No, wait, I apologize. They didn't fix any of that. It was all a dream.
The New York Yankees announced massive price reductions in specific seating areas. Apparently, they were tired of having the same attendance figures as a .500 Triple-A minor league team as opposed to a .500 Major League Team, which according to Forbes was one of the most profitable teams last season. As many sports commentators, fans, and bloggers noted, New Yankee Stadium had all the accoutrements of a ballpark except paying spectators. U.S. Census Data puts the population of New York City at roughly 8.2 million people (data from 2006). Taking into account a percentage of residents as non-Yankees fans, factor in another percentage of residents as non-baseball fans, and we are left with a workable amount of people willing to attend ball games.
They all must have been on vacation.
That would explain all the empty seats at the Stadium. But, wait; the economy! Yes, that's it. The poor economy must be a major cause of fans staying away from the ballpark. Nice of the Yankees' brass to notice the nation hasn't had the best economic news for the past two years. Maybe a Front Office staffer found this out by eavesdropping on a conversation between economics and business students from (pick any) Columbia-, Fordham-, Manhattan-, Yeshiva-, New York University, or SUNY Maritime while riding on the Metro-North Line. Amazing. In a city which prides itself as the News Capital of the World, information takes a while to reach Stalag Yankees.
So, in an effort to hide the fact that the Yankees built a $1.3 billion fortress to house its current residents of pigeons, wind-strewn trash, and a team tied for the 19th-best record in baseball, ticket prices have been slashed. As Matt previously posted, some premium ticket prices have been cut by as much as 50% from the original price. However, I argue that's not enough!
News articles from various media outlets document that New York City taxpayers paid nearly 100% of the construction bill.
State and city taxes? Bah! Who needs them?
Since the Yankees have decided to accept nearly 100% of this taxpayer windfall and repay the City a paltry $30 million total over 40 years, I propose that Yankee Stadium tickets be discounted nearly 100% until the $1.3 billion has been repayed. That may take some time, but, after all, the Yankees are one of the most profitable baseball teams out there, and last year's attendance figures approached 4 million fans. This year, however, in six home games, the Yankees are averaging 44,500 tickets sold (attendance accounts for tickets sold, not actual people in the stands), which leads Major League Baseball.
Tax-exempt bonds, tax-free status on construction materials, plus the destruction of at least two city-owned and operated parks to make way for the Stadium have infuriated State and City leaders, not to mention the average fan of the game. Although the Yankees have promised to pay for new parks to replace the demolished ones, construction had to be halted to allow extra time for removal of buried toxic waste from the new park sites. That's nice. However, three arms are better than two, right?
Sports fans from New York State (including Yankees fans) have been calling for this almost since the beginning. And I want to let non-East Coasters know that New York residents statewide are furious that we are pandering to an industry and a team with a faulty understanding of non-baseball related economics. As for the Mets and Citi Field, you're in the same boat. It would be best to follow the Yankees' route.