Who Needs Two?

We've suggested repeatedly on this site and elsewhere that the "cash cow" that is the New Yankee Stadium might not be as fruitful as some are advertising, given economic circumstances. Evidence has largely been circumstantial, but concrete details are starting to flow in. The team is not getting the prices it wanted for premium seats, 25 percent of which remain unsold, along with 7 luxury suites. As the NYT reports today, the team has now allied itself with the real estate firm Prudential Douglas Elliman to help move its high end packages. It says a lot that a ticket to a ballgame is now considered a real estate purchase. 

Meanwhile, photos of the new park are starting to filter out. The new scoreboard on the rightfield wall is a nice touch, though you can see how the bleachers have been separated from the field by a section of box seats, which says a lot about how much the team cares for its most diehard fans. The clubhouse is big, but the blue light, toy balustrade, and logo'ed carpet are tacky kitsch more appropriate to a theme restaurant. But maybe that's the point. At least the new jersey patch is nice, and a helluva lot better than what you'll find on the boys over in Queens. As Pete Abe writes, "You have to love the Mets, the only team that would design a patch for their new stadium that doesn't mention the stadium or show any images of it." Bingo. And what's with the type in two directions?

28 comments… add one

  • I dunno, maybe it isn’t the best time to be celebrating a park conspicuously named after an incompetent bank run by money-grabbing stooges!

    SF January 14, 2009, 10:14 am
  • Lar January 14, 2009, 10:24 am
  • Err, MLB 09.
    The patch is mostly uncreative and unoriginal, but it’s classy (heh?) and pretty much close to what you would expect from the Yanks..

    Lar January 14, 2009, 10:25 am
  • That game looks totally unrealistic, it shows the Mets doing something right.

    SF January 14, 2009, 10:34 am
  • which says a lot about how much the team cares for its most diehard fans
    I have a real problem with this characterization. I grew up sitting in the bleachers and in the upper deck. I plainly understood, even then, supply and demand. What’s the team supposed to do? Sell 1000 box seats at every game for 10 cents each? Then watch as they’re resold for $100?
    The conflation of “diehard” with seat availability is simply a lazy concept that has been used for decades. I’ve sat next to many devoted fans three rows from the field and many ignorants in the nosebleeds. I also know a few “diehard” fans who have never made it Yankee Stadium.
    tacky kitsch more appropriate to a theme restaurant
    Because baseball stadiums are home to classic architectural details – like a stuffed man sliding into a keg of beer or the hottub (or aquarium) in the outfield?
    Frankly, that MLB 09 clip is eerily reminiscent of the old place. I wonder how it’s going feel to reconcile the reality with the memory. They seem to have done a fantastic job of making the new familiar. That’s a pretty neat trick to pull off even as they added all the other, big NYC, stuff. That LED is monstrous!

    Rob January 14, 2009, 11:10 am
  • I wonder if the Mets have concerns that Citi Field may be in for a name change sooner rather than later…

    Paul SF January 14, 2009, 11:49 am
  • I think the Metro’s main concern is how to stay out of third place this year.
    Or how to not get duped into overpaying through the nose for Oliver Perez.
    Rob, I’m pretty sure YF was just offering his own personal opinion on the matter, not telling you what you should think.

    Brad January 14, 2009, 12:31 pm
  • Hey, no worries, Brad. I’m certainly telling people here my personal opinion!

    Rob January 14, 2009, 12:58 pm
  • Rob: You’re the one making that “lazy conflation,” not me, but frankly I find your point of view kind of ridiculous. Yes, there are “diehards” in all income brackets; that’s not the point. The bleachers are the inexpensive seats, and by tradition a place where the team’s hardiest and those of lesser means congregate, in good times and bad (remember when we had those?). Those seats are now fewer in number, further from the field, and in some cases obstructed. The whole ticket scalper/broker issue is a non-starter. The Yankees can solve that problem by only selling bleacher tickets at game time, which is how they used to do it. Now, you can argue that they have every right to wring every penny they can out of the stadium, but don’t kid yourself about what they’re doing, and don’t forget that every New Yorker is helping them foot the bill for their fancy new park.

    YF January 14, 2009, 1:27 pm
  • I plainly understood, even then, supply and demand.
    I find this statement funny, for some reason. I have this image of a six year old being presented with a lecture on Keynes by a semi-lunatic parent over a cup of applesauce.

    SF January 14, 2009, 1:56 pm
  • Just because folks live closer to the park, and so can wait in line for bleacher seats, doesn’t make them any more of a fan, in my opinion. You say now that’s not the point, but that was exactly the point that initially annoyed me (“how much the team cares for its most diehard fans” = a clear equating of strength of allegiance with where they sit). If that’s not your point anymore, or ever was, then we don’t have a disagreement.
    Your cynicism is not something I agree with. Great products cost a lot (like an iPhone or Xbox). Just like with those products, the cost is what the market bears. As for fans, if the team had a taken a poll as to whether to sign Sabathia and Teixeira, or drop ticket prices 10-20% across the board, I highly doubt the majority of the millions of fans would have chosen to save $5-10 per ticket (with $50 being an average ticket).
    Meanwhile, I assume your criticism also extends to the Sox and their wringing “every penny” of their stadium? I also assume your criticism of the stadium deal also extends to every other municipality that has helped pay for a new stadium? Cause the cynicism here seems awfully Yankee-centric.
    On a side note, what’s with you guys taking every disagreement personally? I can feel the venom through the screen. It’s nothing personal for me. Why does it seem to be for you?

    Rob January 14, 2009, 2:02 pm
  • I find this statement funny, for some reason.
    It actually came up the first time, probably age 6 or 7, when I asked my Dad why we couldn’t sit closer. I would have launched into a tirade about how I had just spent a week’s salary on one game. Instead, he patiently explained how people are willing to pay more to sit closer and with fewer tickets closer to the field, it makes it tougher to get those seats.

    Rob January 14, 2009, 2:07 pm
  • I think this is an instance where cycnicism and objectivity kind of collide. In a Venn diagram, the overlap would be almost complete.
    “the cost is what the market bears”–and you think my reasoning is lazy? you’re not dealing with a free market. the yankees are controlling the market. and their using public funds to do it. but we’ve been around the block on this now. I think my position is clear.

    YF January 14, 2009, 2:23 pm
  • Meanwhile, I assume your criticism also extends to the Sox and their wringing “every penny” of their stadium?
    Pardon my french, but what the f*ck do the Sox and Fenway have to do with this? If there ever was an example of pure antagonism, this is it.

    SF January 14, 2009, 2:37 pm
  • “I assume your criticism also extends to the Sox and their wringing “every penny” of their stadium?”
    color me impressed with the sox FO for recognizing the current state of economics. the freeze on all ticket prices across the board shows a responsibility to fans.

    sf rod January 14, 2009, 2:38 pm
  • I think this is an instance where cycnicism and objectivity kind of collide. In a Venn diagram, the overlap would be almost complete.
    I don’t know what this means.
    the yankees are controlling the market.
    No, they’re not. As we’re seeing, if they charge too much, folks don’t have to pay. Either they drop prices or they don’t sell out. It will depend on their financial models which scenario they’re more comfortable with. And if they do sell out every game (like in 2008; and now there are fewer tickets to sell – same demand, less supply = increased price), they will have pegged the market perfectly.
    Pardon my french, but what the f*ck do the Sox and Fenway have to do with this?
    Why so quick to take things personally? The point is that these “complaints” are like complaining about the weather. It’s a fact of reality whereas the poster seems to be implying, to my eyes at least, the Yankees are somehow different and so deserve some special contempt.

    Rob January 14, 2009, 3:30 pm
  • It’s not personal. It’s rhetorical. The Sox have nothing to do with this thread.
    The Sox froze prices this offseason. You clearly didn’t know this. Are you familiar with the phrase “hoist by one’s own petard”?

    SF January 14, 2009, 4:01 pm
  • The Sox have nothing to do with this thread.
    What’s the name of this site again? More to the point, I was asking about the principles of the poster. If they have a problem with the Yankees on this count, then surely they have a problem with many other teams and municipalities. Amirite? The Yankees are doing nothing different nor unique.
    The Sox froze prices this offseason.
    Really? I suppose they have a justification for not spending, then, and for diving into the bargain bin. How do their prices compare to the Yankees? Are they cheaper cause they spend less? Or cost more because supply is much smaller? Do they “control the market” too? Or are folks paying a market rate?
    Are you familiar with the phrase “hoist by one’s own petard”?
    Nope, but Google helps. I could never stand the Bard. I have no idea what this means in this context though. Have the Sox not made an concerted effort over the last few years of wringing “every penny” from their ballpark?

    Rob January 14, 2009, 4:29 pm
  • “Really? I suppose they have a justification for not spending, then, and for diving into the bargain bin.”
    sox announced the ticket freeze in november. that was pre yankees spending half a billion dollars and pre “bargain bin”.

    sf rod January 14, 2009, 4:53 pm
  • Baseball is first and foremost a business, but it is also a civic institution, so supply and demand is indeed an oversimplification. This is not the free market because a truly free market would introduce a competitive league with cheaper prices and similar-quality play, etc. Of course, MLB has an anti-trust exemption, granted to it by the public’s representatives, which means every team — regardless of the financing of its stadium, which is more likely than not also paid for substantially by the public — owes something to its fans, not least of which is making its product affordable to those who can least afford to watch it: Families with children and the elderly.
    Unfortunately, baseball teams seem generally to have forgotten this, but it makes good business sense, too: It retains and creates good will among the oldest fans, while allowing for the healthy recruitment of new fans.

    Paul SF January 14, 2009, 7:48 pm
  • funny stuff…rob gets blasted for pointing out the obvious…rob, i don’t always agree with you or like your style, but you get props for crashing the party and peeing in the punchbowl, and you have a keen knack for hitting the nail on the head and tweaking convential thinking…yf, no wonder he labeled you mr. negative…by the way, anyone who doesn’t think the sox get preferential treatment, tax breaks, from the boston/mass politicos is in denial, so stop harping about the yankees requests for what amount to be tax free loans, nothing more…

    dc January 14, 2009, 10:35 pm
  • I’m pretty sure Sox still have the highest average ticket prices in MLB ($48). Something that rarely gets reported.

    AndrewYF January 14, 2009, 10:45 pm
  • “I’m pretty sure Sox still have the highest average ticket prices in MLB ($48). Something that rarely gets reported.”
    Oh, no. That’s pretty well reported.
    And on the subject of who squeezes the fans more, we’re kind of splitting hairs here.

    On a lighter side, I’ve written here before that my wife is in college admissions. Today she read an application to her school from the son of Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jockettey. (He’s above average smart.)
    My favorite story of her’s involving a pro athlete: When she was at Bradley, she got a call one day from former Bulls guard Horace Grant. He asked if his son had been admitted, because he had said that he had been admitted. She checked the records and told him that he had not been admitted (his GPA was something around a 1.7).
    Horace replied. “That’s what I thought.”
    My guess is that young Mr. Grant got a nice beat down that night.
    Stay warm, everyone. And toast a birthday beer to me. today is my Hank Aaron birthday. (44)

    I'mBillMcNeal January 14, 2009, 11:27 pm
  • Happy Birthday, IBM.
    How does one end up with a 1.7? That’s just crazy.

    Brad January 15, 2009, 9:42 am
  • I would say though, the fact that there’s a market on Ebay/stubhub for tickets means that the prices are underpriced. Well, at least for the popular games, I guess.
    I think if you frame it as money going to the Yanks or money going to some middleman, I would choose the former.

    Lar January 15, 2009, 11:03 am
  • “I would say though, the fact that there’s a market on Ebay/stubhub for tickets means that the prices are underpriced. Well, at least for the popular games, I guess.”
    Oh, oh. I feel a “When I lived in Iowa” story coming on …
    Ever heard of Iowa State University? It’s football stadium seats about 40,000 and sellouts are rare. So when ISU hosts Iowa (about 100 miles away) or Nebraska (also about 100 miles away), they jack up the ticket prices by 20 percent because they know those games will be sellouts.
    The NCAA allows it, and I believe other schools do the same thing, but I do not know which ones specifically.
    I think tickets usually are $20/each, $25 for Iowa/Nebraska.
    All other games … well, would YOU pay $25 to see Iowa State play Kansas State because you’ve got nothing better to do on a November Saturday?
    (For the record, I have no problem with this.)
    Anyway, you get the concept. I doubt that would fly in Fenway or The Stadium. But I wonder if it might fly in, say, Pittsburgh or Kansas City, or better yet, Baltimore or Tampa.
    Or if MLB would even allow it.

    I'mBillMcNeal January 15, 2009, 12:01 pm
  • Typepad is messing with me again.
    I made a post to this thread earlier today, then edited it. Now typepad won’t let me past Lar’s post from 11:03 a.m.
    Type pad has done this to me before, and when I’ve added a post, it lets me past.
    By the way, it’s just past noon CST here. the temperature has risen from minus-17 at 8 a.m. to minus-8.

    I'mBillMcNeal January 15, 2009, 1:15 pm
  • Bill, I think I’ve heard of it before in MLB, though my googling skills isn’t too good at the moment, maybe i”ll try again later.
    Okay, here’s an NYT article from 2002:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0CE4D71738F934A15752C1A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
    So it might be outdated, but at least it has been tried before..

    Lar January 15, 2009, 1:48 pm

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