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!