Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sandomir: Cutting Prices Just For the Rich Offends Everyone Else

From Richard Sandomir (hat-tip to
Why not cut more ticket prices at Yankee Stadium, not just the really expensive ones?

The Yankees’ move Tuesday to slash the price of slower-selling premium seats, including the $2,500 perches, and give away others affects a few hundred seats. It was a cosmetic move to quell criticism and put more bodies in front of television cameras.

There are only 100 seats priced for season-ticket plans at $2,500 — and only 55 to 60 have been sold.

The Yankees’ strategy exacerbates the visible divide between fans in exclusive areas and the tens of thousands outside of club access. The Yankees gave discounts to those who can afford $325 to $2,500 tickets for 81 games, but nothing to fans who might have had to stretch family budgets pinched by the recession to pay $50, $75 or $150 a game.

Those fans — many of whom could once afford box seats — deserve something.

There is nothing wrong with treating your highest-paying customers well. Anyone with a full season of $2,500 seats is paying $202,500 this year. That is a real commitment.

But by rewarding only the wealthiest, the Yankees might be inviting some sort of class conflict.

“I won’t predict that this will cause pitchfork riots at the stadium, but it will intensify resentment,” said Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University. “The people getting cut-rate deals are in the position of the bonus-getters from A.I.G. or the banks, and people could say, ‘How come these guys get a privilege when I’ve lost my job?’ ”

While I agree that more than just the most expensive seats should probably have been lowered, and it doesn't look too great to just give breaks to the rick, this is all about supply and demand. The Yankees lowered the prices of tickets that they are having trouble selling. If the Yankees had trouble selling bleacher seats, they'd be $10 bucks right now.


TopofNewYork said...

From my perspective the price of each seat should be relative to the price of the best seats in the house. Of course everyone would love to sit in the first row...and you would think the yankees would try to get the most money they could for those seats relative to their ability to sell all of those best seats and Im probably priced out of those seats and im ok with that
but if nobody is sitting there b/c nobody is buying the best seats I would look like a jerk off paying a high ticket price for a seat in the upper deck. Something is out of wack but at least they are attempting to deal w. it

Anonymous said...

Because the other seats have been sold. This writer is an idiot it is all about Supply and Demand. Alot of those premium seats were not getting sold so of course they have to reduce the prices.

Anonymous said...

But the lower level seats in front of the bleachers for 100 haven't been sold. Neither have the bleacher cafe, audi, or mohegan sun. Some of the main level and terrace haven't been sold. Nobody wants to pay 100 dollars for a bleacher seat with a seat back.

Greg Cohen said...

That's true, Anon. Not sure what their thinking is regarding those seats.

Anonymous said...

very simple , you cut the prices for the seats that arent selling , not the ones that are. WOW a genius concept.

Anonymous said...

My pop says that back in the day you'd go to YS and then you can buy a $12 mezzanine seat or $5 bleacher seat right then. Nowadays, you have to use StubHub or have costly season tickets. The mezzanine seats probably coast at least $200 now, and this organization is drifting farther away from its values. They should have built Yankee Stadium to be more about baseball. No cafes and luxurious restaurants obstructing our views. No $7 hot dogs and soda. I want a cheap, yet classic Yankee experience. He also tells me that back in the day, you can go to two games for the price of one ticket on Sunday doubleheaders.

anonyMOOSE said...

"My pop says that back in the day you'd go to YS and then you can buy a $12 mezzanine seat or $5 bleacher seat right then"

Back in the day, the Yankees barely drew 20,000 to most games. Not to mention that baseball prices across the country are not what they used to be. Times have changed, and they're never going back. Hamburgers used to be 25 cents, soda a nickel. It's not 1970 any more.

As for the price reductions being "insulting" to people who have the "cheap seats", that's asinine. The cheap seats were already subsidized by the high price of the expensive seats.

If they built the place with every seat costing $5, do you think it would be EASIER to get a cheap ticket? Not a chance in hell.