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Thursday, January 15, 2009

These Yankee ticket prices are insane!

With the granite ramps, the steakhouse, and the martini bar at the new Yankee Stadium, the Bombers have targeted the new park at people who make a heck of a lot more money than most of us fans do. But a funny thing happened on the way to completing the new forum.

Not only have the Yankees had cost overruns on the new park, and are now asking the city for more tax-free bonds to complete construction, but even the team's prime target market these days - rich people - aren't snapping up spots at the new stadium as quickly as expected.

Some of the new stadium's luxury boxes and premium seats are still unsold - 7 out of 59 suites, and 1,000 out of 4,000 seats, according to the Yankees. So the Bombers have hired real estate firm Prudential Douglas Elliman to sell the stadium's "real estate."

Neil Sroka, president of Douglas Elliman Worldwide Consulting, describes buying a 20-seat package at $7,000 a person as "obtainable." He tells the New York Times:
"In this economic time, people are still looking for things to take their children or grandchildren to."
Let's do the math here. At those prices - $350 a seat - going to just one game with four people will cost $1400. A 20-game plan will cost $28,000 for a family of four. Exactly what family does Sroka think these sort of numbers are "obtainable" for - Brangelina's?

And keep in mind and these are the so-called cheapest prices for the premium seats - they go up to $2,000 a game. What a deal!

I'm also wondering if there are even fewer premium seats and suites sold than the Yanks are owning up to. Remember, Yankee chief operating officer Lonn Trost told the Associated Press back in November that there were seven luxury suites available then. He said in August that there were only 800 premium seats available. Yet as of today, there are 1,000 premium seats available - 200 more than previously mentioned, and there are still those seven unsold suites. Very interesting.

Maybe it's because that even for luxury items, these ticket prices are insane. To put the cost in perpective, you can have the Omakase at Masa for $400 a person, or the Chef's Tasting Menu at Thomas Keller's restaurant Per Se for "only" $275 a person (gratuity included.) Heck, even the exclusive Four Seasons restaurant is now doing a $59, three-course prix fixe meal.

As for Broadway prices, while Jersey Boys has premium seats at $350, most shows' best seats are a lot cheaper than that.

And here's the flaw in the Yankees' thinking on these seats. If you spent that sort of money on one of the legendary meals I listed, or at a hot Broadway show, you might have something to talk about for years. But are the teak armrests, concierge service, and great views really worth sending $350 to $2,000 a person to see, say, a Yankees-Mariners game? Or is it even worth it for Yankees-Mets or Yankees-Red Sox? I don't think so.

But what do you think? Leave us a comment!

13 comments:

The Emperor said...

Lisa, are you beginning to wonder if the Yankees made a mistake with this new ballpark? Who the hell can afford the prices you mentioned?

I really want a change to go. Now I hope I can afford a cheap enough seat that's within my budget.

"Nutball Gazette" said...

I remember in 1976 going to a Twi-Night Doubleheader vs the O's
I got 3 tickets at the box office sitting behind the plate about 15 rows off the field for $6.00 a ticket. I heard in 1996 they were $25.00 a ticket, but for them to be going for $2000.00 to $2500.00 a ticket is just unjustified. There is just not that much money around these days, All teams are going to be hurting, including the Yankees.
I really can see in all the sports seeing teams folding in the next couple of years if the economy remains so bad.

Anonymous said...

So dare I ask, in these difficult economic times should we citizens of NYS and NYC pay for more tax-exempt financing for a team that the average (a person making less than $40k and don't have friends on Wall Street with connections)
for our beloved team's $10M scoreboard and Hard Rock Cafe?

Eeeyah, the Babe must be spinning in his grave....

NAM said...

Wow, that is staggering. How can anyone afford that? It is a sad day when it is more affordable to buy a 50" t.v. and pay for the baseball package than it is to go to 4 baseball games. Why can't we just sit on bleachers and enjoy the game. This is insane. And I don't mean that as a blast just to the Yankees. Any team that thought they could get away with it would do the same.

The Emperor said...

If the ticket and concession prices were consumer-friendly to the average working person, I'd be more than happy to pay my share into helping the Yankees in any way possible, but in return I want to be afforded the opportunity to see my team perform within a reasonable budget.

The Emperor said...

I agree, Nam.

Anonymous said...

the tickets at citi will be more expensive as well, so I can't pick on the yankees too much here...but they did just committ $430 million to 3 players, didn't they? money's gotta come from somewhere, and to be fair, yankee fans are very demanding, it costs money to be successful.

on a side note, Per Se is worth every penny for anyone who is into event dining. The Four Seasons, not so much, it is more the idea of what the four seasons represents than the quality of the dining experience itself. haven't tried masa's as the wife is not into exotic japanese food, but have heard great things. for a similiar experience, though not as exclusive, try Morimoto's omikase, at $120 a person it is worth a try!

Uncle Mike said...

<< Exactly what family does Sroka think these sort of numbers are "obtainable" for - Brangelina's? >>

You mock, Lisa, but I once saw Brad Pitt and adopted son Maddox at a Yankee game in September 2007. Sadly, there was no sign of Angelina Jolie.

As for restaurants, somebody once said New York has the worst expensive meals and the best cheap meals. Righteous Urban Barbecue on 23rd Street has terrific meals for under 20 bucks. And, until this past August, the Yankees had never lost when I ate there. Sadly, that streak ended at four games. But I still recommend the place tremendously, and not just for the food: They got a big honkin' screen there.

Anonymous: I'm not sure the Babe could afford those seats, though, despite being dead for 60 years, once again, he had a better year than the President.

Actually, he probably could. After all, Joe DiMaggio once said that, with what was being paid to today's players (this was in the early 1980s), he'd say to Steinbrenner, "George, you and I are going to be partners."

John said...

Hi Lisa, Great Blog, I have been saying that all along. How can the average person on an average salary take his family to a Sat ballgame ?? Glad to see your doing well Lisa. This is Johnny D, from your old Terhune block... :)

John2008nj@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

The upper level seats are $20 or $25 and that's how I will afford my partial season ticket plans this year. Actually I'm paying less than I did last year...seats were $25 and $29 for the two plans that I had.

The majority of the seats on the lower levels will be a $100 or less with the exception of the exclusive
$2,500 and a few other areas that will sell for more than $100.

Where my seats will be located is a different story as last year I had one plan in Tier 3 and the other in Tier 19. I certainly don't expect that to be the case this year tho'..I just have to wait and see ..hopefully I'll find out by the end of the month. At least I'm in the place .. :o)

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

The Emperor said...

Oh! Well, in that case I will be attending several games this year! $20 - $30 bucks? That's a lot more like it!

The Emperor said...

When do single game tickets go on sale?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure when single tickets will go on sale but I believe I will hear about my plans before they do. I was told I should hear something the end of January or beginning of February due to relocations with the new seating.

I'm anxiously awaiting to hear ..I have the Sunday and the Weeknight plans.

Go Yankees 2009 !!!