Billy Walsh from Entourage said it best: “Suits suck.” Corporate America is taking over the country. Well, at least the baseball world. Well, at least the Bronx. Last week, baseball’s cash cow that is the New York Yankees announced they will no longer be accepting print-at-home tickets from secondary markets like Stub- Hub and Seat Geek. In other words, unless you can get your hands on the actual hard ticket - which, in our fast-paced, technology driven world is seemingly impossible, let alone impractical - don’t show up to Yankee Stadium with an e-ticket, or Instant Delivery ticket that most of the secondary market sites use and expect to be granted entry. I’ll put it simply: this is pretty dumb. Now, if fans want to catch a Yankees game, they will have to buy tickets directly from the Yankees or via the team’s Ticketmaster service. With that in mind, don’t expect to get tickets for less than face value, unless you can find a seller on StubHub who has the actual ticket to mail to you, which takes days to receive.
Looking to catch the lowly Rays on a rainy Wednesday night? C.C. Sabathia might be pitching, Mark Teixeira is sitting - you could probably snag a deal on StubHub the day of the game. Wrong. The seats sold by the Yankees and through the Ticketmaster service are entirely team-owned, so there’s definitely no dip below face value. This is just the latest move to single out the average fan, and don’t say it’s anything but. When the Yankees moved across the street from their previous home in the Bronx, they forgot to take the baseball atmosphere with them. Harsh? Let me explain. I remember going to Yankee games at the old stadium growing up. I remember some things I noticed after walking through the turnstiles; the smell of the Carl’s Steaks stand, ‘Freddy Sez’ banging his pan with his little spoon, and thousands of proud New Yorkers ready to cheer on their beloved baseball team. Those were the good ol’ days.
Now? Walk into Yankee Stadium and be greeted by “Beers of the World.” Fork over $14 for a nice, cold craft beer from Germany. America’s pastime, huh? Yankee games today aren’t what they used to be in the past. The entire stadium is corporate, and this ticket move is the latest change towards eliminating the common fan. I’m not saying the Yankees are trying to wipe out members of its fan base from attending games, but it certainly seems that way with this new policy. According to a 2014 study con- ducted by The Arizona Republic, it costs the average family of four $337 to attend a Yankee game, which is good enough for second-highest in the league. Do the Yankees care? Heck no. Should they? Probably not. They’re a cash cow for a reason. At the end of the day, the Yankees are a business. But they` certainly are forgetting the true meaning of America’s pastime. Baseball isn’t Corporate America buying out the suites between first and third base. Baseball isn’t some guy eating a lobster roll while checking stocks on his Blackberry. I remember none of that from the old Stadium.
Want to know why baseball - true or not - seems to be losing popularity? We can blame it on long seasons and slow pace of play all we want. But the real problem is the team’s business moves like this. The Yankees certainly won’t be the only team that figures out a plan to prevent fans from landing tickets for below face value. But it’s sad to see a team going to this length to govern how fans are fill- ing its ballpark.
Start spreading the news: Yankees baseball isn’t what it used to be. David Heim is a senior journalism major from Roselle Park, N.J. He can be reached at david.heim@ student.shu.edu or on Twitter @davidheim12.