This past week, the New York Yankees, despite being a first place team with great success so far this year, announced that they were having trouble selling tickets this year. They claimed that they were unsure as to why exactly this was, but alluded to it being due to a lack of interest from the younger generations. The Yankees wish to find a way to reach that market and appeal to them. In what seemed to be an attempt to do so, they introduced the “Judge’s Chambers” a place where a small group of fans are selected to sit in the designated area named after rookie outfielder, Aaron Judge. This was supposed to be fun little thing to help get the young fans more interested in the game. As a young whippersnapper myself, I know exactly what the reasoning is for the lack of interest in Yankee games, not only for the younger generation, but fans of all ages, and it’s not the lack of fun gimmicks like the Judge’s Chambers. Instead, the answer is much simpler than that: Make the game cheaper.
The Yankees have always been known as a very prestigious and high-end organization, but as of late, it has become absolutely insane. The Yankees are pricing out their fans and making it nearly impossible for the everyday fans to go to the games. The game is now only affordable for those who wish to make an event out of it and not simply go to watch the team play. Going to Yankee Stadium is almost a status symbol to show how rich you are at this point. Me, being the poor college student I am, watch my games from my little laptop screen and when they show the fans in the front rows, I hardly see any of them paying attention. They’re usually on their phones not even paying attention to what’s going on. They’re there for show, rather than the Yankees. Those are not the people you want in the front rows. You want your passionate fans up there who are actually going to enjoy the game in front of them. But at Yankee Stadium, that’s not going to happen.
Now tickets like that in the front rows are expensive no matter what ballpark you go to, but it is exponentially higher in Yankee Stadium. Now I know that Yankee Stadium does offer cheaper tickets for those who cannot afford the floor seats, but those tickets still start at around $20, depending on who’s in town, and even then it still puts you in the upper decks in the way back. To compare that to other stadiums, I remember my dad, brother, and I went to Cleveland to see two games a few summers ago and we got three tickets for about $30 each and that put us only 13 rows away from the field. If you want fans to go to games, make tickets that affordable and maybe they’ll show up.
Sadly, however, it is not just the ticket prices that are the problem, it is everything about the trip that is expensive as well. Even if you do purchase a (relatively) cheap ticket at Yankee stadium, your bill could start at upwards of $50 before you even step through the gates. Parking for Yankee Stadium is an absolute killer, sometimes being up in the $40 range. Now if you’re like me, a college student at New Paltz, there’s no way in hell you’re driving into the city, so you just drive over to the train station in Poughkeepsie and take the train into New York and avoid the parking fees. But that train round trip is just about equivalent to the parking fees, so there’s really no difference in pricing there.
So you finally get inside, you’re having a good time, but at some point you’re gonna have to eat. It’s just tradition. If you don’t get a beer and a hot dog when you’re at the stadium then what the hell are you doing? You don’t belong there. So you get in line, get your food and drink, and all you bought was a beer and a hot dog, yet you’re looking at a bill over $20. That’s just absolute robbery. I can go to my local pizza place and buy a pitcher of beer for $4. There’s no reason to make your prices that outlandish. I’m sure you make enough money as it is.
These next grievances are a bit off topic due to the fact that they have nothing to do with money, but they still have to do with getting people interested in going to the games. I just wanted to address it while I’m on the subject because I don’t know when else I would be able to. Yankee Stadium has the reputation of being sticklers when it comes to rules and such. When at Yankee Stadium, it is nearly impossible to stop and stand anywhere. Even if you stop for a few moments, a security guard is bound to come up to you and tell you to keep moving. It’s a good policy for keeping foot traffic moving, but it takes away the ability to stop and take in the stadium. Sometimes I just want to enjoy a view of the stadium from a location different from my seat, but that is just simply impossible at Yankee Stadium. At other stadiums there is plenty of room to stop and look on, but not at Yankee Stadium.
Another rule they have at Yankee Stadium is they do not allow people to move down. I understand this if people are taking people’s seats, but for the most part, they’re not. And if they are, the people whose seats they are simply show them their tickets, and the people will move. Problem solved. I do not understand letting people enjoy seats that aren’t being used. Not only will it please the fans, but it will also make the stadium appear fuller, thus influencing people to come out to more games, seeing it as a hot commodity, and will also bring more advertisers in because they notice that more people will be able to see their ads. No one loses by letting people move up. Even if they still don’t want people to move up right away due to monetary reasons, they could at least allow it after say the 5th inning or so, that way people don’t take advantage of seats that they did not pay for.
Everything that has to do with going to a Yankee game is expensive. There is simply no way to avoid the high prices of the game, making it very difficult for your everyday fan to go to a game. The only aspect of the game that I give them a pass for is the price of souvenirs because those prices are fairly consistent throughout all Major League stadiums. When you pair the pricey, well, everything, of Yankee Stadium with the strict rules, the entire event seems unappealing to your everyday fans. Turning off your everyday fans from going to the games is the biggest mistake you could make when it comes to business. Everyday fans are the heart and soul of your business, you cannot upset them. Sadly the Yankees have appeared to do this with their expensive tickets and such. This has led those fans, like myself, to look to other stadiums to attend games at, or simply not go at all. If the Yankees are to get the fans back into the stands, they need to make it more affordable for them.