The New York Yankees, one of baseball’s most iconic and successful major league teams owes a great deal of credit to their exceptionally loyal fan base. For approximately 100 years, if not more, fans have been enthusiastically filing into “The House that Ruth Built” in the Bronx to exuberantly cheer on their home town ball club. Let’s not forget that Yankee fans hail from all over the country and all over the world. That speaks volumes for just how much ‘the Bombers” mean to the everyday lives of millions of people.
Having said that, it now appears that the Yankees are on life support as this season has seen their worst record in over three decades. There is no doubt that fans who spend their hard earned money on tickets for the games at the stadium as well as reaching into their pockets to buy souvenirs and junk food are bitterly disappointed in their team’s abysmal record.
What makes matters worse, much worse, is that the Yankees administration (the business people behind the scenes) have made the ill conceived decision to significantly jack up ticket prices for next season. This move has left fans frustrated, feeling that their loyalty and investment are not being reciprocated in light of the team’s lackluster performance.
General Manager Brian Cashman’s characterization of the season as “a disaster” underscores the challenges the team has faced.
Adding fuel to the fire, the Yankees recently sent out renewal invoices for the upcoming season, revealing an increase of up to 10% in ticket prices. Clearly, this decision has not been received well by fans, many of whom have held season tickets for years or even decades. The price hike has led to sentiments of anger, betrayal, and disappointment among supporters who expected more reasonable pricing in the face of the team’s subpar performance.
Long-time season ticket holders expressed their frustration at the increased costs, especially given the team’s underwhelming results. Many fans feel that the price hike is unjustifiable and several fans cited the team’s disappointing performance as a reason for the ticket price increase, leading to accusations that the team is attempting to recoup lost playoff revenue.
The bottom line is that Yankees owner and the top brass in the back office must be taken to task for this decision in a collective display of righteous indignation by their fans. While loyalty to the Yankees or to any team is beyond admirable, at some point a line has to be drawn in the sand.
Let’s face it folks, the Yankees coffers are brimming over the top. Drawing fans and making hundreds of millions is their business and they do it quite well. Have the Yankees neglected to remind themselves that their fan base like other Americans are suffering tremendously under the heavy yoke of inflationary pricing and are barely able to make ends meet.
Needless to say, we are living in unprecedented times when crime is skyrocketing as well as general lawlessness and such social ills are drug addiction are becoming way more commonplace. People are scared for their uncertain futures and that of their offspring. Clinging to a past time that gives them a great degree of solace and comfort is something they revel in and now, due to the unadulterated avarice of the Yankees back office and its owner Hal Steinbrenner loyal fans will be made to go without tickets to the games or even to watch them on the YES network on cable due to lack of funds.
One fan said that his two seats for 41 games in the grandstands above home plate will cost 2% more in 2024, up to $2,763 from $2,713. Another fan quipped, “It’s disgraceful. They have some nerve.” He has had season tickets since the start of the last Yankee dynasty in 1996.
The fan said that the Yankees raised the price of his four front-row seats in right field by $2,000 before the 2023 season — from $30,000 to $32,000t. And now they are hitting him for another $1,000 — a 3% increase according to an August 15th invoice e-mailed from the team.
In a less than subtle message to Yankees owner, Hal Steinbrenner, one fan vented their frustration by saying, “We as season ticket holders know that you think of us as fungible. However, it is still insulting and infuriating to be talked to as if we are unable to comprehend what it is that we are seeing on the field every day.”
For a team that has won 27 world championships and who honor their iconic players with monuments out in center field, it is beyond shabby to treat their fans in the loathsome manner in which they do.
New Yorkers of all stripes (and not exclusively pinstripes) should rise up to let this team’s management know exactly how they feel through a mass social media effort or even staging peaceful but powerful protests.