SBD/February 13, 2014/Franchises

Jeter's Retirement Announcement Surprises Yankees, Drives Up Ticket Prices

Many were surprised when Jeter announced his retirement via Facebook
Yankees SS Derek Jeter yesterday "announced his retirement via a Facebook post in a move that even caught Yankee brass by surprise," according to Mark Feinsand of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Jeter phoned Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner yesterday morning but asked him "not to tell anyone about his plans." Jeter had "kept the news to a tight circle including his parents and a couple of friends." Yankees President Randy Levine said of Jeter's announcement, "We found out about it the same way you did" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13). In N.Y., Bill Madden writes the only surprising thing about Jeter's announcement is that he chose "to go public right before spring training." One Yankee exec said, "We were caught off guard with his announcement if only because Derek hates the adulation and now that it’s out there this is his last year, he’s going to get nothing but adulation for the next six months" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13).

HOT TICKET: The N.Y. DAILY NEWS reports tickets for the Yankees’ final home game of the '14 season "were going for over $11,000 on the secondary market" after Jeter made his announcement. Opening Day tickets "were also being listed at over $11,000." The cheapest ticket available on StubHub last night was $285.50 for a "Possible Obstructed View" seat in the bleachers. Tickets for the Yankees' final game of the season at Fenway Park start at $173, with "the highest priced seat also going for $11,000" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13). TiqIQ data showed that the average ticket price for Jeter's final home game increased 358% yesterday from 2:00pm ET, when Jeter made his announcement, to 6:00pm (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/12). TiqIQ VP/Data & Communications Chris Matcovich said that the market "was even more bullish than when Mariano Rivera announced his retirement on March 9 last year" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/13). Boston-based Ace Tickets President & CEO Jim Holzman said of the Yankees' season finale at Fenway, "This last Jeter game is now a tougher ticket than the Opening Day ring ceremony. Now that's a story" (ESPN.com, 2/12).

BIG BUSINESS: In Newark, Dave D'Alessandro writes the announcement "came as a surprise to those who occupy upper echelons, and that in itself makes you wonder whether the people who run the Yankees have any money left over to buy a clue." Everyone else "saw this coming down Broadway." D'Alessandro: "In plain terms: Jeter must be offered a role in the organization that allows him to shape the next generation." It is not "some meritorious-service honorarium," but rather it is "just good business for a franchise that considers itself better than all the rest" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/13). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes the coming of Japanese P Masahiro Tanaka had "already inspired visions of increased ticket sales and TV ratings," and the "going of Jeter took the business of Yankees baseball in 2014 over the rainbow." Raissman: "Let the pinstriped bean counters celebrate" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13).
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