Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Great Divide(rs)

I didn't take a picture, because that would be weird, but I found out something about the New Yankee Stadium during our descent into Section 112 that really pissed me off (pun intended... wait for it). There are dividers between the urinals on the Field Level, but not anywhere else in the Stadium.

Is it a huge deal? Of course not, but could there be a better symbol of how much the Yankees have bent over backwards to cater to the wealthiest customers and how they could care less about the core fans? By installing the dividers at the field level, they are acknowledging that it matters, but only providing the "luxury" to those purchasing the most expensive seats. It's an issue of simple human decency, and they can't possibly cost that much to put them in.

Have you ever had a friend who desperately tried to date someone who was out of their league while ignoring a person who was legitimately interested in them? The object of their affection was strikingly attractive, but even if they gave them the time of day, it was just to be nice. The second option wasn't as good-looking, but they had actual feelings for your friend and probably would have done anything to be with them. Guess what, Yankees, the corporate guy, who you want to sit in the insanely expensive seats... he's just not that into you.

Forgive the sweeping generalization, but most of the people who could afford the highest priced seats at the New Stadium are not real fans. Here is why: If you have a job that allows you to spend anywhere from $100K to $800K on two Yankees season tickets, you aren't going to have much time in the day to read blogs or listen to sports talk radio. Wealthy folks also go out to dinner pretty often. When do they do that? Probably in the neighborhood of 7-10 at night, give or take, and three or four star restaurants aren't going to have the game on TV. The more money you have, the more options you have, and everywhere you look in this city, companies are bending over backwards to cater to what remains of the uber-rich. The Yankees are just one option; an option that's not in Manhattan and requires an commitment of 81 games and a small fortune.

The people (and corporations) who buy those seats are never going to love the Yankees as much as the average fan, and the direction of the economy has blatantly exposed that. There are still some who could absorb the price increase in the new building, but for them it was a luxury. You can tell by the outrage and disenfranchisement of the people who were displaced from their affordable full or even partial season ticket packages that they thought of it as a necessity.

It's clear that it doesn't make sense to alienate the average fan in the name of the casual but much wealthier fan from a loyalty standpoint. Given the state of the nation's finances right now it doesn't makes sense in the general ledger either. Did it ever? Ben K. from River Ave. Blues doesn't think so.

All you need to know: While the Yankees put art galleries alongside concession stands on the Field Level, Freddy Sez gets shut out of the Stadium. (h/t Jorge Says No)


  1. Great post! Love the He's Just Not That Into You analogy.


  2. cheshirecat94/22/09, 9:24 AM

    I noticed this also and it made me angry too. Not only are there no dividers, but the urinals in the upper levels are inferior (much smaller). I'm glad you posted this.

  3. I can attest to seeing Freddy at the Stadium on Saturday. But I don't know if he was admitted by the Yanks or had to wait for someone to give him a ticket. He was in the Grandstand level in RF at the start of the game.

  4. The 100 level bathroom is HUGE- like a maze. From now on I'll never stay in my uptop seats so I'll stay using the finer bathroom with the scent of potpourri and softer toilet paper. I was shocked to see the dividers. As long as they don't ask for my ticket before I do my business it's all good. Keep the filth buckets out anyway.

  5. This is why baseball fans hate the Yankees.