I'm going to tell you something, and then I'm going to ask you a question. The Yankees are having attendance issues. They aren't selling enough tickets, and for the ones that are being sold, they're being undercut by StubHub, which offers them for well below face value. Now the question: do you feel any sympathy? Any at all? No? Good, you still have a soul.
"We believe there are serious issues with the StubHub relationship," team president Randy Levine told The Post yesterday. "We are actively reviewing more fan-friendly alternatives for next year."
Randy and I have a very different definition of fan-friendly, because right now on StubHub, I see hundreds of tickets for tonight's game for under five dollars. And if you tune in tonight, you'll notice many of those unsold seats will remain unsold.
There are a few related issues at play here, but it all stems from MLB's five-year contract with StubHub. The deal, which expires after this season, makes StubHub the official "ticket reseller" of every team. How it worked, back in the go-go aughts: StubHub would get their cut from each scalped ticket, often grotesquely above face value. The Yankees would easily sell out their stock, as face value represented the cheapest way to buy. Season ticket holders would renew their plans, knowing they could profit on the resale market.
Now, demand has gone down. The season ticket holders have learned they're going to have problems reselling their seats, so season plans sales are down a few thousand. No one's buying from the Yankees' box office, because they know they can get cheaper seats on StubHub. The result: attendance is down nine percent at Yankee Stadium off of last year, even as it's up across baseball.
The Yankees have been bitching about this all year, but how it's StubHub's fault is anyone's guess. Yankee tickets are freaking expensive, and the luster of a new stadium wears off quickly. Empty seats and rock bottom prices? That's the market talking, and you'd expect the MLB embodiment of unrestrained capitalism to understand that.
Two teams who don't mind the StubHub partnership? The Phillies and Red Sox, who have managed to keep their "sellout" streaks alive only through the secondary market. Even if those seats go empty, the teams can still claim to have sold all their tickets.