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.