Monday, May 29, 2017


Credit Elsa/Getty Images        
The New York Times dropped a big story last week HERE and it shows just how clueless some of the brains in the Yankees front office really are. This isn't rocket science.

The Yankees have a young, exciting and winning team. It should be a new economic boom for an organization that is finally getting younger and getting some big expensive contracts off of the books. It should be bringing in a ton of fans to watch this new Yankee team win. The Yankees are undeniably better than last year. They win and they are fun to watch so that should have people running to the ballpark.....but they aren't. So, what's the problem?

Well, there seems to be more than one, actually and the Yankees think they have the answers, but they don't.

1) Since the end of 2009, Yankee suite and ticket revenues have decreased by more than $166 million.
The Yankees open their new ball park, and win a World Series championship but have since lost out on profits. Despite the Yankees winning and successful season so far, they have brought in LESS money than the same time last year. Even with a dreadful start to the season, the Yankees were making more in ticket sales. Fans paid more to see a losing team then a team leading the way with superstars like Aaron Judge.

2) The Yankees’ per-game decline of 3,793 over the same number of games last season is the third-sharpest in baseball, according to, trailing just Kansas City and the Mets.

The Yankees have the third sharpest decline in attendance after recent World Series winners Kansas City and the circus side show New York Mets? That's sad. The Yankees have a young and dynamic team that even Yankee haters pay attention to. Fans finally have that younger team they have wanted for YEARS, but aren't paying money to go see them. The Yankees just can't put butts in the seats even with a winning lineup....and that's a big problem.

3) A recent May game in the Bronx against the Toronto Blue Jays drew an announced crowd of 25,556 -- the smallest for a Yankees home game in 13 years.

A winning team playing a division rival with some big names on it should draw in a crowd. Fans still remember the days of Russell Martin and want to watch a talented hitter like Jose Bautista. Sure, the Blue Jays may be an underachieving team in last place but to get the lowest attendance in 13 years? That is an ugly stat.

Those are the three major problems. Instead of looking at the one thing that all three scenarios have in common the Yankees are making some CRAZY statements.

"Baseball, I think, has somewhat struggled with the millennial problem. We recognized in looking at our fan base, we recognized in looking at our viewers on YES, that that age group is not what it could be and not what it should be" according to Hal Steinbrenner.

The fact of the matter is that as much as society may like to blame millennials for a lot of things....the Yankees decrease in ticket revenue is not one of them.

Or how about the Yankees pricing strategy with their premium seats? The Yankees set high pricing in their seats behind home plate to keep the available to the rich, and out of reach for those of us who can't spend that kind of money, and Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost was quick to justify that HERE.

“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.”

I think Trost is extremely out of touch. There is definitely a pricing issue here, but it's not the one that he is describing.

And what about Randy Levine? He's already been under fire recently with Dellin Betances, but Randy seems to think that the players are a big reason why fans spend money on the games.

"Right now, there’s no LeBron in baseball, there’s no Tom Brady. Derek Jeter was, maybe David Ortiz. But I think these young guys on our team and some of the other ones have the breakout ability, and I think that’s what’s exciting and what our fans are looking at.”

Ummmm NO Randy! What your fans are looking at is the insane prices of your tickets right HERE. Clearly you already have a LeBron or a Brady....if you didn't you wouldn't have taken out seats to accommodate your "Judge's Chambers" section at Yankee stadium.

Sure, you can get some cheap seats at Yankee stadium. Some fans may be okay with a "Pinstripe Pass" and stand in a "fan gathering" section for a few hours with a drink included and just stand....but that's not most of us. What about mom and dad that want to take their kids to a game? They are going to want a memorable game with decent seats. Ones that they don't have to squint to see or sit on dad's shoulders just to see Gary Sanchez off in the distance. Try taking a family four to a game and pay $40 for parking and $15 for a beer and $12 each for a few hot dogs after spending money on those expensive seats. It's not affordable!

Yankees ownership is just clueless at this point. They have a winning team on the field but can't figure out how to get people to come and watch them play. A winning product isn't good enough if people don't actually come to see them. They just don't get it...they have priced fans right out of their ballpark and kept them at home....watching the game on TV for a lot less money. It's not rocket science, just stupidity.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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