Thanks to 77yankees, for the tip on this one.
Via Deadspin today -
As we’ve told you before, StubHub has been terrible for the Yankees’ bottom line. With no price floor (this new agreement does have a negligible price floor of $6 including processing fees), in place to regulate ticket prices, StubHub users are free to sell Yankees tickets far below face value, and they have done so in droves. Now, one might think that the Yankees would see this situation as a lesson in supply and demand and go about making adjustments to their ticket prices. For instance, the team could stop selling tickets at an expensive flat price for every game, and institute dynamic prices that vary from game to game.
Not so! Instead, the Yankees have decided to tighten their grip on the market rather than adjust to it in their new deal with Ticketmaster. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the team will institute its own price floor through Ticketmaster, which fans will be directed to via Yankees.com when they want to resell tickets. Sellers will be told that they cannot sell their tickets for less than a certain dollar amount.
In all likelihood, this plan will not work out very well for the Yankees. For one, nothing can prevent ticket holders from selling their tickets on StubHub anyway, they will just be directed by the team to use Ticketmaster. Even if sellers do follow instructions and use Ticketmaster, the price floor is likely to alienate buyers and lead to a lot of fans passing on tickets all together. It’s hard to imagine the Yankees current merry band of old guys being enough of an attraction to push fans to pay higher ticket prices.
It is going to be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out – both in terms of 2013 and the seasons to follow.
Via Wally Matthews –
Don’t invite the New York Yankees and StubHub to the same party — or the same baseball game for that matter.
As a team executive hinted last season, the Yankees have opted out of Major League Baseball’s new five-year contract with the online ticket broker and will soon announce plans for a new alliance with Ticketmaster.
StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman says the Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs have opted out of the deal, which was renewed Monday by MLB.
According to a source with knowledge of the deal, the Yankees and Angels both chose not to participate because they believe StubHub artificially deflates the value of their tickets on the secondary market.
“This new arrangement is going to be more favorable to season-ticket holders,” the source told ESPNNewYork.com. “They’ll pay much lower fees than they did to StubHub, and there will be more accessibility to tickets than there was before.”
Last June, a Yankees team official told ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand that professional ticket brokers were offering tickets for sale before they had even been printed, and “shorting” them on the market — selling for far below market value.
The StubHub arrangement worked out well for fans seeking tickets to single games — Yankees tickets often were available for $10 or less on the day of a game — but not so well for season-ticket holders who had paid full price and were looking to recoup some of their investment on the secondary market.
According to the source, Yankees tickets will still be available on StubHub, although with some unspecified restrictions.
“This is all about helping out our season-ticket holders,” the source said. “Not StubHub.”
So, does this mean, if a Yankees ticket holder tries to sell a Yankees game ticket on StubHub, it’s illegal? Or, does this mean that StubHub will not be allowed to sell Yankees tickets, period?
Via Wally Matthews today-
Rupert Murdoch is knocking on the door of Yankee Stadium. How long will it be before he owns the entire building, and everything in it?
According to a New York Times report, News Corporation, the multi-media behemoth run by Murdoch, is on the verge of acquiring 49 percent of the YES Network.
A senior New York Yankees official, who insisted upon anonymity, confirmed the impending deal, although the official insisted it was merely “the stockholders looking to monetize their investment.”
“This has nothing to do with selling the team,” the official said. “Under no circumstances will the team be sold.”
And up until a few months before his death in 2010, George M. Steinbrenner was still running the Yankees, every bit as forceful and in command as he had been when he bought the team for $8 million in 1973.
The point is, nothing is ever precisely the way the New York Yankees portray it to be.
George was in charge, until he wasn’t. Joe Torre was the manager, until he was fired. And the team isn’t up for sale.
Until it is.
The sale of nearly half of the YES Network to Rupert Murdoch may be as simple as the senior team official says it is, an expedient way for Goldman Sachs, which makes its living buying and selling off assets, to score a cool $1.5 billion or more on its 10-year-old investment.
Or it could be the first step in an exit strategy designed to get the Steinbrenner family out of the baseball business within the next three to five years.
There is compelling evidence to support both arguments. With many large corporations looking to cash out on investments before an expected corporate tax increase in 2013, it would seem to be the right time for Goldman Sachs to dump its share in the YES Network.
But in order for News Corp to acquire 49 percent of YES, a figure that the team official confirmed, Murdoch will need to buy more than just Goldman’s 40-percent share of the network. How much of the remaining nine percent will come from the Yankees’ 34 percent share is not known.
The fact that the Yankees are not taking the opportunity to increase their own share of YES to 51 percent, to insure they retain control of their own network, indicates that they are willing eventually to cede that to Murdoch — who reportedly will have the option of increasing his share of YES to 80 percent within five years.
I can just see Larry Lucchino now, bitching about phone-tapping…
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.
20th overall such home game for the Yankees, if you count one at the Polo Grounds in 1922.
Yankees have won 9 of the last such games.
Via the Yankees a couple of days ago -
The New York Yankees today announced the launch of Socks for Soldiers, an initiative that supports the organization’s Veterans Day project. Fans with tickets to the Yankees’ final three regular season home games vs. the Boston Red Sox from Monday, October 1 through Wednesday, October 3, are asked to bring new cushion-soled socks that can be worn in combat boots. The socks will be collected and sent to U.S. servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas.
Maybe I am uneducated and stupid? Maybe I am unfeeling and cranky? Maybe I am missing the point here? Maybe it’s all of that?
But, why do our servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas need socks to wear with their combat boots? Doesn’t the government supply socks with their uniform and other gear? I mean, seriously, with all the tax dollars that are spent supporting the military, there’s nothing in there to provide socks? Really?
It looks like September 22, 1966 on YES today.
Via John Crudele:
Ticketmaster is vying to replace StubHub as the site where fans can officially resell their Major League Baseball tickets.
The contract between MLB Advanced Media and StubHub is coming up for renewal, and, as I mentioned in previous columns, some teams are very unhappy with the old deal.
Nobody involved in the talks was eager to discuss this subject with me. But since I’m tired of writing just about politics and the economy, I decided to put together the pieces of this puzzle.
And what it looks like is an intriguing brawl between new commerce and old — teams that want their tickets sold at the highest price versus fans who want discounts.
The Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels, I’m told, are the two teams most dissatisfied by the StubHub contract — and it’s not surprising. Despite being in a heated pennant race, Yankees tickets would fit nicely on the dollar menu at McDonald’s.
Tickets for tonight’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays can be purchased on StubHub for between $1 and $3. That’s well below box-office prices.
Even after you add on $10.45 in service charges (which apply to the entire order, not each ticket), seats acquired through StubHub are still much cheaper than those bought at the stadium box office or on Yankees.com.
And that has the Yanks seething.
The Boston series a couple of weeks from now is only a little better, with many seats listed at under $10. That’s less than the price of a beer at the Stadium.
Boston is out of the pennant race, but the series still has appeal because the Red Sox could act as spoilers to the Yanks.
The Yankees have been pressuring StubHub to place a minimum price at which people can resell the tickets, but that request is being denied. Even if the Yankees got what they wanted, there is still no way of preventing ticket holders from going onto StubHub on their own — or another site like Craigslist — and dumping their ducats at rock-bottom prices.
The Yankees have threatened to start their own official resale site, but sources say they couldn’t go it alone. And MLB probably doesn’t have enough time to develop a private site for all the teams.
So it’s likely going to be Ticketmaster or StubHub again, with teams being given some flexibility.
What will likely happen is this: MLB will sign with either StubHub or Ticketmaster and then let teams opt out. If StubHub wins a contract renewal, for instance, the Yankees could still decide to make Ticketmaster their official re-seller.
Ticketmaster, which already has deals with the NFL and the NBA, doesn’t like price floors either, so that might irk the Bombers.
The basic problem in baseball is supply and demand: too many games and too many seats. Brokers, in particular, can buy season tickets and recoup their investment on just a few key games. Broker tickets for lesser games can be —and are — dumped on the resale market at very low prices.
I just hope this whole thing doesn’t lead the Yankees to start using variable ticket pricing. But, I strongly believe that’s the way this is heading.
I cannot wait to see the comments from Randy Levine, Lon Trost, and Brian Cashman on this one.
Click here to read the story and beware that it contains images not suitable for many audiences.
When Was The Last Time There Was A Mutually Meaningful September Game Played Between The Orioles & Yankees In The Bronx?
It would have to be a year where the O’s and Yanks were both good. And, to be technical, it could not be 1974 or 1975 – since the Yankees played in Queens during those seasons. (Yeah, if it’s not in Yankee Stadium, it doesn’t count.)
Based on that, I would think that it would have to be one of these seasons:
1997, 1996, 1980, 1977, 1976, 1970 or 1960.
However, the O’s did not play in New York during September in 1977 or 1980. And, the Yankees and Orioles were not as close in September (as they are now) during 1997, 1996, 1976, or 1970.
So, you may have to go back to this double-header back in 1960.
That’s before my time. Here’s more on it.
Update: I saw on the YES telecast of the game tonight that they said the last time the Yankees and O’s played each other, this late in the season, when they were 3 games apart on the standings was 1996. So, I stand corrected.
And, yes, the Yankees lost this game.
So, my son and I were at the Yankees game last night.
Early in the game, between innings, they were showing random people in the stands, up on the big screen. And, one of them was a guy with his wife.
The dude was wearing a yellow shirt, if I recall correctly, and had on a pair of granny glasses.
OK, what’s the big deal?
He was sleeping. His wife was awake but he was sitting there, early in a Yankees-Red Sox game, in what appeared to be great seats because of the high backs and padding, with his chin slightly tucked in and his eyes shut.
The split-second I saw the image, I said to my son “Oh, my, that guy is asleep!”
Then, right away, the crowd started to cheer and I quickly realized who the man was…it was Joe Torre.
Once the crowd got loud, he opened his eyes and sort of smiled.
I guess some habits are hard to give up…sleeping during the game….really?
Is it just me, or, did the Bleacher Creatures sell out once they started allowing the Yankees to feed them “celebrity guests” to help lead their roll call before games?
It seems like it’s just a matter of time until Bald Vinny starts the roll call with “And, now, we present the French’s Classic Yellow Mustard Yankee Stadium Roll Call!”
The attendance numbers in MLB as of this morning:
On one hand, thirteen hundred less a game doesn’t seem like all that much. And, it’s rained in New York a lot this Spring and Summer. But, on the other hand, it has to be concerning, for the Yankees, to see less fans showing for games now that their new Stadium is four years old.
Then again, the Yankees also have the second highest per game number in their league. And, that’s impressive.
My 10-year old daughter and I were at the Yankees game last night – watching it from a Game/Party Suite.
First, yes, it was obscenely nice. Being there, I really felt like Billy Ray Valentine when he was first being told that Louis Winthorpe’s home was now his place.
But, what struck me the most was the customer service level from the staff working both inside the suite and those outside the suite, at the will call reception desk, the elevator, etc. It was five-star hotel level. Maybe more…
The suite staff treated you like what you would expect from high-end reception hall personnel at a wedding – when you were the bride or groom. No lie: I could not imagine them being any more professional or nicer.
My daughter had so much fun…she told me that she never wanted to leave.
Of course, for me, again, it was like Ponyboy Curtis taking a walk with Cherry Valance. It was thrillingly awkward. But, I am so glad that I was invited to attend the suite, experience it for the first time, and treat my daughter to it as well.
Via the Daily News -
A spectacular six-alarm fire in a Bronx apartment building left 28 firefighters and two civilians with minor injuries early Wednesday.
The blaze broke out at in the attic of a six-story building at 975 Walton Ave. in the Fleetwood neighborhood about 12:15 a.m., authorities said.
More than 200 firefighters battled the blaze, which caused a portion of the roof to collapse, as temperatures outside reached into the low 80s.
The blaze was brought under control just before 4 a.m. Emergency workers were able to evacuate all the tenants.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Red Cross is at the scene assisting residents who might need emergency shelter or food.
Seeing this sad news makes me wonder: When was the last time a sports stadium caught fire? It’s probably been a good while. But, once upon a time, when the parks were made with a lot of wood, it used to happen. I think it happened to the Polo Grounds and one of the ballparks in Philly, if I recall correctly.
Since I take 46 to the GWB to get to the Stadium, I am concerned about this one.
As it is, because of traffic, parking, etc., I always try and get to the Stadium at least one hour before the first pitch. And, to do that, I am usually leaving my house around 2 1/2 hours before the start of the game. Will that still be enough?
I suspect that this is going to me really bad for heading to night games. And, come post-season time, it’s going to be a nightmare.
I wonder if it will scare some New Jersey folks away from attending Yankees games while this is going on?
As I commented on facebook when my friend shared this photo: The amazing thing is that the Yankees won’t allow things like all kids run the bases after a Sunday home game because they don’t want their field messed up. But, $omething like thi$ i$ fine.
Some stats to help you enjoy Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium today…
And, the pitchers:
Has anyone ever seen a Yankees game from a Legends Suite? What was it like? Was it worth the money?
Then again, neither was Roger Clemens.
On Saturday, I took my 10-year old daughter to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won. The Mets lost. It was a good game.
I live about 50 miles away from Yankee Stadium and the only practical way for me to get there is by car.
Heading to the game today, we left our house at 3:45 PM. Yes, I know it was a 7:15 PM start for the game. However, we wanted to get there early enough where we were not rushing – and we wanted to see the pre-game parachutes that were scheduled for 6:15 PM (per the Yankees – meanwhile, they really started at 6:30 PM).
My route to Yankee Stadium is pretty simple. I take the Garden State Parkway to the Turnpike. And, then I take Route 46 into the “G.W.B.” Once over the Bridge, I immediately get off and take local streets to the Stadium (and, I don’t mess with the Major Deegan or anything else).
Going in today, as I said, we left at 3:45 PM and zipped into the Stadium. At 5 PM, I was locking my car and we were heading into my fav Yankee Stadium deli to get sandwiches to bring into the game. That’s reasonable – an hour fifteen, door to door, for the 50 miles.
Coming home, it was a different story.
Of course, we waited until the final out of the game to leave our seats. And, after that, my daughter made a quick stop at the restroom before we left the Stadium. But, we were back at our car, in the parking garage, at 10:25 PM.
And, that’s where it got ugly. It took us one hour and five minutes to get from our spot in the garage to the George Washington Bridge. Yes, it took us 75 minutes to drive all the way in to the game. But, it took us 65 minutes, coming home, just to get away from the Stadium and out of the Bronx.
Once we got on the Bridge, because it was then 11:30 PM, we flew from there and I got home at 12:30 AM on Sunday morning. In total, coming home, door to door, it took two hours and five minutes to cover the 50 miles – and most of that drag was due to the mess in the Bronx, on the streets, after the game, around Yankee Stadium.
Now, I get it. This is not my first rodeo. I’ve been here before – big games against the Red Sox, post-season games, etc. – and, I know there’s heavy and slow traffic after the game…especially if it’s a big crowd and a close score. (And, for the record, there were over 48,000 there on Saturday and the final score was just 4-2.)
There have been times in the past where it’s taken me just as long, if not longer, than it did to get away from Yankee Stadium and out of the Bronx. However, just because it’s happened in the past, it doesn’t take the annoyance factor out of it happening again now. And, just because it’s been this way, it’s no excuse for the Yankees and cops, not to do a better job at keeping things flowing, as best as possible, when these big game crowds empty out of the Stadium.
Or, is that asking too much?
If you read this, it seems to make sense…
And, that would be the end of me being a season-ticket holder. Right now, I split the 81 games with 8 other parties. And, it would be a nightmare to try and do that in a fair way if the prices for games were not all the same.
Via the Post -
Yankee Stadium attendance is down 3.6 percent so far this year — greater than the 3 percent drop last season — and the team is blaming StubHub for its gate woes.
“We believe there are serious issues with the StubHub relationship,” team president Randy Levine told The Post yesterday. “We are actively reviewing more fan-friendly alternatives for next year.”
The Bronx Bombers and other Major League Baseball teams have bellyached about StubHub for a couple of years — as more fans turn to the low-priced online reseller for tickets instead of buying directly from the team.
The Yanks and other teams claim tickets are priced too low on StubHub.
The StubHub effect this year — combined with a lousy economy and a poorer on-field performance — has produced an average crowd of 40,949 through 25 games, compared with 42,491 last year.
Season-ticket sales have dropped a few thousand, to the mid-30,000 range, the drop about the same amount that daily attendance is down, a source said.
Compared with last season’s total average attendance, the Yanks’ 25-game average is off 9 percent.
Overall, MLB attendance is up 7 percent. Much of that is due to the Miami Marlins moving into a new stadium.
Plus, the Yanks had been the first or second best-selling MLB team through their first three seasons in the new stadium. This year they are only the fifth best-selling team.
Levine said the team’s contract with StubHub expires at the end of the season.
The Mets’ attendance is down a similar 4 percent.
No question – I can see how some would stop buying season tickets and go the StubHub route. But, I am not sure I see how switching from StubHub to another service would mean that ticket prices would not go down? If people have tickets to sell, they’re going to want to discount them rather than eat them.
Via AM New York –
Yankee fans, your eyes aren’t deceiving you — there are indeed more empty seats at the stadium this year.
The Bombers are averaging 40,950 fans this year, down from 42,885 at this time last season, and are seeing their lowest attendance since in their new ballpark, which opened in 2009.
Although the difference may not seem like much, the Yankees have drawn under 40,000 a game 10 times this year, having done that once in the prior five seasons.
“I think some of the novelty has worn off,” Benjamin Kabak, managing editor of the Yankees blog River City Blues, said of the new stadium. The Yankees declined to comment.
Dom Cosentino, a contributing writer for Deadspin, also attributed the decline to the team’s lackluster performance.
The Yankees have a 29-24 record and are third in the AL East. The soggy weather hasn’t helped either, according to Cosentino.
“No one wants to see a team with lots of injuries that’s barely above .500,” he said. “Especially if it’s a Tuesday night and it’s raining.”
Cosentino said the fans will return if the team plays better.
“If they go into August and find themselves 20 games above .500, they won’t have this problem, but if they’re out of the [playoff] race, no one’s going to come,” he said.
At the end of the day, is a difference, on average, of 2,000 less fans per game, give or take, really a big deal? Then again, I guess that dips and slides have to start somewhere, right?