â†µIf you've watched a game at the new â†µYankee Stadium, then you might have â†µnoticed something unusual. No, not the â†µbaseball-sized hole just below Chien-Ming â†µWang's ribcage. I'm talking about those â†µempty seats. â†µ
â†µI don't mean empty seats in the upper â†µdeck, like the ones at every other ballpark; I â†µmean the primo tickets, the Glengarry leads, â†µthe "luxury suite boxes" just down the first â†µand third base lines. Every seat in Yankee â†µStadium is full except for the best seats in the â†µhouse. It looks awful on television: It looks â†µlike the Yankees can't fill their stadium. â†µâ†µ
â†µThey can, of course. They're the Yankees. â†µBut they can't sell these seats—because even â†µin New York, which apparently was once the â†µfinancial capital of the world, nobody wants to â†µpay $2,500 for one baseball game. And that's â†µwhat they're charging. (Or at least what they â†µwere charging, before coming to their senses.) â†µThese seats are amazing, and the ballpark is â†µbreathtaking, but they're not worth $2,500. â†µThey're not worth the $1,250 they're charging â†µnow. Trust me, I sat in one. â†µâ†µ
â†µThanks to a "friend of a friend"—who â†µI swear does not fit debtors with cement â†µshoes—I ended up with the golden tickets for â†µthe first Sunday afternoon game at the new â†µpark, a 7-3 Yankees win over the Indians. â†µâ†µ
â†µI â†µwas so close to the field I could actually see â†µthe TV screens the umpires use for replays. â†µ(Which is funny because I think they still got â†µa home run call wrong.) And there were only â†µtwo other people in my row. It was the fourth â†µhome game of the season. â†µâ†µ
â†µThe Yankees, obviously, have drastically â†µoverpriced these seats, but because they're â†µthe Yankees, they were slow to admit it. Thus, â†µthey were doing the hard sell. The minute â†µmy friend and I walked into our section, â†µa nice woman who works for the Yankees â†µcorralled us, without our asking, and took us â†µon a half-hour tour of the stadium. She was â†µas aggressive as the ballpark barkers who â†µtry to sign you up for credit cards, except we â†µended up with swag far superior to some â†µcrappy beach towel. All our food was free, the â†µnice woman told us, along with non-alcoholic â†µbeverages. (Because I'm the type of guy who â†µdrinks margaritas at baseball games, each â†µone ran me $20.) We could push a button â†µat our seats if we wanted anything brought â†µto us, including sushi. (For the record, I'd â†µrecommend you stick with the hot dog.) "And â†µif you need anything else, please don't hesitate â†µto ask the girls," she finished, pointing to â†µthree stunning nymphs wearing pinstripes, â†µYankees caps and convincingly fake smiles. â†µIt was a rather ideal way to watch a sporting â†µevent. All we were missing was a sofa or a spot â†µpinch-hitting in the seventh. â†µâ†µ
â†µBut it wasn't worth $2,500—because â†µno regular season game is worth $2,500. â†µNo matter how much sushi, how many â†µclubhouse tours you give me or how many â†µlovely lasses wink at me on the way to the â†µrestroom, it's wildly out of whack with how â†µhumans live now. Which is why the seats â†µare empty; if Derek Jeter sprinted into the â†µstands to make a catch today, he'd land on â†µupholstery, not flesh. Yet the Yankees have â†µto try to sell them, using gravitas, sex appeal â†µand sushi. They're hucksters desperate to â†µunload product. If there's a better example â†µof why this economic crisis has everyone â†µterrified, I don't want to see it. â†µâ†µ
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