Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yankee Fans Unhappy With Relocation Seats

When you move from a larger, sold-out Stadium to a smaller one, even if it's only smaller by a couple thousand seats, you are bound to run into problems with season ticket holders, some of whom have had tickets for years.

One fan asked me to share his letter with the public--and it certainly expresses fan dissatisfaction far better than I, a non-season ticket holder who buys her tickets from Stubhub, ever could.

Dear Yankees Management and Ticket Staff,

My name is Jay and I am ticket licensee number xxxxxx. I
send this email to all of you as I am very hurt by the process of relocation to a new seat in Yankee Stadium. When the process began last year, members of the relocation staff were unable to provide me with straight answers on being able to get int he building in a decent seat, when I told them I was a plan D holder (Saturdays) they assured me I would be able to at the least remain within that range of plan.

The months went on and I made calls during the year to find out what the status was. I was not able to upgrade to a full season package as I do not re-sell the tickets I purchase. I go to all the games and enjoy spending my Saturdays with the Yankees.

Last night I was finally updated on my ticket location and dates. I was given the 12 game #2 package. While I could live with being in a lesser seat, I cannot accept that now I was put into a package in which I can’t even go to. Now I called the ticket office and spoke to a nice person who explained the process and told me my options were down to two. Either I pay $10,000 for 15 games on Saturdays, or I go
into a pool and simply hope for the best that at the least I can get one of the Friday, Saturday or Sunday packages. By declining (which I have done because he told me the sooner I declined the sooner I would go into the pool) I now waive my season ticket possibilities all together and could possibly lose my seniority and be completely locked out of the building.

I have given thousands of dollars to your organization over the years. I am lucky enough at age 30 that even in this downtrodden economy that I can afford almost any seat in your building, but the fact is that you are letting me down by telling me that I have only the option of taking what equates to the down payment on a home to get into the
building for the first year? This is one of the more saddening parts of being a fan. I take all my hopes of a championship into that ballpark every year and now I am being told that I might as well noteven come? I know that in the grand scheme of things I am small time, but your tactics have made me feel smaller. I just want to go to
games on a Saturday or a Sunday and not have to go into severe debt.

I have paid nearly $1500 a year for 2 seats for myself to take mywife, family members and friends to games. It’s been a pleasure to do so and I love going to see our team, but now I am almost completely shut out due to the fact that there will be no guarantees I can get day of game tickets, you also have a complete stranglehold on the secondary market which means that even if I wanted to go to weekend
games and did so through stub hub, I would lose my seniority as a licensee and be given no hopes for post-season tickets.

I am not the only one who feels this way either. We on the community have documented well the process from the beginning to this point voicing our frustration frutilessly. The entire 139 page thread can be found at this URL:

We all want the same thing, to be given a the truth and be allowed in the building at a reasonable cost. Something that has alluded many of us in this process has been the truth. Over the last few months I was given multiple lies over the phone when speaking to relocation people.

I was actually told only a few days ago that the reason licensees were given false information was that the staffers didn’t have any info themselves. Additionally, when speaking to this ticket rep on the phone he actually admitted that sometimes “Dates are given to people just to get them to get off the phone, they won’t hang up
unless you tell them something.” So lying is the only way to shut us up?

Being offered $350 seats or being given nothing is a poor way to treat a loyal customer. I am more than just a loyal customer, I am a devoted fan of this team. I have followed through the good times and bad. I was lucky enough to make enough in my job to afford this type of package in the first place. Now I am simply being told I don’t make enough to get into your stadium to root for MY team.

Please hear my plea and help me. I just want a seats for the Saturday or Sunday package. Two measly seats in your Billion Dollar building. Can’t someone help me?

Thank you,


Later in the day after a few more calls, I was given a harsh reality, accept the relocation by the ticket office or be shut out. I did so and then handled the situation on my own.

I explained to my fellow NYYFans forum posters exactly what steps I took next:


I had some resolution today on the situation that while not perfect, it works.

I purchased my assignment, the 12 game bleachers. I talked to someone there and he said that there will be absolutely nothing left for weekenders once the pool comes in. He said it’s going to be a fruitless effort to fight this. I realized it. My 12 games cost me 300 bucks, about 1300 less than what I used to pay.

I then scoured for someone selling a Saturday plan, found it and purchased 2 infield grandstands for about $1400 for all Saturdays.

My total cost is about 1700 for 12 weekday games and to keep my seniority and 13 Saturday games all in the same seats including 2 Boston games and Old Timers' Day.

The 12 weekday games I am going to sell to friends and go to one or two of. The weekend games are for me. I will go to all of them.

I spent under my expected $2000 that I had stowed away. I keep my post-season pre-sale option (what I always had in the past) and get to go to the games I wanted to.

Granted it didnt go the way I wanted to but I made it on my own.”

The Yankees are, perhaps, doing the best they can, but making the new Stadium smaller and with more luxury boxes was perhaps a PR disaster among fans from the start.


  1. thanks for sharing my private battle.

  2. For what it's worth, the FLIP side of that coin is that - as a Full-season ticket holder - I was *EXTREMELY* happy with the process. My seat-neighbor and I have had adjacent ticket-plans for several seasons now, and we were given the option of requesting that we continue to be seated near each other in the new stadium (which they lived up to), offered the ability to prioritize what was important to us (being closer to home plate or being higher/lower rows), etc., etc.

    In every respect, my neighbor and I commented about how well run the transition was. Sure there were a couple of "ambiguously worded statements", but we were able to get clarity from the folks on the phone and life was good.

  3. Derek: thanks for offering that.

    As I've been hearing, it seems like full season ticket holders have been treated exceptionally well while partial holders are being left out in the cold.

  4. We got screwed! In the old stadium, we had aisle seats in the Tier Reserved section right behind home plate, near the front of the section. We requested the same seats in the new stadium, which were $25 seats, for the 20 game package. What they offered us was back row of the farthest “field level” section out in left field, which are $85 dollar seats (somehow, since that’s basically the worst seat in the house). Basically, bleacher seats, but four times as expensive. So not only do we not get even close to the section we wanted, but they want us to pay over three times as much as we planned to spend for seats we don't even like. What the hell??

  5. Incidentally, Jay, where did you find somebody selling the package you wanted?

  6. My email to the NY Times today
    Mr. Sandomir,

    I read your article from Feb. 27th with interest.
    I'm one of the disenfranchised Yankee partial plan ticket holders who has decided not to
    renew my ticket plan after 22 years (of interrupted) season ticket ownership,
    I recall in 1988 being a being invited to tour the stadium in January or February to select my seats, I saw many games in the late 80s and early 90s when all the Yankees had were losing seasons. Medical school and residency training interrupted my ownership of tickets as I just couldn't afford them and my schedule didn't permit me the time to attend 15+ games per season.
    But I've held at least 15 games per season since 2002 and was shocked at losing field level seats once my relocation package came in 10 days ago.
    I went from left field field box seats to the last row of the new Grand Stand, a fancy name for the tier, in far right field.

    My phone call to the ticket office was greeted with a very rude"take it or leave it" attitude, were I was informed that I could opt for the "$350 per seat per game" seating otherwise I could forget it. A later phone call from my "ticket representative", who had no idea I'd been given a brush off earlier in the day, reinforced that I had no options and advised me that I should accept the offered seats so as to "keep your seniority" and maybe I'd have "better luck" the following year.
    I've attended 12 opening days in a row, and 19 out of the last 21, so I'll stubhub seats to see the new stadium, but I probably won't have any real seats to the new stadium this year or next.

    The Yankees are obviously ignoring their long term fans for folks with, dwindling, corporate accounts. When the reality of this recession hits home later this year and early next you have to wonder how many of these "fans" will be able to afford their seats.
    I don't begrudge the Yankees making money, or even moving me around in the stadium, but how does my "seniority" not safeguard at least "loge" equivalent seating?
    A shame that the Yankees seem to only prize money and not persistence of loyalty.

  7. I also got screwed. You'd think in this economy they'd be nicer about getting sales.

    Looks like I'll be using Stubhub and TicketStumbler to buy my tickets this year.

  8. I had all but given up on getting my Sunday plan renewed. (They offered me a 12 game weekday plan instead) I had no choice but to turn it down. My wife & I both work, and we live in Vermont. We got put in the pool and were offered similar seats to what we had last year, which was what we wanted in the 1st place. I guess we are among the lucky few. It will be interesting to see what happens next year. The system needs tweaking and I think there will be some very expensive seats that will go unsold this year.