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Give the Yanks credit for trying: It may not have pushed A-Roid off the front pages, but Ticketgate is certainly starting to give him a run for his money. More tales of fan woe keep emerging, with the Times’ Richard Sandomir dumping out a bucketload of sob stories on Saturday.
Team COO Lonn Trost’s response has essentially been “RTFM,” but recent days have revealed some undocumented features. First off was Trost disclosing to WFAN’s Mike Francesca that the stadium’s 1,886 standing-room tickets will go for “around $20” a pop — and that holders of $12 bleacher seats will for the first time be free to roam about the stadium at will. While this is no doubt because Yanks execs wanted to ensure that Bleacher Creatures are able to get to the new stadium’s many premium-priced concessions areas, it makes for one weird pricing scheme: Fans will, in essence, be levied an $8 surcharge for not having a place in the outfield to rest their tuchuses between purchases of $10 caesar salads.
The plot also continues to thicken regarding the seats behind the foul poles that offer obstructed views of the field — or as Trost neologized, are “architecturally shadowed.” Trost told Francesca that foul-pole seats will not be offered as part of season ticket plans, but rather only on a game-by-game basis; they won’t be marked “obstructed view,” however, which is apparently allowable under state law, which requires that obstructed-view tickets be so marked, but doesn’t define what “obstructed” is.
Of course, Voice readers will recall that Baseball Prospectus writer Jay Jaffe has already reported being given a take-it-or-leave-it offer for foul-pole seats as part of his miniplan. And Manhattanite Gerry Grossman told the Times’ Sandomir that he’d been offered a similar deal near the left-field pole for $85, after paying $55 for better seats in 2008 — and was told he’d be stripped of the right to postseason tickets as well. “It felt like we’d been kicked out of the stadium,” said Grossman. (Yanks spokesperson Alice McGillion didn’t return phone and email messages asking about the standing-room pricing and foul-pole seating.)
Meanwhile, speculation continues as to whether anyone is going to buy all these stratopherically-priced seats, especially as Wall Street shrivels up and dies. Arizona State University economist Steve Happel goes so far as to speculate that the Yanks will have to start slashing prices as the season progresses. “This will be a good one if the Yankees have to come off of this,” Happel tells the Newark Star-Ledger. “Maybe you’ll see a really heavy Dutch auction. Those tickets may be dropping fast.” Especially if other recent events mean fans end up paying to see a lot of Jose Molina behind the plate. (Photo by Neil deMause)