Earlier today, I received a text message from an avid fan and BYB reader @hammersiny. It was a link to an article that revealed the ugliness of deception and integrity. The New York Yankees have announced that they will no longer allow fans to enter the ball park with print-at-home tickets. Now, I needed to do so searching to confirm this, because quite frankly, I couldn't believe it. So much has been reported about increasing the fan experience and access to the ball park, so it was hard for me to think that this story could be true.
After checking multiple reports, the new policy takes effect immediately since the Yankees have in fact discontinued the PDF print-at-home option. StubHub is a big player in this market as most fans print their tickets from the site.
"Though MLB has an affiliation with the online ticket reseller, the Yankees have been complaining about the StubHub effect on their bottom line since 2012 (New York Post). The problem seems to be that StubHub doesn't place minimum prices on seats and the Yankees want a floor, which they use on yankees.com and throughout Ticketmaster," reported CBS Sports on Wednesday. So what? Well, it's a fans' game and I know plenty of fans who can't afford the top of the line seats the Yankees seem to think they can.
I mean, my Dad and his friends used to pick up tickets at the ticket window for a double header on Sundays. He and his friend Johnny took the Staten Island Ferry and the subway into the Bronx. It was a weekly affair that didn't hurt their wallets. Kids today can't afford to go out to the Stadium more than once a year, if ever. So to think that the Yankees are doing this over StubHub's access makes me sick.
If we go with the fraud argument, I guess I feel a little bit better. According to Newsday, "the Yankees said print-at-home tickets “are being discontinued so as to further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets.” Further, "The Yankees will accept only two types of tickets: traditional ones that are printed on hard-stock paper, or mobile ones, in which a fan would show his or her smartphone upon entering the stadium, just as like many travelers now do in lieu of a printed boarding pass when getting on an airplane."
StubHub countered in a statement on Wednesday saying, we believe "that the best customer experience is one on a free and open marketplace where fans can buy and sell tickets whenever and wherever they want." Taking the PDF print-at-home option away from fans also takes away the spontaneity of going to the game last minute. "It looks like a great day to catch a game at the Stadium, doesn't it?" Nope...cant do it. Now it is possible that the Yankees or one of the other ticketing organizations, perhaps even StubHub, will come up with other ways for fans to access tickets, but for now, the print-at-home access is shut off, permanently.
Not a good way to open up the single ticket sales window for 2016, now is it?