Well, at 10 AM, everyone began trying to buy the Flex plan and get the good seats before they were gone. But no one could get through because the server could not handle the volume. Neither could the Yankees' ticket office which was fielding complaints. By 10:45 in the morning, fans who did reach the ticket office were told to "just keep trying. It's slow, but it is working." That turned out to be blatantly wrong. Fans who finally did get past the login screen were greeted with a checklist of games to choose that showed neither the dates of the games nor the opponents. Just a list of 81 check boxes and every one labeled "Wed. //" except for the very LAST one, which bore the date of the SECOND game of the year, April 12th. With no way to guess which box stood for which game, many fans who were sneaking around at their day jobs to try to accomplish this fruitless task were forced to give up.The bottom line is that Yankee ticket buyers were treated like shit, which isn't really anything new. But it's crystal clear now, with a new ballpark on the horizon, that the middle-class ticketholder who pays out of his own pocket is a dying breed who's in the process of being screwed out of existence by the Yanks. Prices for our Tier Box MVP seats, even with the plan's discount off of the face value, have skyrocketed. Digging into my old Quicken files, here's what I get since 2000:
At 11:30 AM, callers to the ticket office who managed to get past the "all circuits are busy" messages heard a new story. "It's simply not working," a representative said. "So don't worry, nobody is buying tickets ahead of anybody. No one can use the system." When it was suggested that perhaps the sale should be rescheduled for another day, the representative said it was a Ticketmaster problem and would be fixed soon. "Maybe five minutes, maybe ten, maybe an hour. Just keep hitting refresh until the 'technical difficulties' message goes away. Then try to log in again."
The earliest successful ticket buyer we were able to find got through the gauntlet of a user interface at 2:40 in the afternoon, after trying all day. Among the additional failures of the Yankees on this day, the promised "flex"-ibility of the plan was scuttled; buyers had to choose a set number of seats that would be identical for all games. (All the ticket office would say about this was "Yeah, that's gone. Forget it.") Upon choosing the 20 games for purchase, the buyer then had to use 20 separate drop-down menus to choose what section to sit in for each game separately. Wouldn't it have made much more sense to let people choose their section and apply it to all games if they wanted? Others had problems with the drop-down menus and had to choose "best available" (the default option) and so spent more than they would have. Was this the real reason for the change?
Year Price $ Pct increaseThe Yanks did an admirable job of holding the line for awhile, even in the face of ever-increasing attendance; from 2000 to 2003 our tickets only went up a total of 20 percent. Since then they've risen 57 percent, and they've essentially doubled over the course of the past six years. Suffice it to say that both the money and the emotional capital I'll be forking over to the Yanks in the future is a finite amount, one that George Steinbrenner and company have decided is best spent sooner rather than later. When it's gone, I'm gone.
2000 25 --
2001 29 16.0
2002 29 0.0
2003 30 3.4
2004 35 16.7
2005 42 20.0
2006 47 11.9
June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010
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