Another April, another batch of stories about disappointing New York Yankees attendance. River Avenue Blues reports that the Yanks have set new records for lowest attendance at their new stadium for four games in a row, which isn’t good when you consider they’ve only played five games this year.
There are as many theories as empty seats, ranging from fans growing detached from the Yanks’ ever-changing roster to those hefty parking fees — I’ve laid them all out in an article over at the Village Voice news blog. One intriguing possibility, though, is that the new stadium is proving to have a short honeymoon period because fans hate it and would rather stay at home and watch on TV:
“Our seats in section 428, row 10 offered an awful view of the playing field and they weren’t going to get any better,” wrote NYY Stadium Insider in a January post on “Why We Canceled Our Yankees Season Tickets.” When the new stadium opened, they write, they put up with it for the new-car smell, but “in the 2009 ALDS when Joe Mauer hit his controversial ground rule double that was incorrectly called foul, and when Mark Teixeira hit his game winning home run to left field, we were completely in the dark. There are blind spots in the wings of the far-recessed upper deck at Yankee Stadium III and as the season wore on, we realized that we’d be better off watching the games at home.”
Now, I doubt that this is a huge factor, at least not compared to things like $35 parking and the fact that the Yankees raised ticket prices after an offseason in which the Red Sox stocked up on free agents while the Yanks largely stood pat. But it’s still interesting to see that some fans, at least, are citing the poor game experience at the new stadium as a reason why they’re not buying tickets. Too bad the Yankees don’t have a beloved old ballpark whose quirks fans were willing to put up with for the chance to visit history, like up in Boston — oh, wait…