NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Yankees are in hot water with some fans who feel the club is trying to separate rich fans from the everyday fan.
After announcing they would no longer accept print-at-home tickets, the Yankees tried to pacify the situation by having their chief operating officer, Lonn Trost, call into WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show on Thursday.
He explained that the policy was put in place to prevent fraudulent tickets, but he also said some fans believe lower-income people should stay in the lower-priced seats.
“The problem below market 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. “It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that 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.
“And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”
That didn’t sit well with some fans.
“You want to support the team, but if they’re going to have an elitist attitude, then you tend to not want to spend money supporting the team,” Yankees fan Louis Laguer told CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
Let’s not forget the Yankees added 37 suites and eight lounges for a reason. And premium seats are pricy, ranging from $700 up to the $1,500 range. But if you get them on the secondary market through a site such as StubHub, they can be a quarter of that.
“If I paid for a ticket, I should be able to watch the game anywhere I want to sit at,” said Ben Aggray, of Brooklyn. “You should be mad about it. I’m a New Yorker. I’m mad about it.”
In fact, the Daily News summed up the Yankees with the backpage headline: “SNOBHUB.”
But some New Yorkers think the Yankees are right.
“If you’re paying that extra money, you’re wondering, ‘What did I pay this for?’” said Dennis McCullogh, of Manhattan.
The Yankees’ loyalty to the premium-seat holders widens the divide with the blue-collar fan.
“It’s like when you heard the story about the lower-income apartments when they have a side entrance,” said E.J. Otero. “We don’t live in that system anymore.”
“The people with more money don’t believe that we have moved past that,” said Dean Maroney, of the Bronx. “Stay in your class. If you’re poverty level, you buy poverty-level tickets.”
StubHub has a deal with every major league team except the Yankees, Angels and Red Sox. If you’re a Mets fan, you can still buy off StubHub and print your tickets at home.