Its no secret the Yanks overpriced the seats between the bases. Seems like everyone is talking about it these days. The Yanks have been running ads in the NYC area for the past month trying to sell them, apparently without much luck. They were previously only available as full season packages and now can be had as partial plans, yet fans still aren’t biting.
Fans who’ve complained about the high prices on those seats always struck me as short sighted and having a conveniently short and selective memory. First, the high prices on those seats allowed the Yanks to maintain the low prices they had in the Bleachers and Grandstand in the old Yankee stadium. So if you were railing against the $2625 seats and sitting in the upper deck, you were arguing for your own price increase next year. Also, most of those seats between the bases were always owned by big corporations and weren’t available to the average fan, even at the old stadium. So building a new ballpark had nothing to do with their availability, and has the oddly had the unintended consequence of making them available for the first time in generations, just at a price that no one is willing to pay.
Its certainly embarassing for the Yanks to have this beautiful new ballpark with the best seats in the house unfilled. Makes the place look dead on TV broadcasts. So what to do? Before you can answer that, we need some unpack a few things about the situation the Yanks are in.
The easiest thing to do would be to lower prices immediately. But that would mean that the guy in the $500 seat would be sitting next to someone who just paid half as much for the same section, which will certainly (and justifiably) make him upset. Others have suggested they can hand those seats away to big sponsors/charities. While that would fill those seats, it doesn’t help the Yanks with their balance sheet, except for some possible tax write offs that wouldn’t be realized anytime soon.
My suggestion is as follows. Call the season ticket holders who purchased the seats at full price and offer them the opportunity to purchase a limited amount of seats at a substantial discount. You’ll need to limit the number of seats initially so everyone gets a crack at it. That will raise some cash for the Yanks on their unsold inventory and placate the people who’ve already paid full price by effectively lowering the price per seat they paid. For example, someone with two $300 seats who purchases another two at $150 has now lowered the price per seat to $225 per game. I’ve heard many people call in to radio shows who have those seats who said they had to cut back on the number of seats they bought this year due to the price increases. This would give them the chance to get back in at a price that works for them. Also, at those prices they may be able to defray some of the costs on the secondary market by selling off the high demand games against the Red Sox and Mets. Depending on how successful this is, the Yanks could go back for another round of discounted seats without any limitation, and the brokers should soak up any remaining seats.
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