Earlier this week, we came across a highly disheartening article on CNET.com, detailing an elaborate scam of the Ticketmaster system by shady ticket scalpers. Unfortunately, part of the scam involved 2007 Yankees playoff tickets, so readers of NYYSI were likely affected. The scam, masterminded by four men who owned "Wise Guy Tickets" went something like this:
- Purchase hundreds of domain names, create thousands of email addresses and register them for postseason ticket pre-sale opportunities to gain an unfair advantage and secure hundreds of pre-sale codes.
- Use an advanced system to hack the CAPTCHA human verification system and automatically purchase Yankees playoff tickets as soon as they go on sale.
The perpetrators were eventually caught, but for those who were shut out of 2007 Yankees playoff tickets (or paid well above face value), this has to sting.
At some point in the past decade, Yankees fans came to accept the online-only method of purchasing tickets - after all, it seemed to be the most fair and streamlined. When we log onto Ticketmaster.com to buy tickets, we laugh about the "old days" (as recent as the early 00's) when we lined up (and even camped) outside of Yankee Stadium for public ticket sales.
This system serves us well, as we happily register our single email address for a chance at Yankee tickets. If we "hit the lottery" and we have the distinct privilege to buy tickets, we frantically hit F5 on our keyboard - trying to squeeze the most out of our cable internet connection. We're just happy to have a chance to buy Yankees tickets!
Meanwhile, elaborate scammers like "Wise Guy Tickets" are registering thousands of email addresses and paying Bulgarian hackers to unfairly hack the Ticketmaster system, exponentially increasing their odds of scoring coveted tickets at face value. Sure, that particular outfit was caught (after making $25 MILLION selling the most sought-after tickets), but how many others just like them are still scamming the system? It is nice to think that this was a rare case of Ticketmaster falling asleep at the wheel, but we're skeptical - how hard can it be to create an unfair number of email addresses?
When you partake in a Yankees pre-sale via Ticketmaster, you have to expect the worst and be surprised by the best. Until the Yankees enact variable ticket pricing, scalpers will swoop in for their cut of the lucrative pie. Since scalpers purchase in volume, they'll always find ways to gain advantages over the average fan. We're not saying there isn't any chance of scoring tickets during pre-sales and public ticket sales - we're just saying we're up against some truly greedy forces. Buyer beware.
If you're like us (season ticket holder with 2005 seniority), you just received an email encouraging you to call up the Yankees ticket office to discuss your upgrade:
At this time we are prepared to speak with you regarding your request for a seat upgrade. Please give us a call at (800) 913-9793, Monday – Friday, from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Saturday, from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and ask to speak with a Season Ticket Sales and Service Account Executive.
Unfortunately, calling the number results in a recorded message informing you that due to unexpectedly high call volume you'll have to call back later. So let's get this straight - the Yankees blast out an email requesting that season ticket holders call them about upgrades, but the phone system can't handle the call volume?
Winning World Series' allows this crap - the Yankees don't need their systems to be in order, or to be efficient. That stadium will be filled regardless. There isn't really any point in complaining about it anymore.
Would you consider us fraudulent "Stadium Insiders" if we told you that we have yet to visit Monument Park at the new Yankee Stadium? Last year at this time, much was being made of the Mohegan Sun Sports monstrosity and its effect on the redesigned Monument Park. Andrew Fletcher of Scott Proctor's Arm first pointed it out - Monument Park had become monument cave.
As the season progressed, we never once had the urge to arrive hours before the game and wait in the ridiculously long line that snaked through the area beyond center field. The cramped confines of the new Monument Park just didn't seem worth the wait. Instead, we visited the Yankees Museum a couple of times, ate Lobel's steak sandwiches, explored the Great Hall, watched batting practice and sometimes wandered around aimlessly. The bottom line is, we went to around 40 games and never once felt compelled to visit monument park.
Is this abnormal? Has anyone else had the same experience after a full season as the new Yankee Stadium? Do you still consider Monument Park mandatory viewing? We have to be honest - if a first-time visitor only had time for one "heritage" piece on their trip to Yankee Stadium, we'd suggest the Yankees Museum. No questions asked.
Last week, we reported a rumor about 2010 Yankees ticket on-sale dates. We provided what appeared to be reliable information, with the caveat that the Yankees are always behind in the ticket sales process, resulting in delays. Pre-sales were set to occur today (according to that timeline), so it appears the Yankees ticket office is once again running behind schedule and 2010 Yankees tickets won't go on sale this week.
On a positive note, 2010 home games at Yankee Stadium have been loaded onto Ticketmaster. This is the first sign that the on-sale date is fast approaching. The Yankees have updated the data in their master on-sale list (not accessible by the public), and they now have the following dates listed for 2010 Yankees tickets:
- Monday March 8 - Season ticket holders (full & partial presale)
- Wednesday March 10 - Online registration lottery winners presale
- Friday March 12 - General public on sale
Of course, this is all subject to the completion of season ticketholder upgrades. The ticket office is currently calling fans with a seniority date of 2004, meaning there is still some time to go. The Yankees enter the above dates as placeholders with the goal of putting the tickets on sale as soon as possible. However, there is nothing holding them to their on-sale dates, evidenced by what happened in 2009. Last year, the on-sale dates were as follows:
- 3/19 (Thursday): 41 & 81-Game Plan Holders Pre-sale
- 3/20 (Friday): All Other Plan Holders Pre-sale
- 3/23 (Monday): General Public Sale (lottery registration winners only)
Last April, we created a "Stadium Tips" document, with the intention of providing visitors to Yankee Stadium an unofficial, uncensored guide to the "new house." We didn't update it as much as we would have liked during the season, but at times, we added vital information. Upon launching our redesigned blog a couple of weeks ago, the first thing we did was completely update the document based on a season's worth of experiences. You can access it up on the navbar.
This morning, someone wrote in with some valuable tips about driving to the stadium. Since NYYSI headquarters is on the Upper East Side (only 12 minutes away by Subway), we never drive to the stadium. Tips like the one we received this morning are extremely valuable for the document, since it is impossible for us to experience everything and report it to our readers. If after reading the tips document you have any comments or suggestions, please use the "contact us" form at the top of the page. We'd love to hear all of our reader's tips!
On another note, we have decided to run a fantasy baseball league for 2010. Every blog does this, so we have usually steered clear (we like to be different). Unfortunately, the fantasy baseball league that we usually join has begun to use stats we don't believe in, so we're creating our own league. The information for the Stadium Insider 2010 fantasy baseball league is as follows
- Significant buy-in ( in other words, this is NOT a free league - please use the contact us form for more information)
- Yahoo, live draft
- 12 teams (minimum 10 if we can't get 12)
- 5x5, head to head, weekly - each category counts as a "win"
- Batting Categories: TB, OBP, BB, Net SB, RBI
- Pitching Categories: ERA, WHIP, K/BB, K/9, Quality Starts
While most baseball fans are focused on the extensive coverage of position players reporting to Spring Training, we here at NYYSI are spending our time pondering the important issue of when the Yankees will collect their well-deserved 2009 World Series rings. The design of the rings is still super-secret, but we can only imagine that the ring will be even more impressive than the 3 karat diamond ring from 2000. Early reports indicate that the Yankees will collect their rings on April 13 - opening day 2010.
When CC Sabathia spilled the beans on that Knicks halftime show, it made us think of another team's opening day World Series ring ceremony. Back in 2005, the Red Sox poured salt in the wound created by the 2004 ALCS debacle when they presented their long-awaited World Series rings with the Yankees watching from the opposing dugout. If Yankees fans had their way, the team would return the favor on May 17, when the Red Sox make their way to the Bronx for the first time in 2010. Unfortunately, history suggests that the Yankees will get their rings much sooner. Here is some relevant history:
(more after the jump)
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (h/t MLBTR), Johnny Damon has agreed to a one year, $8 million deal with the Detroit Tigers. As MLBTR notes, the Yankees offered Damon a two year deal for $1 million less per year. It is pretty obvious that Damon and Scott Boras misread the market.
This will forever seal Damon's legacy as a mercenary. It seemed that Red Sox fans were a bit overzealous in their hatred of Damon after he helped to bring a championship to Boston, but Yankees fans can finally understand their anger. There was no better of a fit for Johnny Damon than the Yankees in 2010. They had a spot for him, they wanted him back, he was a well-liked teammate and the fans loved him. Unfortunately, he blew that opportunity by being greedy.
In return, Damon will undoubtedly be welcomed back to Yankee Stadium with boos - just like when he returned to Fenway as a Yankee. The Tigers don't make their first visit to the Bronx until August 16, at which time Johnny Damon will collect his 2009 World Series ring. We aren't sure that he will regret his decision at that moment as the Tigers are likely to be in the playoff mix playing in the weak AL Central. At some point, however Damon is going to realize that he made a mistake and the experience of playing (and winning) in New York can't be matched. Or he won't. Because he is a mercenary.
UPDATE: As of March 7, the Yankees STILL have not set the date for their ticket sales. This just proves that it is pointless to speculate about when Yankees tickets will go on sale. Until a press release is made public, the date can and will be shifted. The Yankee ticket office is notoriously slow and the season ticket upgrade process is not yet complete. We're done speculating about this - we'll report back when the Yankees make something official.
Just a few hours after writing that the ticket office isn't anywhere close to putting tickets on sale to the general public, rumors are flying that the Yankees have set the on-sale date for 2010 Yankees tickets. Here are the supposed dates:
Monday March 1 - Season ticket holders (full & partial presale)
Wednesday March 3 - Online registration lottery winners presale
Friday March 5 - General public on sale
Our source confirms that this information is exactly as it appears on the master list of MLB ticket onsale dates and even upon first glance, it passes the authenticity test. The days of the week and spacing make sense and all payments from season ticketholders will have been received. Now, we just have to wait for the official announcement. Tickets didn't go on sale until closer to the end of March last year, so the Yankees seem to be getting back on schedule. Keep in mind, this information is subject to change, and the Yankees have been known to switch onsale dates at the last second for various reasons.
In other news, the upgrade process is moving right along and the ticket office is still reaching out to fans with late 1990's seniority. Those who have been contacted are saying that the bleachers are completely sold out, so if you're looking to relocate there, you'll be out of luck. People have had success switching to 41 game plans in the Grandstand (guaranteed playoff rights!), so there is still that option. We'll be sure to provide updates whenever the news is compelling enough and you can check the status of upgrades at this link on Yankees.com.
What do you guys think? Do these dates look legit? If you have season tickets, are you considering switching to a 41 game plan in the bleachers? Let us know in the comments.
We'll get this out of the way right from the start - the Yankees ticket office isn't even close to putting 2010 Yankees tickets on sale to the general public. Every year around this time, non-season ticket holders start getting anxious for tickets and we receive emails asking if we know anything about the public sale date. Unfortunately, we don't, but we can help you score some of the best value seats in the stadium - Audi Yankees Club all-inclusive tickets - before the public on-sale.
Waiting for us in our inbox yesterday morning was a gem of an email from Goldstar.com, offering Audi Yankees Club tickets for the discounted price of $100. There are only select dates, and the price is still pretty high, but we can vouch for this being a good deal. For $100, you get seats in a climate-controlled restaurant (great for the cold days in April) with decent views and an all-you-can-eat gourmet buffet. The Audi Yankees Club is membership only, so you can't just walk in. Even if you do somehow score a day pass, you'll have to pay $65 for the buffet, plus pay for your ticket into the stadium.
This deal definitely isn't for everyone. If you aren't a big eater, you aren't as likely to get a great deal out of the buffet, which typically costs $65. If you don't like being removed from the typical stadium atmosphere, you won't enjoy the fishbowl that is the Audi Yankees Club.
But for some, this is a good deal. The couple of times we visited the Audi Yankees Club, we cleaned up on the high-priced options (lobster, filet mignon), and it is nice to have the option of being protected from the elements. Plus, we ran into Lonn Trost eating his dinner at the Audi Yankees Club on one of our visits. If the COO of the team is eating there, it must be good.
This isn't a shocker by any means, but the formerly sold out "Jim Beam Suites" are no longer sold out. In 2009, the Yankees claimed a wait list and such high demand that they didn't even let fans tour the seats before buying them. Today, they are available for sale on full season plans.
From the start, many fans who purchased multi-year Jim Beam Suite leases were unimpressed. There were reports of obstructed views, and the "exclusive" Jim Beam Lounge became known as something of a glorified food court. Even worse, the prices began at $100 per ticket, and the "suites" were only a few rows in front of Grandstand seats that cost $25. Very quickly, fans realized that padded seats, a food court and a private bathroom weren't worth the premium.
Heading into the offseason, some fans wondered if the Yankees would let disgruntled Jim Beam Suite licensees out of their leases. There are obviously those who have backed out of their contract (evidenced by ticket availability), but the Yankees aren't just rolling over. Here is one fan's account of trying to get out of his lease:
While I wouldn't say I tried to cancel my Jim Beam seats, I had not submitted payment as of last Friday. It was then that I received an e-mail from the VP of Legal Affairs telling me that if I did not submit payment in full by Friday, 2/5 that they would initiate legal action against me.
According to other reports, the ticket office is claiming plenty of availability in $100, $115 and $135 Jim Beam Suites.
While we love the view from these seats, we wouldn't recommend buying them unless you can get them on a partial plan, or for considerably less money. Until then, you can put Grandstand seats in section 420a and laugh at the suckers a few rows in front of you paying at least quadruple the price.