SBD/Issue 5/Sports Media

First Time, Long Time: WFAN-AM's Craig Carton

Carton Says Average Fan Will Always
Think Yankees Tickets Are Overpriced
For this week's installment of "First Time, Long Time," we talk to WFAN-AM's Craig Carton, who co-hosts "Boomer & Carton" on the N.Y.-based station weekdays from 6:00-10:00am ET. Carton took a few minutes to discuss Yankee Stadium ticket prices with Staff Writer Preston Bounds.

Q: What are your listeners' reactions to the Yankees freezing or lowering most season-ticket prices for next year? Do listeners feel that they are still overpriced?

Carton: The average fan is always going to think they are overpriced. I think the fact that the Yankees recognized that and are trying to remedy the bad PR that they got was perceived well. But if you go from $1,000 a ticket to $600 a ticket, you're not including many more people in your potential pool of buyers. It was not met with an avalanche of reaction one way or the other.

Q: Along similar lines, how do listeners feel about the Yankees' playoff ticket pricing structure?

Carton: Well, like most successful, popular teams, the majority of those tickets go to season-ticket holders, so you're talking about probably less than 1% of the Yankee fan base that can get their hands on playoff tickets. But when you're the Beatles, you're Elvis, and you have tickets people want, why shouldn't you be able to set the marketplace?

Q: Have the Yankees lost fans because of their ticketing practices in the new ballpark?

Carton: The blue-collar fan base is certainly not going to as many games, but that's probably across the board in all sports right now. No one's going to say, "Oh, I'm not rooting for the Yankees anymore." They just may not get to go to as many games, which stinks, but it's a sad reality of sports, not just the Yankees.

Q: Do listeners tend to react positively or negatively to the new Yankee Stadium hosting non-baseball events like a possible college bowl game?

Carton: Listeners want a World Series championship. They don't care if Notre Dame's playing a game there. They don't care if the NHL does their Winter Classic there in two years. Right now, the only thing people care about is, can the Yankees win a World Series? And everything else doesn't exist.

Download podcasts of "Boomer & Carton" here.

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