"I think if anybody in any business had known where this economy was going to go, they would have done things differently," Steinbrenner said. "Look, there's no doubt small amounts of our tickets might be overpriced."
See how easy that was? None of the people just don't want to be seen spending a lot of money nonsense being spouted by COO Lonn Trost, and none of the aggressive shout-downs that follow other criticisms of the team or its policies. Just a little honesty about the fact that a lot of people are having a really hard time economically right now, and that the Yankees have built a stadium full of expensive seats.
The average seat at Yankee Stadium comes in at $72.97, according to Crain's New York Business. That's some $30 more than last year and a bit over $20 more than the second-place Red Sox. The "premium" seats come in at an average of $510.08, which is almost $300 more than the equivalent at Wrigley Field and almost $500 more than the last-place Brewers.
That's not why they're overpriced, though. They're overpriced because they can't sell them to the people and, especially, companies that wouldn't have thought twice about spending that much money two years ago. The market right now can't bear what they're charging, a predicament faced by many businesses, and that leaves them with two choices. They can cut prices or they can sit on the inventory, and neither one fits into the model they dreamed up a few years ago.
Steinbrenner will probably catch some flak for saying that only "small amounts" of the tickets are overpriced, but it's hard to argue with his logic. The team has essentially sold out of all but those super-expensive seats which shows that they selected an appropriate price point for the rest of the stadium. It's the reaching for the platinum ring that's coming back to bite them in the rear end.