News Flash: World Series Tickets Are a Luxury

Only 735 tickets available for the public

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Sep 2, 2009  |  Updated 5:34 AM PDT
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News Flash: World Series Tickets Are a Luxury

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The capacity of human beings to ignore the obvious for months, years even, before they notice the effect something has on their lives is remarkable. The new Yankee Stadium was being built for several years, and no one hid the fact that there were going to be 5,000-odd seats lost in the transition to the new digs. Yet, if you believe the New York Post, it's still coming as a shock that there won't be as many tickets on sale to the general public for the World Series as there were in 2003.

There are only going to be 735 tickets on sale per game, because the Yankees have 37,000 season ticket holders and because 12,500 are set aside per Major League Baseball's mandates. Those seats go to players, executives and corporate sponsors, which all but negates the need to open the box office. The Yankees were very up front about how the smaller stadium would impact postseason ticket sales, highlighting the fact in every one of their marketing messages about season tickets, so why it comes as a surprise now is a mystery.

The Post cracks the lid on this story Wednesday, leading with the wildly inaccurate claim that it will cost $23,000 to buy a ticket to a World Series game. There is such a ticket listed on StubHub, for a potential Game Seven in the Bronx. That price only applies if you're the sort of cockeyed optimist that sees buying a ticket to a potentially unnecessary game in a series that the Yankees stand a fair chance of not making more than six weeks before it happens as a good investment.

If you're one of them, please leave a comment because I'd like to talk to you about some timeshare opportunities involving a very famous bridge! Plenty of cheaper, a relative term, seats are available now, and, should this still-fictional series come to pass, there will still be several hundred more which drives the prices down.

And that's the whole point. It's too bad that only 735 tickets will be made available to the public for World Series games, but there's a flaw in the reasoning that places tickets to baseball games as an inalienable right on the level of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They are a commodity that sells for exactly as much money as the market dictates they are worth. There's going to be a mark-up, but that's what happen when you buy retail instead of wholesale. 

It's worth seeing how the whole dance plays out before screaming into the wind. Those without a short memory will recall March and April. That's when everyone was up in arms about how impossible it was going to be to go to a Yankee game because of the high prices, which of course fell flat as sales were sluggish and sites like StubHub were flooded with tickets selling for face value or less. That probably won't happen for the World Series, but such is life in a capitalist country.    

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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