When it was announced that there were going to be seats on top of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, reminiscent of the "Green Monster Seats" at Fenway Park, we were all ears. When word came of a climate controlled sports bar in center field, featuring unique views from the batters eye, we were pestering Yankee ticket reps for information every day. When we found out about seats down the left field line offering unlimited food along with the price of admission, the fat guy in us reared its ugly head and we wanted in. Last week, the Yankees finally released tickets for the Bleacher Cafe, Mohegan Sun Sports Bar and The Audi Yankees Club - the public has responded with disinterest. The Yankees have misread the market yet again and just like with the "greatest seats in the world," inventory is stagnant.
A few quick searches of Ticketmaster.com reveal availability in all of these exciting seats for nearly every premium game. The first game against the Red Sox on May 4? $90 plus Ticketmaster's exorbitant fees and you will be watching the game from the first row of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar. A Saturday, May 23 game against the nearby Philadelphia Phillies? $130 per ticket plus ridiculous fees and your family of four will be a chowing down on unlimited food and watching a ball game from the first row of the Audi Club. The June 13 Saturday tilt against the cross-town rival Mets? $125 will have you baking in the sun on the top of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar in Row 2 of the Bleacher Cafe seats. We can do this all day - the point is that there are plenty of seats available for the best games, and not only in the thousand dollar seats...
Some of this can be attributed to poor dissemination of information by the Yankees. For example, today we had someone comment on the blog and ask:
Is this ALL I need to walk into Yankee Stadium, sit down inside the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar" for the entire duration of the game and watch? Or do I need an additional ticket for a "regular" seat somewhere in the stadium? Do I get to spend the entire game inside the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, or do I get a limited amount of time?The Yankees have information about the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar on Yankees.com, but when perusing Ticketmaster.com, it is a real leap of faith to spend $90 plus fees for a ticket in what is termed as a "sports bar."
A few days ago, the anonymous author of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar review on River Ave. Blues contacted us regarding the sports bar. He mentioned that a friend of his was curious about the secondary market for the interesting seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar and the Bleacher Cafe. Apparently, she is willing to pay $45 for seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports bar - tickets with a face value of $90. There is obviously a gap in what these seats cost, and what they are deemed to be worth by Yankee fans. Obviously, a secondary market cannot develop unless the tickets are sold by the organization first.
As usual, we come prepared with a solution for the Yankees' problems. The organization does not have any season ticket holders to answer to when considering ticket prices for the Audi Yankees Club, the Bleacher Cafe, or the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar. While this means they are unable to scare people into buying more games than they want, it also allows the Yankees to be flexible with the ticket prices. There has been much speculation lately, regarding the Yankees lowering ticket prices. There is no better place to start than with these fascinating seating options. People will certainly be interested - but only on their terms. That is why were are endorsing ticket auctions, run by the Yankees, deciding what these seats cost. Why leave the seats empty, especially seats from unique perspectives that Yankee fans have not yet experienced?
Bidding should start at the following prices:
A view from the Bleacher Cafe seats, courtesy of the 3-D seat selector on Yankees.com
Face Value: $125
Recommended Auction Starting Price: $35
Even pricing these seats at three times the face value of the bleacher seats just next door seems a bit absurd. That being said, the seats have backs, unlike the bleachers, and they are closer to the field of play than any of the upper deck seats, so $35 seems to be a good compromise. For mid-week day games, the Yankees may not even receive bids. For premium games, perhaps the Yankees will eventually come closer to reaching their original face value. Let the fans decide.
Mohegan Sun Sports Bar
A view from the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar seats, courtesy of the 3-D seat selector on Yankees.com
Face Value: $90
Recommended Auction Starting Price: $55
We'll admit that the climate control offered by the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar has the potential to be highly sought this summer. That being said, the Yankees are trying to charge $90 plus fees for the privilege to watch a game from a sports bar, through a tinted glass window. The scoreboard is nowhere in sight, and crowd noise is non-existent leaving fans completely disconnected from the game they are paying a lot of money to attend in person. Start the bidding at $55 and let the market play out.
The Audi Yankees Club
A view from the Audi Yankees Club seats, courtesy of the 3-D seat selector on Yankees.com
Face Value: $140 ($75 for ticket, $65 for food)
Recommended Auction Starting Price: $120 ($70 for ticket, $50 for food)
All you can eat food has a price, and we think $50 is a fair one. As for the cost of the actual seat, we recognize that it isn't too far out of line with the pricing in the rest of the stadium, since seats directly below are $60. When considering the climate control, the Yankees actual kept pricing in line with seats that have actually sold out for most games. The food seems a bit pricey, and for auction purposes, we would recommend lowering the cost of it. Remember, these seats are not selling at their inflated prices, so cuts need to be made somewhere.
It will be a shame if the Yankees are stubborn and keep current prices for these seats in place. The Yankees, always in denial, will likely attribute slow sales in these seats to lack of information and recent on-sale dates. They need to come to grips and fast. The first games ever in the new Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox are fast approaching, and seats remain unsold. As die-hard Yankee fans with jobs that provide a bit of discretionary income, we still can't justify paying what the Yankees are asking - even for premium games, and even though we are curious about the seats. If that isn't a problem that needs to be addressed, what is?