Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My (Latest) Angry Letter To The Yankees

Dear New York Yankees,

I’ve been going to Yankee Stadium since I moved to New York in 1991 and I’ve owned season tickets in the bleachers since the moment they became available. My seat location in the old Stadium was Section 39, row FF, seats 3-4. Because the stairway “cut into” the row, there were no seats 1 or 2 down low. I was seated on the aisle. Also, the rows began with row CC because rows AA and BB were removed so that people in wheelchairs would have somewhere to be positioned.

In the new Stadium, instead of being in the 4th row and on the aisle, I’m in the sixth row and three seats in. I went to great lengths to make clear I just wanted to stay in my same location but was frightened out of ticking off the “stay on the aisle” box because of course you made it very clear that might well mean being pushed ten or twenty rows back and then if I didn’t take THOSE seats I would be put into the back of the line. I also feel terrible for the people who’ve sat in the front row for years if not decades and suddenly find themselves placed in the third row.

Here’s what I don’t understand. The first two rows and the two seats on the aisle (seats 1 and 2 in row 6) DIDN’T EXIST in the old Stadium. I’m linked to a group of people seated in section 203 from rows 3-9. All we want is to be moved over so our seats begin on the aisle where we’ve been for years instead of three seats in. Why should strangers who have never had those seats get priority over us?

I tried to call up and see about buying TWO MORE SEATS if necessary to get those aisle seats and was basically given the bum rush. How dare I ask any questions? They can’t look anything up (like “Are the seats assigned yet?” or “Can I buy them as well?”), why would I even ask if they were open and available and I better just damn well take the seats offered to me or I’d be out of luck. Forever.

Why in God’s name didn’t you just speak to at least the full season ticket holders when assigning their seat? If you had ten people a day contacting 30 people each, you could reach 300 people a day. I assume there’s probably about 20,000 full season package ticket holders, though perhaps less since I own two seats, my neighbor owns two seats (5-6), his neighbor owns 3 (7-9) and so on. Frankly, I don’t know any full season ticket owner who doesn’t own at least two seats though I’m sure they exist. I suppose spending three months to actually reach out to your full season ticket holders for this once in a generation move was too much effort for you?

This process has been nothing but insulting and frustrating and aggravating, from the constant delays in getting information to us to the abrupt, threatening, take it or leave it attitude that has reigned throughout. Every time I call Yankee Stadium I’m made to feel like a criminal. Instead of being excited about the new Stadium, I am angry and upset. I don’t expect the team to win the World Series every year or get to the post season every year. I do expect to be treated as a valued customer and not as some schmuck who better realize you’ve got a waiting list of people wanting to buy tickets so I better take what’s given to me and shut up.

Obviously, you couldn’t have chosen a worse time economically to make this move; the economy, of course, is out of your control. But your indifferent attitude and obnoxious treatment of loyal customers – even those who feel pressured into offering to spend more money just to regain the seats we should have been assigned all along -- is wholly your fault.


Michael Giltz


priv8pete said...

I just had this frightening thought about the New Yankee Stadium:

Once the novelty of the stadium has worn off, what will the 10 rows in front of the bleachers look like?

I went to County Stadium in Milwaukee in 1999 (as they were building Miller Field adjacent) and was able to buy a general admission ticket for less than $10 which let me sit anywhere I wanted except for the first 8 or 10 rows (and not in the bleachers since they were segregated from the box seats). So, Andy and I settled ourselves behind homeplate in the first row they would allow us to sit in along with countless, like-minded others. A team of security guards kept us out of the nearly empty first few rows producing a laughable effect which made the stadium look more empty than it already was.

What I worry about is that folks will grow weary or paying $100 or $75 to sit in the 10 rows directly in front of the bleachers and we'll end up with highlights of homeruns being hit into empty box seats while the bleachers behind them are packed.

Michael in New York said...

Well, when the team gets into another slide like it was in during much of the 70s and 80s, I assume we'll be seeing a lot less 50,000 crowds. And while those seats are great, I don't know that they're $100 great. That's a LOT of money for one game. Take the wife and the two kids and you're looking at $600 to go to a ballgame. Once.