Take a look at that picture. Now, I'd like to say first that it is a little deceptive. This picture was taken late during the horrendous 4-22 loss to the Indians, and I can tell because I was at that game. I can see the seat in which I was sitting, and I'm not in it.
But I digress. The New York Yankees have gone crazy! Crazy with ticket prices, or, at least, the most expensive ones.
After enduring somewhat embarrassing shots of whole empty sections in their new stadium on national television, the Yankees officially announced this morning that they are going to be dropping the prices as much as 50 percent on several of their front row seats. The most expensive seats in the stadium (which are located in the front row in the area around the plate) have seen their prices cut in half and other front row premium seating will also see a drop in price.
The Yanks' front office is also offering complimentary seats to fans who have purchased slightly less expensive premium seats in other areas on the field level.
Fans (and non-fans) who already had purchased full season ticket plans for the price reduced seats will receive their choice of either a refund or credit.
So what are some of the price cuts like?
Well, those most expensive seats that were originally priced at $2,500 a seat are now a still-not-so-modest $1,250 a seat. Other front row seats originally priced at $1,000 were lowered to $650.
Now, many Yankee haters out there will be undoubtedly quick to point out that $1,250 still isn't exactly the most economic price for a ticket to any sporting event these days and they'd be right.
But lets give the Yankees a little credit, here.
The Yankees analyzed the value of their new stadium's seating during last season and they priced it accordingly. In the pre-recession world, no one seemed concerned about it. There was no uproar; there was little speculation what the negative side effects would be. People just shrugged their shoulders and said, "That's the Yankees" and figured that they'd be just fine.
But with the changing economy came a significant change in the tune of many commentators. Suddenly, the Yankees were being greedy. They were putting an inhuman strain on an economy in a place that many people would consider the epicenter of the American economic machine. They were unfairly taxing the public for the right to view a baseball game in a beautiful new stadium that they had already been taxed up the wazoo to build in the first place.
Last week, some credible people in the sports world began to wonder if teams such as the Yankees and Mets should lower their lofty prices to better cater to their fans in these difficult times. Many, including myself, thought that it was a nice but unlikely outcome to the situation. Surprisingly, the Yankees didn't take long to accept the idea, even though the increased attendance would do little in the way of profit after all refunds had been given.
When you really look at the market for tickets these days, the Yankees' choice makes perfect sense. The scene around Yankee Stadium hours before the game is one of an overflowing amount of supply with virtually no demand. Scalpers actually need to resort to selling tickets below face value. Countless scalpers and fans with extra tickets walk around trying to sell. The higher the ticket value, the more difficult it is. If you can get a ticket outside the stadium for less than the Yankees want, why would anyone buy their tickets from them?
There are still plenty of reasonably priced seats in the stadium. The cheapest seats coming in at $14 (bleachers) with all grandstand seats priced at $30 or less.
So yeah, those seats right behind home plate are still expensive but you have to give the Yankees credit for actually taking a look at the situation and trying to do something for their fans.