Super-rich spurning Yankee Stadium?

April, 21, 2009
4/21/09
4:42
PM ET
IIATMS's Jason is sick and tired of seeing all those empty, super-expensive seats inside the Yankees' new stadium ...
    Randy Levine, this is on you. This is your legacy, a ballpark for the rich, while utterly dismissing your loyal fan base. Your pomposity, your utter disdain for anyone and anything that doesn't agree with you, your bullheadedness in not doing something about this when it became obvious to everyone that there was going to be a problem.

    This is hard for me as it's my childhood team, but I feel no sympathy for the organization. Sure, it fuels the spending to try to put a quality product on the field, but I can't help but chuckling as the spears and arrows are mid-flight towards Levine & Co.

    Now, this is not solely a Yankee Stadium problem; attendance is down almost 7% across the board. Baseball, and all sports, will feel the pinch from the economy. But it just feels that other markets are being responsive to the economy whereas the Yanks are summarily thumbing their nose at it. Sure, the Stadium was built essentially before the floor fell out of the economy, but had the team used any modicum of common sense, they would have changed their strategy and been more flexible with their pricing schemes. Some teams are offering kid-friendly programs or discounted ticket nights. Not the Yanks. But we'll have a nice wide concourse, which is nice.

For maximum enjoyment of Jason's indignation, you have to see the accompanying photos (here's one of them).

Yes, Yankee Stadium is a ballpark for the rich. But make no mistake: Just about every other franchise would do exactly the same thing if there were enough rich people within 30 miles. The Yankees built a ballpark for the rich because they could. Or thought they could. It's hard to hold that against them. But Jason's right: The Yankees have compounded a (maybe) miscalculation with a terribly arrogant attitude toward their current circumstances. The Yankees have gone from If you build it, they will come (and they have, generally) to If we charge $2,650 they will pay, eventually (and they haven't, generally).

Peter Abraham says the Yankees might lower the prices on the premium seats, but I'll see Abraham and raise him ... the Yankees will make some adjustments. Otherwise they'll be a laughing stock all season long.

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