The Reuters global sports blog
Larry Fine had a chance to mingle with some Yankees fans on Thursday when they opened the new $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium to season ticket holders and community organizations and drew over 20,000 people.
I didn’t hear too many dissenting views on the new facility, which has the feel of the old ‘House that Ruth Built’ looking down on the field, but adds all the modern stadium amenities with roomier seats, broader concourses, elimination of ‘portal’ entrances, expanded concession choices and a whole tier of luxury boxes.
Ray Mirabal, who works in a suburban New York library, had a representative reaction. “It’s very beautiful,” he said from his perch in the third deck overlooking the third-base line. “What I like the most is the field itself. It feels like you’re at the old Yankee Stadium. It still feels like home.”
The Yankees are having trouble selling some high-end tickets at the 51,000-seat stadium, priced at a whopping $2,500 a seat for the best spots, although they have already sold 35,000 seats for each of their 81 home games in the season that begins on Monday.
Pity Major League Baseball.
The U.S. sports league will be the first to face the recession from the beginning of its season, and team officials are bracing for a decline in attendance of as much as 10 percent.
Two-thirds of the 30 MLB teams have frozen or cut their ticket prices and many have made similar moves on their concessions and souvenirs, team officials said. Combine that with the cutbacks in spending on suites and blocks of tickets by companies and the sport’s revenue also could slip.
John Canning Jr, who came up short last year in his bid for the storied Chicago Cubs baseball team, made a shocking admission on Tuesday.