How To Fix The Ticket Situation At Yankee & Mets Stadiums

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I read this article in the NY Times about Yankee Stadium and the problem they are having with large sections of premium seating left open.


Here's what I would do if i'm the Yankees or Mets:

1. Speak to Premium Seat holders and offer the "Open Seat Plan". First, you have to enroll. Those who don't want to enroll don't need to bother with the next part of my plan.

2. Those that do enroll, get these benefits: If you haven't shown up by the 4th inning, the Yankees or Mets will offer $25 per seat credit back to that premium seat holder. It won't cover the cost of the seat, but at least you get something if you can't use your seats. Also the "payback" is at the discretion of the Yankees or Mets. So they may not buy back seats for every game. There's no guarantee that if you miss a game that you will get $25 back. The seat is bought back by the Yankees or Mets.

3. If the seat holder plans to make the game after the 4th inning, they can email or call the box office to "hold" their seat. If you are "in" the plan and haven't made it into the stadium before the 4th inning, then your seat will be bought back by the Yankees or Mets organization, for that game.

4. That means any seats in the premium sections are now owned by the Yankees or Mets. The Yankees or Mets (using the ticket scanners they have at the gates) will know which seats are "open" and if they are enrolled in the plan.

5. Then the Yankees or Mets will do a lottery. Season ticket holders in non-premium seats will win the chance to sit in premium seats. Think of it like when you get to the airport and there are business class or first class seats - and you get an upgrade by the airline for your patronage. Maybe 20-30 people win, total, and you will have the Yankees or Mets who hand out vouchers (special ticket stubs) for those seats. The fans can then walk to their new seats and enjoy the game.

6. Wouldn't that say THANK YOU to all the season ticket holders who can't afford $2,000 seats? Per game, what are we talking about? $750 that the Yankees or Mets are spending to reward their loyal fans? They don't have to do it every single game, maybe they do it once a week (but truth be told, don't you think when paying ballplayers hundreds in millions in salaries, they can afford $750 a game?).

The only problem with the plan is when some jerkoff premium ticket holder does show up after the 4th inning and didn't email or call the box office. The solution can be a bit more tricky. If the premium seat holder is enrolled in the plan, they have to agree to the rules. If they show up late and claim they did call or did email to hold their seats, then the lottery people would have to give up their seats.

Maybe some kind of consideration would be given to those lottery people, like the "next game" they do the lottery they can sit in the premium seats (so instead of 30 tickets raffled, they raffle 28 tickets and hold 2 for those who were bumped).

It won't be easy, but it is absolutely doable with our technology today.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on April 22, 2009 12:59 AM.

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