Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More on the empty seats

It's starting to pile on, the coverage is gaining momentum. Today, the NY Times weighs in:

The empty seats are a fresh sign that the teams might have miscalculated how much fans and corporations were willing to spend, particularly during a deep recession. Whatever the reason, the teams are scrambling to comb over their $295- to $2,625-a-seat bald spots.

I’m sure they’re thinking, ‘It’s just April,’ ” Jon Greenberg, executive editor of the Team Marketing Report, said of the lack of sellouts. “But it’s lost revenue they anticipated getting. This is the worst possible time to debut a stadium.”

The teams are loath to cut prices for fear of alienating existing ticket-holders. Letting fans from other sections move to the premium seats behind home plate and above the dugouts could backfire in the same way.
Big props to our friend Maury for the money quote:
But it doesn’t look good,” said Maury Brown, president of the Business of Sports Network, a research Web site. “It’s the Yankees, not the Nationals. On television, it stands out like a big sore thumb.”
Of course, Randy Levine remains defiant:
Randy Levine, the Yankees’ president, said last week that attendance at the second home game was proportionately ahead of last year’s pace. Levine also said that 80 to 85 percent of the Stadium’s 4,000 premium seats had been sold for the full season.

For next season, the Yankees plan to raise premium ticket prices 4 percent.


Carl the Big Fool said...

Dear Maury,
Cry us a frickin' river. Also, screw you.
--Regards, the Nationals and their fans.

Zoolander said...

Even with this "disaster", they Yankees are #1 in attendance per game in '09. The empty seats are not the end of the world but it is an embarassment given these seats were a major justification for building a new stadium.

Levine and Trost should be forced to watch all of the games from an empty section until business picks up.

Ron Rollins said...

Remember, attendance is counted by seats sold, not the turnstile count.

The Yankees are only losing concession stand money right now.

Why should they worry.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Zoo and Ron: Absolutely agree. I haven't been discussing this as an impact on team revenues as MOST (not all) of these tix are already sold.

The team loses concessions, parking, as you correctly note, Ron.

But the bigger issue is perception and don't think for a second that the team doesn't care about how the finished product LOOKS on the screen. Remember, this is an organization who has restrictions on facial hair and hair length for perception reasons.

Ron Rollins said...


I agree completely, but don't you think that's what they're spinning to the corporate bunch and the big spenders.

They're probably trying to convince all those entitities that it's not an issue becasue the tickets have sold, but people aren't attending games yet.

They'll use the weather, adatpting to a new park, kids still in school shill to appease everyone who thinks they were oversold.

Wonder if it will work?

Publicy, it's a disaster.