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Derek Jeter's announcement Wednesday that he will retire after the upcoming season turned out to be a boon for fans and brokers of the New York Yankees' rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
In an ironic twist, the Yankees' season-ending series in Boston (Sept. 26-28) will now be the shortstop's final regular-season games.
Within minutes of the announcement, which was posted to Jeter's Facebook page, ticket prices soared on the web.
"This last Jeter game is now a tougher ticket than the Opening Day ring ceremony," Jim Holzman, CEO and president of Boston-based Ace Ticket, said. "Now that's a story."
Ticket aggregator TiqIQ said that the cheapest seat for the finale at around 2 p.m. ET, before Jeter's announcement was posted, was $26. An hour later, the site didn't have anything for less than $200.
As of 5:30 p.m., the average ticket price for Jeter's last game was $1,153.01, up 278.2 percent from 2 p.m.
"People bought what they could buy," said Chris Matcovich, TiqIQ's vice president for data. "And then brokers started pulling their tickets so as not to sell their seats too cheaply."
Matcovich said the company, which was founded in 2009, had never seen an immediate reaction in the sports-ticketing market like this.
Holzman said Ace Ticket, the largest broker in town, saw the huge uptick.
"The final series against the Yankees was too far away to think about this morning," said Holzman, who has been in business since 1979. "Not now. We're seeing action from people in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York."
Holzman said most Red Sox fans were buying tickets just to get into the park, while Yankees fans have called his brokerage looking for special seats, like ones behind the Yankees' dugout.
With Jeter's announcement, Ace raised the prices for a bleacher seat from $129 to $249. A field-box seat jumped from $275 to $349.
The cheapest seat to Opening Day through Ace Ticket is a bleacher seat for $195.
The most expensive seats for the final Jeter game on Sept. 28 at Fenway are $790. Those seats are along the visiting dugout. These seats, Holzman said were selling for $390 on Wednesday morning.
"We have this major rivalry, but there's a lot of respect for a guy like Derek Jeter," Holzman said. "People want to be there for this."
Holzman said he expected interest to steadily rise throughout the day.
"Oh, it's just starting," he said. "Wait until people get home and hear it on the news and realize his last game is at Fenway."
Meanwhile, the list price of the Yankees' last 23 home games have increased at least 4.8 percent since the announcement, according to TiqIQ.