MLB.com is in charge of updating and maintaining Yankees.com, which is the only place that diehard Yankees fans could go to access information about the general public on sale date. The information page, (which now only refers to World Series ticket opportunities) is the location where fans learned about the convoluted preliminary and pre-sale ticket opportunities for partial plan ticket holders and the general public that we mentioned last week. Interestingly, in order to register for the pre-sale "lottery" opportunity, fans were baited into entering their credit card numbers "to prevent fraud." This also happened to coincide with an opt-out offer to sign up for free issues of an automatically renewing subscription to Sports Illustrated Magazine. MLB.com set up a system that they deemed fair for disseminating tickets to as many Yankees fans as possible. Unfortunately, a breakdown in communication led to the general public feeling left out in the cold.
"MLB.com should not have ever released today as a date as it's always been TBD" said one ticket office source who prefers to remain anonymous. This source was referring to the message on Yankees.com that listed Wednesday, September 30 at 10 AM as the date that any remaining ALDS and ALCS tickets would be released on Ticketmaster.com. On that morning, Yankees fans who were unable to score tickets during any of the previous 3 "pre-sales," logged onto ticketmaster.com right at 10 AM and were greeted by the following message:
Confusingly, the ticketmaster page listed the public on sale date as September 29 at 10 AM - one day prior. The only thing casual fans could assume was that there were no more tickets available and they would be left out in the cold. One especially emotional fan emailed, ".I suspect that there is some shady business going on, a la the shady business you speculated upon re: yankees/stub-hub relationship earlier in the year." He elaborated, "dump whatever slim alotment of tix that remain after season ticket-holders took their share onto stubhub and sell them at a significant mark-up (rather then provide them to the general public at face value?) I don't think its beyond them at all..."
Courtesy of NYYFans.com, this mock screen grab of Yankees.com started making the rounds, openly questioning the motives of the Yankees front office:
While we have outwardly speculated that there would be fewer postseason tickets available to the general public than ever before, we have never truly believed that Lonn Trost and Randy Levine were evil villains hellbent on screwing the casual Yankee fans. Those two bozos are often out of touch with the common man, but in this case we felt it necessary to reassure the overreactive emailers that word of a public on sale would come soon enough.
As we predicted, word of the public on sale came out around midday on Friday and included the bonus news that standing room only tickets would deepen the pool of tickets available. The Yankees ticket office had been working behind the scenes to scour available inventory and put together a fair general public on sale. For once, the Yankees front office and ticket office were going through the proper procedures to ensure that all fans came away feeling like they were treated equally. The Yankees.com fiasco was inexcusable and confusing, but we'll have to see on Monday if the end result is a happy group of Yankees fans.