As if we needed more proof that the New York Yankees aren’t going to do anything second-rate, word now comes that there’s going to be a full-scale blessing performed at the new Yankee Stadium by finely-coiffed super-preacher Joel Osteen.
(”Cody Ransom? You guys need more help than I thought.”)
And it won’t just be before a game. No, there’s going to be an entire evening hosted by Osteen and his wife Victoria called “Historic Night of Hope.” And given how things are going these days, hope is needed in the Bronx now more than ever. I mean, CC Sabathia just got shelled for 6 runs in 4 1/3 innings in his Yankee debut.
Thanks to THE BIZ OF BASEBALL, we finally have a great, comprehensive breakdown of all the tickets at the new Yankee Stadium and just how much each seat will cost its buyer, and the stats are positively startling. Yet the scary thing isn’t just the high-end cost for seats behind home plate — $2,625 per game, by far an MLB record — it’s also the overall average per seat price, breaking down to a whopping $237 per seat for the upcoming season. Needless to say, that’s the most in that category, too.
(Plenty of seats still available … for $2G!)
Need more proof? Just check out the price for seats in the Legends section, a second tier area (Sections 11-29) where tickets range from $525 (and there’s only a couple that cheap) to a $2,625 that’s just as expensive as home plate. In fact, the only way to get the average ticket price at the new Stadium below $200 is to exclude all the suite seats entirely, which are precisely one of the primary reasons the team was building this stadium in the first place; to charge more for corporate suites so tickets wouldn’t be more expensive in other parts of the park. Guess that didn’t happen.
In today’s “we can pimp our team logo anywhere” announcement, the New York Yankees are really getting their money’s worth out of the billion-plus dollars poured into the stadium. Not only do they get awesome TVs (because of blocked views) and plenty of (available) premium seats, but now they have the magic power to rid the park of microbes.
(A pensive moment with the latter-day Howard Hughes, Hank Steinbrenner)
Seriously, that’s a superpower, right? Hank Steinbrenner is Antimicrobial Man! Leaps over tall tales in a single bound! Scrubs clubhouses clean with one flick of his hair! Sanitizes all Yankees stories on the YES Network with just a grunt! Anyone that can keep that building in the Bronx free of germs deserves a Nobel Prize in medicine and a World Series ring.
The interest is there. The payroll is there. The only thing that isn’t there for the Yankees, it seems, are the fans. According to business of sports writer Richard Sandomir in THE NEW YORK TIMES, the Yankees are struggling to sell any premium seats or luxury boxes … and they’re getting desperate.
(See those empty luxury boxes? They’ll be empty during the season, too.)
It’s probably not too surprising that even the Yankees would have a hard time moving tickets that cost $325-$2,500 in an economic recession, but Sandomir brings up an interesting corrolary, with those seats still unsold, it will be even harder to fill them with Alex Rodriguez out of the lineup for up to four months.
Yesterday, we brought you the insanity that is the new Yankee Stadium, with its ridiculous amenities that make it almost certainly the most luxurious sporting venue in the world. Meanwhile, the Red Sox still play in the old bandbox known as Fenway Park, and with the boatloads of cash the Yanks are going to be pulling in on their new digs, wouldn’t it make sense for the Sox to at least consider a state-of-the-art ballpark?
Apparently not, as Boston CEO Larry Lucchino has said that he expects the team to remain at Fenway for another 50 years. The Yankees can apparently have all their shiny bells and whistles. Fenway was waterproofed in the off season. Take that, Steinbrenner. There’s no doubt that the old yard has a ton of character, but some are saying it might be time to let it go.
As everyone knows, the Yankees’ new Death Star is opening its doors in April. And just how evilly awesome will the place be? From the sounds of the tour given to NEW YORK POST gossip diva Cindy Adams, it’s pretty freakin’ incredible.
Adams speaks of huge offices and locker rooms, urinals made of blue granite, heated and air conditioned dugouts, special hooks in the lockers just for hanging socks, and a super-secret locker room where players can go hide from the media (otherwise known as A-Rod’s office).
Despite all the hype, hoopla and taxpayer dollars going into the New Yankee Stadium, with its multiple restaurants, 86 jumbotrons and quasi-historical facades, some things remain the same. Unfortunately, those things are the horrendous views from second-tier seats along the outfield lines, where enormous structural beams completely obscure the view of the field for anyone who happens to be sitting in them. For example, as first pointed out by the blog NEW STADIUM INSIDER, here’s the view from two seats in Section 230, which is out along the left field foul line:
($107 for every inning Derek Jeter will play in that exhibition game!)
Not too good, huh? The scary thing is that section 230 is hardly the only one with a seriously problematic view. Early reports from prospective season ticket buyers claimed that the team’s ticket office was feigning ignorance whenever it was asked about “partial” obstructions. When that didn’t last, the office caved in and admitted that there were some issues, but didn’t announce that price shifts would reflect that.
So, the Yankees have $430.5 million for three top-tier free agents, but they don’t have $370 million for upgrades to their new stadium, toys that will allow them to charge even more money for tickets and, as a result, sign even more top-tier free agents? That’s exactly the charge being levied in an article from the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, which breaks down the $370 million of taxpayer money that’s being used to help finance the final stages of construction on New Yankee Stadium.
(How fitting: The new opening day Yankee hats.)
As only the Steinbrenner family could, the Yankees apparently have the gall to ask for $14.2 million for a scoreboard, $10.7million for a giant video board and $10.4 million in luxury suite upgrades while the country is in a crippling recession, not to mention the fact that New York City itself is expected to be hit much harder because of falling real estate values and overwhelming unemployment from the rolling demise of a number of Wall Street firms.
Of course, the Mets are also asking for more money for stadium upgrades, but it’s fair to say that the senior circuit’s New York team is a tad more cautious and, dare we say, reasonable: The Mets want a total of $13 million for their scoreboards and restaurant space, while the Yankees’ luxury upgrades add up to a whopping $95 million.
The New York Jets have graphic images on their official website of how the new Jets Stadium will look (which they will share with the Giants). Included in those renderings is this production of one of the concourses:
(Wow Mike sure is packing ‘em on. Damn that Chunky Soup!)
Paul Lukas at UNI WATCH posted a link to the image today, and notes:
Bizarre discovery by (reader) Matt Harris, who writes: “I was on the Jets web site, looking at illustrations of how the new stadium will look, and one view of the concourse area shows mock fans in jerseys and whatnot — including someone in green Strahan jersey.” Seems like way too many Pennington jerseys too, no? Must be an old illo, but that still doesn’t explain the Strahan thing.
Based on Brett Favre’s fadeout the second half of the season, I think Jets fans would beg to differ on the Pennington point. But the Strahan jersey does smell of a carefully-placed prank by a CGI expert with a softness for the gap-toothed one - and Big Blue of course. Read more…
How much are tickets going to cost at the new Yankee Stadium next season? So much that even Red Sox President Larry Lucchino thinks they’re ridiculous. If you want the best seats in the house, you’ll be paying a face value of $2,500 even for a mid-week snoozer against the Orioles.
(Now Yanks can afford undershirt for Yogi?)
The warm fuzzies of last night’s celebration at the stadium have given way today to speculation about what the new park will bring to the table — and how much richer baseball’s Goliath will get going forward. Lucchino has his worries, especially facing an economic downturn. And he’s in charge of the second richest team in baseball. What is everyone else thinking?