"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Say No Go

Another season ticket holder horror story.  This one is from Jay Jaffe and she ain’t pretty.

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1 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Feb 24, 2009 2:44 pm

I, too, will be declining my reassigned seats. After having had a 15-game Sunday package in Sec 37, the farthest right-field part of the bleachers, for the last six seasons, I was offered seats in Sec 409, the equivalent of the old Tier Reserve, out near the RF foul pole. Those seats cost twice as much as my old ones and the new Sunday package no longer includes Opening Day or Old Timers' Day (both having been replaced by random mid-week games my wife would be unlikely to be able to attend). Also, as Jay points out, those seats are set much further back from the field than the equivalent seats in the old park.

I saw this coming last summer, but I'm no less infuriated.

Neil deMause has a new piece up at the Voice about where all of our tickets may have gone:

. . . cruise over to StubHub, where thousands of seats are up for grabs for this season's Yankees and Mets games — and that's before either team's miniplan holders have gotten their hands on their ducats, let alone single-game tickets gone on sale. That can only mean one of two things: Either scalpers have gobbled up all the season ticket plans in hopes of making a killing (in which case, you'd think they'd try to do better than $10 for bleacher seats to a game against the A.L. Champion Rays), or formerly well-heeled fans are dumping tickets to less-desirable games on the market like crazy to try to recoup some of their five-figure investments.

2 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 24, 2009 3:07 pm

As I mentioned in the previous thread, not only did a receive a relocation for my 15-game Friday plan (with 2 random dates), but the seat is in a comparable location (behind homeplate in what was the tier reserve MVP) and is actually CHEAPER.

Obviously, my good fortune colors my opinion here, but I don't think getting the seats you want amounts to "an outrage, a disgrace, a catastrophe on the level," as Jaffe writes. I know lots of people who gladly take Jaffe's seats, so his take strikes me as an exaggeration based on his disappointment.

I can understand outrage from long-time ticket holders who were bumped altogether, but it strikes me as hollow for those who simply do not like their seat location.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Feb 24, 2009 3:21 pm

Jay's outrage is always exaggerated, but it's purposefully so. I, for one, recognize that my complaint is small-potatoes, but that doesn' t mean I should have to pay twice what I had been paying for the privilege of losing two featured games and sitting three stories and a few hundred feet further away from the field.

There are far worst stories than mine and Jays out there. Stories of people who have had box seats for generations who were asked to pay millions of dollars for a five-year commitment. If anyone has a relocation story to share here, regardless of the severity, please do.

4 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 24, 2009 3:28 pm

[2] BTW...my apologies for a post that was as poorly written as the Yankees' letter to season ticket holders.

5 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 24, 2009 3:35 pm

One more point: I also take objection to the following statement by Jaffe: "A chorus four million fans strong should be shouting four- and twelve-letter words at Yankee president Randy Levine and every incompetent front-office numbskull who played a role in this fiasco. A pox on the House that George Built."

I know it's fun to bash Randy Levine, but he has had a major hand in the Yankees economic success. So, if that chorus of fans wants to curse him, I hope they wont be the same ones screaming for the next Sabathia AND Teixiera...and wont complain if the Yankees decide to cut $75mn from the payroll.

6 ny2ca2dc   ~  Feb 24, 2009 3:36 pm

Maybe I'm being insensitive, but the sense of entitlement I read from Jay's piece is really something. If he's being intentionally dramatic, I think that just hurts his credibility. I'm really not shedding any tears that they weren't able to accommodate his changing requirements and still get him great seats. So he wants cheaper seats and not a worse view. How now?

I think the Yankees did a bad job with the whole seating thing, but at first blush my approach would've been to just allow a free for all - No relocation stuff, just open up the bidding/purchasing to all comers. The whole process as they've done it seems doomed to failure from the outset. Why should people with existing season tickets have priority anyway? Smells like a problem analogous to rent control to me.

7 Bum Rush   ~  Feb 24, 2009 3:51 pm

No relocation stuff, just open up the bidding/purchasing to all comers.

I think bidding is a great idea. Let the market decide the cost of seats. I think we're headed this direction any ways, given the profits of StubHub that MLB is salivating over. Still, we're a few years away from this happening with season ticket plans. But, if nothing else, if would be damn efficient, and there would be no blame to heap on the Yankees. Heck, run like the Dutch auction that Google used to sell their first round of stocks.

@ 1 and 2

We're still waiting on a Saturday assignment. Damn, what gives?

8 Start Spreading the News   ~  Feb 24, 2009 3:56 pm

[6] You read Jay's piece and you see his "sense of entitlement." Funny, I read that piece and I see a pissed off fan venting some steam. Nothing more.

But if you want to talk about entitlement, how about baseball teams that are trying to maximize profit when they are given a monopoly over the sport. As long as baseball is given an anti-trust exemption, they *owe* it to the tax payers to make tickets affordable.

If they want to maximize their profit, then give up their anti-trust exemption and act like a real business.

9 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 24, 2009 4:24 pm

[7] So am I, and growing rapidly impatient.

10 Bum Rush   ~  Feb 24, 2009 4:32 pm


Hopefully that indicates they just haven't gotten to Saturday yet? And here I thought Sundays had the higher ticket plan rate. If they've already done Friday and Sunday, as indicated above, I'm going to wildly guess that Saturday is the big chunk left.

Based on those prices for some games on Stubhub, I'm starting to think I should just pick up a few games there and call it a season.

With all these spurned fans though, we should have just put together 6 to 8 people here and bought a full-season plan. The money would have been the same and we would have been treated better by the team. The logistics are a nightmare, but it's at least a tractable one, unlike the current process.

11 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 24, 2009 4:36 pm

I have a good friend that has had season tickets in his family for years and years. Two years ago, they cost $175 a ticket. To him, that was already a strain, so he used them sparingly, selling them or saving them for clients.Last year at $350 a seat, he sold all of them. This year $2,500 a seat, plus 10 percent down for the next 10 years. Needless to say, he will not be renewing.

Another friend, asked for an upgrade, got great seats for not much more than he already pays. So, who knows.

Jaffe is emotional, but he echoes what a lot of us feel, which is that the Yankees are not doing right by their consumers. A Yankee game is no longer a family outing. It's a corporate event. They are becoming a luxury commodity and that is antithetical to baseball's humble roots.

12 Bum Rush   ~  Feb 24, 2009 4:37 pm

The Lohud thread of the press release has some more anecdotes. Some say they previously had a Saturday plan and were offered a mid-week plan instead. I have no idea what's going on. Maybe it's service time - we only had our seats for two seasons.

13 jen   ~  Feb 24, 2009 4:48 pm

The more stories I hear, the more grateful I am. I had the 61-game plan in Sec. 39. They bumped me up to a full season in Sec. 202, which is only one section over from where my seats were in the old stadium. Plus I'm a few rows closer to the field now.

There's no way I can make all of the games, or even as many as I did last year. So if I have any extras I'll be sure to offer them up here.

14 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 24, 2009 4:49 pm

my buddy, whose name our plan is in, called the ticket office on Friday. We have a Saturday plan in the Bleachers with a 2007 seniority, according to the agent our account showed a shipping charge so our offer should arrive in the mail sometime this week. This whole thing gives me entirely too much agita.

15 ChrisS   ~  Feb 24, 2009 4:58 pm

Well, it's the process. I can't say that I don't feel any pain for long-time season ticket holders, but NYC is a well-populated and expensive place to live, and paying a lot for baseball tickets is part of that.

The Yankees don't give a rat's ass about me, why should they care about anyone else who gives them a modest amount more than I do? I'm sure there are luxury box owners who are pissed that they're being shuffled down the hall from their prime spots because some hedge fund is willing to pony up the cash for the spot. It's business and it sucks, but if you're not rich you ain't shit in this world - especially in NYC.

I go to AAA games - $8/game and great seats. Last year while watching IPK pitch, I sat two rows in front of Mark Melancon.

16 randym77   ~  Feb 24, 2009 5:03 pm

[1] My guess is fans are dumping tickets. Fortune had an article last week that mentioned that the Yankees were having trouble selling tickets. They've hired a realty firm to try and move unsold tickets.

And on a completely unrelated note...anyone see the Deadspin story about Andy Phillips and the porn star? I'm not sure what's weirder, the idea that choir boy Andy Phillips would hang out with a porn star or that an impersonator would pretend to be Andy Phillips, of all people.

17 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 24, 2009 5:32 pm

From the title of the post, I thought Alex was going for some blue-eyed soul of (Mel) Hall and (Johnny) Oates ...

I've taken the liberty of reworking their lyrics for the purposes of this discussion

20, 50, 80, 3 large dimes,
Where does it stop,
where do you dare me
to draw the line.

You've got the wallet,
now you want my soul,
Don't even think about it,
say no go.

Yeah, I-- I'll pay anything
that you want me to do, yeah
And I'll pay almost anything,
that you want me too, yeah,

But I can't pay all that, (No, no can do)
No, I can't pay all that, (No, no can do)
Oh, I can't pay all that, (No, no can do)

I can't pay all that,
can't pay all that,
can't pay all that,
can't pay all that.

I can go paying twice as much,
I can go for much worse seating
and views as such.
Use my wallet,
now you want my soul,
Ooh, forget about it,
now say no go.

I-- I'll pay anything
that you want me to do,
And I'll pay almost anything
that you want me to do,

But I can't pay all that, (No, no can do)
No, I can't pay all that, (No, no can do)
Oh, I can't pay all that, (No, no can do)

I can't pay all that,
can't pay all that,
can't pay all that,
can't pay all that.

(etc etc) :-)

18 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 24, 2009 6:16 pm

Uhm, is this really a Stalin-level atrocity?

19 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 24, 2009 6:27 pm

[18] That might have been an overstatement.

I'm gonna give a shout-out to my HD TV this season, even if I have to put up with blowhard Michael Kay for nearly 162 games.

20 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 24, 2009 6:41 pm

Also, I kind of like the new seats

21 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 24, 2009 8:34 pm

[11] I havn't been to the Stadium for years so forgive me for being dense here..when you say "$2500 a seat", how many games is this for?

Hard to believe that I used to buy Upper Deck tkts on the day for $12, then sneak into the box seats to watch Alvaro Espinoza ground out weakly..

22 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Feb 24, 2009 8:34 pm

Diane, did you play the video? De La Soul samples Hall & Oates (great work there, as the opening bass line in that song was begging to be sampled).

23 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 24, 2009 8:59 pm

[21] One.

My dad and I sat in the equivalent seats in the old stadium last year, right behind home plate, and as amazing as it was (a long overdue gift for my dad), I would have never shelled out $2500/seat.

I wonder how long it will be before those seats are on StubHub at a fraction of the cost.

24 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 24, 2009 9:13 pm

[23] umm..ONE game?? I know it's been a while but..wouldn't that exceed by far even courtside Knicks tickets? Who would seriously pay $2500 for ONE baseball game?

25 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 24, 2009 9:58 pm

[24] People who want other people to know that they can afford to sit in $2,500 seats. This time last year, there probably a lot of those people around. For the Yankees sake, I hope enough remain to sell them out.

26 PJ   ~  Feb 25, 2009 2:00 am

Either be there, or not. Simple, isn't it? I live in Tennessee... like I can regularly go to New York Yankee games...

You think those are tough ticket stories? Try getting into The Masters from year to year even if only for Monday or Tuesday practice rounds, or Wednesday for the Par 3 event! Just the privilege to purchase those tickets for ONE of those three days, and up to a maximum of four per household, may take years. And you can simply forget about purchasing a weekly badge for the "toornament" from the Masters Tournament Committee. That list is permanently closed. And I haven't even mentioned the gouging that's citywide, which exceeds the type of gouging Major League cities do whenever the Yankees come to town. $350-$500 per night in a Red Roof Inn really isn't my cup of tea! Even if you're fortunate enough to get some corporate "connection" to slip you a badge for the week, be prepared to drop $3-5K for accommodations and another $2,500-$10K and up for your laundry list of friends that want swag from Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters. And how would you feel if some obscure foreigner won out of nowhere, say... Trevor Immelman? They don’t call them the “toughest tickets in all of sports” for nothing!


Do what my wife and I do. Get your Gameday Audio for the computer for $15 from MLB, and the EI package from your cable or satellite provider for “a buck fitty”, and see all of the close-ups and replays and emotion (or lack thereof) and sweat dripping from the players' faces, and listen to Paulie and Coney and the rest of the gang and laugh at them from day to day! You can even TIVO the games and pre and post game shows for your own convenient perusal. Even with the new stadium, your food at home, your theater seating, and your big screen receiver is better... way better. At least mine is…

We also go to Tampa for at least two weeks every March for golf, fun, sun, and Yankees... but I digress. We have never had a problem getting seats for ST games, and we get to see more players, practice, drills, cutting up and such and no celebrities feebly attempting to be a story due to their mere presence!

Honestly, some folks only see a foul pole and not the big picture! At least you'll know whether or not the ball is really fair or foul, if you're right there. Who knows? You might even catch a home run! Jaffe would more than likely get conked in the head filling out his scorecard anyway... or miss it all together while taking a leak…

Does he even own a glove?


27 Jay Jaffe   ~  Feb 25, 2009 1:34 pm

[3] "Jay's outrage is always exaggerated"? always exaggerated? Why I oughtta rip off your neck and stuff Cracker Jacks down your head-hole, Cliff. ;-)

[26] You got something against scorecards? I oughtta rip...

Seriously, I agree with much of what you say. I already get the Extra Innings package and the Gameday Audio package - the amount of baseball I take in overall won't suffer; it's the number of times I get to the ballpark to enjoy the game in person that will. I love spring training and have done it a few times (Florida and Arizona), though work scheduling prevents me from doing so these days. But I never liked sitting in the outfield, in part because even with contacts or glasses, my vision is for sh*t, and I simply can't follow the game as well as I can when I'm looking out from the other direction. I do own a glove, thanks, though the only time I've taken it to a ballpark (Wrigley Field, 1999) i felt like a pretty big dork, and the number of Old Style beers I consumed would have made any attempt to catch a home run ball a hazard to my health and those around me, particularly given my lack of ability to track flyballs in the first place. IOW, there's a reason I wasn't the Futility Outfielder...

28 PJ   ~  Feb 25, 2009 7:15 pm

[27] Thanks for replying, Jay!

Nobody said the transition to the new stadium would be easy or perfect or seamless, especially given 1) the economy, 2) the total cost of recent FA acquisitions, and 3) the significantly smaller number of seats. Hell, we should be thankful if it will actually be completely finished on time! They are simply trying to maximize their revenue stream with respect to attendance and really only the heavy hitters who have been with the Steinbrenners from day one, or the folks who have been with the Yankees the longest with the largest packages over the years, as well as the new corporate entities involved, are blessed with the luxury of the first choices. The rest of we mere mortals get the leavings. I'm sorry to add that a ten-year commitment for a package of 15 games is insignificant now, at least in terms of maximizing revenue. In fact, it would probably take at least two generations for you to enjoy another season like your magical first one and you would have to not only live that long, but spend millions in order to see something like that again.

A new stadium represents a new paradigm, like it or not. It's the way of the world and has been for quite a while. I wouldn't blame the Yankees per se, as much as I would blame the corporate slime they hired to determine the new ticket plan packages and how they would be implemented. It seems to me that from the form sent out by them that you posted, it may be from some outsourced place where English isn't the first language, like Dallas, TX! If that were indeed true, that’s a "Bronx Bummer"! In George’s day, that grammatically challenged employee would have already filed for unemployment by now.

Ultimately, every one of us saw this coming. If you didn't, you simply haven't been paying attention to where other new venues have been recently brought online. Thank God the Yankees reload every year so they won't suffer too many empty seats the way other teams have with their new buildings. To me it’s worthless for a MLB organization valued at hundreds of millions to have a new park, yet they don’t provide a worthy enough team to warrant enough interest to justify the inflated ticket prices paying for it. Nobody wants to pay more for the same old crap in a new package. That's part of the change we all are desperate for. I think there are enough Yankees fans still traveling to New York for mere trips for the pilgrimage, that it could still prove to be recession proof. I could be wrong about that though, especially if they stink like they did last year. That new concessions venture with the Cowboys had better blow folks away to justify these incredible prices, to be sure. More will be revealed with respect to that.

I'm positive that you can get into a few games this year without taking out a loan, not that we could get one of those these days anyway! (lol) While they may not be the perfect seats, or the perfect game, at least you'll get in there, and you know as well as the rest of us that you never know what you're going to get any given night wherever our Yankees call home. It took my wife and me more than 40 years of fanaticism to make it to Yankee Stadium for our first and only game, and it was the announcement of the new stadium that hastened obtaining these checks on our bucket lists. I simply would not allow my wife or me to pass away without experiencing what we have seen and heard everyone wax rhetoric about for much longer than we’ve lived! This is because other than seeing the Yankees play the Marlins in Miami during the first Interleague Series, the only other place I’ve seen a regular season Yankees game was at Fenway Park way back when I was six and there was no such thing as a FA and the only Interleague games were the World Series. We upgraded our friend’s season tickets and sat right behind home plate on the aisle in the back of the lower deck (120A), but our luck for things like this is historically so bad, we not only saw the Yankees lose a blowout to Baltimore that evening, but Daniel Cabrera had a no hitter going until Robbie Cano rapped single to break it up with one out in the bottom of the ninth! You know the game... And Darrell friggen Rasner, who got a whopping 20.1 innings in '06, was the last minute starter by Joe Torre! Thanks Joe for making my lone game at The House that Ruth Built unforgettable! At least I know where to find it online and everyone remembers that crapfest of a game from Hell! I just don’t know how to post a link here. PJ hangs his head in shame...


And so you know, as far as "to glove or not to glove", it all depends on where you sit, but in my humble opinion, you would look like a bigger dork “catching” a HR ball with your forehead, or breaking a finger or three and not getting the ball, than bringing it along "just in case"! Besides, I never took you for a celebrity, whose primary concerns while attending a Yankee game are how you look, and where you are while looking like that.

Finally, there is absolutely nothing at all the matter with keeping score. Just make sure it's not your priority while enjoying the game. If keeping score is your priority at a Yankees home game, you should get a job that pays you for doing that. Then you get into all of the games for free without an obstructed view…


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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver