In what was surely an accidental tweet meant to be posted on a personal Twitter account, the @YankeesPR Twitter posted the following TwitPic (sure to be deleted soon) a few minutes ago:
"Here is a photo of me in the dugout @Old Timer's Day. I look very confused. Who are all these old farts? LOL"
Sooooo, yeah. That happened. Good to see the Yankees are hiring PR folks who truly care about the storied history of the franchise. Also, nice ring. We're sure you did a lot to deserve it.
To be clear, we're not offended at all that someone would say this. In fact, there are probably many people who would say "who are these old farts" on Old Timer's Day.. However, you wouldn't expect them to be working for the Yankees, especially as their PR person. Embarrassing.
Reading our above post, we realize that our snark level was probably over the top. Some on Twitter rightfully called us out for somewhat of a personal vendetta. The fact is, the Yankees media relations staff makes NO effort to reach out to (or have open communications with) any writer/blogger/author who is not well-established and part of a major organization. We all read about this in Jane Heller's Confessions Of A She-Fan (and if you haven't, we HIGHLY recommend that book).
This type of policy doesn't work in PR. The job of PR (or media relations) professionals is to build relationships with people who can somehow change the public perception of your brand. By ignoring us when we make an innocent inquiry about sunblock policy, it makes us far less likely to overlook a blatant PR faux paus like the one we saw above.
The only reason this blog exists is to better the fan experience. Sometimes,we could use official comment to clarify a situation that we're reporting as FAN ADVOCATES. We'll use the recent sun block issue as an example. We saw sun block being taken away at the gate, we tweeted about it, and all of a sudden we had beat writers following us on Twitter and emailing us for more information. We had the NY Post contacting us, asking us how many families we saw having their sunblock taken away. The NY Post wanted to write a story (like they did back in '08) about how the Yankees were banning sunblock. We didn't hear back from the Yankees media relations staff, but we had enough integrity to explain to the Post that the story was really the incompetent security force and not necessarily Yankees policies. That wasn't a juicy story, so it never ran in the NY Post.
An "old farts" comment shouldn't cost anyone a job, but it illustrates an ill-advised social networking strategy that goes right along with the bad PR policies that we outlined above. How is someone who manages the PR Twitter account for a name as big as the Yankees allowed to also manage their personal Twitter account via the same client?
Have you felt buyer's remorse after paying anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000 for a pair of old Yankee Stadium seats? Did you pay for a specific pair of unrefurbished Yankee Stadium seats only to unknowingly receive a refurbished pair of generic seats? Do you despise Steiner Sports and would love nothing more than to see them take a bath financially?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you'll want to take a look at the class action settlement released last week (link to Google Doc), entitling some fans who purchased old Yankee Stadium seats a full refund, or a $65 - $95 coupon for Steiner Sports Collectibles.
Back in October, the New York Post profiled one Yankees fan who felt especially slighted in his dealings with Steiner Sports. In fact, he had proof that the seats Steiner sold to him (and presumably other fans) as unrefurbished and their own were falsely advertised and realized his only choice was to sue.
It has been nine months since the New York Post exposed the story, but those who purchased seats from Steiner finally received the class action settlement papers last week. The key details are as follows:
- Those eligible for the settlement must have purchased the seats between May 1, 2009 and August 15, 2009 and have a sales receipt
- The settlement offers two choices:
- A full refund for the purchase of the seats (of course, you'll have to return the seats)
- A $65 or $95 coupon for a future Steiner Sports purchase ($65 if you originally bought a generic pair of seats, $95 if you originally bought your specific old Yankee Stadium seats
- Settlement hearing is set for September 22, 2010
- All members of the class action lawsuit must file their claim by December 21, 2010
There is the potential for Steiner to take a huge loss on this class action lawsuit, since all fans who purchased in that three and a half month window have the right to a full refund (as long as they are willing to part with their seats). Those who ordered their exact seats and are happy with the purchase are unlikely to take advantage of the full refund option, but many who bought generic seats have an opportunity to save some money and still have their coveted seats.
These seats often pop up on secondary markets such as Ebay, and sell for much less than the current Steiner asking price of $1,500. It should be noted that there isn't a huge supply on the secondary market, so this option might be more of a hassle than it is worth.
In any case, this is a great story about one fan who was unwilling to be ripped off, and as a result, many fans are better off. We here at NYYSI encourage everyone who purchased seats in the three and a half month window to dredge up their old receipts and at the very least claim your Steiner coupon. They falsely advertised the product you were buying, and they should have to pay for that.
UPDATE (8:30 PM): A source tells us that only 2,000 seats were purchased within the date range outlined above, so the company is unlikely to be too badly affected by this class action lawsuit. Of course, it still shows that they misled fans and it was proven in the court of law. Not exactly a feather in the cap of Steiner Sports. This same source tells us that 30,000 seats are still available for sale, so the seats aren't exactly a hot commodity.
Earlier today, we caused a bit of an uproar on Twitter when we observed that Yankee Stadium security workers were taking away sun block as fans entered the stadium. The fact that temperatures were soaring toward 100 degrees with bright sunshine made this something to talk about. Of course, there is more to the story.
Via the NY Post's Brian Costello (no link, he told us via email), when reached for comment, the Yankees stated that there are absolutely no policies against sunscreen at Yankee Stadium and that security must have made a mistake. However, regular visitors to Yankee Stadium know that this Yankees spokesman is wrong. Sunscreen in aerosol cans has always been banned. Or perhaps the aerosol ban was no longer policy and the security force really was doing a poor job.
Either way, it is easy to understand why an aerosol can of sunblock would be banned from a sporting venue or a concert. Those cans are heavy, and if thrown toward the field of play, can hurt someone. In addition, they bring with them an inherent fire risk, being highly flammable. You get the point: a ban on aerosol cans can be justified.
But here is the real problem: the Yankees don't budget enough money for their security company, SECURITAS. As a result, they get really cheap, poorly trained workers who pass along a message about canned sunblock and apply it to ALL spray sunblock. So there people were, being forced to throw away full bottles of sun block.
Interestingly, nobody was making a stink out of this policy as they entered. It seems that fans going to Yankee Stadium have adapted to the idiocy of the SECURITAS security force, similar to what airline passengers have done with the TSA. The only way this will be addressed is if people like us recognize how dumb it is when parents are forced to douse their children with spray sunblock out of a PLASTIC pump bottle and then throw away perfectly good sunblock that they could have used in the future. It's up to us to make sure that the Yankees clarify their policy in the near future and communicate it better, or adjust the policy altogether.
In official comments about securities issues, the Yankees will never blatantly spell out the underlying problem of poor security throughout the stadium, causing fans to be inconvenienced. We certainly hope that they take notice of issues like this and take action behind the scenes to correct the problems.
A couple of months ago, it made blogosphere headlines when the Yankees banned iPads from Yankee Stadium. There really isn't a good reason for this policy, but the security personnel checking belongings at the various entry points were able to point at the "no laptop" rule to justify their behavior. After the initial outrage, the chatter died down, but the team stood firm with the rule.
Being that we don't own an iPad and see no reason to bring one to a Yankees game, we never really got riled up about this policy. After all, the rules specifically stated that laptop computers weren't allowed, and the iPad is pretty close to a computer.
Then, on Thursday evening, we headed directly to Yankee Stadium from work, unable to drop a messenger bag off at home containing a Barnes & Noble E-Reader called "The Nook". For some perspective, here is a photo of "The Nook" next to a full-sized hardback novel:
As you can see, this thing is small. Roughly the size of four iPhones melded together. The main function of the device is reading books, but it does have some basic games and wi-fi capabilities for its beta web browser and it plays music. In other words, the functionality of the device is far more basic than any of the thousands of iPhones at Yankee Stadium on any given night.
Yet there we were, trying to enter Yankee Stadium at Gate 8 and being treated like terrorists for being in possession of this scary E-Reader device.
We waited in security line after security line and each time our bags were searched and we were denied entry into Yankee Stadium. We asked the security guards for the reasoning behind this rule and they simply state that no Kindles were allowed. When we pointed out that there was no rule against bringing E-Readers into Yankee Stadium, the security guards vaguely pointed to the back of our tickets where we could "read the rules" (in two-point font, that would require a high-powered magnifying glass to read, and surely don't include the word E-Reader).
Eventually, we reached a gate with a longer line and a laid back security guard who didn't search the back pocket of the messenger bag. Our 15 minute nightmare was over, and we were finally able to enter the stadium halfway through the first inning.
This whole ordeal left us dumbfounded by the utter stupidity of this policy. Shame on us for not dropping the messenger bag at home, inviting the idiocy upon ourselves. However, when fans are allowed to bring bigger and heavier hardcover books into the stadium along with an iPhone and can't bring in a Kindle or Nook, something is seriously wrong. People bring their E-Readers to work for their commute, and if they go directly to Yankee Stadium, they're pretty much screwed. Someone, ANYONE needs to explain this policy to us. We've got nothing. There is absolutely no security concern with e-ink.
We have reached out to the Yankees media relations team for comment. Until then, please let us know in the comments if you've been subjected to this ridiculous policy at Yankee Stadium.
Almost exactly three years ago, Alex Rodriguez was stuck at 499 home runs, on the precipice of history. It was 10 grueling days before August 4, 2007, when he finally yanked a ball down the left field line at the old Yankee Stadium for his milestone 500th home run. During the home stand, beginning on Tuesday, July 31, 2007, Yankees fans had excitedly awaited their chance to see history. Four hyped-up games and 18 camera-flash filled at bats later, A-Rod finally delivered in the bottom of the first inning off of then Royals starter Kyle Davies. The best part? Every single person in the ballpark on that day had a chance to catch the historic blast.
During those games, the atmosphere was nothing less than electric at Yankee Stadium. Each time A-Rod stepped up to the plate, a "wall of sound" (sorry to steal your line, Michael Kay) built throughout the stadium and camera flashes were going off everywhere. On the field level walkway, fans from all parts of the stadium scurried to the right and left corners to position themselves for a chance at history. Here is a cell phone video we captured on July 31, 2007 that shows the sea of humanity awaiting A-Rod's magical fly ball (that wouldn't come for another four days):
In the bottom of the 8th inning on Thursday night, much of what we described above repeated itself. After hitting his 599th home run in the 7th inning, it seemed unlikely that Rodriguez would get to bat again. But then the Royals lowly bullpen worked their magic and A-Rod strode to the plate just one inning later, with a shot at hitting number 600. Many in attendance had already left, but those still there understood the significane of the moment and whipped themselves into a frenzy. There were A-Rod chants, there was yelling, there were thousands of photos taken.
Unfortunately, there was no scurrying to the left and right field corners for a chance at catching a piece of history. Sadly, the new Yankee Stadium doesn't have any publicly accessible areas in home run territory. A-Rod ended up doubling to right-center in this particular chance at number 600, but if he does end up hitting his 600th at the new Yankee Stadium, the person catching the ball will have forked over more than $100 for the chance to catch it. And the common folk (us) were stuck in the upper deck, reminiscing of a simpler time when Yankee Stadium was built in a way that allowed the average fan to get somewhat close to the field of play.
Now in its second year of existence, we've come to accept the shortcomings of the new Yankee Stadium experience. We enjoy our Lobel's Steak Sandwiches, wide concourses and elevators to the upper deck, but we lament the fact that we can't ever enjoy the thrill of catching a souvenir unless we pay top dollar for field level seats. We're not suggesting that Yankee Stadium security allows people to cram into the home run sections for A-Rod's chance at history. We're just nostalgic for the charm of the old Yankee Stadium. We miss the chance of being close to the action even though we only paid $15 for a tier reserved ticket. There isn't a solution to this problem for the common fan, we're just going to have to grin and bear it.
During today's Fox Saturday broadcast of the Yankees vs. Rays, Tim McCarver randomly launched into an anti-Yankees, pro-Joe Torre rant. The diatribe eventually meandered into weird territory, basically equating the Yankees front office to nazi Germany. Don't believe us? Check out the videos below:
[VIDEOS REMOVED FOR COPYRIGHT PURPOSES]
Look, both sides are wrong in this Torre vs. Yankees dispute, but McCarver is blindly taking Torre's side. He claims that there is no representation of Torre in the stadium which is wrong. There are murals on the field level concourse, at least one of which features a smiling photo of Torre.
Does McCarver want there to be a Joe Torre statue while Torre is managing another team? Does he want a Joe Torre day while Torre is managing the Los Angeles Dodger?
Some of the old baseball people don't understand why the younger generation of fans hates Tim McCarver. Look no further than the video above. And McCarver should be glad that we didn't post video proof of his idiotic theory that AJ Burnett's hand lacerations were caused by his walkoff whipped cream pie routine. (Turns out Burnett cut his hand
tripping up a set of stairs slamming his hand on a set of double-doors.)
Tim McCarver is off his rocker.
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A few weeks back, Major League Baseball introduced a postseason ticket reservation system that gave fans the chance to guarantee their option to buy postseason tickets at face value... For the nominal fee of $10 - $20.
There are major caveats, of course. The money isn't refundable, so when you drunkenly throw down a reservation for your red hot Blue Jays in May, you'll likely be licking your wounds (albeit small-ish wounds) come September when the Jays are floundering in fourth place. And even if the Blue Jays pull off a miracle, there is no guarantee that any tickets other than the most expensive ones will be made available to you.
While the good folks over at Walkoff Walk caught wind of some fans flushing their money away buying reservations for the ALDS in Baltimore, Yankees fans were left without a page in the reservation system. There was never a formal announcement that the Yankees weren't included in MLB's savvy money grab, but most assumed that with so many fans holding Yankees season ticket plans containing postseason promises, it didn't make sense for the team to participate.
The Yankees absence made perfect sense. If MLB offered this opportunity to Mr. "random interweb user" without forcing him to make the commitment of buying 10 - 20 regular season games, then Mr. "partial season ticket holder" with a 20 game ticket plan might feel a little hoodwinked when his devotion to the team earns him a spot below Mr. "random interweb user" in the Yankees postseason ticket pecking order.
And then on Friday afternoon, the Yankees page appeared in the system, offering fans the opportunity to reserve 2010 postseason tickets at Yankee Stadium.
We're being told that very few ticket reservations (30) were up for a very short period of time (minutes) and were for non-guaranteed games (game 5 of the ALDS, for example). But here was Mr. "random interweb user," surfing the MLB postseason ticket reservation system at the right time and seemingly robbing tickets away from a Yankees partial plan ticket holder with a postseason pre-sale code.
Or was he?
Come October when tickets go on sale, we''ll bet dollars to Lobel's Steak Sandwiches that those with "reservations" will see plenty of $1,000 tickets on sale as part of his "guaranteed opportunity to purchase a ticket for that game at face value." Meanwhile, the season ticket holders with pre-sale codes will likely be greeted by a more friendly pool of tickets during their pre-sale.
In order to gain a better understanding of the situation, we reached out to Major League Baseball for an explanation. Within a day, we received a response directly from the top of the organization - Bob Bowman, CEO and President of MLB Advanced Media:
You should know that the Yankees did not push for this plan--indeed, they raised the very issue you have raised. The facts are these:
1) The tickets (only 30) came from the MLB.com allotment and have no impact on plan holders' ability to get postseason tickets.
2) You are correct in pointing out that the average fan can participate in this option, without having to buy multiple tickets - maybe that is a good thing, maybe not, but certainly there are two sides to that story.
3) This is a pilot program with limited tickets from our assortment--perhaps it is a plan that makes sense - perhaps in conjunction with plan holders themselves, next year. Just as we did with secondary tickets for years, MLB.com is experimenting with different ways fans might purchase tickets.
Bowman went on to say that "the Yankees always have their ticket holders' best interests in mind," and to "put the "blame" where it belongs--with us at MLB.com, from our allotment, and not with the Yankees." He was appreciative that we reached out to MLB to clear this up before blindly playing the blame game and even offered to get on the phone (on a Saturday afternoon) to discuss the situation further.
Unfortunately, we still don't know what kind of ticket availability there will be for those with reservations. At the end of the day, spending that $10-$20 is a gamble, but probably one worth taking for someone without Yankees season tickets.
Rest assured, Yankees season ticket holders - your season ticket investment hasn't yet been compromised.
Every once in a while, we here at NYYSI like to check in with a Yankee Stadium attendance update (courtesy of our handy attendance tracker). These numbers obviously fluctuate based on competition, weather, etc, but our comparison is a straight game to game comparison vs. 2009. Nothing more.
Through 36 games in 2010, the Yankees have drawn 1,643,170 fans through the gates at the new Yankee Stadium. Through the same number of games in 2009, the Yankees had drawn 1,624,329 fans, so it looks like the addition of standing room only seats and the newly created "Championship Suite" have paid off to the tune of 18,141 fans, or a 1.15% increase in attendance.
That 1.15% looks like a paltry increase, but considering how close the Yankees are to capacity for every home game, its impressive to even squeeze that out. Most interesting is that we're probably looking at the peak of Yankees attendance numbers for the current Yankee Stadium. The team is in the second year of a new stadium, coming off a championship and is in first place - when will cumulative attendance be any higher?
Our conclusion? Even with increased capacity due to standing room only and cafe seating at Yankee Stadium, the team is unlikely to ever reach the four million fan plateau again - something that was a given at the old Yankee Stadium. "Four million" might just be a nice round number, but the fact remains: significantly more fans were able to see the Yankees in person at the old Yankee Stadium than the new one. We're saddened by this.
They've expanded the seating areas on sale this time, here's a quick rundown from highest to lowest price:
|Section||Regular Price||eSaver Price|
|Field Level (124-116)||$300||$250|
|Field Level (125 & 115)||$275||$235|
|Field Level (129-136 & (103-111)||$90||$80|
|Mohegan Sun Sports Bar||$90||$70|
|Field Level Cafe||$75||$50|
To get the discount, go to the Ticketmaster page for the game in question (here's a general link to the schedule) and select the amount of tickets you're looking for in the Promotions and Special Offers area. You'll need a password, which is mohegan. Make sure that you select your preferred seating area.
A whole $50 off $300 seats, truly a bargain for the ages. These discounts are just not that exciting this time around, though $50 for the Field Level cafe seating/standing is not bad. Ross wrote up a post that has good information about anyone thinking about sitting/standing there, so make sure to check it out. The Batter's Eye seats often receive much deeper discounts, and quite frankly seem like a Hellish place to sit for day games during July.
It's hard to predict what the secondary market will look like for the July 4th weekend, but keep in mind that the Yankees are playing four day games in a row (Thursday 7/1 through 7/4), and for the non-weekend dates there's a good chance it'll be a total buyer's market. Be sure to check Fansnap before making any decisions you can't take back.no comments
One of the most gratifying aspects of running this blog for the past couple of years has been helping to out-of-towners get the most out of their Yankee Stadium experience. We have the "Stadium Tips" section of the blog, but we'll always take the time out to help people with a direct response, hoping that someone from another city would do the same for us if we were traveling one day.
Below is an email we received from Mark in London. It's fun to see the excitement for the trip to Yankee Stadium from people who have no idea about the game of baseball, but really want to learn:
Hi there I'm over with a friend for a long weekend from London at the end of of August and have just bought tickets for the Mon 2nd game agianst the Blue Jays. We're football (soccer) fans so have never experienced a baseball game. We've been to NY several times but never Yankee stadium - what's the best way to experience the game, soak up the atmosphere and work out how the game is played? Do you suggest getting there early to have a few drinks and soak up the atmosphere? I've also noticed the game goes over 3 days - why is that? Thanks and looking forward to your response.
And our response:
Glad to hear you're making it over to check out Yankee Stadium. I'd recommend getting to the game a couple of hours early and checking out the few bars that are outside on River Avenue.
During non-game days it probably isn't an area of New York City you'd choose to visit, but on a game day it is bustling with activity and is a great time. If there is one bar I could recommend for an authentic "Yankee bar" experience, it would be Stan's.
As for the game being played across three days - what you are seeing is a series of three games. Whenever teams get together to play, they play 2-4 games before heading to the next city to play. There are 162 games in a baseball season, so each team sees the other a lot of times.
Once you go inside the stadium (gates open two hours before game time), I'd recommend checking out the Yankees museum and monument park (as some of the "How May I Help You" concierge folks how to find them). That is where all of the tradition and information about the franchise can be found.
If you enjoy good steak, I'd recommend having a $15 steak sandwich from Lobel's, which is down the left field line on the field level (again, just ask someone where it is and they'll point you in the right direction). Make sure you ask for the LOBEL'S steak sandwich, as there are impostor steak sandwiches that aren't as good.
You are free to walk around all of the concourses at Yankee Stadium to see the field from a bunch of different angles, but you can't access any of the seats except for the ones you have purchased. The security guards are extremely rigid and do not budge from this policy.
If you want to review the rules of baseball, this website covers the EXTREME basics.
We're certain that other "Yankee Stadium Insiders" will have slight variations of these recommendations and hopefully they'll chime in with comments below. For anyone who stumbles across this entry via Google or other search engine, feel free to email us via the link at the top of the page for any more specific questions. Enjoy the games!