I hate to interrupt the “All Jeter All The Time” coverage here on IIATMS. (Just kidding – I liked Brien’s last piece.) But I thought we could momentarily shift attention away from the shortstop position, and towards the turnstiles at the new Yankee Stadium. You see, those turnstiles are not spinning the way they usually do.
Through the end of April, attendance at the Stadium was down 7.2% compared to last year. Before this year, attendance at the new Stadium had never dropped below 41,000 in any single game. This year, attendance dropped below 41,000 for 11 of the Yankees’ 16 April home games.
A 7.2% decrease might not seem like much, particularly for the Yankees, so let’s consider the drop in overall dollar terms. The average Yankee Stadium ticket price is $63. If the current Stadium attendance drop continues through the remainder of 2011, then this year the Yankees will play in front of about 260,000 fewer home fans than last year, and the team will earn about $16.5 million less in ticket revenues. $16.5 million is … just about what the Yankees are paying Derek Jeter! (It is “All Jeter All The Time”, no matter what I try to do.) $16.5 million is also 50% or more of what the Padres, Marlins, Indians, Royals, Jays, A’s and Pirates will probably earn in gate receipts all year. A $16.5 million drop in gate receipts would be a disaster for those teams. But for the Yankees, a loss of $16.5 million would be more like a troubling trend.
Will the trend continue?
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