Much has been made in the past few days about all the empty seats in the field level boxes. Peter Abraham is reporting that Yankee officials are claiming those expensive seats are actually sold, but the people who bought them are afraid to use them.
Meanwhile, I heard an interesting theory from somebody with the Yankees on Tuesday. They claim that many of those empty seats we’re seeing are actually sold, but the ticket-holders are afraid to attend games because they work for troubled businesses and don’t want to be caught living it up on television.
That’s just great. The seats are so extravagant that wealthy people won’t attend because it’ll make them look bad. Maybe the Yankees can provide disguises to these folks. Your bank get bailed out by the feds? Here’s a Joe Girardi mask. Have a good time.
That sounds a bit weak on the face of it, but then Jason over at Its About the Money, Stupid chimes in with this personal account.
A few weeks back, we went to a friends’ house for an afternoon. While watching the Masters with my friend (a Wall Streeter), we were discussing this and he made an interesting point. He said to me: “Jason, even if I had those great seats that cost $2500 a ticket, I can’t take a client there. It’s not worth the risk.” I asked him about what risk he was talking about and his answer surprised me as I hadn’t thought of that: “If someone recognizes me sitting behind the dugout and it comes out that I used my Firm’s resources for those seats, and we’ve taken TARP money from the government, I don’t want that sort of publicity or getting calls from The Post.” He’s not a famous guy at all, but there’s a fear that someone might see him and he’ll get “outed” for using Firm money to attend a game. He also told me that he’s not alone with this fear.
What, are they at the stadium but hiding in the NYY Steakhouse? I haven’t seen rich people this scared since Jan 1st, 1959 in Cuba, when Castro took Santa Clara and Batista fled the country.
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