Posted July 22, 2014
As strange as it may be to defend the New York Yankees’ pricing policies, a New York Post story that the team was jacking up tickets for the Derek Jeter pre-game retirement ceremony on Sept. 7 by more than 1,200 percent is ludicrous.
The Yankees issued a statement which said, “The New York Yankees have not, did not, and will not raise any ticket prices for the game to be played in Yankee Stadium on September 7, or for that matter, any other game to be played at Yankee Stadium this season.”
The story is foolishly confusing the primary market with the secondary, or resale, market where ticket resale aggregator TiqIQ reported that the average list price for the game against the Kansas City Royals went from $139.24 to $497.98 and the cost of the cheapest seat rose from $16 to $211. Bleacher seats of $23 are selling for $223, while outfield field box seats of $175 will fetch a price of $575 or more.
Now, to be fair, the Yankees certainly get a cut of that secondary market but not a 1,200 percent mark-up. In 2012, the club also opted out of an arrangement that Major League Baseball had negotiated with reseller StubHub as many of the tickets on the site were being sold below face value.
The Friday announcement that the Yankees would honor Jeter on Sept .7 was a surprise, both in that it was so early in the final month but also on the first Sunday of the NFL season. The Yankees’ 50-47 record may have played a factor in the decision.
Like Mariano Rivera last season, Jeter has been showered with gifts and tributes as he travels to opposing teams’ stadiums for the final time. The Yankee Stadium tribute will surely sell out but the Yankees have already sold the vast majority of the tickets. To mark up the remainder by 1,200 percent would incur the wrath of MLB and law enforcement as well, something they don’t need to do. The Post should know better.