SBD/May 20, 2013/Franchises

Steinbrenner Talks Ticket Prices As Yankees Face Lower Attendance

Steinbrenner thinks ticket deals and warmer weather will lead to better crowds
Yankees Managing General Partner & co-Chair Hal Steinbrenner said in terms of attendance the Yankees are "definitely not the only team that is down," according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN N.Y. Steinbrenner said, "I think it is obvious by watching other games on TV. I think there are a lot of factors involved. I still think the economy is a big part of it. People are struggling out there -- and we understand. Summer is coming around, warmer weather, and we have a lot of half-price ticket days and $5 ticket days. Things we have done for years. I think the fans are going to take advantage of that. There are affordable good seats in the stadium every game. This team really deserves to be supported. I’m looking forward to summer when the weather is better. April was terrible, weather-wise. I think the fans are going to come out and are going to support these guys because they have earned it." Steinbrenner when asked about ticket prices said, "You hear about that in the media. You don’t hear that there are thousands and thousands of affordable seats in the $25 range for every game, not to mention the specials that we do, that we used to do at the old stadium. We have done every year. It is nothing new. We want to make sure that everyone that comes out here to see a Yankee game can get here and see one" (ESPNNY.com, 5/18). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Daniel Barbarisi noted average attendance at Yankee Stadium is "down roughly 6,000 fans per game" compared to '12 (WSJ.com, 5/18).

MEET & GREET: In N.Y., John Harper wrote the Yankees "don’t have quite the same allure as they did for 10 to 15 years when they were winning championships and featuring a roster of All-Stars." The stadium "isn’t full for every game as it was during that time, and the YES TV ratings are down significantly despite the fact that this team of fill-ins is thriving in something of an underdog capacity -- the rarest of roles for a Yankee ballclub." A "sign of the times" was "on display in the hours before Saturday’s game [against the Blue Jays], when the Yankees made nice to several hundred of their most senior season ticket-holders." Steinbrenner, GM Brian Cashman and all of the Yankee players "walked the line of fans spread out on the warning track from foul line to foul line, shaking hands, posing for pictures, signing autographs." In other stadiums "it’s common to see fans on the field before games as part of one promotion or another." With tickets "no longer in such huge demand -- partly because of higher ticket prices in the new stadium -- management held the first of these days last year, the idea being to reward the loyalty of long-time fans." Harper, comparing Steinbrenner to his father, wrote Hal "may not be George, but as he publicly embraces the role of owner at such a pivotal time for the franchise, it matters when he's in the house" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/19).
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