Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Randy Levine sez Yankees are 'sensitive to the economy'

Do you think that the new Yankee Stadium is having problems selling luxury tickets? You are sorely mistaken, buster. Yankee president Randy Levine, aka the Wizard, says everything is just fine, and tells us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Levine told Newsday's Neil Best (hat tip to Was Watching):
"We've done extraordinarily well in all of the premium seats, over 80 percent. I believe the stadium will be sold out [tomorrow]. I think we're doing great. We're sensitive to the economy. We've taken steps to be sensitive to the economy, letting people stretch payment plans and things along those lines.
I have so many issues with this statement, I'll have to do a little bullet point list to name them all:
  • He acts like it's a big accomplishment if the Stadium gets sold out on Opening Day. (Chris Rock voice) You're supposed to be sold out on Opening Day. What do you want, a cookie?
  • If they have "done extraordinarily well" with the premium seats, then why have there been so many ads pushing the "between the bases" luxury experience?
  • Stretching payment plans to infinity and beyond still won't make these seats affordable.
  • If you're really "sensitive to the economy," perhaps you should rethink the Stadium's whole Titanic effect.
There has been a lot of grumbling about the new Yankee Stadium, even among Yankee fans.

While Jennie, one of our longtime readers, called the New Yankee Stadium "awesome," and raved about it, a lot of Yankee blogs, like New Stadium Insider, Scott Proctor's Arm, River Avenue Blues, Bronx Banter, and YFSF, have criticized everything from the security to the views to the sense of exclusivity in the new ballpark.

Since I haven't been to the new ballpark yet - Squawker Jon and I are going on the 20th - I can't offer first-hand opinions on Yankee Stadium. However, while some sports radio callers griped about the new Mets home, we were both very impressed by Citi Field, especially the food - it was terrific fare, at reasonable prices for a stadium, and everybody had access to buying most of it.

After Squawker Jon and I both raved about Citi's fabulous food, we got a personal thank-you note from the folks at Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group. How refreshing is that?

On the other hand, in the new Yankee Stadium, it appears that most of the decent food is in one of the private clubs where you have to spend top dollar on tickets to even get into the door.

Heck, you aren't allowed to even watch batting practice from the field level unless you have one of those top-dollar seats. Peter Abraham noticed some more of the Titanic effect:

While it's part of modern baseball to provide exclusivity to patrons willing to spend large sums of money, do the Yankees really need so many areas where the average fan isn't allowed? In some cases, they rub your nose in it with huge windows showing you what's inside as you walk by.

The organization defends the exclusivity by saying fans paying the high prices make it possible for the team to offer tickets for $22 and $29 in the grandstand. But those seats are scaled further back from the field than the "cheap seats" at the old Stadium.

But hey, Randy Levine says the Yankee organization is "sensitive to the economy." Isn't that good to know?

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Uncle Mike said...

If the Yankee organization -- not easy for even me to root for -- were truly sensitive to the economy, it wouldn't be pushing longtime season-ticket holders into ST plans that prevent them from going, i.e. the weekenders who now have plans for midweek games against their wishes. For crying out loud, if you can't even do the right thing for people who CAN afford it...

The only Danny Meyer I know was a first baseman with the expansion Seattle Mariners in the late 1970s, with a little pop in his bat, but was moved to the outfield and then to third base as Bruce Bochte proved a better player.

Then again, he started with the Detroit Tigers and briefly had Rusty Staub as a teammate, maybe he picked up some cooking tips. Maybe he learned how to properly prepare Duck a l'(Grand) Orange.

Ryan O said...

I heard Mets fans complaining about Citi on the radio as well as Yankee fans complaining about the difference between their seats this year and last year.

I hate listening to people complain, if you dont like it...DON'T GO. The loudest noise a fan can make is a quiet stadium. (wow deep right?).

In other news i renewed my Mets tickets ONLY because of the new stadium. 1st year of a mortgage sucks!

I will let you know what I think, my first game is tonight.

Anonymous said...

I think the Yankees, while never able to satisy everyone, did right by their fans in attempting to give access to the stadium FOR THE GAME, at almost every price point. They could very easily have made the bleachers 50 a pop and never looked back.

Anonymous said...

There's plenty of different foods at the Stadium ..accessible to all so I don't know what that is all about that it's only for the chosen few? I've been to the Stadium and it's amazing. I have Grandstand seats and the view was really nice ...much to my surprise after hearing so much griping. People just love to complain which is pretty sad. The only thing I would have preferred is that the retired numbers were visible instead of behind the centerfield wall. Everything else was really a pleasure and the workers were pleasant and very helpful. I don't know how long it will last but while I was there it seemed the Stadium was competing with Disney World for the happiest place on earth. In the end ...the best thing about the Stadium will be the Yankees and hopefully a 27th World Championship.

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Lisa Swan said...

I disagree that the Stadium "could very easily have made the bleachers 50 a pop and never looked back."

Give them another season - I won't be surprised if they try that for next year!

"Nutball Gazette" said...

If the Yankees do not make the playoffs and win at least one round and if the economy continues to worsen They will have trouble selling many tickets for the 2010 season and beyond.

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