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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lonn Trost, Hal Steinbrenner show the Yankees' real priority: Smashing StubHub

I can't remember a spring training when I was this cynical about the Yankees' prospects for the season. World Series or bust? Really? More like $189M or bust.

That's what happens when you have a disastrous offseason like this one. I mean, really -- what Brian Cashman moves, exactly, excited you this winter? Signing the injury-ridden ex-Boston Red Sox Kevin Youkilis for $12 million, way above what anybody else would pay him? Going with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart as your catchers? Starting spring without a right-handed hitting outfielder?

Then you have Hal Steinbrenner, who is so clueless that he told the Wall Street Journal he was "surprised" to hear of the fans' "anger." Really, Hal? Where have you been, exactly? Oh, I know. You've been worried about the evil StubHub, the real enemy.

I know it's become a cliche to wonder "What would George Steinbrenner do?" when it comes to any new development in Yankeeland, but when the only time you hear the team's co-owner show any passion, it's about smashing StubHub, it's pretty sad. Here's what Hal recently said in a statement about the Yankees moving to Ticketmaster for their new official secondary market venue:
"The Yankees Ticket Exchange will be a safe, convenient, reliable and expedient way to purchase and sell guaranteed authentic Yankees tickets," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that unscrupulous resellers utilize deceptive practices and tactics and employ unofficial websites, all of which give rise to counterfeit tickets."
I'm sorry if I missed this epidemic of counterfeit tickets, especially given that StubHub guarantees all of the tickets they sell. The real issue, of course, is that the Yankees are greedy, and even though they have already gotten paid the first time around for ticket sales, they don't actually want to see a free market when it comes to reselling those tickets. They also don't like it when the secondary market shows the real value of those tickets, which is a lot lower than the Yanks would like to think they are.

Oh, and I have to laugh at the idea of anything connected with Ticketmaster as being fan-friendly. They are the ones who came up with "convenience fees" to print own your tickets. And while the new program's fees for sellers are 5% for season ticket holders, it is 15% for those who are not season ticket holders.

Lonn Trost blames Hurricane Sandy and snowstorm for slow ticket sales

Then there's the Yanks' Lonn Trost, who has made his contempt for those terrible Yankee fans who actually look for deals on tickets abundantly clear. He was recently on Mike Francesa talking his nonsense about ticket speculators, and comparing it the the Securities and Exchange Commission needing to crack down on short sellers.

Trost also claimed that slow ticket sales were due to Hurricane Sandy and the recent snowstorm. Huh? The hurricane was October 29, and Nemo was a typical winter snowstorm when it came to New York City (New England and Long Island was another story.) And there is zero evidence that either of them have had any effect on ticket sales.

If the Steinbrenner kids actually knew anything about business, they would realize that the lower prices on StubHub are not due to the bogeyman of ticket speculators. And counterfeit tickets are not really an issue. The real issue is that this isn't a very interesting, inspiring team right now, the tickets are way overpriced, and the novelty of the new stadium has worn off.

Trost also complained about StubHub being greedy, making 25% on each ticket sold. Strong words from a guy who sells $1300 seats for a baseball game. He also threatened to sue the organization for daring to have an office across the street from the stadium. (Right now, StubHub can still sell Yankees tickets, but fans can no longer print the tickets out on their home computer. The office would allow them to get hard copies of the tickets at their location.)

At any rate, after seeing what the Yankees choose to focus on, why should I be excited about this season? What is the team motto for 2013? Another year older and even more injury-ridden? You'll pay more for tickets and you'll like it? Good grief.

1 comment:

Uncle Mike said...

"Good grief"? From the "Snoopy Dance" lady? Maybe you should start calling Yankee brass "You blockhead!"

Five cents, please.