Yankees adjust premium ticket prices

April 28, 2009 9:54:00 PM PDT
Turns out a few more fans might be able to buy those empty front-row seats at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees slashed prices on more than 40 percent of their front-row seats by up to 50 percent Tuesday and announced many of those who bought tickets closest to the field for $325-$2,500 will be eligible for additional free seats.

Those initiatives could help pack previously unfilled areas that were an eye sore on television broadcasts during the opening homestand at the $1.5 billion ballpark.

"There are a few hundred suite seats in our premium locations that have not been sold on a full season basis," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "As a result, and for many of our fans who have already purchased full season suite seats in such premium locations, the Yankees are announcing today a program that adjusts certain prices and benefits."

While most of the cheaper tickets in the second and third decks were sold for the opening six games, entire sections of cushioned blue seats with teak arm rests in the first nine rows in 25 sections went empty, areas that cost $500 and up. In addition, many of the non-premium seats between the bases, which cost $325 as part of season tickets and $375 individually, also went unfilled.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who owns three $850 Legends Suite season tickets, was unhappy prices were cut only for those with front-row seats while others will be given additional tickets.

"If they're offering only selective refunds, depend upon it: There are going to be lawsuits," he said. "Great, more tickets nobody wants. The silver lining here is that even more charities are going to be getting even more tickets from me."

The price of first-row season seats in nine sections of the Delta Sky360 Suite one deck up behind home plate was cut from $750 to $550.

Among the top non-premium seats in the lower deck, the Yankees announced a buy-three-get-one-free program for new $325-a-seat season tickets in the 15 sections between the bases.

Steinbrenner said the Yankees had sold 85 percent of their premium seats and 37,000 full-season equivalents, more than 3.4 million tickets in all. But it was apparent most of the unsold seats were closest to the field.

In response, the team cut the price of first-row Legends Suite seats in four sections on the outer half of the dugouts and photo cages from $2,500 to $1,250. According to a count by The Associated Press, 48 seats were affected.

In addition, seats in the first row in the final three sections down each foul line were slashed from $1,000 to $650. That affects 68 seats.

In all, the AP count had the Yankees cutting the price of 116 of 258 front-rows seats, which have been on sale for up to $2,625 for individual games. The team said the reductions will apply to this season only, and ticket buyers can receive either a refund or credit.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester, a frequent and vocal critic of the Yankees, said the reductions weren't enough.

"It's the public that built Yankee Stadium, and even at these prices, the public has been excluded from the very stadium they built," Brodsky said. "It's a continuing disaster."

Those who bought $2,500 first-row season tickets in the 11 sections surrounding the plate that weren't reduced - there are 98 seats in that area - will receive an equal number of free first-row tickets for the rest of the season. Those who bought $1,250 first-row seats in the first two sections past each photo cage - 44 seats previously in that category - will receive free seats for 24 games.

Fans who bought $850 Legends Suite season tickets - there are 843 seats located in that category - will get free seats in the same section for eight games and free seats in the $500 section for four games.

Those who bought $600 Legends Suite season tickets - 324 seats are in that area - will get free seats in the $500 section for 10 games. Those who bought $500 Legends Suite seats - there are 470 - will get free seats in that section for eight games.

Among the $325 non-premium seats between the bases, the Yankees said fans who bought two or three season tickets will receive two free tickets for every other game starting with Thursday or Friday.

Those who bought four or five season tickets will get two free seats for every game, those who bought six or seven will get three free seats for every game and those who bought season tickets will get four free seats for every game.

The Yankees have charged far higher prices than the Mets, whose top 92 seats behind home plate, called Delta Club Platinum, average $495 under the team's five-tier variable pricing system at $800 million Citi Field.

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(RELEASE FROM THE YANKEES BELOW)

For the 2009 regular season only, the following price adjustments and benefits are being adopted effective immediately for a few hundred Legends Suite and Delta Sky 360 Suite Licensees.

A. The full season Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row in Sections 15A, 15B, 24B and 25 will be reduced from $2,500 to $1,250 per regular season game. All fans who have purchased such full season Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive, at their choice, a refund or a credit.

B. The full season Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row in Sections 11, 12, 13, 27B, 28 and 29 will be reduced from $1,000 to $650 per regular season game. All fans who have purchased such full season Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive, at their choice, a refund or a credit.

C. All fans who purchased full season $2,500 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row, in Sections 16 - 24A, will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the first row in Sections 16 - 24A for each of the remaining regular season games during the 2009 regular season.

D. All fans who purchased full season $1,250 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $1,250 Legends Suite price category for 24 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

E. All fans who purchased full season $850 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $850 Legends Suite price category for 8 games and in the $500 Legends Suite price category for 4 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

F. All fans who purchased full season $600 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $500 Legends Suite price category for 10 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

G. All fans who purchased full season $500 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $500 Legends Suite price category for 8 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

H. Future 2009 regular season sales of full season $1,250, $850, $600 and $500 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses, will receive comparable (dependent upon the price of the Legends Suite and Ticket License) benefits during the 2009 regular season, subject to availability.

I. The Delta SKY 360 Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row in Sections 218A - 222 will be reduced from $750 to $550 for each regular season game. All fans who have purchased such full season Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive, at their choice, a refund or a credit.

In addition, for 2009, so as to encourage fans to purchase full season ticket plans in the Field Level Sections 115 - 125, the Yankees are also adopting a program affecting a few hundred seats. And, for our fans who have already purchased, on a full season basis such Field Level seating priced at $325 Sections 115 - 125, the following program is being adopted effective immediately:

A. Going forward all fans when purchasing, on a full season basis, three (3) full regular season ticket plans priced at $325 per regular season game in Sections 115 - 125 will receive a fourth full regular season ticket at no additional cost.

B. All fans who have purchased full season plans priced at $325 per regular season game will receive complimentary regular season tickets within Sections 115 - 125 for remaining regular season games during the 2009 regular season as follows:

1. If you purchased two (2) or three (3) full season tickets you will receive two (2) tickets for every other regular season game, commencing with either the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009 or the Friday evening game on May 1, 2009 and alternating for the remainder of the season.

2. If you purchased four (4) or five (5) full season tickets you will receive two (2) tickets for every regular season game during the balance of the 2009 regular season, commencing with the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009.

3. If you purchased six (6) or seven (7) full season tickets you will receive three (3) tickets for every regular season game during the balance of the 2009 regular season, commencing with the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009.

4. If you purchased eight (8) full season tickets you will receive four (4) tickets for every regular season game during the balance of the 2009 regular season, commencing with the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009.


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