• Yankees Stadium Becomes Fort Zinderneuf In This Post-Season

    Posted by on October 14th, 2012 · Comments (14)

    Click here for the fort reference. And, now, the story from Jeff Passan -

    For the second consecutive playoff game, swaths of empty seats filled Yankee Stadium, entire rows without a single fan. And on Saturday night, instead of letting them sit embarrassingly open for Game 1 of the ALCS, ushers were told to fill them with fans from other sections.

    “We were up there,” said Bill Brady, 46, of Roxbury, N.J., pointing from his new seat in Section 334 to the top of 434b. “Way up there.”

    Brady was one of dozens of fans ferried by ushers in the bottom of the fourth inning to Section 334 down the left-field line, which just an inning earlier had nine people sitting among more than 100 unfilled seats. One usher, who asked not to be identified, said he was told by a superior to start sending fans to the higher-priced seats.

    “I don’t know what it’s about,” the usher said. “I guess they want to make it look better on TV.”

    While some Yankees fans mobilized on Twitter and other social networks to rationalize the second consecutive non-sellout, fans in Section 334 were miffed and disappointed that a metropolitan area of 22 million couldn’t sell out a stadium with a capacity short of 51,000. The announced attendance was 47,122.

    Empty seats during playoff games are the domain of Atlanta – and even the Braves sold out their wild-card game this year. To see Yankee Stadium with giant blue patches not only down the left-field line but in Section 207 in right field was stunning and inconceivable for a game played at the old Yankee Stadium, which was shuttered in 2008.

    “At the old stadium, a playoff game, Saturday night, it was electric. It was a zoo,” said Charles Weimer, 33, of Staten Island, who was sitting in the sixth row of 334. “There were guys in jersey-shirts, drinking $8 beers. They’re gone, and I don’t know if they’re going to come back. Your $10 tickets are $50 tickets now.”

    Well, you can’t blame this one on the 5 PM start time.

    What I really find amazing about this – and sad – is that the Yankees, and the Mets (for what it’s worth), won’t let you “sneak down” to a better seat during the regular season, even if it’s the 7th inning of a blow-out game, and, yet, the Yankees pull this move in the post-season, clearly, just to cover their embarrassment.  Sad.

    Comments on Yankees Stadium Becomes Fort Zinderneuf In This Post-Season

    1. Raf
      October 14th, 2012 | 10:07 am

      The Yankees were blocking access to the good seats at the previous venue too.

      With that said, maybe, just maybe they’ll get the message with regards to ticket pricing. Meh, probably not

    2. Raf
      October 14th, 2012 | 10:11 am

      Not saying that they need to give away the store, but still. I’m sure the Yanks can take a little off the top with their pricing structure. I’m sure they can do without some of the bells and whistles that go towards “justifying” the pricing.

    3. LMJ229
      October 14th, 2012 | 10:43 am

      “Empty seats during playoff games are the domain of Atlanta – and even the Braves sold out their wild-card game this year.”

      Well, we have become the Braves haven’t we?

    4. LMJ229
      October 14th, 2012 | 10:54 am

      There are a number of factors that influence the reduced attendance figures, particularly in the post-season:
      1) Prices – they are just way too high.
      2) Commute time – it is just way too long. I live in Northern NJ (Morris County) and I plan to leave at 3:00 for a 7:00 game and I usually get home around midnight. That’s 9 hours to see a game. And it’s way worse in the post-season.
      3) Emotions Towards the Team – Take your pick here: complacency, aggravation that players don’t live up to their huge contracts, frustration with the lack of production.
      Hell, there are people who are so frustrated with this team that they won’t watch them on TV! You think they’re gonna give up 10 hours of their weekend time and a few hundred dollars of their hard earned cash to go to the stadium and watch them?!

    5. Raf
      October 14th, 2012 | 11:08 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      You think they’re gonna give up 10 hours of their weekend time and a few hundred dollars of their hard earned cash to go to the stadium and watch them?!

      If tickets are reasonably priced? Certainly.

      The largest complaint since the new venue opened was the ticket prices, especially in the moat. Maybe it has reached a breaking point, I can’t say for sure, as I don’t know how this years attendance compares with last years, or even the year before. I’m talking as a whole, regular season and postseason.

    6. 77yankees
      October 14th, 2012 | 11:30 am

      You know, I noticed a pocket of seats near the field section LF foul pole, practically a whole damn section, empty several times this year.

      And yet Rocky and Bullwinkle in the Yankee offices think that starting their own ticket re-selling outlet is going to remedy that?

      Of course, those empty seats could go to deserving youngsters in our local schools, but as the late George Carlin said, “We don’t have time for rational solutions”.

    7. LMJ229
      October 14th, 2012 | 11:44 am

      77yankees wrote:

      And yet Rocky and Bullwinkle in the Yankee offices think that starting their own ticket re-selling outlet is going to remedy that?

      Perhaps they think it won’t remedy that but it will make them more money. They seem more concerned with the bottom line than the fans.

    8. LMJ229
      October 14th, 2012 | 12:00 pm

      FWIW, I compiled these numbers over the past 50 years from Baseball Almanac:

      1960′s Avg. Attendance: 16,520
      Low Year: 1969 (13,185)
      High Year: 1961 (21,444)

      1970′s Avg. Attendance: 19,870
      Low Year: 1972 (12,469)
      High Year: 1979 (31,722)

      1980′s Avg. Attendance: 28,334
      Low Year: 1984 (22,492)
      High Year: 1988 (32,717)

      1990′s Avg. Attendance: 28,918
      Low Year: 1992 (21,589)
      High Year: 1999 (40,662)

      2000-2011 Attendance: 55,775
      Low Year: 2000 (37,956)
      High Year: 2008 (53,069)

      Obviously, the last set of figures got a big boost from the closing of the old stadium and the opening of the new one. But since 2008 attendance at the new stadium has declined by about 8,000:
      2008 – 53,069
      2009 – 45,918
      2010 – 46,491
      2011 – 45,107

    9. LMJ229
      October 14th, 2012 | 12:11 pm

      It’s interesting to note that in the 80′s and 90′s the average attendance was almost the same despite the team’s success (or lack thereof). In the 80′s, however, the attendance was more consistent with only the one year (1984) where attendance was below 25,000. In the 90′s the lows and highs were more extreme with 4 of the 10 years having attendance less than 25,000 (1990, 1991, 1992, and 1995) and the team finally hitting the 40,000 mark in 1999.

    10. mattn.miller
      October 14th, 2012 | 2:33 pm

      The new stadium while beautiful and impressive in its stature, does not capture the electricity of the old stadium, where it felt like the fans where closer to the field and they were decidedly blue collar. It’s almost indicative of society itself. Corporate interest above fan experience and history. It is a Shakespearean tragedy if I have ever seen one. I don’t think we’ll ever get it back the way it was.

      If we want it to return to the way it was we have to do what Dodgers fan did, stop showing up to the games. Hit them in the wallet. Only way they’ll learn.

      Above all, it’s sad.

    11. Evan3457
      October 15th, 2012 | 5:19 am

      The demand simply isn’t there, for whatever reason. I have no idea how many tickets were unsold on TicketMaster. (Well, apparently, about 3000, since they announced 47000 in ticket sales.) But at 1:30 yesterday, 1/2 hour before the window closed at StubHub, there were still about 3800 tickets available there, and I got 4 Field MVP seats for $129 each, about 60% below regular season face value, and more like 70% below the ALCS official markup price. There were a few Main Infield seats going in the $70-80 range.

      Yeah, the Yanks are going to take StubHub away, and then, they’ll stop getting my money, because I’m not paying face value for those top seats.

    12. October 16th, 2012 | 1:07 pm

      Anyone hear a story about the Yankees calling past season ticket holders now and asking them if the want to buy tickets to Game 6 of the 2012 ALCS?

    13. 77yankees
      October 16th, 2012 | 1:50 pm

      I got a VM from the Yankee ticket office during the 2010 ALCS to call them, and I’ve never been a season ticket holder.

    14. October 16th, 2012 | 3:06 pm

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