The New York Yankees are not only often regarded as one of the top franchises in baseball, but also as one of the top franchises in all of sports.
However, the Yankees, like all sports organizations, sometimes make decisions that puzzle and confuse its top fans and supporters.
Most recently, the Yankees have decided to discontinue print-at-home tickets for the upcoming season, claiming fraud crackdown as the main reason for the change.
It might not seem like a big deal to some, but this decision significantly affects the secondary market of ticket sales, an avenue utilized by many fans, especially the younger, tech-driven generation.
While you’ll still be able to buy re-sale tickets from brokers like StubHub and Vivid Seats in hard paper ticket form, you’ll have to do so days in advance to ensure you receive them in the mail in time. Otherwise, you’ll be out of luck and have to resort to in-person meetings with sellers, street scalpers or purchasing day-of-game box office prices. The times of buying tickets on StubHub hours, or even minutes, before a Yankees home game and printing them out are over.
One can probably understand the Yankees’ reasoning, although they’re probably unhappy with it. However, comments made by Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost on Thursday add another wrinkle to the story.
“The problem [selling] below market [price] at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money,” Trost said on WFAN. “It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but the fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and [another] fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount.”
The preceding sounds like basic supply and demand, one of the most fundamental principles of a market economy.
“And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location,” Trost added. “So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”
The last two lines are what concern me. I would hope these weren’t Trost’s intentions, but it almost sounds like the Yankees are trying to define their existing fan base as only those with premium seating.
Many would strongly argue against that given the various reports in the past that the club has struggled selling its premium seating and the fact that most fans of any team never have an opportunity to attend a home game.
Regardless of the intention or misunderstanding, the transfer of mobile tickets with a few authorizations and modifications from the Yankees, Ticketmaster and StubHub could solve what has become a pretty big issue in New York.
We’ll have to wait and see. The spur of the moment trip to Yankee Stadium, at least for now, has become much more difficult for Fordham students, and for all other fans as well.