I first signed up for a Yankees season ticket plan in December 1998. I was working my first post-college full-time job, was living at home and could afford a partial plan as long as I spilt it with my brother. So that’s what we did.
We decided on the Sunday plan which was every Sunday game plus Opening Day, Old Timer’s Day (they were usually on Saturday back then), Memorial Day and Fourth of July. We had four seats in the 5th row of the Upper Deck above the Yankee dugout and they were $23 each. We also had the option of purchasing playoff tickets with that package. We had four seats on Sunday so for the playoffs we’d get four seats for one game each round. In 1999, it just so happened that the Yankees swept the Division Series (We had Game Four tickets), they won the ALCS in five games (We had Game Six tickets) and they swept the World Series (We had Game 5 tickets) so we ended up getting a full refund for our playoff invoice which worked out well for the following season when my brother transferred to the University of Florida and I was on my own with four tickets.
I never had a problem finding people to go with. I was in my 20s and all of my friends were still single and hadn’t started their families yet.
It was a carefree time.
By the time 2008 rolled around those fifth row of the Upper Deck seats were $60 each and it was hard to get people to pay for them. When we moved to the new Stadium, they put us all the way out into right field in the Upper Deck in Section 305. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but we were used to being along the first base line and it took a good 4-5 games to get used to that perspective. I could never judge a fly ball and we’d only know if a home run was hit to right field by the sound of the crowd.
Another caveat of the move to the new Stadium was that we lost both Opening Day and Old Timer’s Day from our package. We were told we’d get Opening Day back and as of the 2013 season, we still didn’t have it. We got Old Timer’s Day back but only because they decided to move it to Sundays. We also lost our playoff package. The Yankees thought giving us a pre-pre sale password would be a good thing. Nope.
During our time in the old Stadium we didn’t move our seats once. We’ve been in the new Stadium since it opened and we moved out seats from 305 to 409 to 420A to 413 and we also downgraded from four seats to two because it was getting so hard to sell our tickets if we needed to.
We’ve had enough. After 15 years, we’re saying good-bye to our season tickets.
I’m the type of person who likes to have long streaks. I had a 14-year Opening Day streak snapped in 2012 and had a 15-year Opening Series streak snapped this season. Now, I’m giving up.
Why should I bother spending all of this money when there is nothing in it for me anymore? The Yankees don’t go out of their way to do anything for me and I have seniority over a lot of people. Is it because I can’t afford a half or full season package? Is it because I’m upper deck dweller and we’re treated like third class citizens?
Being at the new Stadium is beginning to feel like sailing on the Titanic. They even have areas that are marked off where people can’t stand on the main concourse. And now there’s news that more of the main concourse is going to be blocked because the Yankees decided that added more suites would be the thing to do in 2014.
I really hope they are planning on spending some money to revamp the team because if they think people are going to buy those suites with a team resembling 2013′s squad on the field, the Yankees are fools.
Us peons get it. You’re catering to upper class now. Of course, when the weather is bad you don’t see the upper class sitting in their seats. They’re too busy hanging out in the indoor suites and lounges. They can’t be bothered to participate in actually watching the game on the field.
So have fun with that, Lonn Trost, Randy Levine and the Steinbrenners. It’s going to be a fun day when the Yankees are playing a game and no noise is coming from the stands because the people in the rich seats which, if you have it your way, will make up the entire Stadium, will be too busy on their iPhones to pay attention to the action on the field.