The New York Yankees are in the midst of one of Major League Baseball‘s most impressive streaks — despite moving into a new, smaller Yankee Stadium in 2009, the Yankees have led the American League in attendance for nine straight seasons. But the Yankees may not be entirely pleased with how the seats have been filled in the Bronx.
The New York Post reported Tuesday, April 24 that the Yankees are engaged in a dispute with StubHub, the official ticket reseller of Major League Baseball, over how inexpensively it prices some tickets to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have the second-highest average ticket price in MLB this year ($51.55, per the Team Marketing Report) and their cheapest tickets are $5 (before service fees) in the bleachers and grandstand.
But fans scouring StubHub can find some deals. A search of the ticket reseller’s site this morning, April 30, revealed at least 119 tickets available for less than $5 — the cheapest of which was a pair of tickets in Grandstand 431 costing $1.95 apiece — for the game Tuesday, May 1 against the Baltimore Orioles. For the finale of the three-game set Wednesday, May 2 — and the concluding game of the Yankees’ current six-game homestand — there are at least 96 tickets available for less than $5, including a seat in Bleachers 204 for $1.49.
In addition, at the time of the Post‘s story last week, according to the newspaper, there were 7,184 tickets for $15 or less to tonight’s game and 8,318 tickets for less than $15 to Tuesday’s game.
The Yankees’ potential dispute with StubHub comes at a potentially awkward time for Major League Baseball, whose deal with StubHub expires at the end of this season. The Post also reports the Yankees are not the only team expressing dissatisfaction with some of the low prices found on StubHub, with other popular big-market teams such as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also wanting StubHub to place a minimum price — i.e. a “floor” — on tickets sold through the site. StubHub, of course, prefers the market set the price.
“That’s absolutely the No. 1 issue [with the Yankees],” a source told the Post.
While it is not known if unhappy MLB teams could pursue their own deals with ticket resellers — or start their own resale marketplace — Yankees president Randy Levine told the Post the team is evaluating all its secondary market options and whether or not it makes sense for the Yankees to commit to a new deal with StubHub.
Regardless of how the tickets are sold, the Yankees continue to draw well at home and have played to an average crowd of 42,381 in 10 games this year at the new Yankee Stadium, whose capacity is 52,325, counting standing room tickets. The Yankees — who ranked second in the American League in average attendance through Saturday, April 28 behind the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers — have yet to record a sellout but have welcomed more than 40,000 fans to all but one game.
History suggests the Yankees will draw more fans — and that their tickets will go for more on StubHub and at other resale outlets — as the season progresses. Due to cooler weather and children not being out of school yet, games in April and May are always more sparsely attended than summertime games.
Last season, the Yankees drew crowds of 45,000 or more in seven of their 30 home games prior to Memorial Day — Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers and a pair of three-game series against the rival Boston Red Sox and crosstown New York Mets — yet drew 45,000 or more in 37 of their 41 home games between Memorial Day and Labor Day.