29 November 2010
In a move that we've been fearing would come for years, the Yankees ticket office recently sent out notifications to 41 game plan season ticket holders, informing us that we will no longer receive a guaranteed opportunity to purchase tickets for every postseason game. The 41 game, half-season plan was introduced in 2009 when the new Yankee Stadium opened (and was preceded by the 46 game plan at the old Yankee Stadium). These plans always carried the benefit of full playoff rights, but the Yankees won't be grandfathering that benefit for those affected.
Under the new plans, 41 game licensees will receive approximately half of the playoff games, and the other games will be guaranteed for 20 game plan holders. The Yankees are clearly counting on 12 and 15 game partial plan holders to upgrade to the 20 game plans and the very desirable playoff tickets they now guarantee. Since the new stadium opened, 20 game plans only received a postseason pre-sale password, although similar plans at the old stadium promised a small postseason ticket allotment.
In a vacuum, this is a logical business move - it never really made sense for a half season plan to receive full playoff rights. But to longtime, loyal Yankees season ticket holders, it comes off as something slightly more offensive. We're forced to accept the fact that if we jump ship because of this business decision, it won't hurt the Yankees bottom line. We're disposable commodities, easily replaced by partial plan ticket holders upgrading to 20 game plans.
Needless to say, we're disappointed in this decision from a fan relations and fan loyalty standpoint. As we mentioned, it makes sense to slowly phase out the 41 game plan if it doesn't make sense for the team financially. But a better way to deal with those affected would have been to reach out to them personally and work out a thoughtful solution. Unfortunately, season ticket holders were subjected to a generic form letter and a table presenting them with the bad news:
With each passing offseason, it gets more difficult to justify remaining a Yankees season ticket holder.