General Yankees

“Do not cry for the Yankees”

Wasn’t gonna. Don’t wanna. The title of the post is the lead line of a Newsday article, which I don’t really understand; I didn’t go to Stanford. But other people did go to Stanford and they ensure me that the Yankees are probably making lots of money, which is another thing I don’t really understand. I did go to college.

21 replies on ““Do not cry for the Yankees””

Not sure what you don’t understand?
As we engineers used to call it, here are some back of the envelope calculations. Assuming old stadium had 55,000 seats and sold out every game. At average ticket price of say $50 that yields about $2,750,000 per game.
New stadium is smaller – say 50,000 with 5000 unsold seats. Yielding 45,000 fans per game at now $75 average ticket price. That yields $3,350,000 per game. So the Yankees make an extra $600,000 per game at the lower attendance figure. Times 81 games and that is an added $48,600,000 per year. Enough to pay for some very good, starting pitching. :-)

This post kind of underlies the point Ive been trying to make about the hubbub about the empty seats in the new stadium. The Yankees are still making plenty of money in the new stadium and will do so. They are on pace to draw 3.5 mil people to their games. Even if they dont sell as many tickets they will still be making more than enough money. The primary two effects of the seats are bad PR and a worse game environment. In the long run, its not as much of an issue for the team as some would like to make it out to be.

sam: i don’t think you can have any idea on what it’s doing to the team’s economics. you don’t know how much they are taking in vs. how much they anticipated to take in, nor do you have any control on their debt/costs of operation. that they’re taking in more at the till in revenue than last year isn’t particularly relevant, and frankly, i really couldn’t give a shit how much they make, which is the issue, bottom line. my primary concern is fan experience, and they’ve made it a worse fan experience, to my mind, with this new park by jacking up rates, moving seats back from the field, abandoning history and larding it down with a bunch of luxuries that i don’t really care about.

From the article:
But it’s not obvious that the total amount of revenue they’ll take in is less than before. It’s not just getting people to pay $2,500 for great seats but paying $100 for almost any seat. Given that, they may well take in more money with 5,000 fewer fans per game than last year.
Assuming this is true, which as YF points out is hard to know, it makes the decision to price the shit out of the lower seats and create harsh access rules even more galling.

ugh. I guess I should just disengage on this topic as I dont think Ill see eye-to-eye with you guys on the subject. Ive been to two games now at the new stadium and feel that my own fan experience way up in section 420A has been great. Im a glass half full guy and Im ultimately most concerned with one thing which is the yankees winning. I think the prices and policies will change and “improve” over time and just dont see any point in getting upset about it.

I don’t get the “outrage” card that’s being played here.

> “outrage”
I didn’t realize I was outraged. I just felt stupid for not being able to understand why not having fans in the lower stands was a good thing. I’m sure glad there are lots of Smart People to tell me that they as far as we know they might well be churning more ticket revenue in the awesome new house despite the vacancies and costs. I’m sure I’ll figure it out if I think about it long enough or get distracted by something shiny.

Sounds like simple economics. Price is too expensive don’t go. Enough people don’t go, prices will come down. Yes, I believe the fan experience is affected, even when watching it on TV, it is however something you can choose to deal with or not. I won’t be going to any games, can’t afford it. Will this cost the Yankees fans, especially new young fans? Probably. Eventually if it costs them enough fans the prices will come down. Write them a letter and complain. It might help. Make suggestions, such as after the 5th inning letting any fans at the stadium move down into the unoccupied seats if they want to. Maybe they’ll do it maybe they won’t. The Yankees aren’t doing anything wrong or even unethical here. They have made a choice as to whom they wish to cater to, and they believe this will maximize their profits. That is the goal of a corporation. They provide us entertainment, and it is up to us how much we wish to pay and how we will enjoy their entertainment. Personally paying for YES on my cable is the way I choose to do it. Sure would be nice to go to the park once in a while and take the grandkids, but hey that’s a LUXURY I can’t afford right now, it is not a God given RIGHT to residents of the tri-state area. Sorry for the long post, there are plenty of unethical, unfair corporations out there. The Yankees have done nothing but made a business decision. Whether it works out for them in the long run is yet to be seen. That is the one thing we can say, that it may be shortsighted and it will cost them many fans, new and old, in the long term.

Are we really going to have the exact same argument, again, on a different thread?
I think most fans are sick of HEARING about all of these “atrocities”. Give it a day or two and the NYC papers will be lashing out at Tex for going 1-13 in the Boston series, or finding an excuse to make fun of ARod.
This really isn’t as big an issue as people make it out to be. The Yankees will adjust their prices accordingly, the seats will no longer be empty, and all will be right in the world.

We’ve covered this territory quite a bit, and there are obviously differing opinions, but the caveat, and it is a big one, is that the public financed a massive portion of this stadium, the city (and it’s residents) have subsidized the construction through bond issues and other tax leniency mechanisms that diverted funds away from plenty of deserving bodies. So the Yankees are acting like a big corporation, which they are, but they are doing it under massive public subsidy and with a pretty brazen disregard for the average customer in the policies at the park. This cannot and should not be ignored, with the situation at the stadium chalked up to mere “free market economics”.

How is this different than any other stadium? I posted this on the other thread regarding public funding for new(ish) stadiums:
Citizens Bank Park: $174m (50%)
Nationals Park: $610m (100%)
Ballpark in Arlington: $135m (71%)
Comerica Park: $115m (38%)
Camden Yards: $101m (96%)
They all received a large amount of public funding, all of them keep the expensive and cheap section somewhat separated, and some of them (if not all of them) had initial problems with pricing seats too high. This is par for the course, and not unique to the Yankees.

Give it a day or two and the NYC papers will be lashing out at Tex for going 1-13 in the Boston series
From your lips to God’s ear, Ath.

As far as public spending goes the only out put for such shouldnt be measured by the stadium alone. Building and operating the stadium provide substantial economic stimulus to the economy both of the south bronx and of NYC as a whole. So the fact that thousands of New Yorkers were employed during its construction for 3 years itself justifies at least part of the expense. This is part of why cities provide tax-exempt bonds for stadium building.

Ath, this is the Yankees. I’m pretty sure even Ramiro Pena has gotten more national coverage than Ryan Zimmerman, even with the recent extension.
But you’re right, this is absolutely not unique to the Yankees. The real problem, and I think YF has said this, is any city forking up that much taxpayer money in the first place. This just happens to be his team, in his city.

I’ve made my views known here. But the only tickets the media seem worried about are the premium seats:
Bud Selig spoke to a group of sports editors today and revealed that the Yankees and Mets “will be discussing” whether to lower prices for the premium seats at the new ballparks.
The Yankees are charging $500-$2,625 for Legends Suite tickets in 25 sections at the new Yankee Stadium in the first nine rows around the infield, an area that contains 1,895 seats.
Those seats were well less than half full for the team’s first six home games.

If they lower those prices I don’t see how it matters to a guy like me or most fans. Those 1900 seats represent less than 5% of the total. It might bring the overall average down, but I think we’re actually underpaying for our 400-level seats. And I’ll ask again: Why does the media seem to care so much about the richest seats in the park? Seems to me they’re getting played.

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