eat a game or sell a game at less than face value. Once, I had a really shitty game and I raffled it off at work – sold chances for a few bucks each, sold enough chances to cover the cost of the two tickets, and then someone got to go see a Yankees game, sitting in the Loge by 1B, for a few bucks. But, on the flip side, I’ve never sold tickets for a profit, either. (Maybe I could have? Just never tried.)

      Yet, I wonder, if I do it again, will I have that luck getting rid of games? Going to weekday games is very hard for me, and I’d rather sell those. And, the tought of eating $160 per game or having to sell at less than face value, just doesn’t work in my budget. So, for sure, I see the perks of having that ability to buy when I want, and not have to deal with the hassle of those can’t go games, and trading in the no perks that come with being a season ticket holder.

      And, I don’t believe that the pre-sale and post-season tickets are perks. There’s no lock that they make the post-season. There’s no lock if they make it that certain games in a series will be played at Yankee Stadium. And, the few times I tried to take advantage of the pre-season presale that they give season ticket holders, it was a joke. The website kept offering me the same $125 tickets in the OF, over and over again, every time I asked for best available seats.

    12. ctkaiser
      July 13th, 2011 | 2:34 pm

      If you have enough partners to absorb the upfront cost I would keep the seats. I have two tickets in the Main level just past 1st base at $70 per ticket for a 15 game plan for Saturdays plus two other games. My biggest problem is trying to find a friend to go as people have work and family commitments. The secondary market is flooded and even prime time summer games only get you a small profit. For you as a full season ticket holder you get every playoff game. You certainly would not like what you have to pay for post season tickets in the secondary market. As one commenter stated the pre-sale for post season tickets is extremely limited.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.