Yankees president Randy Levine has quit talking about the empty luxury seats in new Yankee Stadium, but that doesnâ€™t mean we canâ€™t. And, to a larger extent, this little ditty youâ€™re about to read is really about how attendance is calculated at ballparks across the league.
Showing just how diligent The Associated Press can be (this effort took 2 hours), Ronald Blum reported the following regarding the seat counts on Weds.:
A count by The Associated Press totaled 1,895 seats in the Legends Suite, of which 146 were in the front row from dugout to dugout, costing $2,500 as season tickets and $2,625 individually.
- On Tuesday night, only 64 of the 146 seats at the top price level were occupied in the bottom of the second inning. The outermost Legends Suite sections, which each contain 90 seats, were entirely empty until two fans finally emerged to sit in them during the late innings.
- On Wednesday, in the third inning, just 37 of the highest-priced, front-row seats were occupied, although it was impossible to know if some fans had taken shelter in stadium restaurants.
The Yankees announced last year that there were 1,800 seats in the Legends Suite. Those 146 in the front row that run dugout-to-dugout and are the priciest (the $2,500 season ticket seats, $2,625 individually)? The Yankees announced last year that the count for these seats were 122 and 128 at different times.
So, why the discrepancy?
While the club has not commented yet, at least part of these seats are sure to be comps. Remember, there was a public dust-up in January regarding a 12-seat luxury box that the Bloomberg administration had fought to gain for free. Instead, the city decided to relinquish use of the 12-seat box in exchange for whatever revenue the Yankees generate by selling the seats, minus the cost of marketing them.
There are, no doubt, other VIP seats for dignitaries. But, nearly 100 of them? If so, then this accounts for some (certainly not all) of the empty pricy seats at The House That George Built.
FOR MORE ON THE EMPTY PREMIUM SEATS AT YANKEE STADIUM:
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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