Monday, June 23, 2014

The Half-Empty Bowl

Perhaps now the Silver Spoon Twins will finally get it.  Perhaps now - in the fifth season of their residency at the "new" Yankee Stadium - the Brothers Steinbrenner finally will open their eyes to what the rest of the world has known for these past four-plus seasons:  the ticket prices at the Stadium are far too high.  This is why far more often than not Yankee fans attend games at the Stadium dressed as empty seats - particuarly in the Stadium's lower bowl in and around home plate.  

Saturday and Sunday the Yankees had "special" days at the Stadium.  Prior to the game Saturday afternoon, the Yankees honored Constantino Martinez with a plaque in Monument Park.  Setting aside for a moment whether Tino Martinez - who was one of my favorite of Joe Torre's Yankees - is in fact "plaque-worthy" (to paraphrase Elaine Benes), one would have expected that tickets for that event would have sold out well in advance of Saturday.  

Similarly, yesterday was Old-Timers Day at the Stadium.  Candidly, I do not know whether any team other than the Yankees has an Old-Timers Day but I assure you that at the Stadium it is an incredible affair.  Legend after legend dons the Pinstripes to an ovation from the crowd with none more thunderous than that reserved for that great American philosopher Lawrence Peter Berra.  The Yankees actually turned yesterday into a double-barrel promotional day.  Not only was it Old-Timers Day but it was also the day on which the team honored Hall of Fame relief pitcher Goose Gossage with his own plaque in Monument Park. 

Parenthetically at the pace they are erecting plaques in Monument Park, look for Jeter's - and possibly Tanaka's - to be there before season's end.  

But I digress.

As of 8:00 am on Saturday morning - a/k/a four hours prior to the start time for the ceremony honoring Tino Martinez - there were still seats aplenty to be found on Ticketmaster for that afternoon's game.  Ditto for Old-Timers/Goose Gossage Day.  The prices ranged from approximately $85.00 to $515.00.  For $515.00, I expect not only a seat in the Stadium but also the chance to play a half-inning in the field at second base.  Before you scoff, roll video on just how productive Brian Roberts has been manning that post thus far this season.  Show of hands of everyone who is glad we have him at second base rather than Robbie Cano.  Other than Brian's mom, anyone else?  Me neither. 

Note to Hal and Hank:  Come back to us.  With eighty-one home dates a season, perhaps it would make better sense to lower the price of admission to the Stadium in the hope of attracting an additional customer or an additional several thousand customers to it on a game in, game out basis.  I grasp the fact that you two have spent a lot of the money you made the old-fashioned way - when Papa George died you fell into it - by hiring players to be Yankees and that the money to pay those salaries has to come from someplace.  But just how many overpriced beers does an empty seat purchase at each game?  How many Yankee Franks or ice cream sundaes or cotton candy does each empty seat buy?  Are you able to peddle a lot of that Steiner collectible crap to those patrons who are not in attendance?  

I do appreciate the YES Network though boys and I thank you very much for it.  Its coverage of the games is so good that when I watch on TV I feel as if I am in the ballpark myself.  And I am...

...I am the empty seat in the lower bowl three rows back just to the first base dugout side of home plate.  Tune in Friday night when the Sox are in town.  I will wave to you.  

-AK      

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