By Joseph Yamulla || Sports Editor
There’s drama stirring over Major League Baseball and the first Spring Training game has yet to even begin. And, of course, it’s the New York Yankees causing the controversy. For years, the Yankees have been the goliath of baseball, either lifting spirits or breaking hearts for decades. Their new and unconventional decision to prevent any fan from purchasing their home game tickets on StubHub has sparked controversy even among their most devoted followers.
StubHub is a website where fans sell tickets for usually more than they purchased them through the professional organization. StubHub is where most fans buy single game tickets: it’s convenient and easy and allows for last minute decision to go see a ballgame. Now, in order to step foot into Yankee Stadium, a fan needs an actual ticket via the New York Yankees, not a printable pass from open market sites.
It’s pretty clear why the Yankees no longer want fans purchasing their tickets from this outside source. Many buy season tickets for a solid deal from the Yankees, then sell them for a profit on StubHub. Adding up individual game ticket prices for 81 games will always be more expensive than season tickets, which is why it makes sense to buy season-long seats. Thus, because the Yankees feel they could sell more single-game tickets without fans using this strategy, they set themselves up to make more money. Of course, the first team in baseball to try this is the Yankees. The Yankees are, and have always been, the big spenders of the MLB. The Steinbrenner era has the organization synonymous with the clean cut Wall-Street boys of sports. The mentality in the Yankees’ front office is one of hubris and based on a belief that their decisions will always benefit them. They’re the New York Yankees:they’re invincible and untouchable! However, this is far from true. This trend will not spread to other organizations and will most likely hurt the Yanks’ attendance this season. Just because they’re the Yankees does not mean they can do whatever they want and expect their fanbase to support them.
The Major League Baseball Season is long and grueling. There are 162 total games and 81 home games per season. It is just about impossible for even the most devoted fan with season tickets to go to every single one of the the 81 games in the Bronx. So, it makes sense that fans would have the ability to sell some of their tickets so they don’t lose several hundred dollars on seats at games they cannot attend. The Yankees don’t just have a fan base, they have a nation-wide spread of followers. However, no fan wants to make an 81 game investment knowing that if he or she can’t make the game, it’s going to be almost impossible to sell their seats. I myself am a partial season ticket holder for the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, and have had numerous occasions where my schedule prohibited from attending certain games. Fortunately, I have been able to sell my tickets through StubHub.
The Yankees have been battling StubHub for years now. It is clear they think their brand name is bigger than the open market. In spite of this, their decision has already stirred up extreme controversy across baseball fans nation-wide. Opening Day is about a month away, and it will be interesting to see if this decision lasts, or if lower attendance at Yankee Stadium forces the Steinbrenner’s to give in and rejoin StubHub.
Sophomore Joe Yamulla is the Sports Editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org