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Yankees Continue To Struggle Filling High-Priced Luxury Seats
Published April 23, 2009
|Yankees' Legends Suite Section Has Been
Filled Only Once Since New Stadium's Opening
FOR ALL TO SEE: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes in a new ballpark the Yankees "can't seem to fill, they need to import hundreds, even thousands, of people to sit in unsold seats or in those their owners don't want to claim." If televised images of empty seats at the ballpark are "important --- barely half the 43,342 announced as paid attendance in the Wednesday afternoon rain showed up -- then here's a tip for the Yankees: Follow your old business partners, the Nets, and play 'The Price is Right.'" Sandomir notes at a Mavericks-Nets game at Izod Center on December 19 held during a snowstorm, the arena PA announcer "implored fans in the arena's upper reaches to 'Come on down!'" and sit in lower-level seats. Meanwhile, it was "refreshing to hear" Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay during YES Network's broadcast "announce the paid attendance Wednesday, hear him give a few reasons for why 43,342 looked nothing like 43,342, and to see the YES cameras pan to some empty expanses" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/23). ESPN's Brian Kenny noted from the main camera shot from behind the pitcher during a broadcast, “you’d think there’s nobody at the game.” Kenny: “Basically they now have a little moat around the field of empty seats. Those seats, by the way, can run you up to $2,600, and the waiters and ushers outnumber the fans back there." ESPN's Michael Wilbon added, "They're embarrassing themselves. They're just showing greed in every way imaginable." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "This is simple economics. If you have an overwhelming supply and no demand you have to change something" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 4/22).
Phillips Says Teams Must Raise Ticket Prices
To Be Able To Afford Higher Player Payrolls
MORE IMPORTANT THINGS THAN BASEBALL: On Long Island, Neil Best wrote "some of the problem" with the empty seats is "unsold seats, of course." Best: "But here's another thing: Many of the empty seats were sold to someone, and many of those someones are off somewhere on a concourse or in a club -- eating, drinking, talking and perhaps keeping an eye on the game on TV" (NEWSDAY.com, 4/22).