Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Breaking news from Lonn Trost on WFAN - obstructed view seats in the bleachers for $5

Lonn Trost is being interviewed by Mike Francesca on WFAN right now. Other than lambasting partial plan ticket holders for "not reading the documentation", he has shared the following infortmation:

- All "architecturally shadowed seats" (his words, not mine) in the bleachers will be $5. No specification on exactly which seat numbers or sections qualify, but there are a total of 600 "architecturally shadowed seats."
- The Yankees are opening up the premium $350 "best seats in the world" up to ALL ticket plans. Therefore, if you want a 12 game plan in those seats, you can get one. It still seems unaffordable to me.
- 2,000 seats are being held back per game for group sales - all in the Grandstand. Why aren't some of those being used for partial plan season ticket holders?
- 28,000 seats in the new Yankee Stadium did not have a price increase this year. Well Lonn, that is because Tier Reserved MVP seats (like my old seats in Tier Section 1) increased 47% from 2007 - 2008 ($17 -$25).
- The supposed figures for seats sold so far in the new stadium:
32,542 saleable inventory for plans:
26,318 seats sold (including 23,517 full seasons)
5,870 partial plan seats on reserve until end of week

4,000 not available for plans (for several reasons, luxury seats, suites, etc)
2,000 tickets reserved for groups
1,866 standing room tickets
1,000 wheelchair access
----------
9,186

41,728 (32,642 + 9,186)
7,000 for single game sales
-------
approx 49,000

Something in those numbers doesn't add up, but perhaps I missed something.

Lonn Trost has come off as elitist and out of touch in this interview. He actually had the nerve to call $100 seats "affordable" at one point. The Yankees need to do themselves a favor and get some of A-Rod's crisis management people to advise him. As for his point about fans not reading the relocation documentation, I present exhibit A:

This is from the relocation guide about 41-game licensees:
STEP 1 - SEATING ASSIGNMENT
If you licensed and maintained a "B" Plan for the 2008 Season, you will be assigned the same number of seats in a 41-Game Plan in the new Yankee Stadium as are included in your Plan at the end of the 2008 Season. In making assignments under the Relocation Program, the Yankees will, among other things, consider your seating preferences as indicated on your Relocation Program Questionnaire. Please note, however, that your assigned seat location will not likely be comparable to your current seat location in Yankee Stadium.
As we all know by now, that did not happen. The reason it didn't happen is because the Yankees continued to allow season ticket holders to upgrade to full season plans without alerting those people who had opted not to. I completely understand that this was a business decision, but why doesn't Trost just admit to it instead of calling me stupid? This is getting outrageous.

Talk about it in the Stadium Insider Forums!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

What page on the relocation package is their a deadline for upgrading???
If you read it there is no deadline. Look on pg 35

Anonymous said...

Their was a deadline to enter the "full season pool" but that is it. Their is and still is no deadline to buy Full Season.

kevin said...

How can you say they ignored the deadline? Their never was one. You can call today and still buy tickets.
The other guy is right. The Yankees never announced a hard deadline

9nine9 said...

The Yankees also never bothered to alert plan holders that so many people were taking full season tickets. I ended up taking a full season and splitting it with someone because my 41-game-plan seats were garbage, but I'd have done it weeks earlier (and likely gotten better seats) had there been any communication.

Ross said...

I didn't realize that the deadline was only for pool entry. The fact remains that people were able to jump me in line for Grandstand seats because I didn't upgrade to full season. However, I was under the impression that I was safe with a 41 game plan (BECAUSE THE RELOCATION GUIDE SAID I WAS), so I didn't think to upgrade to full until it was too late.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. You wanted the Yankees to alert you everytime someone upgraded to a Full season ticket plan?

Ross said...

I wanted them to make a courtesy call at some point in the process, let me know that they were deviating from the relocation guide and would no longer be able to guarantee a similar 41 game plan. At that point, I should have received the option to upgrade to full, or run the risk of being downgraded to 20. Since the B plan account holders were facing the largest potential downgrade (46 games in 2008 to 20 games in 2009), they should have received some customer service.

I don't think that is too much to ask.

Remember, this is what I was told in the relocation guide:

"STEP 1 - SEATING ASSIGNMENT
If you licensed and maintained a "B" Plan for the 2008 Season, you will be assigned the same number of seats in a 41-Game Plan in the new Yankee Stadium as are included in your Plan at the end of the 2008 Season. In making assignments under the Relocation Program, the Yankees will, among other things, consider your seating preferences as indicated on your Relocation Program Questionnaire. Please note, however, that your assigned seat location will not likely be comparable to your current seat location in Yankee Stadium."

9nine9 said...

Ross stated it well: I know $4K-$6K is peanuts to the Yankees, but it's a lot of money to us. I don't think a simple phone call or e-mail is asking too much. "Hey, listen, we're getting a ton of full-season-tickets sales. I'd recommend you upgrade or your seats are going to be worse than you expected." Common courtesy. A customer is a customer, whether they're spending $2K, $4K, $6K or $16K.

Anonymous said...

your missing new season ticket plans

Anonymous said...

Im sorry, partial plan holders dont have a leg to stand on. You are low man on the totem pole. All Full season Ticket holders were dealt w/ first, which was the right thing to do. Partials get whatever is leftover.

The NY Yankees did a great job.

9nine9 said...

You are SUCH a Yankee plant. It's really pathetic. A brand-new season-ticket holder should NOT jump ahead of someone who, in my case, bought well over 500 games over 12 seasons. And we should have at least been warned. One phone call or e-mail. Now go back and report to Hal.

Anonymous said...

9nine9

You can say but you want and twist this any way you want but I am a "better" customer then you and was treated that way.
The Yankees are a buisness!!!!!Your little partial plan is nothing in the terms of money.
In buisness the more you spend the better customer you are.

Ross said...

In business all customers are valuable, not only the high rollers.

I wouldn't be this upset if the Yankees were up front about this business decision. Over and over again I have said that I understand where the Yankees are coming from, even if I don't necessarily agree. The bottom line is, they laid out a relocation plan and then they didn't follow it. Do I need to copy/paste the verbiage about 41 game plan holders being offered 41 game plans again?

Anonymous said...

If partial plans did not have a leg to stand on why didnt the yankees be up front about it in the relocation guide- instead of now hiding behind clueless people in there ticket office
Do you no if a full season ticket holder spends more on jerseys and other yankees stuff- that counts against the bottom line as well- the Yankees whom I love messed this up

Anonymous said...

If you ran a business and had a choice customer to lose or downgrade would it be someone buying a lot upfront or little?

Partial plan people are entitled to less than full or those who buy premium seats. Argue it all you want, but as a business that is how it goes and if I was running one Id do it similarly.

41 game people are getting the same quality of games as 20. Only thing that kills is opening day and playoff option.

Sucks, but Im glad I got full season tickets years ago and am sitting tight today.

Good luck to you partials, but I'm not surprised by your treatment and don't think you should be treated on the same pedestal as full season ticket holders.

Ross said...

I don't think we should receive the same treatment either.

I am just saying that the Yankees should ADMIT that and ADMIT that they took the money instead of following the relocation package.

Anonymous said...

Yankees will never admit their mistake, but I agree with you in that they made one.

kevin said...

I totally agree w/ you. Partials should not be treated as well as full season ticket holders.Yes they spend more money hence they should get first choice.
This said, it would have been nice for the yankees to treat us partials somewhat important customers. I don't deserve a better seat then I recieved. I can live w/ being near the foul pole. However I feel I should not be switched from a Sunday plan to a midweek one. Sit me in the last row in the upperdeck, justy let me have my sunday plan.

Leonora said...

Where are all these whiny Yankee apologists coming from? The Yankees aren't even bothering to tell people who probably aren't getting seats that they're not getting seats. All that requires is one mass email. It's just a small courtesy you can do for people who gave you money in the past to keep them happy.

I don't think anyone would have the big problems they do now if there had been any communication whatsoever between the team and licensees.

Anonymous said...

This comment: "I wanted them to make a courtesy call at some point in the process, let me know that they were deviating from the relocation guide and would no longer be able to guarantee a similar 41 game plan."

makes no sense. The Yankees say in their booklet that

"...your assigned seat location will not likely be comparable to your current seat location in Yankee Stadium."

They *never did* guarantee a similar plan. I should say that, on the whole I agree with you: it would have been a decent thing to do if they had let everyone know that FS plans were being taken up more quickly than they had thought. But they didn't break any promises.

Oh, and to all the people saying that customers are equal whatever they spend: what color is the sky on your planet?

Ross said...

Directly from the relocation packet:

"STEP 1 - SEATING ASSIGNMENT
If you licensed and maintained a "B" Plan for the 2008 Season, you will be assigned the same number of seats in a 41-Game Plan in the new Yankee Stadium as are included in your Plan at the end of the 2008 Season. In making assignments under the Relocation Program, the Yankees will, among other things, consider your seating preferences as indicated on your Relocation Program Questionnaire. Please note, however, that your assigned seat location will not likely be comparable to your current seat location in Yankee Stadium."

Anyway, as for the whole "which customer should be treated best" debate. Anyone who knows business knows that while the "whales" are obviously the bread and butter, it is a TERRIBLE idea to make your customers brutally aware of that. It isolates a large portion of your clientele.

For the last time (since I don't think some people are reading what I write), here is what I wanted them to do.

1) Take care of ALL full season account holders. (They did this with personalized calls, emails, etc - good for them)
2) Tally up the participants in the FULL SEASON POOL.
3) CALL (in seniority order) all of the B plan ticket holders as a courtesy to advise them that the full season pool is looking VERY full and that they will likely have to deviate from the relocation guide and move them to a 20 game plan unless they upgrade to full.

I am not talking about anything other than B Plans that the Yankees should have done this for. The reason is, B Plans are the ONLY OTHER PLAN with full playoff rights, and they stood to lose the most games from the previous year (46 games in 2008, 20 games in 2009).

I suspect that the Yankees want to get rid of the B Plan with full playoff rights (it is actually a very generous plan in that regard), and that is why they didn't follow the procedure outlined above. It certainly isn't due to a lack of time, since the fiasco that has ensued due to their incompetence has taken longer than a well-defined process like the one I described above would have.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a little late here - but Trost definately came across as an elitest and insulting to Yankee season ticket holders in his interview.

Several times during the interview he in so many words said "if 'they' had taken the time to read the guide we sent them in the fall" blah blah. As if reading "we're going to screw you" makes you any less angry when it finaly does happen.

Francesa also failed to catch on to how elusive Trost was being when he kept saying "if we exclude premium seating"....."premium seats aside", etc, etc. This whole fiasco is caused by the Yankees blocking off a HUGE number of seats as "premium" and cranking the price thru the roof and essencially forcing ticket holders from those seats into the tiers / wings and pushing partial plan holders (such as myself) out of our plans entirely and into nose bleeds.

This was touched on in the interview breifly when Francesa asked whether Trost was worried about TV coverage of a game showing the upper deck and corners filled and empties in the "premium" seats.

Trost made is sound like everything was going to plan - but never once did he own up and say that "We increased prices significantly" for the "good seats" and that is the root cause of this tremendous dissatisfaction.

What you have now is longtime, loyal season ticket holders being forced to move from their seats to "lesser" locations - and the loyal partial plan holder pushed out the door - ALL in favor of having some big $ seats available for corporations down below.

Good job Yankees!

SEO By Profit By Search India