Trouble for the new Yankee Stadium

Did you watch any of the nationally televised games between the Yankees and the Indians last weekend? Then you probably noticed something – empty seats. And these empty seats weren’t in the upper decks like you’ll see during any Florida Marlins game. These empty seats were up close to the action, the places where people are usually waving at the camera while talking on a cell phone.

This is a brand new park, the Yankees should have already sold out the entire season. Think about the record attendances that took place at the opening of Jacobs Field, Camden Yards, and whatever it is they call that dome with the swimming pool in Phoenix. Word is, the Yankees were still 5,000 tickets away from a sell-out last Sunday.

You could blame the whole thing on the economy and just say it is bad luck that the Yankees opened their new stadium the same year as our current economic catastrophe. But I don’t think the Yankees share none of the blame here. The Yankees spent 2 billion dollars (not all of it coming from the Steinbrenners) on a stadium that fits 5000 less fans (that’s including standing room). This was moronic – and perhaps as a result the average cost of ticket rose from $40 to $73. For the sake of comparison, the league average is $26.74.

Fans don’t take that kind of dramatic rise well. Are citizens of New York intentionally or unintentionally deciding to spend their money elsewhere? We’ll see where the trend goes from here. If the Yankees couldn’t sell out in their first homestand of the season, I would expect their numbers to decline as we move toward the middle of the season. On the other hand, if the Yankees heat up, or rival Boston comes to town, this could give them the boost in fan-attendance they need.

During Sunday’s game, a New York fan interfered with a Posada homerun ball. The refs reviewed this one, and decided to still give Posada a homerun (which appeared to be the wrong call according to the announcers as well as everyone sitting on the couch with me). Just out of curiousity, I went online and tried to figure out about how much that fan’s seat cost. It looks like you can sit along the outfield wall for $125.

They probably should’ve let that guy keep the ball.


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