Yankees shuffle fans to hide empty seats at ALCS game one
The Yankees are under fire after reports that they shuffled fans around Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, in an effort to make the park look more filled than it was.
According to Yardbarker, Yankee Stadium ushers were told to take fans from other parts of the ballpark and put them in some of the completely empty rows. The shuffle began in the fourth inning, so that TV viewers wouldn’t notice the lack of fans.
This was the second playoff game in a row that the Yankees were unable to fill their 51,000 capacity ballpark. Yankees management didn’t want to make it look like they couldn’t fill seats and excite fans, so they moved the fans they did have into more condensed and visible areas.
Obviously, this was welcome news to some fans who paid less for seats in the upper levels and were moved to better seats down below.
Some areas had just nine or so fans sitting in 100-seat sections.
“At the old stadium, a playoff game, Saturday night, it was electric. It was a zoo,” Charles Weimer, a Yankee fan from Staten Island told Yahoo! News. “There were guys in jersey-shirts, drinking $8 beers. They’re gone, and I don’t know if they’re going to come back. Your $10 tickets are $50 tickets now.”
Rising ticket costs, especially when prices go up even more during the playoffs, can definitely be prohibitive to sports fans. Who wants to pay a minimum of $100– a ticket, some food, and parking–to sit in 40 degree weather for 4 hours? Especially when you can watch the game for free in the comfort of your own home.
However when the Yankees, kings of playoff baseball, 27-time World Series champions, can’t fill seats during the ALCS, what does that mean for the rest of baseball? I think the message to the owners is clear: lower prices and fans will come.