One of the major issues at hand was the Yankees' objections to an "Affordable Ticket Bill" that New York State Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh is supporting. This isn't a stand we usually take, but we're siding with the Yankees on this one - an affordable ticket bill is unnecessary.
There are so many logistical and fundamental flaws in this hypothetical bill, we're not sure why anyone is even wasting time discussing it. That being said, we're New Stadium Insider and it is our job to
First of all, as the Yankees pointed out, who are these politicians to decide what is "affordable" to Yankee fans? That word is so ambiguous, yet it is the title of the bill - strike one.
Next, in this age of Stubhub, Ebay and Craigslist, the free market decides the price of tickets - not the New York Yankees. If anyone is wondering why the ticket prices have risen exponentially lately, look no further than supply and demand. The Yankees regularly supply the best team money can buy, and the residents of New York City and beyond demand to be a part of the exciting action.
Government intervention in ticket prices will only serve to fatten the wallets of professional ticket brokers and amateur ticket scalpers. The savvy sports fan and ticket brokers will always know when tickets are going on sale and not get caught up dealing with a middle man. However, this supposed "Affordable Ticket Bill" would end up hurting the "Average Joe," because he is the guy who casually purchases tickets at a time that is convenient to him. Instead of being able to purchase these tickets directly from the Yankees, he would end up going through a broker or scalper. Essentially, the Yankees would be subsidizing the scalpers, and the average guy would still be paying astronomical prices. How does that make sense from a business perspective?
To the Yankees' credit, they kept the prices the same for 2009 (after increasing some tickets by 47% from 2007 - 2008) for most of the cheapest seats in the house. It is not their fault that most, if not all of these seats are nearly sold out to full-season ticket holders and most average fans won't get their hands on these tickets As much as we have complained about the relocation process, the Yankees made the smart business move and sold as many full-season ticket plans as possible. Many of the smaller planholders have taken issue with the entire process, but hopefully they understand that their true issue should be with the terrible communication and shoddy procedure, and not the actual business behind the plan.
We truly hope that the Yankees will continue to self-police the ticket prices for the "cheap seats," but it is entirely possible that the relatively cheap prices were just a PR stunt to build up positive buzz about the new stadium in New York. Either way, asking the government to intervene is not the answer. Going to a Yankee game is not a neccesity of life. The worst seats in Yankee Stadium are $5, $12, $20, and $25. People from all walks of life should be able to afford an occasional game at those prices, and even slight increases on those prices. If you can't afford that, you probably shouldn't be spending your money on entertainment.
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