Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lonn Trost remembers the little people - with $399 bleacher seats

Got a few thousand bucks burning a hole in your bucket? It's your lucky day! Lonn Trost, still licking his wounds from the $2600 seats debacle, and Steiner Sports announced the latest thing Yankee fans are being pushed to spend money on - overpriced seats, grass and dirt from the new Stadium.

According to USA Today:

Yankees Steiner Collectibles is "concerned" about how the economic recession will impact sales, said Brandon Steiner, chief executive of Steiner Sports. "We have to be careful on the prices. We're not going to stick some insane prices in people's faces," he said.

At the low end, there will be items under a few hundred dollars such as the Monument Park bricks, seatbacks and bleachers seats the "Average Joe" will be able to buy, he said.

Um, Brandon, charging $399 for a bleacher seat is an insane price. So is selling an inch of freeze-dried grass for $80. Not to mention that when the city had a sale a few years ago of Stadium seats, three of them went for $1500 (I remember because I ordered the seats for my brother, who was in Iraq at the time.) Now, these same seats are $750 a piece.

You can also bid on the chance to win Jeffrey Maier's seat at Yankee Stadium. This idea is just so wrong on so many levels. First off, Maier wasn't even sitting when he interfered with Tony Tarasco - remember, he ran up against the right field wall.

Second, there were six World Championships in the post-1973 Stadium, with a heck of a lot more memorable moments than the Maier oddity. Not to mention all the famous home run balls landing in those seats, and all the celebrities who watched a game at the Stadium over the years.

And the one individual seat you can buy that commemorates a specific event is where a 12-year-old kid sat in 1996 before he left his seat to interfere with a game? Good grief.

Announcing yet another money grab for the Yanks wasn't even the more odious thing Trost did today. Get this - when asked if the Yankees would change their policy of not allowing fans near field level for batting practice, the way most teams do, Trost said no:

"There's an area by the Legends Suite which is not an area that fans can get into," Trost said. "If you purchase a suite, do you want somebody in your suite? If you purchase a home, do you want somebody in your home?"

My thoughts:

* What an inadvertently telling observation on Trost's part, that no "fans" have seats in the luxury seating area.

* Since when did a seat become a suite? Last time I checked, those seats may be plush, with teak armrests and all, but they don't have walls or roofs. Thanks for playing, Lonn.

* If somebody is purchasing a home by buying Yankee tickets, do they get to do what they want with the property? Or sell their own advertising on the seats? How about sleeping there? After all, it's their home!

* How many of the rich people are actually in their seats during batting practice, anyway? Two?

* And the Yanks aren't just banning fans from the rich people's area - you can't even watch batting practice from the first row of seats in the outfield unless they're your seats. Ridiculous.

* Somehow, virtually every other team has figured out a way to let the fans be close to the field during batting practice, and still send them back to their seats before the game. And some of them even have - shocker - regular autograph sessions featuring their players. Imagine that.

Granted, even if fans were allowed to be somewhere in the field section, the chances are pretty slim that fans would actually get an autograph at a Yankee game. I've been going to games since the 1970s, and I got very few autographs of Bomber players. What I used to do instead is go to the visitors' side and ask them for autographs instead. Much better odds. At any rate, it's still fun to see the players interact. But only the rich people get to see that up close and personal now.

At any rate, it's amazing how Lonn Trost still has a job, after so mismanaging the new Stadium, on everything from the dimensions to the pricing to customer service. It's mind-boggling.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Ryan O said...

Yanks fans should start a Bolshevik Revolution on account of this Lonn Trost

Every Possible Mistake said...

It is shocking how tone deaf the Yankees are - EVERY time they turn around, they step in it again. Almost enough to make me feel some sympathy for the Yankees fans.

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