Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Death Of The Twinight Doubleheader

Yesterday, the Yankees made news by announcing the first ever doubleheader at the New Yankee Stadium. In lieu of scheduling the game on a mutual off day (September 10th), the Yankees opted to schedule a day/night doubleheader on Labor Day (September 7th) to make up for the rained out game against the Rays on June 5th.

Most people recognize that single admission, “twinight” doubleheaders are a thing of the past - especially in New York. Ticket sales are too brisk for teams like the Yankees and Mets to ever justify cutting a game from their schedule and giving fans two games for the price of one. However, longtime reader of the blog, BPALM has other thoughts:
I know it is not done anymore but they should have made it a single admission doubleheader. It would be awesome to spend your Labor Day watching two games for the price of one. Don’t honor the rain-out game’s tickets. Have people with tickets to that game send them in for comparable tickets to another game this season or a credit towards tickets next season. The rain out [makeup] game is going to be the night game so not only are people who had tickets to the game this past week not going when it was originally scheduled, the game is being played at night and at the conclusion of a holiday weekend.

The likelihood of those ticket holders showing up is very small. Granted people like you will go but there are a lot of people who will be away that weekend or unwilling to drive to and from the game at night, on labor day - which will be a traffic nightmare depending on where you are coming from. Hell a regular Sunday afternoon coming from Long Island is murder – never mind labor day
We like BPALM’s fan-friendly sentiments, but logistics obviously get in the way. Not only did the Yankees already sell upwards of 45,000 tickets for the rained out game, but the game featured a giveaway, and a highly collectible one at that – a “New Stadium Figurine.”

An even more interesting aspect of this potential logistical nightmare is the "Stubhub factor." Currently, a game against the Rays in September has 10,000 tickets available for sale on Stubhub. For the purposes of this post, we will assume that to be an average number of tickets available on Stubhub for any given game (although we have discussed in the past that the number can be even higher).

The reason Stubhub is even a factor in the doubleheader discussion is because the Yankees do not honor Stubhub tickets as part of their rain out policy. If the Yankees took BPALM’S advice by scheduling a twinight doubleheader for September 7, over 10,000 fans holding Stubhub-purchased tickets from the June 5 game would be left confused and angry. If they walked into the Yankees ticket office with a Stubhub ticket from the canceled game, the Yankees would laugh and send them back to Stubhub. Granted, Stubhub offers a “fan protect guarantee,” but the fan needs to respond to an email within two weeks in order to get a refund, and tickets to a future Yankees game are never a possibility.

The MLB teams have set up a sweetheart deal with Stubhub - they receive a commission on all orders placed through the site, without having to do any work. Event is canceled? Not their problem. However, when considering makeup game procedures, the MLB must consider the Stubhub factor. Even if the Yankees weren’t greedy, and actually wanted to schedule a twinight doubleheader, the inevitable logistical and public relations nightmare would make it nearly impossible.

To make a long story short, we don’t expect to ever see a twinight doubleheader at the New Yankee Stadium. Can anyone think up a scenario where there will be one? Let us know in the comments!
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