Yankees Raise Bleacher Prices; ‘Bald Vinny’ Not Happy

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The Bleacher Creatures at Yankee Stadium will have to spend more cash for “the cheap seats”  in 2012.

The Yankees are raising bleacher prices next season in an effort to cut down on resales by ticket brokers. New York said Tuesday the price of the seats will be $20 and $12 next year, up from $15 and $5.

“The $5 bleacher seats sold for about six times face value and were bought up by ticket brokers,” chief operating officer Lonn Trost said. “The folks that really wanted it for affordability couldn’t get it.”

Not everyone agrees.

“That only holds true for the premium games,” Vincent “Bald Vinny” Milano, a Section 203 regular, told the New York Post. “When it gets into the dog days and midweek games, you can go to StubHub and find those bleacher tickets going for $3 or $5.”

“What really gets me and a lot of people is now we’re on par with grandstand seats, where there are backs (on the seats),” he added. “I sit on a bench.”

The team is keeping 70 percent of ticket prices unchanged, including all field-level seats between the bases. The prices of field-level seats in fair territory in the outfield, which sometimes had unsold areas last season, are being reduced, from $100 to as low as $65.

Some Field Level MVP seats, starting with the outside edge of the dugouts, will be reduced by $35-$50.

The Yankees averaged 45,107 fans this season, down from a major league-best 46,491 last year and 45,918 in 2009, when the stadium opened.

Your thoughts on the raised bleacher prices? Let us know in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Closet Met Fan

    Lonn Trost is the same guy who had the new bleacher seats in new Yankee Stadium with the molded seat bottom removed and replaced with a straight bench because he decided that’s not what the “bleacher creatures” would want.

    Now the fans sit on an uncomfortable bench but pay as much or more than a regular seat.

  • Rob Poling

    The Yankees, along with all the other MLB teams, have contracts with StubHub to purchase tickets so to come out and say StubHub is the reason for the price increases is a scam. The Yankees won’t dare raise tickets prices on seats with PSL’s because they’re corporately owned so they stick it on the little guy.

  • KG

    Full disclosure—I have had a full-season ticket plan for two (2) Yankee Stadium bleacher seats since the 2008 season. I’m not a professional ticket broker but I do sell a majority of my season tickets on StubHub in the hope of making a little profit and attending about a dozen or so games a year.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    The New York Yankees are out-of-line with this 33% bleacher seat price increase in this economy. They’ve already priced the real fans out of the high-end seats in exchange for corporate dollars and sponsorships. After this money-grab the real fans won’t be able to afford bleacher seats either. And not for nothing, but as a season ticket holder I am shocked that I learned about this price hike from ESPNNewYork.com rather than my Yankee ticket rep.
    Yankees COO Lonn Trost has stated that the reason for the bleacher price increase is because of scalpers and the secondary market. He’s trying to make a case that ticket brokers and scalpers are buying up the bleacher seats and then turning around and selling them at high markups in the secondary marketplace, i.e. StubHub. But that is not true. With the exception of Boston Red Sox and New York Mets games most Yankee tickets sold on StubHub sell for less than face value.

    The reason that the secondary market has been so flush with activity in recent years is because Yankee ticket prices in general are too high. That’s why season ticket subscriptions continue to decline. That’s why season ticket holders like me get emails in July, August, and September asking if we want to expand our ticket plans for the current season– because the Yankees still have an abundance of tickets available that they haven’t sold. The ticket prices are too high and the Yankees can’t sell those tickets to ticket brokers or anyone else. Ticket brokers have learned that they can’t make money reselling already overpriced tickets.

    Two years ago bleacher seats cost $12 apiece. For a person like me it was feasible to sometimes sell your $12 tickets for between $5-10 because you knew that chances are you’d be able to make that money back on your premium games and playoff-chase games in September. Last year, when the price went up to $15 selling those same tickets for $5-10 hurt a little more because there’s obviously more non-premium games than premium and thus less opportunity to make back that lost money. And for those same seats to now cost $20 is making it prohibitive for a real fan like me to buy them in the first place because I would be reselling my tickets at a loss most of the time. And who will step up to buy my season ticket bleacher seats from the Yankees? Chances are the very people who Lonn Trost says they’re trying to prevent from buying them– ticket brokers!

    Maybe the Yankees should consider tier-pricing. I understand that the Yankees look at StubHub and see Yankees-Red Sox bleacher tickets that they sold for $15 being resold for $55, $65, etc. The Yankees want in on that price markup. But I know that they also see Yankees-Royals, Yankees-Mariners, and Yankees-Indians bleacher tickets being resold for less than $5.00.

    The Yankees have lost touch with reality and the economy their real fans are living in. A bleacher seat for a Tuesday night game in July vs. Kansas City or a Wednesday afternoon game in August vs. Seattle is not worth $20, plain and simple. The Yankees are pointing out that 70% of all seat prices have been reduced or staying the same. Well that’s because when the new Stadium opened in 2009 the Yankees priced a majority of their seats so obscenely high above a realistic value that they couldn’t sell them. The market, or really a lack thereof, has forced the Yankees to lower those prices.

    Who do the Yankees think their fans are? How much money do the Yankees think their average fans can afford to spend for a night out at the ballpark? Judging by this price hike they certainly must not think that it’s people making less than $50,000 a year. And there’s certainly more fans like me than superstar fans like Jay-Z. So is that who the Yankees are trying to cater to? And they can claim that they’re doing lower-income families a favor by keeping the bleacher seats in sections 201 and 239 at $5. That’s approximately 1,000 seats total. And besides, those seats are a joke. If I had received a courtesy email from my Yankee ticket rep they probably would’ve suggested I move into those seats. But that wouldn’t matter because I’m not interested in sitting in a seat that has half of the playing field obscured.

    I can only hope that the Yankees receive such furious backlash and public outcry that they’re forced to rescind this ill-conceived and ill-timed money grab. I hope that my fellow season ticket holders or soon-to-be-former season ticket holders contact them with similar letters of outrage and disgust, condemning this action. Unless this price increase is rescinded my financial support of any and all New York Yankees products and merchandise will subside. I swear if the YES Network wasn’t included in my basic cable package I’d cancel that on principle too. This time they’ve gone too far.

    Outraged and disgusted,
    K. Gannon – Lifelong Yankees fan.

  • Carmelo Diaz

    I Love my NY Yankees but one reason I go to less games every year is because of the organization raising ticket prices. The only way I go to more games if someone has extra tickets, otherwise I stay home.

  • former_ticket_holder

    Bleacher tickets go up while MVP prices are lowered. I gave up my tickets sadly when the Yanks moved to the new Stadium. I could not afford or justify the higher prices. The only way the Steins will pay attention is when ticket holders will not renew. As long as you buy they will raise the prices.

  • Dave Stapleton

    I agree with everything you said, but the Yankees have to come up with the money for CC’s new contract somewhere and the easiest way to do it is by raising prices

  • jadez

    if you dont understand that sports teams dont give a rats ass about the fans then you get comments like this.

    and since the fools buy the tickets no matter what they do to them..why would they change?

  • MarcNYY618

    The logic behind this price increase is flawed.

    I’m a 10 year season ticketholder in the bleachers. I know how it is out there better than some outside company. The people in my section go to 30-81 games a year.

    I know people who dwarf my 10 years out there. They’ve been going to games faithfully for decades. Some go back to the 1980s, one even goes back to the 1950s.

    The regulars in our section have over 135 seats total, and while no one is at EVERY game, we actually use our tickets. There’s nothing like a Friday night out in our section, with people who have known each other for years, yelling our heads off in support of the Yankees.

    Yes, people stubhub tickets. Not everyone does it, but most do, so we don’t have to eat tickets on games we can’t attend. I don’t care what an outside company gets, as a ticketholder, I know the market fairly well.

    We take care of each other in the big games for the most part. There’s an unwritten rule that when we sell to each other, we sell at face value. No matter what the game, be it Red Sox, Opening Day, playoffs, a $15 ticket is sold for $15. We are our own secondary market.

    If we can’t find a buyer, many of us do use stubhub. The majority of Yankee games cannot be sold at premium prices. To make $15 on a $15 ticket, a seller has to sell for $18 on stubhub. We don’t make $18. We make $15.30. That 30 cents is my profit. Not $5. Not $20. 30 cents. And that’s IF the ticket sells.

    I ate quite a few tickets last year, which sold for $0.00. The outside company can’t possibly account for tickets that are eaten because they didn’t sell or weren’t put on stubhub in the first place, which happens quite often.

    Here’s something NO ONE REPORTS. The Yankees charge us $25 shipping for our tickets, whether we want to pick them up or not. Plus, they charge us full price for the 8 or 9 $5 games and the half price games. So when you go to a $5 game, I’m paying now $20 for that same ticket–because I had the decency to give them $1600 plus in advance. Where’s my refund there? I’m not just paying $20 now, I’m paying more.

    Here’s what’s likely to happen. Many of us will suck it up and pay the extra money. Even if we can’t afford it, we will find a way. We now may be forced to sell some premiums games on stubhub to make up some of the cost. The little guy is being pushed out. Who will buy the tickets if we don’t? Scalpers. Who else?

    That person going since the 1950s? Obviously she’s over 80 years old. Still comes to games with a cain. The Yankees are now forcing her to come up with an ADDITIONAL $405 because they claim scalpers sell the tickets. That’s terrible.

    The Yankees are raising the price on the little guy, on the people who can least afford tickets but still want to go, just to get back at people who are abusing the internet. The Yankees should err on the side of the fan that goes, not the scalper.

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