Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rant #3: The "New" Yankee Stadium

Everyone that knows me knows that I am a died-in-the-wool Yankee fan, and have stuck with them through thick and thin for the past more than 40 years. I will defend them to the death, and even though the team stinks right now, there is nothing like the Yankees in the pantheon of American sports.

However, their new stadium, and the policies that govern that stadium, stink worse than a week old bologna sandwich.

Why they even needed such a stadium with the cathedral that they already had is an argument for another time, but now that they have a new stadium, it seems to have been doomed from the get go.

The latest snafu it has found itself in is tickets and their pricing policy. I am not going to get into the prices for the field level seats, because those are seats that I will never sit in, not at more than $1,000 a pop (down from more than $2,000 each!).

What I need to vent about are the upper-level seats, commonly referred to as the 'nose bleed seats." The Yankees will tell you that these seats are available on an affordable basis, but the fact of that matter is that you can't get the cheaper prices unless you come to the stadium without a ticket, park in their over-priced garages, and see if the cheaper tickets are available on the day of the game. If there is nothing available, you have wasted your time and money.

Also, most of these "affordable" seats are available during the week, and sorry, I work so I can't take my family to those games. My wife works too, and of course, the kids go to school.

After prodding from my son, I did get tickets to a game in July, and yes, not only did I pay through the nose (and don't get me started on taxes, handling, and the other fees they put on these things), but I had to get the tickets through a secondary source (once known as a scalper). And yes, I paid more for the tickets than their original price.

I think the Yankees (and to a lesser extent, the Mets with their new stadium) have done a disservice to the real fans, the ones who have been with the team for years and who are the real baseball fans, not corporate types who feel being seen at a game is paramount to going to a board meeting--when it's time, they get up and leave.

This might be the final time I go to a Yankee game, so the four of us should savor that game.

(By the way, when we are on vacation in Florida, we are taking in a Tampa Bay Rays game. I paid about half of what I paid for the Yankee tickets for these tickets, and we will be much further down than in Yankee Stadium.)

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