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NEW YORK (WFAN) – The Yankees — otherwise known as the “Evil Empire” for their deep pockets and their willingness to spend lavishly on players — can’t possibly be having trouble selling tickets, can they?
Look at all the draws: The Yankees are a perennial contender, their stadium is iconic, they play in the biggest media market in the world and they are the most famous professional sports franchise of all-time.
Well, you’d be surprised. It’s not simply a walk in the park, as it would appear to be.
Between Superstorm Sandy and a struggling economy, things aren’t looking so rosy in the Bronx when it comes to ticket sales.
“Between the hurricane and the snowstorm, we’re monitoring it,” Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost told WFAN host Mike Francesa on Tuesday. “It’s rougher than in years past. It’s rough for the Yankees.”
Trost admits that luring fans to the park isn’t as easy as it once was, despite the fact that the product is the Yankees. The landscape is changing, and New York is attempting to stay with the pack by offering fans different experiences.
“Fortunately our full-season tickets have renewed at a greater percentage than we thought they would, (so) we’re very pleased with that,” Trost said. “But it’s still different than it was in the past. In the past, you put your tickets on sale and tickets were purchased. Now, like every other club, there are experiences, there are benefits.
“We have a new legacy club that we’ll be announcing pretty soon, which will provide season-ticket holders the ability to have their children run the bases, for them to get upgrades, to sit in during press conferences.”
The defending American League East champions admittedly aren’t spending like they once did. The Bombers are attempting to lower their payroll to $189 million to avoid paying Major League Baseball’s luxury tax.
“We’re trying to provide the fan with more than just the game, because it’s the game and it’s the experience and it’s the food and beverage,” Trost said. ”But every fan is here for a different reason. Some are just here to watch the game. Others are here to watch the game and enjoy the food. Others are here to watch the game, eat the food and get autographs. Everything is different, so we’re trying to be accommodating to all our fans.”
Between the economy, the price of tickets, the state of the club and the effects of Superstorm Sandy, have you been reluctant to buy Yankees tickets for 2013? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…