No thanks to Yanks tickets

BOB ELLIOTT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

What if you threw a party at your impressive new home and no one came?

And this isn't just a new downtown condo or a home in the country; it's the New York Yankees' new home.

The Yankees built a new stadium for $1.5 billion US across the road from their old home.

From all reviews, it's a special, spacial, palace.

On opening day, with the Yankees facing the Cleveland Indians, 48,271 fans showed for a look at the 52,325-seat building -- that's 92.4% full.

Since then, there have been too many empty seats.

The big ball park in the Bronx, built by Babe Ruth, with 56,935 seats, was likened to a cathedral. The new one across the street, built by George Steinbrenner, bonds and taxes, is a grand palladium paying homage to Yankee heros of the past.

Just one problem: Not enough people can afford to go to the games.

If you saw the Yanks on TV from the low first-base camera and looked at the background, it looked as if Derek Jeter was hitting in the eighth inning of a blowout on a rainy day in Port Charlotte, Fla.

The final three games against the Indians drew 45,101, 45,167 and 43,068. Then, the Yanks lost a game to rain and played a couple of games against the Oakland A's before 42,065 and 43,342 for an average of 44,502.

When will the Yanks hit the 50,000 mark? Tomorrow night when they host the Los Angeles Angels? Not until the Boston Red Sox come to town?

Is there any doubt that management overpriced tickets a tad?

The average ticket price at what was thought to be a recession-proof Yankee Stadium is $72.97, compared with the MLB average of $26.64.

So, this week the Yanks cut the price of 40% of their front-row seats by up to 50% and said those who bought tickets closest to the field for $325-$1,250 can receive additional free seats.

Seats in the first row in the final three sections down each foul line were slashed from $1,000 to $650.

Fans were offered a buy-3, get-1-free program for the $325-a-seat season tickets

Attendance is one problem at the new yard and another is the way the ball jumps off bats like it's Coors Field or Mile High in Denver.

Guelph firm RWDI studied wind patterns in the Bronx before the stadium opened.

"We usually are more than willing to speak about the work we do, but in this case we have be instructed by our client to contact the Yankees," a RWDI spokesperson said yesterday.

Due to the open concourses, wind may be a problem and engineers are studying the flight of each and every homer to try to uncover a jet stream.

When the Texas Rangers opened the Ballpark at Arlington in 1994, wind currents caused balls to climb.

"We were shown all kinds of graphs and flow charts that wind would not be a problem," then-general manager Tom Grieve said. "We opened the stadium with a two-game series against Houston and Manny Lee went upper deck to right -- twice. We had a problem."

No less than 26 homers were hit in the first six games at the new Yankee Stadium, breaking a record for most home runs in a new park over the same time period.

Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez, Mark DeRosa and Shin-Soo Choo each hit two homers as the Indians out-homered the Yanks 11-9 in the four game set, which says more about the sad state of Yankee pitching rather than the wind. The Yanks out-homered the A's 5-1.

Besides the lack of fans and the wind, there is one other small problem.

The Yanks, without a World Series win since 2000, were a .500 team (11-10) after last night's game in Detroit.


Videos

Photos