Friday, February 3, 2012

Ticket Price Change at Yankee Stadium?

Seeing that many empty seats is kind of sad.

A big deal has been made about the ticket prices at Yankee Stadium. If you've been paying attention since the opening of the new ballpark, you know that going to a Yankee game can set you back quite a bit. According to The Daily Herald, a newspaper out of Chicago, the average cost for four for tickets, parking, two beers, four sodas, four hot dogs, game programs and two baseball caps at Yankee Stadium last season came to $316.32. Which was second only to Fenway Park, which would have cost an average of $339.01 (as of April 1st, 2011).

Look, a business is going to charge as much as it can while still earning the largest profit possible. McDonald's isn't going to start charging 10 cents for a hamburger like they did in 1937, just like the Yankees aren't going to lower ticket prices behind him plate to $25 so they can fill those seats and make it looker better on television.

Here's a chart showing, by year, the average ticket price, total attendance for the year at Yankee Stadium, and the total gate for the season...

*Attendance numbers gathered from

First of all, lowering the average ticket price by $21.14 is not insignificant. That's a heck of a drop between two years. Unfortunately it's still the second highest average ticket price in MLB, second again to the Red Sox average cost of $53.38 (according to, as of last April). And it goes to show you how ridiculous ticket prices were in 2009. On the surface that may seem like a grand gesture by the team, as you can see that between 2009 and 2010 their total gate fell by $72,946,123. But I don't think the team could have kept up those attendance figures without bringing the price down.

Look at how many fans the team drew in 2009... 3,674,495, second only to the Dodgers who drew 3,761,653. I feel that the effect of the new stadium had quite a bit to do with people still shelling out a ton of money, so chances are the team couldn't have kept up that attendance without lowering ticket prices. You could point at the next season, when prices did drop, and see that they drew almost another 100,000 fans. However, that could not only have been due to the ticket price drop, but also since the team won the World Series before and teams tend to see a boost in attendance following a World Series victory.

The 2011 season is more telling, as after losing in the ALCS to the Rangers in 2010, the team's attendance dropped around 100,000 fans. This shows me that, had ticket prices remained closer to where they were in the stadium's inaugural season, attendance would have been down quite a bit. Which could negatively affect income from parking, merchandise, concessions, etc, which is most definitely not something the Yankee brass wants to do.

Due to that drop in attendance between 2010 and 2011 I really don't see the ticket prices going up within the next couple of years, and I could actually see ticket prices... at least in areas such as the bleachers, grandstand, and terrace... coming down a bit. Because while making up for that drop of about $6,000,000 is surely important to the team, the loss due to selling less garlic fries and beer surely hits harder.

Looking harder at the Edwin Jackson signing

The Werth signing may have been stupid, but I'm not a moron.

When I first heard about Edwin Jackson signing a one year deal with Washington I thought about the inevitable comparisons between Edwin and Hiroki Kuroda. After all, both guys were tied to the Yankees at some point this offseason, and they both signed for one year and around $10 million. So it makes sense that some fans would question whether Cashman should have waited for Edwin. Which leads to the post below, asking for our readers (all million of you /sarcasm) for their opinions.

Personally, I'd rather have Kuroda. In four MLB seasons Hiroki hasn't had an ERA+ below 106 (which came in 2009), and last season it was 121. On the other hand, in five full MLB seasons, Edwin Jackson has had an ERA+ at or over 100 three times, with a 95 two years ago and a 106 last season. Both guys have a career K/9 of 6.7, but Hiroki walks 1.6 less batters per 9 innings than Edwin (2.1 to 3.7). So I think it's clear that Hiroki is better. And on top of that, a reader at Daily Sports Pages pointed out that Edwin's true value is his age and durability (he hasn't missed a single day since 2006), meaning a one year deal brings his value down.

But that doesn't mean this deal doesn't make sense for Washington. In fact, I think it could turn out to be a brilliant move. The Phillies could run away with the NL East again, the Braves should have a really good team, and the Marlins have made quite a few improvements this offseason. So while I believe Washington will be a good team, they could find themselves out of contention by the trade deadline. Which would make a great time to trade Jackson, as I'm sure they will be a handful of playoff contenders that would like to add Edwin to their rotation. So what Washington did here is either improve their chances of competing in a very good division this season, or they bought a few good prospects (which they'd receive in return for dealing Jackson). With the young team they've built, and guys like Bryce Harper (who will certainly be up by 2013, and possibly this season), those prospects received could make them even better in the future.