The 75 Percent Solution?

There are a great many opinions floating around about the new ballpark in the Bronx and whether it is overpriced, but I'd like to hear from anyone who thinks it's not a serious problem that the vaunted Yankees, after an offseason of massive spending to build a contender, could fill only 74.9 percent of their 4-day-old ballpark on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Today's official attendance was 43,068. Thoughts? Suggestions?

28 comments… add one

  • Greek Orthodox Easter?

    Atheose April 19, 2009, 8:54 pm
  • fix the economy.
    Simple and not the only excuse but it would make a huge difference and its certainly a major effect here. You can blame the yankees for alot of things they’ve done wrong but nobody expected the economy to crater like this.
    The empty seats are an issue aesthetically and to a certain extent for the game environment but I think business-wise its not gonna have a huge effect.

    sam-YF April 19, 2009, 9:43 pm
  • Grandstand was full, Terrace was full, Main was full essentially full. Field level was full where the list prices were $125 or less. The Legends and Delta suite sections were a disaster, as were some of the edges of the $225-and-up Field level sections.

    Clay Caviness April 19, 2009, 9:54 pm
  • On the flip side, the Citi Field announced 36,124, so maybe there’s something ..

    Lar April 19, 2009, 10:24 pm
  • Yeah, but how many of those seats were sold. Do you really think the team cares about announced attendance?
    You can blame the yankees for alot of things they’ve done wrong but nobody expected the economy to crater like this.
    That’s their fault too. And A-Rod’s.

    Rob April 19, 2009, 10:43 pm
  • On the flip side, the Citi Field announced 36,124, so maybe there’s something ..
    I suppose Shake Shack isn’t the draw many expected. Or the team built a caste system that the fans are rebelling against.

    Rob April 19, 2009, 10:45 pm
  • Um, price accordingly? The New York real estate market has made for lots of the shiny recent atrocities to turn from condos to rentals to somewhat lower-priced rentals. Why should New York baseball parks not take a hit (and soon enough, a HINT) as well?

    Hit Dog April 20, 2009, 12:13 am
  • It’s tough to say. For years stubhub/scalpers/etc have made the “real” price somewhere in between, and the Yanks is trying to price it somewhere more “efficient”, but obviously failed and mistimed it.
    Meh, I don’t know, for me, I wouldn’t expect to get those seats anyhow..

    Lar April 20, 2009, 12:32 am
  • sorry to say this, but my impression is that there’s been way too much time spent harping about what’s wrong with the new stadium and the yankees ill-conceived price structure and marketing plan for the “premium experience”…you guys need to get over it…it’s not that big of a deal, and certainly no surprise that it’s expensive to go to a ballgame…it’s been that way for awhile now…i’ve been to a few ballgames in my time, and never sat in those expensive seats anyway, because, like most people i have a limit on what i’ll spend for a ticket…if i say i won’t spend more than $100 for a ticket, reducing the price of the $2500 seat to $500 doesn’t do much for me…clearly the expensive empty seats and luxury boxes are an indication of the yankees over-reaching on their forecasts of how many [rich] fools would pay $2500 or more for one stinking game, even with the free hotdogs thrown in…i did hear that kobayashi and joey chestnut might show up at a game just to see if they could eat $5000 worth of dogs…then again many of those expensive tickets will likely be purchased by celebrities or business execs getting big taxpayer subsidized bonuses…once arod comes back, i’d suspect one of those seats to be occupied by maddona…once basketball is over, and before football starts, you’ll see some more of those seats taken by familiar faces…if the yankees contend, as we get later in the season, the tv stars will start showing up so the morons at fox and espn can let them hype their upcoming shows for the fall lineup…since the boxes are usually taken by corporate types, check the economy for your answer as to why those are unoccupied…as for the size of the crowd, i’d bet most mlb teams would love to have 43,000 fannies in the seats game after game…look for the yankees to lead the majors in attendance as the season heats up…

    dc April 20, 2009, 8:57 am
  • sorry to say this, but my impression is that there’s been way too much time spent harping about what’s wrong with the new stadium and the yankees ill-conceived price structure and marketing plan for the “premium experience”…you guys need to get over it
    Sorry to say this, dc, but “getting over it” is a weak attempt to truncate this legitimate discussion. There has been a lot of energy devoted to the stadium, the design and urban planning, the architecture, the economics, etc., and it’s all legitimate material for discussion, particularly so in this economy, in this city, and under the circumstances of which the new stadium was financed and constructed. This is an interesting and nuanced subject that touches upon a lot of issues related to the public trust, sports history, urban politics, city economics, and baseball, and trying to shut down the debate because it makes you tired or because you don’t sit in the expensive seats is quite unfair.

    SF April 20, 2009, 9:09 am
  • And see, dc, I would just be happy with some intellectual honesty. In the last 24 hours, I had to argue against “astronomical” prices, “caste system”, “have’s” vs. “have-not’s”. Of course, my facts and points were met with truly specious retorts, ad hominem, and an attempt to shut down debate.
    These guys have a weird axe to grind irrespective of any actual facts or precedents. 20 hours and not one bid for decent $20 tix (at half off the face value).

    Rob April 20, 2009, 9:23 am
  • As to more interesting questions:
    Bigger concern going forward: Wang or Ortiz?

    Rob April 20, 2009, 9:28 am
  • Wang = 1/5 of the Yankees rotation
    Ortiz = 1/9 of the Red Sox lineup
    If you consider that their replacements (Hughes/IPK vs Carter/Anderson) are all equally unknown, then Wang is a bigger worry for the Yanks than Ortiz is for the Sox.

    Atheose April 20, 2009, 9:57 am
  • Rob — You’re suggesting that people bought tickets for the first Sunday home game of the season, which landed a crisp and sunny day, but didn’t show up in droves?
    Nah.
    If the empty seats are mainly the expensive ones, then the revenue loss for the Yankees is a lot more than 25%. When you’ve got a payroll this size, that could indeed translate into problems.

    Hudson April 20, 2009, 9:58 am
  • Rob: I do have an ax to grind, but it’s not irrespective of facts, which you choose to ignore or dismiss. i’m not really sure how to interpret the 2ndary ticket market. but to simply dismiss the low attendance, the clear class divisions, the prices, etc., is both ignorant and dishonest, as is this constant harping about our politics. if you don’t like our politics, don’t read our site.
    dc: an OVERWHELMING majority of the coverage of the park has been positive. what we’re offering here is something of a corrective, and a legitimate one. The Yankees have an entire tv network to promote their agenda, and a pr staff to cater to the many journalists who cover the team. So let’s not kid ourselves. And I should point out that what you’re reading here about the park is really not much different than the commentary you’re finding on BB, Lohud, WW, or RAB.

    YF April 20, 2009, 10:02 am
  • that’s the nice thing about opinions sf…you have one, i have one, rob has one, and we discuss…obviously i wasn’t attempting to truncate the discussion, since my comment went on further than the tidbit you conveniently pulled out to make your point, so your accusation comes across as a bit emotional and dramatic, as well as unfair…
    i merely made an observation that i stand by: some of you are way too hung up on these perceived issues, yet any attempt to point out other examples [like the high prices and lack of ticket availability for fenway] are shouted down as irrelevant…at least admit you’re shouting them down because they are inconvenient, not irrelevant…i realize the evil empire just got a bit more evil in your eyes, but the argument that the stadium was built on the taxpayers backs is naive…you couldn’t name very many major companies [or sports teams] who haven’t received some form of tax relief or subsidy to relocate or expand/improve their business…this is old news, but check out this link:
    http://www.fieldofschemes.com/news/archives/2002/11/
    you guys are mentioned ;)
    i see the same thing [public assistance] happening with fenway when the sox decide the charm of playing in an antiquated bandbox is choking their long term business plan…sitting in the seats i do is an economic decision for me…same reason i don’t own a rolls royce or a bentley…
    frankly, i’m more worried about the inconsistent play of the vaunted yankees, and the ease with which routine fly balls are turning into homeruns…but, that’s baseball, and apparently not the topic for today…
    i’d say wang rob, but i’m biased…i kind of like the way ortiz is playing right now…he’s doing just fine… ;)

    dc April 20, 2009, 10:23 am
  • but to simply dismiss the low attendance, the clear class divisions, the prices, etc., is both ignorant and dishonest
    Here comes the ad hominem again.
    i’m not really sure how to interpret the 2ndary ticket market.
    That’s closer to intellectual honesy. Yesterday you merely called an $18B company “unreliable”.
    if you don’t like our politics, don’t read our site.
    Last I looked, I thought this was a baseball site. Worse, your politics are stuck in the 70s.
    Hudson, I don’t disagree with you. I had my facts wrong. That was the paid attendance.
    Atheose -
    Conversely, one plays almost every day. The other plays every five days. That’s reflected in their WARPs.
    Ortiz:
    2006 – 5.9
    2007 – 6.7
    2008 – 2.0
    Wang:
    2006 – 4.7
    2007 – 4.4
    2008 – 2.0
    When both have been at their best, Ortiz is worth 1 to 2 wins more. And Wang has never topped five wins.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 10:23 am
  • fair enough yf…like i just told your partner, i wasn’t attempting to shut down your discussion…i merely observed that there’s a bit too much angst over these issues specific to the yankees…there’s always been a class division in sports…that’s why all the tickets don’t sell for exactly the same price…the yankees are merely trying to exploit that difference, quite dramatically, and their plan is backfiring for now…

    dc April 20, 2009, 10:29 am
  • dc:
    This has nothing to do with the Yankees/Sox rivalry, so stop re-framing this in that manner.

    SF April 20, 2009, 10:44 am
  • unreal
    and you can stop making baseless allegations…

    dc April 20, 2009, 10:53 am
  • Well, Wang really gave the Yanks no chance to win. In taht sense, losing every 5th game is rough.
    Of course, one would hope it doesn’t last. Also, re: Beckett, volatility isn’t so bad when it comes to pitching. Though obviously for an “ace” it’s not that optimal.
    That said, if Wang needs to be a 2/3 with AP and Joba/PH/IPK backing up, it should be good once things hit their stride.. if things ever.
    Maybe I’m a little optimistic still!

    Lar April 20, 2009, 10:54 am
  • But ya, the Citi Fields is by far more affordable, but still only 60ish% full on Sunday. Maybe it’s a much ado.
    That said though, I haven’t really considered it in the past, so I don’t know, but would having both the Yanks/Mets play in the same weekend at home weaken it? The intersection of the fan base is probably small, but there might be some set of casual/tourist crowd that got split.
    Though I know, everybody is only arguing about the 500$+ tickets or something..

    Lar April 20, 2009, 10:56 am
  • I would still say Wang instead of Ortiz. If the Sox are losing 5-0, and Ortiz strikes out, they’re still down 5-0. If it’s 0-0 in the 2nd inning and Wang gives up 8 runs, well he just gave up 8 runs.
    Also the pitcher’s impact on the bullpen need to be considered. Wang and Daisuke both decimated their team’s respective bullpen last week, which is something that could have implications days later, and not just in the immediate game.

    Atheose April 20, 2009, 11:06 am
  • Is the attendance in the $$$ seats actually much changed from years past, or is it just more obvious now because the seats are front and center (and more clearly separated, visually, from the $ seats) rather than up in a box behind glass? I guess it does seem like there’s an inordinate amount of space dedicated to luxury suites, but I think the ‘corporate bozo’ seats are usually less full than the more general seating, irrespective of the ballpark.

    Jackie (SF) April 20, 2009, 3:37 pm
  • That’s a good point Jackie. I know I used to sneak into those seats. Now there’s no chance. It’s like sneaking into the first class cabin – impossible because they know your name for food and drink orders.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 3:50 pm
  • I have a feeling they will start to look the other way very quickly if the seats stay empty… it really has been a bit of a PR disaster. (Not to mention that it plays completely into the risible populist sentiment generated by the economic crisis. Friggin investment bankers! First they ruin the country, and then they ruin Yankees baseball. It’s unAmerican, I tell you!)

    Jackie (SF) April 20, 2009, 4:11 pm
  • (just to clarify, since I’m seeing that this is a sensitive topic here – the “risible populist sentiment’ thing was not meant as a dig against anyone here, just a reflection on the hubbub about the AIG bonuses, teabagging parties, etc.)

    Jackie (SF) April 20, 2009, 4:19 pm
  • On Sunday, StubHub.com listed $500 Legends Suites seats down the left-field line, in Section 27B, row 8, for $225 each Monday night, and $850 Legends Suite seats behind the Yankees dugout, in Section 16, row 9, for $275 apiece. Field level seats in Section 117B , row 15 that originally sold for $325 each were available for $114 apiece.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4084820
    Importantly, they don’t say if those seats sold at those prices. If the Yankees wanted to, they could figure out exactly how much every seat is worth and charge accordingly. I love open markets! Why not open pricing? Let fans bid on season tickets then game tickets.

    Rob April 21, 2009, 9:29 am

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