Gouged

Legpricing

Wikipedia defines "price gouging" as when "a seller’s asking price [is] much higher than what is seen as ‘fair’ under the circumstances".  Over the weekend we had dinner with a good friend, a season ticket holder at Yankee Stadium whose family has held their seats for decades and decades.  Their seats, incredibly proximate to the field and the Yankee dugout, have, over the years, been increasingly moved further from the magical "front row" — the team has added additional photographers’ pits and supplemental club seats in front of their own.  Despite being somewhat devalued in this manner, the prices for these seats have understandably continued to rise (over 40% last year, from $150 per chair to $220 a seat).  It was to great surprise (and eventual frustration and unbridled anger) that, in the course of being "relocated" to new Yankee Stadium my friends’ "equivalent seats" were moved back and away from their present location.  This is par for the course when new arenas or stadia are built — when the Fleet Center first opened my Dad’s Bruins seats, perhaps the best in the house, were magically transformed into much more expensive mediocrities despite being called "equivalent" to his prior seats.   My father no longer has season tickets to the Bruins.  And at Fenway Park my family’s seats (in our clan for over 60 years) are now an outrageous $90 a game — two seats at $180/pair translates to nearly $15K per season for the privilege (and at this point it’s a MAJOR privilege) of heading to Fenway.   For the record, the most expensive seats at the Fens are the front row of the field box; these cost $325, a seemingly ridiculous amount to spend to go see a baseball game up close (Fenway price chart here).

But the Yankees are using their move to take this expected shift in price and location to a new level, and this is what my friend, perhaps one of the most diehard Yankee fans I have ever known, is so angry about.  The seats equivalent to his prior location that my friend now has the "right" to purchase will cost either $600 or $850 a game, depending on his final choice (the above chart — click on it for greater detail — shows the pricing for this inner circle of seats).  And even more startling (and, to some perhaps, offensive) are the prices of the seats in the front row behind the dugouts and adjacent to them: $2500 a game.  A season ticket therefore cracks $200K.  The cheapest seat in this "Legends Suite" (encompassing the entire mass of the lower box from foul pole to foul pole) is $500, nearly 40% more than the most expensive seat in Fenway, for comparison.  The Yankees have outdone themselves here considering their already formidable wealth, their revenue stream from YES, and their generally spectacular level of popularity that would have insured a relatively full stadium even at reasonably increased prices.  Their dedicated fans should be outraged – God only knows what the "cheap seats" will eventually cost. 

Heaven forbid the Red Sox should ever leave Fenway and build a new park, fans will be singing the same tune up in Beantown. [ED: if they aren't already...]

[Update: I neglected to include the fact that my friend was also asked to re-up to these new seats for a 10 year commitment with yearly escalations in price.  So the math is: 4x$220 = $880 per game x 81 games = $71K for current seats vs. 4x$850 = $3400/game x 81 games = $275K per season x 10 seasons plus an approximate 3% escalation per year = $3.15M commitment upfront to retain his season tickets.  So, an annual commitment of $71K goes to an upfront commitment of $3M+, to a family that has had season tickets for nearly a century, if my math is correct.  This is, even to those with means, a ridiculous demand]

123 comments… add one

  • Supply and demand. Might as well complain about gas prices.
    By the way, the Sox will still have the highest average ticket price in the game next year. That pesky supply and demand principle again…

    A YF May 19, 2008, 9:50 am
  • ha. Pretty soon they’re going to start having “free food days” like at Knick games.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 9:56 am
  • The first post is exactly correct. Supply and demand. In relation to that you can look up inelastic demand curves. Basically what they show is that because there is no close substitute to going to a Yankee’s game, and people will always want to go to a Yankee’s game they can raise the price as high as they want. And people will still go!

    Tim May 19, 2008, 10:07 am
  • The yankees didnt build the new ballpark to do anything but make money. If the demand is there, its there. I dont like that the more hardcore fans are going to be forced further away or out but such is the state of the baseball economy in 2008. If they keep most of the money on the field by spending on players then I have less of a problem with it. If a larger and larger % goes into the owners pockets then I will start to have issues….

    Sam-YF May 19, 2008, 10:22 am
  • and people will always want to go to a Yankee’s game they can raise the price as high as they want. And people will still go!
    This is overly simplistic and not entirely true. The comparison to gas prices is also odd, since this is not an efficient market: OPEC controls the spigot, to an extent, and can artificially control the market for petroleum. In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.
    This is all somewhat besides the point. Shouldn’t the Yankees be concerned that they will alienate their fan-base? Shouldn’t they be concerned that one of their long-time diehard families is on the brink of giving up their tickets? There is a bigger issue here, and it is about the relationship of a fan base to their team, about the connection of rooters to the spaces and sounds of a stadium. If Yankee Stadium becomes an elitist grounds (and the blessing of Yankee Stadium, despite my hatred of the place for other reasons, has been it’s accessibility) that is a bad symbol for a franchise. These “Legends Suites” prices bode very poorly for the eventual accessibility of the cheap seats. The Stadium is going to be a different place, and it will be for the worse. This should trouble fans, not just Yankee fans. Fenway has been on that path for several years, Yankee Stadium is about to follow down the same elitist route.

    SF May 19, 2008, 10:23 am
  • “In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.”
    Ummm, how is that different from baseball tickets, exactly?
    “Shouldn’t the Yankees be concerned that they will alienate their fan-base?”
    You’re trying to stoke a controversy. That same could be said of the Sox and their always increasing prices (even as payroll is cut). Demand far outstrips supply, especially for those seats. There’s no cost to the team.
    “Shouldn’t they be concerned that one of their long-time diehard families is on the brink of giving up their tickets?”
    That’s their choice. They can afford 95% of the other seats in the new stadium. And I bet the team would be very willing to work with them to get good one a bit higher up. Shoot, they work with my dad to get decent Loge seats every year, and for only a ten game package.
    “If Yankee Stadium becomes an elitist grounds (and the blessing of Yankee Stadium, despite my hatred of the place for other reasons, has been it’s accessibility) that is a bad symbol for a franchise.”
    Hilarious coming from a Sox fan.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 10:36 am
  • “Hilarious coming from a Sox fan.”
    A YF, did you even bother to read SF’s entire comment?
    “Fenway has been on that path for several years, Yankee Stadium is about to follow down the same elitist route.”
    Get a grip man!

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 10:57 am
  • Is this another one of those posts that are off limits for a Sox fan to write about? It didn’t really seem to me that SF was trying to blast the Yankees while holding the Red Sox on a pedestal. In fact, he went out of his way to tell the story of his own family and the woes of keeping their own tickets. I think he was simply pointing out the fact that prices have gotten to be so astounding that the normal family can’t really go to a game anymore.
    He seemingly blasted the prices of tickets in both venues.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 10:59 am
  • “If Yankee Stadium becomes an elitist grounds (and the blessing of Yankee Stadium, despite my hatred of the place for other reasons, has been it’s accessibility) that is a bad symbol for a franchise.”
    Hilarious coming from a Sox fan.

    Did you read the entire post? If so, what part of it eludes you? Am I defending the Sox here? Do I not point out the outrageousness of Sox’ ticket prices? Do I not call the Sox and Fenway elitist? What is your problem? Besides me, obviously.
    This issue is bigger than the Yankees or Sox, it is about access, fandom, economics, cyncism, bastardized capitalism, monopoly protection, etc. You seem completely incapable of separating the teams from the issues, though.

    SF May 19, 2008, 11:01 am
  • I agree completely. Both franchises are eliminating sections of their fanbases. I happen to be one of them. I can’t spend the grand it takes to get into Fenway (after the trip there and back and the hundred dollar parking) more than once or twice a year. No way will I be allowed to spend 15k on a package, though I would if she’d let me!
    It’s a shame really, because I can remember having tickets to games and not going because it was no big deal.
    It’s definitely not a Yankee or Red Sox problem – it’s a problem with baseball on the whole, and eventually, it will catch up to them.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 11:08 am
  • I’m quite sure that if SF wanted to make this a Yankee thing, he could have pointed out several other reasons why Yankee tickets should not be so expensive, but he didn’t, and you should stop trying to project the idea that he is.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 11:10 am
  • “This issue is bigger than the Yankees or Sox, it is about access, fandom, economics, cyncism, bastardized capitalism, monopoly protection, etc.”
    Hilarious coming from a fan whose family has the means to drop 15k a year on baseball tickets.
    It’s like starting a conversation about poverty and hunger while eating a steak dinner.
    What I find offensive is the elitist worry about losing front row seats then spinning that into an elitist argument about “dedicated” fans being outraged. Heck, I think I’m a dedicated fan and I get great pleasure getting kicked out of those blue blood seats. And really that’s all they are – if you’ve been buying front-row baseball seats for generations, you’ve had the sufficient means to do so. Cry me a river…
    Meanwhile, my first comment said everything I wanted to say. Instead this exchange:
    “In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.”
    - Ummm, how is that different from baseball tickets, exactly?
    still goes unanswered.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:11 am
  • Also, off topic, but Was Watching has a really funny link today to a story written about the Yankees – it’s funny for both sides..I got a kick out of it, and really, it’s well written all the way around…
    Here it is:
    http://maniwakimauler.com/

    Brad May 19, 2008, 11:12 am
  • wow.
    okay, I’m out.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 11:13 am
  • Let me lay it more bare: This is an argument about class resentment. A member of the upper-class is realizing they aren’t so rich any more. The response: What about all the “poor” people who are being priced out of going to baseball games!? Those poor souls!!!
    Except, the new stadium will have plenty of seats that are very affordable…
    Supply and demand – again.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:18 am
  • Your comments are ugly, A. You know nothing of the circumstances of either family or their history, and you are making this into your own argument of resentment and classism, even though my post directly articulates the problems with rising ticket prices as it applies across the board, not just to the privileged few who sit near the field. This issue was raised to me over the weekend by a Yankee fan, who sent me the ticket information as it was pitched to him by the club personally. I chose to post about this because it is an issue that is pertinent to Yankees fans, Sox fans, and other fans as well; it is not an “us vs. them” post, despite your apparent hopes or desires.
    You have misread the post, completely, you read what you want to read, not what was written. Your errors are laid bare: you accuse me of whitewashing the Sox and Fenway even though that is nothing like what was written, in fact it is quite obviously and bluntly the opposite, as has been quoted above. You are in a massive case of denial, your interest is only in directing debate in the direction you see fit, regardless of whether it is pertinent to the topic at hand, and you are clearly willing to misrepresent what was originally written in your own interest.

    SF May 19, 2008, 11:27 am
  • A YF – this is a much larger issue than any Yanks/Sox argument (the Yanks are only taking it to its furthest extreme because they basically have the biggest and most affluent fanbase in sports – discounting the NFL, which is really apples and oranges for teh purposes of this argument). It’s something that’s happening throughout sports in new stadiums everywhere, and is extremely depressing IMO. The average fan and middle class families are getting priced out of going to the games. Basically the only people who can afford theose tickets are the super-rich and corporations. I’m not (and I don’t think anyone else really is) saying its wrong or illegal or even that the Yanks as a business shouldn’t try to maximize their profits. I am saying it’s a shame that it’s happening.

    Mark (YF) May 19, 2008, 11:34 am
  • Seriously? Read my first post. That’s all I really wanted to say. And you disagreed with Tim (while calling his opinion and mine “simplistic”) and are now deflecting from the basic truth.
    But, sure, I have a problem with any fan complaining about losing front-row seats then spinning it into a worry about those less fortunate…
    Still waiting for a reply to:
    “In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.”
    - Ummm, how is that different from baseball tickets, exactly?

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:34 am
  • sorry A-YF, you are way off base here. This was not raised as “the yankees are bad” argument which seems to be how you have taken it. This is just the latest and most prominent example of a trend that has been ongoing in baseball over the past decade or so. I can assure that if SF had a Met fan friend in the similar situation, he would be hearing the same gripes.
    I think there is a collective agreement on both SF and YF sides of the ball here that its a shame what both the Yankees, the Red Sox, and most of the other teams in baseball are doing as far as their ticket pricing structure goes. At the same time, I dont believe that anybody here would argue that they CANT do what they are doing. Yes, we live in a free market economy and ultimately the demand for tickets will dictate price. It is unfortunate that the way the fan must experience the game is changing and is noteworthy for the collective group of baseball fans we have at this site. Change occurs, its not always for the better, and is always worthy of discussion.

    Sam-YF May 19, 2008, 11:35 am
  • “The average fan and middle class families are getting priced out of going to the games.”
    That’s simply not true. A huge percentage of the seats will be affordable. They have to be.
    Supply and demand – again.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:36 am
  • What SF said, seriously A YF, you’re so off base and unnecessarily combative ALL the time. Grow the hell up.

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 11:36 am
  • I’m still waiting for someone – anyone – to argue with the basic point:
    Supply and demand dictates price.
    End of story.
    (Not surprisingly, Lockland plays his trollish part. How about something on-topic, tough guy?)

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:39 am
  • Affordable is a very relative term A YF. The simple fact is that ticket prices have been rising faster than inflation for quite a while. Yes some of the seats may be “affordable” when compared with the $1000 tickets in the field box but even at $30 a seat for the upper deck, thats $120 for a family of 4 just to walk into the ballpark. That may be “affordable” for some families but its not for many others.
    Here is a good piece by the guys over at river ave blues on ticket prices:
    http://riveraveblues.com/2008/03/14/the-economics-of-yankee-tickets-2327/

    Sam-YF May 19, 2008, 11:42 am
  • By the way, if we engage SF’s worries about pricing out “dedicated fans” (yeah, that was a huge slap), guess what will happen?
    The Yankees will be forced to drop prices!
    (Too bad that will never happen.)

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:42 am
  • Oh, and one more point – and this doesn’t apply just to the Yanks but to all sports teams – I know they are businesses at the end of the day – but don’t they owe it to the taxpayers and the cities to provide some kind of affordability for the games? Yes, yes, free market blah blah – but they always come crying to the Mayor, City Council, Governor, and whoever will listen when they want tax breaks, economic development around the stadium, zoning permissions, construction permits, parking space, and money to build their facilities. In reality it is as much a partnership with the municipailty as it is a business. They really should be giving something back in good faith. This is what always drives me crazy when I read about gazillionaire “sportsmen” and the way they treat their fans and host communities.

    Mark (YF) May 19, 2008, 11:43 am
  • “I’m still waiting for someone – anyone – to argue with the basic point:
    Supply and demand dictates price.”
    Nobody is arguing with this basic point, you will wait all day for someone to disagree with this. The discussion here is (or should be) about weather this is the best thing for the game and the fans.

    Sam-YF May 19, 2008, 11:44 am
  • “The simple fact is that ticket prices have been rising faster than inflation for quite a while”
    Because the fanbase has been growing faster than inflation!
    Yeah, and I saw that piece. Much better analysis than the current one driven by class resentment. “I can’t afford front-row tickets any more, so I’m not going to games!” /end tantrum.
    More shameful is Steve at waswatching being unable to afford All-Star tickets. But then that’s a MLB story, not the Yankees.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:46 am
  • “Nobody is arguing with this basic point”
    SF did and while being utterly dismissive. I’m still waiting for his reply to the very apt analogy HE made.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:49 am
  • “but don’t they owe it to the taxpayers and the cities to provide some kind of affordability for the games?”
    They do. Based on supply and demand. You just have to be willing to sit further away. That’s the sad realization SF’s friend is having. Boo hoo. Welcome to the less fortunate club.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:51 am
  • I am not going to get into a long drawn out argument but your act is old A. You come here guns a blazing on every topic. You don’t have to attack people or be confrontational to prove a point. You constantly cross the line and take the fun out of the threads. Keep in mind a lot of us come here to talk civil about a sport and rivalry we love. You don’t always have to be on the attack.
    “Yeah, and I saw that piece. Much better analysis than the current one driven by class resentment.”
    Not surprised, I like my own site better as well ;)

    John - YF May 19, 2008, 11:51 am
  • What, John? My first post wasn’t confrontational at all. Not was Tim’s agreement.
    Instead, SF chose to rudely dismiss us both (while completely butchering the rational process). You bet I reacted accordingly.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 11:53 am
  • A you are a very smart man, you know what you are doing. The more I continue this argument the more you are going to try and turn this into Us vs Them. You can disagree with us, that’s 100% cool. We are all big boys, we don’t need your approval. Just don’t go for the jugular at every turn. Again you are a smart guy, imagine if you used your powers for good.

    John - YF May 19, 2008, 11:58 am
  • A, your first comment was not confrontational at all. Its every comment since then that has been. SF’s first post was not confrontational it just espoused an opinion differing from your own. You seem to get very aggressive when people (YFs and SFs alike) see a situation differently than yourself. Just tone it down a bit and I think that a level headed discussion can occur.

    Sam-YF May 19, 2008, 12:02 pm
  • Like I said, this wasn’t an argument I was interested in having. Go back to my first post.
    My hackles were initially raised by this bit:
    “Their dedicated fans should be outraged”
    But it wasn’t enough to bring it up. Until my point, and another poster’s concurrence, was rudely (and inaccurately) dismissed. Sure, then I called out the referenced relationship between money spent (or not spent) and dedication because I do think it’s hilarious that all these blue blood fans are being pushed out of their front-row seats.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 12:06 pm
  • “SF’s first post was not confrontational it just espoused an opinion differing from your own.”
    “overly simplistic” is a nice way of disagreeing with someone? That’s both condescending and demeaning. Meanwhile, he said nothing noteworthy in disagreeing. If anything, he proved our point by saying:
    “”In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.”

    A YF May 19, 2008, 12:09 pm
  • As a 25 year old making okay money, I still will end up going to a few games a year, but it’s sad to imagine that it’s likely that I won’t be able to afford decent seats with my kids when that comes in a decade or so.

    Lar May 19, 2008, 12:13 pm
  • If there’s any trend I’ve felt here, since I started posting, it’s that it’s okay to belittle non-regulars if THEY have a different opinion.
    This argument and the last one about Ellsbury’s basestealing show exactly that. In neither case was it YF vs. SF. It was my opinion different from the post. Then the posting mods very first response was belittling. You bet I’m going to defend my perspective, most especially when I’m not treated with respect.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 12:14 pm
  • Same boat as me, Lar. I hate the fact that it’s something that I have to actually plan for. I cant responsibly just head up to Boston to catch a weekend series like I used to.
    My buddy Randy is getting married, and I’m his Best Man, and I thought I’d get a couple green monster seats for a good weekend series later this year…before you know it, after hotels and other stuff, you’re looking at two grand for the games. That’s just freaking silly.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 12:16 pm
  • That said, the Yanks should charge the highest that they can get away with – supply and demand. They drew 4 million + for years (and I still argue that they outdraw the Sox on the road, since that appears to be the case if you don’t count the Yanks/Sox series, which is skewed because of playing Fenway) which probably means they can “afford” to raise it.
    Though if they start losing..

    Lar May 19, 2008, 12:17 pm
  • One can offer an opinion without the sideshow act.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 12:18 pm
  • If the start losing?:)

    Brad May 19, 2008, 12:19 pm
  • “They drew 4 million + for years”
    Actually, that’s a relatively new phenomenon, starting in 2005. Not even the dynasty years produced 4 million/year.
    http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/attendance.htm
    The new stadium was built to hold fewer fans exactly to keep demand high and thus prices.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 12:23 pm
  • I’ll say 4 years is years, and probably will remain that way, for a few years after a new stadium. In either case, even a few years before that they were drawing near the top.
    Fewer seats is actually fewer supply, and should only generate higher demand if the Yanks can consistently (after the new stadium is broken in) win as they have in recent years – even though we mostly agree that the Yanks have to win the Series to be considered successful, (or at least, one series) all those playoff appearances add up, I suppose.
    The AllStar game thing was kind of outrageous. I actually had hope to pick up some cheap/crappy tickets of some sort, but when my friend offered me some tickets (only the game) and the bill, I couldn’t really justify putting down that much money for almost any game, let alone an exhibition game. Maybe World Series, but bah.

    Lar May 19, 2008, 12:32 pm
  • The problem is, Lar, they’re giving up about 500k yearly seats (6k x 81 games) in the new place. Considering that they’ve been drawing 4.2 million a year, they might never get to 4 million again. Thus the higher prices.
    “if the Yanks can consistently (after the new stadium is broken in) win”
    Actually, the argument can be made that A-Rod meant much more to attendance than winning ever did. Look at 2000-2003, attendance was pretty stagnant at 3.2 to 3.4 million. They get A-Rod in 2004 and attendance jumps 300k in one year, and 600k in two years.
    I agree completely on the All-star game and the Series. But then the cabal (aka MLB) controls those prices. I’m glad I paid $90 for two seats in 1996. Probably the last Series game I’ll ever attend…

    A YF May 19, 2008, 12:41 pm
  • I should have just done the simpler math:
    50k x 81 games = 4 million.
    They’ll have to sell out every game just to touch 4 million. I suppose they might be able to do that, but I bet their financial models are based on yearly attendance around 3.5 million at the higher prices.
    One huge thing missing from this thread: They still make a nice chunk of change if they drive fans to YES and mlb.com. Sure, they make more if they’re in the seats. But advertising rates and mlb.com generate a nice revenue flow.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 12:51 pm
  • Oh, one other fact I neglected to include in the top thread, which I will add:
    My friend was asked to commit to his new seats for 10 years.

    SF May 19, 2008, 12:56 pm
  • I have to say the new pricing plan at the Stadium is no surprise, though it leaves me wondering if I’ll continue to root for the team in a serious way. While we had the old stadium, it was at least possible to think of baseball, or a baseball game, as a democratic experience. I’m not sure it is now, even as it’s to a large extent subsidized by public money. To say that pricing is simply a matter of “supply and demand” is a pathetically narrow and uniformative way of thinking about the economics that shape not only baseball, but American cities in general.
    A YF: Seeing as you don’t seem to respect the people who post or comment here, I strongly suggest you quit frequenting this site. Really, what’s the point?

    YF May 19, 2008, 12:56 pm
  • New math for this 10 year commitment is above – the short story: the Yankees are asking his family to effectively commit $3M+ right now to retain his seats.

    SF May 19, 2008, 1:02 pm
  • “Seeing as you don’t seem to respect the people who post or comment here, I strongly suggest you quit frequenting this site. Really, what’s the point?”
    I really don’t see where this haterade comes from. I posted a comment. Another poster concurred. And we were the ones initially disrespected. Clearly.
    Meanwhile, you might not like the explanation but to call it “pathetically narrow and uniformative way” is no way to have a discussion. Indeed, that’s disrepectful trollish behavior without an explanation of why you feel that way. I’m listening…
    But Tim is exactly right: The Yankees can charge whatever they want. And people will pay.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:05 pm
  • I haven’t seen a game at Fenway since 2000, my senior year of high school, when we went on a school-sponsored “field trip” (hey, we went to the New England Aquarium, too!)…
    One of my long-enduring dreams is to take a vacation to New England, see some family and friends and take my wife and (soon-to-arrive) daughter to Fenway for the first time. I really worry about being able to afford that without literally years of planning and saving. That’s not what baseball is about.
    I understand and generally approve of the supply-and-demand argument, but baseball is more than business. No one is arguing these teams shouldn’t make money, or even a lot of money. But at some point there is a moral consideration; where is the sport if its leaders have lost that for good?

    Paul SF May 19, 2008, 1:07 pm
  • “New math for this 10 year commitment is above – the short story: the Yankees are asking his family to effectively commit $3M+ right now to retain his seats.”
    The rich realizing they’re not so rich…
    Bottomline: If the Yankees can’t sell the seats at those prices, they’ll be forced to drop prices. Who wants to bet their money where?

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:08 pm
  • “That’s not what baseball is about.”
    And yet you’re still a die-hard fan exactly while the Sox have been the one charging the most for years.
    If baseball was really a moral business they would have imploded Fenway long ago. And no, that’s not an aesthetic judgment :), it’s a statement about inclusiveness. Many fans can’t afford Fenway exactly because it’s too small.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:11 pm
  • Critiquing an argument as “overly simplistic” is not disrespectful. And simply saying “supply and dmenad” as a response to a thoughtful post about a sport for whom business has always been mixed with other considerations is overly simplistic, at best.

    Paul SF May 19, 2008, 1:11 pm
  • “Critiquing an argument as “overly simplistic” is not disrespectful.”
    I felt disrespected. It’s as simple as that.
    Tell me why you disagree. Don’t belittle or condescend.
    Meanwhile, if you told someone in real life they were being “overly simplistic” I damn well hope you’d demand a better response than:
    “In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.”
    Which was exactly the point being indicated.
    So the real question is: Why was SF so intent on disagreeing?
    Nah, it couldn’t be personal.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:16 pm
  • A YF: As I believe SF previously noted, the supply-demand model doesn’t work when one side of the equation is artificially constrained by a controlling monopoly.
    But, again, since you don’t seem to appreciate the conversation here, please just move along. There are many of us here who’d like to have a serious discussion regarding SF’s post, but you’re making that impossible.
    This site isn’t about you, howevermuch you might want it to be. You’re welcome to start your own blog. We’ll even give you a link in the sidebar.

    YF May 19, 2008, 1:18 pm
  • “As I believe SF previously noted, the supply-demand model doesn’t work when one side of the equation is artificially constrained by a controlling monopoly.”
    Actually, he used that metaphor to disagree with us. Read his first comment again.
    And again, I’m happy to discuss baseball respectfully. But too often here the respect isn’t mutual. Look how Tim was treated, and he seems to be a first time poster. What did he do to deserve the treatment he got?

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:22 pm
  • And if it’s not supply and demand, what is it?
    Again, I’m listening. But you’re the one YF making the argument about me. What’s your take?

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:25 pm
  • I’m pointing out the supply and demand mostly from a position of resignation – and not to argue that it’s right, or remotely close to what I desire. Just to clear that up, since I did bring mention it..

    Lar May 19, 2008, 1:42 pm
  • “And again, I’m happy to discuss baseball respectfully.”
    My god man, 90% of your comments are disrespectful, needlessly combative, or just plain rude.
    I would love to discuss this and comment on topic, but as YF pointed out, it’s impossible with you here. Just give up your act, it’s not cool and you’re impressing nobody.
    Here you go…
    http://www.nomaas.org

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 1:49 pm
  • Regarding the update:
    “This is, even to those with means, a ridiculous demand”
    Only in the sense that they can’t meet that demand while others likely can. But then I feel that way about first-class travel and even more about private jets.
    Nothing precludes them from having other seats, except their egos.
    I think a legitimate question to ask: Won’t consumption simply go down instead of be eliminated? Where my Dad goes to ten games a year, maybe he’ll go to 8. But then that opens up more supply for more people.
    Where it’s being painted as all or none, I have a very hard time believing that anyone that wants to go to a game won’t be able to afford it. They can and will – it just might be on a Tuesday night against the Rangers.
    Indeed, let’s think about those front-row seats. Where one family has controlled them for a century, what if, with the increased prices, fifty upper-class families have access to those seats (cause the Yankees know they can generate more revenue for those seats on a per game basis)? By greatest good logic, it’s better for many more people even as one family is very angry.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:51 pm
  • Lar, I agree. I’m also resigned to that reality. It doesn’t make it right, but it is what is. Same with gas prices.
    “My god man, 90% of your comments are disrespectful, needlessly combative, or just plain rude.”
    Kettle meet black.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 1:53 pm
  • What ever man, so many people have tried to warn you that your style isn’t going to fly here, so good luck with that.

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 1:58 pm
  • Lockland = troll
    Whenever you want to add something on-topic, I’m listening.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 2:02 pm
  • This whole discussion seems to ignore the fact that the Y’s & RS’s are the elite teams themselves, and among the few teams in baseball whose supply is far exceeded by the demand. I don’t think the Marlins or Rays or Rangers or…..are faced with the same situation. They can only wish for it. Meanwhile, the Y’s and RS’s better hope their demand remains high. Or in the case of the Y’s, after 2020. After all, there is such a thing as pricing yourself out of the market. High prices can eventually affect people’s actual behavior. This is true of the price of gas, and it can be true for the price of baseball tickets.
    And this may actually happen sooner, rather than later. Once the hedge fund guys have to pay ordinary income tax rates instead of capital gains tax rates on their ordinary income, they won’t be able to afford what the Y’s are charging. (That’s a joke, they will still be able to afford them, but you get the idea.) But if the Y’s keep losing, and Hank behaves like George for long enough (and the Y’s go downhill for a few years), the crowds will thin – and so will the viewership on cable. It could happen to the RS’s too, when John Henry decides to cash in.

    Waldomeboy May 19, 2008, 2:20 pm
  • Two points:
    1. Raising ticket prices above what the lunchpail crowd can afford might be good for the pocketbook, but it alienates the majority of the fanbase. On those occasions I get to Boston, I can’t afford to go to a game. Sox tickets cost about as much as the flight from Chicago.
    The NHL did this and now look at its fan base: new money soccer, I mean hockey parents who are willing to go into debt to tell their neighbors they have Ducks season tickets. Here, the bullwark of Blackhawks fans have always been the lunchpail crowd. Now they can’t afford to go and there are a lot of empty seats. (The general suckage of the Hawks is a part of that equation, too.)
    Baseball might be headed there. The high-demand markets can get away with it for now.
    But an inability of the working class to buy tickets will create resentment and eventually that faction of fans will go away.
    2. A YF (I mean, Adam Smith), I know who you are. You’re the bozo who used to troll here and post “Count teh rinz, bitchezzz!” As I said then, just go away.

    I'm Bill McNeil May 19, 2008, 2:23 pm
  • It has become increasingly impossible to enjoy threads lately. I’ve done my fair share of flamethrowing in the past, but most know that we’ve all been around long enough to know when others are just pusing buttons and busting stones a little bit.
    Calling people names all the time, insulting the social class of folks you’ve never met, complaining about everything under the sun, and nitpicking every angle you know you can get the advantage on has gotten old.
    You cherrypick statements that you can hold a knife to and tell everyone that you are “still waiting” for them to justify saying it, when in fact, most times those things are said as opinion, not fact.
    No doubt you are probably a pretty intelligent guy, but so are most here. Everyone here loves baseball, and more importantly the friendships (albeit cyber ones) we’ve all formed over the years.
    For weeks, you’ve done nothing to start fights, call names (and no, you’re not alone in this at all), and pretend to stand on this wierd pedestal of all-knowing and all-showing. You don’t take others views respectfully, though you complain that nobody else does this for you. You call names, and then complain when others return the jest. You demean others intelligence, while simultaneously digging yourself into a hole with such remarks as “let me make it easy for you” and “let me lay this out for you so you can understand”.
    People here have gotten along (for the most part) for a long time. We’ve all come here to talk baseball, poke a little fun at the other fanbase, share some stories, and enjoy the game of baseball.
    Since you’ve been here, all those things have kind of gone away.
    We’re all not against each other here, A. We’d like to all get along without everyone getting so offended and taking things in stride. I really hope that you are here for a long time, but I do hope that you’ll change your approach to being here, because as it stands now, you’re alone on that amighty perch by yourself.
    Thanks.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 2:32 pm
  • This is the first year that I’ve been priced out of buying tickets at Fenway, and I make a pretty decent living. The problem is that there are plenty of people who make big bucks and are willing to spend it on tickets to games. In the past, I probably could have competed with those people in trying to buy some “good” seats. They’re out of my price range, now.
    There just aren’t enough affordable seats in the parks. They decrease yearly, and are in high demand, so you have to be very lucky to get them before they are sold out. The problem is not that they aren’t there. The problem is that there are many more people trying to get them, so the availability is less.
    Is this a shame? Probably not for the Red Sox or Yankees. The demand for tickets by the affluent is obviously high enough where they still sell out. It’s a shame for me, because I can’t afford to go to games without getting very lucky with the ticketing system.
    This does have an impact on your typical fan, regardless of any attempts to argue otherwise. This isn’t going to change, because the teams will still sell tickets. It just means the demographic of the crowd changes, that’s all.

    MrBlackthorne May 19, 2008, 2:34 pm
  • Well said, Waldomeboy. Thanks for sharing with these hairless apes.
    (How’s that Brad, better?)

    A YF May 19, 2008, 2:36 pm
  • It’s not that complicated.
    Huge price hikes for regular season games in the only sport to remain accessible to the general public suck.
    - Hairless ape.

    IronHorse (yf) May 19, 2008, 2:41 pm
  • But you’re still a fan, Mr. Blackthorne, right? You still watching NESN or Dish TV or paying for XM?
    SF was saying “dedicated fans should be outraged” (since he got that from a blue blood). Are you outraged?

    A YF May 19, 2008, 2:42 pm
  • “No doubt you are probably a pretty intelligent guy”
    Too kind Brad. Too kind.

    IronHorse (yf) May 19, 2008, 2:43 pm
  • “Huge price hikes for regular season games in the only sport to remain accessible to the general public suck.”
    That’s the thing the post misses completely. There will be price increases but they won’t be huge (>20%) for 80% of the seats. If anything is going to hurt more it’s the 6,000 reduction in seats. You’ll be able to afford the face value of tix – you just won’t be able to easily get those prices for the games you want. Sorta like the premium games now. Without a ticket package, you’re shut out. So you’re forced to buy 10 games, at least.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 2:48 pm
  • again, man. One man’s level of income or worth is not indicative of his level of dedication to his team. For sure, if I had more scratch, I’d go to more games. The idea you are perpetuating is one of snobbery, and it’s almost like you’re saying that because SF’s friends could afford the seats in the first place, they have no right to complain about the higher prices at all, which makes no sense. Maybe they took second jobs to pay for them? Maybe they save tooth and nail all year for those seats because it’s family tradition. You don’t know these things, A. You don’t know anything about them.
    You assume since they were sitting there, they were afforded the “luxury” of not worrying about the prices, until of course, they went up.
    Maybe they’re just as confused as everyone else is about how NY could justify raising prices every year for six years, all the while getting worse and worse in each of those seasons on the field.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 2:55 pm
  • Slightly off topic…
    The larger issue at Fenway the last few years has not been affordable ticket prices, but being able to buy those tickets from the Red Sox at face value. There are plenty of decent seats in Fenway for under $40, it’s just almost impossible to get them, which forces people to buy on the secondary market, which sits around $100 for any decent ticket.
    The Red Sox are taking steps to help with this by holding back large numbers of tickets for online release prior to the start of a new home series and even more day-of-game tickets available.
    This helps a great deal for families in the area, but doesn’t do much for people out of the area, since it’s tough to plan a trip with less than 3 days notice.
    I don’t have season tickets or a package, but I still go to about 25-30 games a year. This season and last season I found my self paying face value a lot more than I had in the past. With a little effort on my part, the Red Sox have made it easier for me to not pay scalper/broker prices and I appreciate that.

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 3:05 pm
  • Please, front row seats are about status, nothing more. I’ve sat down there and you can’t even see the game that well. The friend is lamenting his loss of status. You bet that must be painful. I bet it burns real bad…
    My point is that they can complain all they want. Just don’t give me the “What about little Johnny and his Dad?” argument. It offends common sense as well as the facts. The tickets will still be very affordable – most not much different than they are now. Just get used to sitting further away or paying more.
    And look, I realize I’m arguing an unpopular point. Who wants to defend U.S. Steel? But the Yankees are, if anything, taxing the rich to pay off their $1 Billion stadium with new public transportation links. That works for me even if it also means I’m paying 20% more. What else is new?

    A YF May 19, 2008, 3:05 pm
  • Of course, Lockland leaves out the fact that the Sox have consistently raised face value the last few years. And they still have the highest prices in the game, even as they’ve cut payroll.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 3:08 pm
  • again, you don’t know this. You’re assuming this is the mindset because of your own bitter sentiment for that area. How do you know they sit there for status? You don’t even know them, man. Maybe they sit there because thats simply where they have always sat, and have no desire to move whatsoever. Whatever.
    Neither of us know them, or anything about them, so I’ll withold comment on them, their seats, or their financial abilities from this point forward.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 3:10 pm
  • “Neither of us know them, or anything about them, so I’ll withold comment on them, their seats, or their financial abilities from this point forward.”
    We know they now drop $71K a year on one baseball seat.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 3:12 pm
  • “the Sox have consistently raised face value the last few years” on some tickets.
    There, corrected that for you.
    Ticket pricing wasn’t even part of my comment. I was pointing out ways the organization is able to raise ticket prices but still put some fan friendly mechanisms in place to help with ticket availability. Which in turn makes it easier for regular people to go the games without paying secondary market prices.
    This is a perfect example where you’re being combative simply for the sake of being combative, totally out of context.
    Jesus, you suck.

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 3:17 pm
  • Man, some people just LOVE to argue…

    DUFF May 19, 2008, 3:18 pm
  • See, that’s what I’m saying, A. The Sox most definitely do not have the highest prices when compared to what we’ve read above. As an average, yes they do. But, you’re leaving out that extra fifteen thousand seats NY holds. You’re also leaving out the idea that Sox fans are paying to see a team that has won the world series twice in the past four years. Yankee fans are paying for what?
    There are no 650$ seats at Fenway..not from the house. Yes, maybe from secondary or the bidding process, but nowhere in Fenway will you find a face value of that much.
    The 20$ bleacher seats in New York do not exist in Boston, so on average, you’re right, on principle, you’re not.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 3:18 pm
  • Really, Lockland, which ticket prices have stayed constant?
    And which tickets are available to be bought at the last minute? The new ones on the roof? Or out in the triangle?

    A YF May 19, 2008, 3:20 pm
  • but again, this ins’t about NY and Boston. Yes, they’re the culprits to be sure, but the problem is a bigger one.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 3:21 pm
  • Seriously, Brad, how does one have the highest average but not the highest prices? The average is not based on the secondary market.
    See, I can be slow too.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 3:22 pm
  • No.
    Boston leaves tickets available at the Box office for every game. Five thousand of them i think.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 3:23 pm
  • Regarding original post, not ensuing drama bomb:
    World’s smallest violin.
    That is all.

    Kazz May 19, 2008, 3:23 pm
  • A YF — “In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.”
    - Ummm, how is that different from baseball tickets, exactly?

    Simple. We’re tied to oil and have massive sunk costs associated with it. Eventually, we may be able to break free of its constrictions, but not for the near-to-mid-term. Baseball tickets are a totally optional entertainment choice. You can spend 20 bucks a seat for bleacher tickets on Sunday afternoon, or you can spend 10 bucks a ticket for “Iron Man”, or you can spend nothing today and just sit in your room playing Tiger Woods 06 on Xbox. When OPEC cuts supply in order to raise prices, we’ll still pay it because otherwise lots of S will hit some huge fans. When the Yankees raise ticket prices, lots of people will give up their seats, because even though the team is an integral part of their lives, they still recognize the cost of tickets as an entertainment expenditure and they don’t want to spend that much on entertainment. You can argue that the people in the lower sections now will still be able to afford upper deck seats in the new place, but maybe the value of those seats simply doesn’t match the cost, either. The point of the post is that even though other people/entities will probably step in and pay that kind of money, it’s a pretty alienating thing to do to the hardcore fan base, which you can’t deny. Someone’s getting pushed out, no matter what happens, and pushing that crowd out of the ballpark will have consequences. I doubt the culture of “an elitist grounds” is one the team wants for the long term.
    (SF Giants fan who grew up in SF, lived in NYC for three years, and now lives in Charlotte.)

    David A. May 19, 2008, 3:25 pm
  • The Sox also had the highest average price in 2003.
    See, as I pointed out before, if the Sox really cared about their fans being able to see games in person they’d tear down Fenway. Their supply/demand allows them to charge, on average, the highest prices in the game, no matter what other mechanisms are in place.
    And for the record, a bleacher seat at Yankee Stadium now costs $14. And you can get that ticket a few hours before most games.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 3:27 pm
  • The $12 upper bleacher seats were $12 last year.
    The ticket drops and day-of-game tickets include seats all over the park.
    I love when you don’t know what you’re talking about, that’s the best.

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 3:28 pm
  • Okay, A.
    You’re right. I was under the impression that fifteen thousand extra seats caused the average to go down. If you’re dividing by a larger number, the answer is smaller. Again, do you have to be a complete dickhead and insinuate someone is fucking slow?
    If New York has those extra seats Boston doesn’t have, and they can price them at a lower rate (bleachers) and not take a hit the way Boston would, the average ticket price is going to go down.
    Am I fucking wrong to assume that if you can offer 10 thousand seats at 20$ and team B can’t do that, the average for you will be lower than that of them?

    Brad May 19, 2008, 3:28 pm
  • “Simple. We’re tied to oil and have massive sunk costs associated with it.”
    Sorry, but this is just as true of many, many baseball fans I know. I couldn’t quit the Yankees if I wanted to. But I can take public transportation to the new stadium.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 3:29 pm
  • and now you can post the expected “see you’re calling names and being demeaning”.
    You’re right. I am.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 3:30 pm
  • I thought maybe by being a nice guy, you’d stop with the comments. Stupid gesture, I guess.
    I’m done arguing with you. You can try to justify spending that kind of money on a team that can break .500 all you want, and I’ll continue to bitch about not being able to get into Fenway, and until eithe team stops winning playoff games or has a few bad seasons in a row, things are not going to change.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • Sorry, but this is just as true of many, many baseball fans I know. I couldn’t quit the Yankees if I wanted to. But I can take public transportation to the new stadium.
    If you quit going to games, your life will go on. If the USA stopped dealing with OPEC, life wouldn’t. Baseball tickets are, ultimately, optional. Oil: not really.

    David A. May 19, 2008, 3:37 pm
  • “Sorry, but this is just as true of many, many baseball fans I know. I couldn’t quit the Yankees if I wanted to. But I can take public transportation to the new stadium.”
    You do realize we live in a completely petroleum based economy, right? Every thing you touch, see or smell is some way connected to the price of oil. It’s not just gas for cars.
    Attending baseball games is, ultimately, an optional recreational activity, as David said, life would go on.
    Comparing the two is beyond absurd.

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 4:32 pm
  • As someone who only occasionally posts around here on Sox gamer threads but reads most posts and many threads, I have say, I couldn’t make it anywhere close to the end of the comments here because I was so put off by A YF’s contributions.
    A YF: it’s your right to post whatever you like and I’m in no position to stop you, but you should know that I’m almost certainly one of many regular readers of this blog that lose all desire to read or contribute around here when your aggressive, obnoxious attitude takes over and drives a thread, as you’ve done here.

    stuck working May 19, 2008, 4:40 pm
  • Let me respond to that Stuck Working (and I hope you’re still around). First of all, let me say that I think all of the authors here, and I think the overwhelming majority of commenters, share your frustration. And we’ve pretty much had enough.
    But let me also correct a mispercption. A YF does not have the “right to post” whatever he likes here, and neither does anyone else.
    I like to think of YFSF as a house with an open door policy. Guests are welcome (and encouraged!) as long as they respect the rules of the house, its proprietors, and the other guests. But there is no absolute right to participate here. It’s our property, and when we want someone to leave, it’s our right, both legal and otherwise, to make that request and then enforce it.

    YF May 19, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • I’m sure everyone’s tired of the devil’s advocate today, but it seems like the defense of Joe Average Fan has been going on for a few decades now. Has any evidence piled up suggesting that continually raising the price actually has, or will, hurt the sport’s popularity, long-term? It seems like it should, in theory, but there always seems to be a slightly different demographic of Joe Average Fan to take the place of the last one, and the displaced group joins the ranks of the at-home viewers, driving up tv and radio revenue. Instead of eroding the fan base, the teams are getting the best of both worlds. There may be a hypothetical peak to that, but maybe future stadia will just be smaller with a higher per seat cost.

    FenSheaParkway May 19, 2008, 4:57 pm
  • Even the cost of the non Robin Leach seats at the new Yankee Stadium will be unaffordable to most everyone. These “Legend Suite” packages are proxies for the escalation of even the cheapest seats in the stadium. I made this point in the original thread. But it’s certainly more dramatic to use these exorbitant field-level seats as an example. When a ticket goes from, say, 12 bucks up to 18 bucks, or from, say 21 bucks up to the low 30s (as the bleacher and tier seats at YS might) it isn’t so dramatic, not as likely to articulate the idea that a team is taking massive advantage of all of their fans, not just the wealthy. The wealthy may, in fact, subsidize the poorer-off amongst Yankee fans, with these crazy seat prices. And I am wholly in favor of progressive income taxes, the liberal that I am. But this isn’t that, since while the lower price seats may still remain cheap (though in smaller quantities) the mid-level seats, those purchased by many regular Joes, are going to become very hard to come by and very difficult to afford for many families. My guess is that we are going to see massive raises from about the 2/3rds point of the board; the middle-level seats will suffer equally and surely these aren’t all purchased by rich snobs who order hot dogs with caviar. Main level seats, in the mid-to-high 50s right now, might end up in the seventies or 80s, the prices haven’t been released. And the fans who buy those tickets, dedicated ones, who look forward every year to buying ten packs for their families at several hundred bucks, could be staring at a grand or even two, just to get into the new house for ten games. This may render them unaffordable. That is quite a bad development, I think, and if anything it creates an even more rarified air about the sport, something to which it shouldn’t aspire. Teams need to be very careful about the message they send to their season ticket holders. Like WMB said earlier, at some point fans may stop going. I myself gave up on MLB Extra Innings this year, just couldn’t afford it, and only recently bit the bullet with an on-line TV purchase, thirty games into the season. I am someone who previously thought I couldn’t live without baseball, but I also thought that about the NHL until about seven years ago, and now I watch zero hockey, nada. I think these crazy price increases, within the rights of the clubs of course – I don’t think anyone has said that these shouldn’t be allowed – send a terribly cynical message to their season ticket holders, those who commit time and effort to the team they love. The NHL lost me, and if that can happen then who is to say that MLB might not either.

    SF May 19, 2008, 4:57 pm
  • SW: Hear, hear. I would have posted a (sort of) witty suggestion that everyone should plan family vacations to San Francisco and take in a Red Sox game against Oakland where MVP level seats are still available for this weekend at $55 for a Sunday afternoon game. And no humidity! And then everyone could have spent their time bashing California instead of each other. But man, I get put off but the nastiness of A YF’s posts….

    rootbeerfloat May 19, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • Oh, I’m still around, YF — I’ve enjoyed the site too long to be put off it entirely.
    But that said, A YF should realize that his commenting style does not make me or many others want to engage him. And that’s not because of the power of his arguments, as he perhaps thinks.

    stuck working May 19, 2008, 5:04 pm
  • FSP:
    Good questions, and your point about the media revenue replacing the on-site money is also a perceptive one. But look at the NHL, stuck on VS, marginalized even further than it was years ago. And while it was always that fourth marginal national sport, the league has lost me, completely, as a fan. It has lost several friends of mine as fans, as well, and we were jersey-wearing (not quite face-painting) diehards who would watch Bruins repeats on NESN at 2 in the morning having watched the same game earlier that night. I was a massive hockey fan until my early thirties, so it wasn’t just a teenage/college obsession, but rather a real love (I even learned how to play the game, and did so for several years following college) of mine. Baseball isn’t immune, even as there always seem to be “replacement fans” willing to fill seats.

    SF May 19, 2008, 5:07 pm
  • “Has any evidence piled up suggesting that continually raising the price actually has, or will, hurt the sport’s popularity, long-term?”
    Fantastic post and question, FSP.
    Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for SF or YF to explain the disrespectful reply that started this nonsense. Tim and I made comments, and we were soon belittled for them. It’s called leadership by example. And where was YF deploring the despicable state of his house when SF was smacking me in reference to someone getting run over by a car?
    Good luck enforcing your “legal” right though.
    Have a good night every one!

    A YF May 19, 2008, 5:12 pm
  • A YF, I realize you’re not going to agree with this, but here is some food for thought…
    Almost everyone disagrees with your tone and approach to the comment section of this site, the authors, the regulars, Sox fans and Yankee fans alike, and I honestly don’t remember anyone defending you once.
    This is the fact of the situation.
    Yet, you continue to think you’re being unfairly targeted.
    Think about that for a second. Do you really think this entire site, it’s authors and readers, are just in on a giant conspiracy against you?
    Or maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that you’re the one that’s wrong, maybe just a little bit?

    LocklandSF May 19, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • A YF:
    You have taken one phrase from a longer comment, “overly simplistic”, and made it out to be an insult to end all insults. This is simply prepostorous – it was an offering of opinion, that your distillation of this post was simplistic, nothing more. My original comment that fed your anger is reproduced below, just to get it on the record again. It even included a clear criticism of the Red Sox, which you then ignored and proceeded to base an entire line of distracting argument on this bit of excision. I urge you to re-read the original comment and ask yourself if your reaction and your actions in this thread were at all warranted. And that’s the last I am going to write about this issue, I think today’s efforts speak for themselves.
    Here it is:
    this is overly simplistic and not entirely true. The comparison to gas prices is also odd, since this is not an efficient market: OPEC controls the spigot, to an extent, and can artificially control the market for petroleum. In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.
    This is all somewhat besides the point. Shouldn’t the Yankees be concerned that they will alienate their fan-base? Shouldn’t they be concerned that one of their long-time diehard families is on the brink of giving up their tickets? There is a bigger issue here, and it is about the relationship of a fan base to their team, about the connection of rooters to the spaces and sounds of a stadium. If Yankee Stadium becomes an elitist grounds (and the blessing of Yankee Stadium, despite my hatred of the place for other reasons, has been it’s accessibility) that is a bad symbol for a franchise. These “Legends Suites” prices bode very poorly for the eventual accessibility of the cheap seats. The Stadium is going to be a different place, and it will be for the worse. This should trouble fans, not just Yankee fans. Fenway has been on that path for several years, Yankee Stadium is about to follow down the same elitist route.

    SF May 19, 2008, 5:26 pm
  • Re: NHL
    I get what you’re saying, SF, and all sports would be wise to heed what happened to the NHL as a point of caution. But MLB has, and has always had, a much larger core audience than the NHL, so I’m not sure it’s 100% right to compare the two so immediately, even though the analogy is an apt one in your case. The NHL weathered their loss of a championship year less well than MLB did, and for obvious reasons, I think. I’m not saying that MLB is immune, but my guess is that they have an idea of how strong their innoculation is, and they’re clearly willing to test it.
    I agree with you, in that it seems like there MUST be a ceiling that MLB won’t be able to break, but that idea keeps getting refuted every year. Just as an example, isn’t this current era of Baseball plagued with The Greatest Scandal In The History Of The Exalted Game? And ticket sales (and other revenue) has never been stronger. What exactly will make people (us) stop caring about following the games?

    FenSheaParkway May 19, 2008, 5:35 pm
  • Good points, FSP. But one issue, not related to doomsaying, is just the observation that this price-gouging is simply sad. The game is pricing out, at least at the stadium a lot of fans. Some of my greatest and fondest memories of growing up were going to game, not to my parents’ seats, but rather the bleachers, with my own few bucks and a scorecard, sitting by myself watching the game. Maybe I am over-romanticizing this, but this is an experience that wasn’t class-based, since the entertainment was so cheap. I sense that this type of visit, at least in our two cities, is simply not available, and this is, at least to me, sad.

    SF May 19, 2008, 5:39 pm
  • I’m just wondering how it is that A YF knows that I am, in fact, a hairless ape.
    Incidentally, my RF bleacher cheapseats went up 20% this season and will jump up more next season. Because they are the cheapest in the stadium, this percentage leap only translates into a couple dollars a game and I expect the same next year, so it won’t keep me from re-upping the package.
    Frankly I’d pay that much more if they would just stop with the goose-stepping May-Day celebration during the 7th game stretch of games…but that’s another debate I know.

    IronHorse (yf) May 19, 2008, 5:49 pm
  • It is sad, I won’t argue that, it’s just a sadness that I guess I’ve come to expect. So much so, that I’ve even been joking (joking!) to people this year about the fact that I expect to see a fraction of the Mets games next year as I have gotten accustomed to the past couple of years, since I moved here. I don’t believe they’ve announced any per seat prices yet for Citi Field, but I’m going to guess my beloved $5 upper deck seats will be a thing of the past.
    So it is a very sad fact. If I’m doing anything other than sharing that lament, it’s that it seems to be sad “only” on the individual level of the person who’s being priced out. The media will give it their annual lip service, and then either the old fans suck it up and pay it, or the new occupants will excitedly tell all their friends that they finally got off the waiting list and ‘OMG, WHO WANTS TO SIT IN MY NEW SEASON TICKETS!’

    FenSheaParkway May 19, 2008, 5:55 pm
  • Clarification, before anyone jumps on me for being spoiled with the rarity of $5 seats: I know that’s a pittance, but it’s the difference between seeing a couple handfuls of games a year (in April, May and September, mostly) versus choosing only a couple at $25. I know something is better than nothing, but I’m definitely not looking forward to having to choose but 2 out of 81 games to see for an entire summer.

    FenSheaParkway May 19, 2008, 6:00 pm
  • It’s not that it was an “an insult to end all insults” (that was posting, in reference to me, about a homicidal maniac), it’s that there was an insult at all and completely unprovoked (esp. to Tim who I’ve never seen post here).
    Worse, you were “overly simplistic and not entirely true” in saying that gas prices are an “odd” comparison. “In the end, the consumer is at the mercy of a [baseball] cartel; this is not free-market economics, at all.” That’s exactly why complaining about ticket prices is like complaining about the cost of gasoline. It does just as much good and few are going to change their behavior in protest.
    To answer your questions, again:
    “Shouldn’t the Yankees be concerned that they will alienate their fan-base?”
    No. Have the Red Sox ever been?
    “Shouldn’t they be concerned that one of their long-time diehard families is on the brink of giving up their tickets?”
    Not when it’s by choice because they don’t want to move ten or twenty rows back.
    Meanwhile:
    “The game is pricing out, at least at the stadium a lot of fans.”
    Where is any evidence of this? Because you pointing to the experience of this blue blood ain’t close to it. Care to offer one shred of evidence. Because attendance increases across the board, as FSP points out, forcefully argue the exact opposite.
    Right now, that bleacher seat costs $14 at Yankee Stadium. Hard to imagine you growing up today and not being able to afford that.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 6:06 pm
  • And what’s sadder?:
    a) The increasing ticket prices across all major sports.
    b) One person can spend more on baseball entertainment than 75% of U.S. household make in that same year?.
    c) $71k could feed 200 people for a year in many parts of this world.
    Sad is a relative term.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 6:14 pm
  • A YF, why are you spending so much time arguing with us hairless primates????? I would have thought that as a more fully evolved species you would be off solving world hunger or some such thing. Or maybe the global energy crisis given your obvious expertise on the petroleum industry.
    Looking forward to your Nobel speech…
    -Cornelius

    IronHorse (yf) May 19, 2008, 6:19 pm
  • The Yanks are stinking up the House the Ruth Built on the way out the door so I can understand the 10 year commitment. They need to cash in now before the mass exodus of bandwagon fans and celebs like Billy “Mets hat in City Slickers” Crystal happens when they miss the playoffs this year.
    People pay big bucks to see a winner and with Hank now at the wheel, he’ll be asking my boy to borrow me for the front office soon enough. I just hope I don’t catch something from l’il Stein (at least, that’s what his wife calls him).

    Giambi's Thong May 19, 2008, 6:20 pm
  • Sad IS a relative term. And we’re using it here relative to Baseball fans.
    And sure, $14 isn’t a lot, relative to many things. It isn’t a lot for a whole box of copy paper. It isn’t a lot for a monthly magazine subscription. It isn’t a lot for a car tune-up (correct me if I’m wrong; I don’t own a car). But it might be a lot for someone who wanted to see 5 games for $50 but who can now only get 3 for $42 (for example, I don’t know what those tickets used to cost in the recent past). What’s being questioned here is the wisdom of forcing the biggest supporters of the team to consider supporting the team less. It might be the same amount of money for the team, but less experience for the fan. And experiencing the team is what makes the fan a fan.

    FenSheaParkway May 19, 2008, 6:33 pm
  • +1
    to stuckworking’s: “[I] lose all desire to read or contribute around here when your aggressive, obnoxious attitude takes over and drives a thread, as you’ve done here.”

    Sacto-SF May 19, 2008, 6:39 pm
  • yep, me too. And ordinarily I like reading through all the debate just to see how the other half thinks.

    soxgirl May 19, 2008, 6:47 pm
  • You people really think I care what you think? I’m very happy to maintain an unpopular opinion. I was also against the Iraq War from the beginning. Popularity has never equaled Truth.
    Ask SF the definition of “troll”.
    But I’m really done now. Have fun saying all the things you’re too weak to say with me here.

    A YF May 19, 2008, 6:51 pm
  • See you in Oslo A YF.

    IronHorse (yf) May 19, 2008, 7:00 pm
  • “Have fun saying all the things you’re too weak to say with me here.”
    - An Anonymous Poster

    FenSheaParkway May 19, 2008, 7:03 pm
  • > You people really think I care what you think?
    I have not thought about that at all. I have decided I do not care what you think, which is all the effort I will expend upon the topic henceforth.

    attackgerbil May 19, 2008, 7:05 pm
  • By “here”, you mean the internet, right?
    ha.

    Brad May 19, 2008, 7:35 pm
  • The simple supply and demand model is pretty irrelevant in situations that lack perfect competition, such as the market for sports tickets. This ain’t selling pizzas in the neighborhood. It’s already obvious that the supply of tickets is controlled by a monopoly, but let’s not kid ourselves by thinking that the Yankees actually expect very many private individuals, albeit wealthy, to shell out 200k for season tickets. I think we should just consider the demand side of the equation as reserved for corporations. Private money and corporate money are completely different animals. I agree that it’s the prerogative of the Yankees to covet the corporate cash, but they seem to be denigrating the loyalty of the fans who have supported them through the decades, not all of which were as fruitful as the 90s. I’m cynical enough to know the Yankees will never be seriously called to task for it, but I hope I’m wrong.

    Ferenc May 21, 2008, 2:29 am

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