NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/TiqIQ) – The announcement of Derek Jeter’s retirement yesterday sent the secondary ticket market into a frenzy. Following Jeter’s declaration at 2pm that 2014 would be the final season of his career via a post on his verified Facebook account, fans immediately flooded secondary market ticket sites upon hearing the news. Within an hour, most New York Yankees tickets were either purchased or taken down by the brokers to be put back up hours later at a much higher price.
Jeter’s announcement has reminded many of Mariano Rivera stating at the beginning of last year that the 2013 season would be his last. The demand for Rivera’s last game at Yankee Stadium experienced a notable increase, but nowhere near the extent that Jeter’s announcement has had. Rivera announced his retirement on March 9 of 2013. At the peak price on March 9, the average price for his final game in the Bronx got as high as $467.06. The get-in price hit its peak two dates later on March 11 at a high of $143. However, due to a combination of the Yankees falling out of the playoff race and the fact that Rivera was a reliever making it unknown which days he would be playing, the prices for the final game dropped by the actual date of the game. On the day of Rivera’s final game in the Bronx, the average price of a ticket was $237.89 and the get-in was $59. Also affecting the price of this game was that the official ceremony for Rivera was held a few days before on a weekend day game, taking some ticket buyers by surprise.
The regular season finale at Yankee Stadium for the 2014 season will occur on Thursday, September 25 against the Baltimore Orioles. Barring a playoff appearance, this will be Jeter’s final game in New York. This was the most searched game throughout the ticket buying frenzy, and prices now have astronomically exceeded what they were on Wednesday morning. The current average price for the game is now $645, up 111.56% from the $304.87 average price prior to Jeter’s announcement. Average price got as high as $1,112.93 in the hours following the news of Jeter’s retirement, but have since come down a bit as a result of more lower priced inventory hitting the market. Of course, prices for the game were already rather high due to the potential playoff implications of this late-season divisional contest. Still, the get-in price for the game is now higher than the original average price, currently $306 for the cheapest ticket. At noon on Wednesday, fans could have purchased a ticket for the regular season finale for as low as $26, which would have resulted in a potential return on investment of 1,076.92% within just hours. It is not just the regular season finale that has shown an increase in price however, as Yankees tickets for the final 23 home games of 2014 have all increased at least 4.81% since Wednesday afternoon. The season average for all 81 games at Yankee Stadium has risen from $206.97 to $236.48 a midst all the demand. Even Yankees spring training tickets have gone up, with most games rising 5% or more since yesterday.
The September 25 showdown against the Orioles won’t be the last game of the Yankees season, though, as they will still have a three game series at Fenway Park against the Red Sox to end 2014. Jeter’s last game, if the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, would be Sunday, September 28 in Boston—perhaps the most fitting location outside of Yankee Stadium for Jeter to put on the pinstripes for a final time. Red Sox tickets for this game didn’t immediately spike, but have since increased substantially as well. The current average price is $650.80, up 160.69% over the $249.65 pre-retirement price. The get-in price for this game of $298 also now exceeds the original average price, up 192.16% from $102.
Of course, there are still some unknowns about Jeter’s final game as a Yankee. Prices would likely go down if the Yankees were to make the playoffs, allowing fans to know the game against the Orioles wouldn’t be his last in the stadium. There’s also the risk of injury, as Jeter struggled to stay healthy last season, playing in only 17 games. There could also be a ceremony, like Rivera’s, on a day other than the Yankee Stadium finale. Still, with the price increase of so many games towards the end of the season, it’s clear that many fans don’t care so much about the pageantry– they just want to see The Captain in pinstripes one final time.
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