Is it just me, or, was Yankee Stadium practically empty yesterday?
This morning, I just realized it.
I had season tickets from 2001 through 2014. So, if I was to go last year, I would have needed to buy a single game on its own.
In any event, this morning, I was trying to remember the last time I did not make a trip to Yankee Stadium during the season. And, I can remember being there for particular games – for sure – prior to being a season ticket holder. Recalling those, I suspect that it was probably the early 90′s where I went a full season and never got to a game. Maybe it was 1994? If not, it was around that time…at least 20 years ago, maybe more?
The better question may be: When will I attend a Yankees game in person again?
Via the Post:
Lonn Trost has a message for certain Yankees fans: Some people just don’t belong!
In trying to defend the team’s new home ticket policy — which is the Yankees’ latest salvo in its war with StubHub — the Bombers COO ended up sounding like an out-of-touch elitist on Thursday.
“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money,” Trost said on WFAN Thursday morning. “It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and (another) fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount.
“And quite frankly,” he added, “the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”
Trost dropped a nuclear bomb in the Bombers/Ticketmaster battle royal with StubHub while — judging from the outrage on social media — insulting a good portion of the team’s ticket buying public.
The flub even inspired a fake Lonn Trost Twitter account (@LonnTrost), launched Thursday evening, which included the bio: “I have experience sitting in premium locations. Yankees Chief Operating Officer”
One post on the account read: “Other baseball organizations in New York City do not have premium products. #Yankees #Ticketing #SladeHeathcott”
A Yankee spokesman said Trost meant no offense by the comment.
I see what Trost is trying to do here. But, it’s flawed.
Now, if I paid $90 for a ticket to a Yankees game and the guy sitting next to me paid $2 for it, would I be pissed? Sure…but, only if that means the Yankees charged him $2 and they charged me $90 for the same seat. It doesn’t matter to me if the Yankees charged me $90 and they charged some other guy $90 – and then that other guy went out and decided to sell his ticket for $2. That’s his problem, not mine.
In fact, it’s REALLY not my problem. I had season tickets to the Yankees from 2001 through 2014. And, a big part of why I gave them up after FOURTEEN YEARS was the fact that no one wants to pay face value for a Yankees ticket anymore and I was taking a beating on games where I couldn’t attend.
And, that’s probably the Yankees real problem. People like me will no longer buy their tickets because of the secondary market. That’s why they want to shut down the secondary market.
The answer? Don’t charge so much for tickets that it makes it so attractive to buy them on the secondary market at such a cheap rate. Or, put a product on the field that makes people want to see the games so bad that they would never consider selling their tickets. It’s all about supply and demand. Create the demand for the supply and the market will take care of itself.
The splits tell the story. Stats are current through June 28th.
Holy ’51 Giants, Batman.
You know things are bad when Bald Vinny says it’s so.
I’m not usually a Podcast person. But, this one is worth listening to…as Vinny tells it like it is, in terms of what’s happening with Yankee Stadium.
Via LoHud -
The New York Yankees today announced that Class of 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Torre, Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage, Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill will all be honored with plaques in Monument Park. Torre will also have his uniform No. 6 retired. The ceremonies are part of a recognition series that will include Bernie Williams in 2015.
Martinez and Gossage will be celebrated during Old-Timers’ Day weekend on Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, respectively. O’Neill’s ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 9, while Torre will take his place in Monument Park on Saturday, August 23.
Tino Martinez gets a plaque? Does Willie Randolph have one? How does Tino get one before Willow?
Via ESPN -
In the book, written with New York Daily News reporter Wayne Coffey, [Mariano] Rivera also says there has been a decrease in atmosphere at New York home games following the move to new Yankee Stadium for the 2009 season.
“It doesn’t hold noise, or home-team fervor, anywhere near the way the old place did,” he said. “The old Stadium was our 10th man — a loud and frenzied cauldron of pinstriped passion, with a lot of lifers in the stands. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s hard to see that the new place can ever quite duplicate that.”
…a loud and frenzied cauldron of pinstriped passion…
Are those really Mo’s words? Seriously?
In any event, it’s hard to argue with the thought…
And, I sort of miss all the empty blue seats too. But, those may be coming soon to the new Stadium.
If you look at the top five single game attendance crowds at the previous Yankee Stadium, they are Opening Day crowds against teams like Oakland, Kansas City, Texas and Detroit where they drew 56,000+ fans.
If you look at the top five single game attendance crowds at the current/new Yankee Stadium, they are all games against the Red Sox from games played in July, August and September where they drew 49,000+ fans.
So, does this mean the only way the Yankees can pack their new Stadium to the rafters is when Red Sox Nation comes to town and takes over the Bronx?
Only going back 5 years for this one.
WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP, name the clean-up batters for each team in the first official regular season game played in the “new” Yankee Stadium.
Via Dan Wohl -
The gifts and honors piled up for Mariano Rivera during his 2013 farewell tour and they aren’t stopping even in retirement. The New York City Council has voted to rename a block of River Avenue, which borders Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, “Rivera Avenue.”
The vote was 47-0, with two abstentions (from councilmembers representing Manhattan and Queens). The City Council’s majority leader is named Joel Rivera and he represents the Bronx, but that’s likely a pure coincidence.
“It’s an honor to have a street named after me,” the all-time saves leader said. “I have a lot of great memories driving down that street. My family and I are extremely grateful for this.”
I am a total Mariano fan. But, this is stupid.
Via CBS –
Thousands of Yankees fans were angered Tuesday night when a late shipment of Mariano Rivera bobbleheads led to confusion and long, long lines to redeem vouchers for the tardy giveaway.
“There’s a lot of mayhem, people cutting in line, aggravation,” fan Lou Licameli told WCBS 880. “It’s ridiculous. And we’re sitting here missing the majority of the game, which we bought our tickets to see. The way they handled this, someone’s head should roll over it.”
But some reportedly didn’t have to miss a single pitch. Witnesses told the New York Post that fans “in the priciest seats” had their Mo bobbleheads hand-delivered by Yankee Stadium employees.
Am I shocked by this? Not at all.
Leave it to the Yankees to screw up something as simple as a bobble head giveaway.
Via the Daily News –
Exit Sandman, enter chaos.
Those coming to Yankee Stadium usually must sit through several innings to see if Mariano Rivera will pitch, but fans also had to wait a few extra hours and withstand chaotically long lines Tuesday night to receive a bobblehead doll of baseball’s retiring all-time saves leader.
Rivera was feted with a lavish retirement ceremony Sunday, including Metallica performing the 13-time All-Star’s signature song, “Enter Sandman.” The celebration was to continue Tuesday with the first 18,000 fans in attendance at the Yanks’ game against Tampa Bay slated to receive a commemorative Rivera bobblehead doll.
But the giveaways hadn’t arrived at the Stadium when the gates were slated to open at 5 p.m., as thousands of fans queued up outside.
The gates opened more than 30 minutes later than usual, and the Yankees handed out vouchers instead.
An announcement was made during the middle of the third inning that vouchers could be redeemed from that point until 30 minutes after the game.
Lines formed immediately and stretched from beyond the right-field foul pole to third base on the main level, then up a ramp to another level and back down to the first level, as some fans waited several innings to scoop up their collectible figurines. Deborah Tymon, the Yankees’ Sr. VP of Marketing, said the shipment arrived shortly after 6 p.m., adding “everyone with a voucher will be receiving a bobblehead tonight.”
A comfortable Saturday afternoon for attending a baseball game in the Bronx. The Yankees were hosting the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants – while the New York Club is in “must win” mode during game #155 of their 2013 season…fighting to somehow attain a post-season berth (via the wildcard). Also, it’s a giveaway day at Yankee Stadium where guests 14 and younger were to receive a Limited-Edition TY® Beanie Buddy® named “Closer” in honor of Mariano Rivera presented by DKNY.
How many people were there? According to the Yankees, there were 42,420 attending the game.
According to the view from my seats, they most have all been there late and left early…
See how it looked in the first inning:
And, here’s how it looked in the ninth inning:
For the record, I really didn’t see a lot of people coming late and leaving early…
Am I the only seeing a lot of empty blue seats out there today? Think Yankees COO Lonn Trost was checking them out too?
So it seems…
Via Jared Max, ESPN New York 98.7FM Host of “Maxed Out” -
Disparity between 1st and 2nd Class seating at Yankee Stadium yesterday for a “sellout.”
Empty seats and declining ratings. Via the Times today -
At dusk on the first day of summer at Yankee Stadium, there was a gentle breeze blowing to left field as a rim of fading sunlight marched across the bleachers in right. It was, in every respect, a sweet Friday night for baseball, with the Yankees taking on a formidable division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays.
The only thing wrong with the picture was the number of empty seats that remained visible in the stands as the game progressed — and the missing names from the Yankees’ lineup.
The attendance for the game was announced as being slightly more than 41,000, or about 9,000 short of capacity. That was a solid number for a regular-season game but not as robust as it might have been in other seasons in the Bronx, where the Yankees usually reign as the most distinguished name in American sports.
Through 41 home games this season, the Yankees have drawn nearly 106,000 fewer fans than at this point a year ago, a 6.1 percent drop that is almost twice as large as the overall decline in baseball. More than half a dozen other teams have had bigger attendance losses than the Yankees, but without exception they are teams that went from good to bad, at least for a while, or from bad to worse, or that play in cities without a notably intense fan base.
The Yankees do not fit in any of those categories, which makes their attendance falloff more intriguing. And while they also experienced a decrease in attendance the last two years, the one this season is more pronounced.
Even more sobering for the team: the television ratings for their games have plummeted. Through June 25, the ratings on their YES Network were down 40 percent to 2.52 from 4.17 at this point last season, and from 4.08, 4.50 and 4.72 in the three previous seasons, with each rating point this year representing 73,843 households.
Yet the sizable drop in the number of people watching the Yankees is not reflected by the team’s performance. Battered by injuries to many of their stars, they have, for the most part, played admirably, holding on to first place until late May. Even now, while in a slump, they remain in contention with a lineup filled with castoffs and call-ups, although that could be a reason fewer people are paying attention.
For now, it is left to Levine, the forceful team president, to argue that whatever the ratings and attendance figures show, there is no cause for alarm. He has presided as the Yankees’ president for the last 13 ½ years, a period in which the team’s attendance soared to more than four million for four straight seasons, then leveled off when the newer, smaller, higher-priced stadium opened during the recession.
Last fall the Yankees failed to sell out several playoff games, although that was generally attributed to the fact that the team had to play five postseason games in a row at home, without a day off, leaving fans overwhelmed.
In addressing the current numbers, Levine noted the numerous instances of bad weather in April and May, the attendance drop-offs in baseball-strong cities like Boston and Philadelphia, and the Yankees’ decision to spurn StubHub and establish their own online ticket resale operation with Ticketmaster. The move was intended to encourage fans to buy more tickets directly from the Yankees, and Levine said it was paying dividends but that the initial adjustment might have hurt attendance.
As for the larger point, the need for big names in the Bronx, he seemed as confident as Jeter normally is before a big at-bat.
“This is the Yankees,” he said. “We’ve been around a lot of years. There will be more stars.”
But not just yet. And when the Yankees return home Friday to begin a 10-day homestand that will carry them into the All-Star Game break, there may still be a noticeable number of empty seats at Yankee Stadium and too few viewers turning on the TV. In every respect, it has been an unusual season in the Bronx.
The only interesting part left to this is finding out who will be the fall guy amongst the Yankees front office.
It looks like singing the anthem down in Trenton earlier this year, for the Yankees Double-A club, was warm-up gig for 14-year old Grace Cashman. The daughter of Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman sang the National Anthem before this evening’s game at Yankee Stadium too.
The Yankees broadcast on the YES Network made a semi-big deal out of her singing the anthem – as if getting the nod to sing was a major achievement.
Can the girl sing? Sure…maybe…I dunno?
But, isn’t it a tad of a joke to imply that she was given the chance to sing the anthem solely because of her talent?
I mean…if little Susie Lipschitz-Doofenshmirtz of Mill Basin could sing the phone book and make it sound like Patsy Cline in your ear, would she get a shot to sing at Yankee Stadium if she wanted to…and raised her hand? Doubt it.
Via Neil Best -
Yankees attendance is down an average of nearly 3,000 per game this season, which team officials attribute to a variety of factors, including poor early spring weather, injuries to prominent players, the attention focused on four local teams in the NBA and NHL playoffs and the larger economy.
“I can give you 13, 14, 20 different factors, not one of which is the reason, but all are applicable,” Lonn Trost, the team’s chief operating officer, said Thursday.
Trost had warned in February of soft season ticket renewal figures at some price levels, a concern that has proven valid two months into the season.
The Yankees’ average paid attendance through Wednesday was 38,035, a drop of 2,915 per game compared to this point in 2012, according to Baseball-Reference.com. (The Mets were steady, down 29 per game to 26,673.)
“We’re not the only team whose attendance is down, believe me, I can assure you of that,” Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees manager general partner, said earlier this month.
Eight other teams, including attendance stalwarts such as the Phillies, Red Sox and Cubs, have seen average drops larger than that of the Yankees.
Trost took issue with the perception that expensive tickets largely are to blame. “I actually think that is the least of the issues,” he said, saying the costliest seats mostly are sold but less pricy ones have gone begging.
“[The media] always talks about the expensive seats, but we have affordable seats every day — specials, $5 nights, children go free, Boy Scout nights, senior citizen night,” Trost said.
Before the season the Yankees opted out of MLB’s partnership with the resale site StubHub.com, partnering with TicketMaster in an effort to gain more control of the secondary market for their tickets.
Trost said it is too soon to fully assess the implications of that move, which he called a “mixed bag” so far.
If the Yankees think that ticket prices are the least of the issues impacting their attendance, then, they are absolutely clueless.
Oh, this is going to be interesting. I wonder if Yankee Stadium security is going to allow them to bring in the big Seinfeld head?
Via Andy McCullough-
[Hal] Steinbrenner is also optimistic the attendance at Yankee Stadium would increase in the coming months. They have averaged 37,461 fans per game heading into Saturday, according to ESPN.com. The team averaged 43,733 fans in 2012.
“I still think the economy is not good, despite what some people might say,” he said. “A lot of people are struggling out there, and we understand it.
“Summer is rolling around. April is always a bad month, even in the old Stadium. Better weather means more fans. Kids are out of school. And I think the good stories that we have all known about on this club are becoming more and more well-known among the fan base.”
They may come…
…but, will they be lining up to buy Reid Brignac jereys?
Per @baseball_ref, Yankees attendance down 3,634 per game compared to this time last year. That’s a lot. Mets down 453 per game.
— Neil Best (@sportswatch) April 29, 2013
A friend of mine, who lives about 40 miles southwest of Yankee Stadium, in New Jersey, went to the game yesterday via car. He said that it usually takes him about an hour, give or take, in typical traffic. But, yesterday, he said, door-to-door, it was only 36 minutes – which is an all-time record for him.
It was Sunday. Beautiful, if not perfect, weather for baseball. And, it was a 1 PM start. Per the Yankees, there were 36,872 attending the game. But, how many do you think were really there?
Click here for more.
For the record, I had an extended conversation with Brian Richards before Game 5 of the 2013 ALDS, and, you would be hard pressed to meet a nicer guy. Super, super, dude.
I just saw this story today that was in the Post last week -
The Yankees are using the state’s anti-scalping law to keep legal ticket reseller StubHub away from the Stadium — but when it comes to traditional illegal scalpers outside their gates, the team is giving them an intentional walk.
Before last night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, Yankee security was practically giving scalper referrals, The Post found.
“Where do all the scalpers hang out?” a reporter asked a group of security guards outside Gate 8.
Almost in unison, the guards replied, “Gate 2.”
One said, “Just flash a little money, and they’ll come running to you.”
On Friday, a different Post reporter witnessed a rash of scalper sales outside Gate 2 — several near police officers.
When the reporter was charged twice the face value of a $20 ticket, she complained to a cop, who was not sympathetic.
“That’s how they make their money,” the cop said. “Next time . . . look at the ticket before you buy it.”
Meanwhile, the team has gotten an injunction banishing StubHub to at least 1,500 feet from the stadium.
The Yankees severed ties with StubHub this year because they sell tickets with no guaranteed floor price, which the team says drives down prices and attendance.
The move means fans who buy their tickets online and want to pick them up at a StubHub office will have to travel nearly a dozen blocks.
Yankee President Randy Levine said that there should be no double standard and that the state’s anti-scalping law will be universally enforced.
“Whoever it is, the law should be enforced,” Levine said. “Starting tonight, we will make sure we do a better job enforcing that policy.”
Of course, the Yankees would embrace scalpers who look to charge more than face value. This way, it pushes people to buying tickets from them. It’s the secondary market where tickets go for sale at less than face value which is the Yankees enemy, in their eyes.
Yankee Stadium will host two soccer games this summer.
On May 25th, reigning European club champions Chelsea FC will face current English Premier League champions Manchester City FC; and on June 11th, reigning World Cup and European champions Spain will play Ireland.
The Yankees start a home stand on May 29th and June 18th.
A week in June should be enough time to get the field back into baseball condition. But, that home stand in May, that starts with the Mets and Red Sox, could be interesting. Baseball on the same field where they just played soccer four days before? That could be interesting.
The Yankees have won 11 straight Opening Day games when playing at home dating to 1986 – and last lost an Opening Day game at home in 1982 vs. the White Sox (7-6 in 12 innings). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it ties the all-time Major League mark held by the Mets, who won 11 straight such Openers from 1971-89.