(Long Island, NY) Neil Best must have felt like $161 million on Thursday. One of Newsday’s top sports columnists, his article a day earlier made the readers aware of another strike against the ‘little guy’ by the Bronx Bombers and their corporate ways.
In case you didn’t have a chance to read it, Best wrote that there are two entire sections totaling 600 seats located in the centerfield bleachers of the brand new Yankee Stadium where the view is obstructed and he wasn’t referring to a tall guy or a lady in a wide hat sitting in front of you.
No, these seats are sandwiched by a sports bar/restaurant that surely brought in a pretty penny to the most valuable franchise in all of sports. So whom do you think came out ahead in this battle – the average fan that can barely afford a day at the ballpark or the Yankees and the owners of the establishment?
In Best’s article, Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost was quoted as saying that some views are obstructed “a little bit, but for $12, it’s a choice of taking it or not,” and that for the ‘lucky’ fans to be seated there that will not be able to see balls hit to either the right or left of them (depending on the section), the gracious and giving Trost added, “We will have TVs in the walls there.” Oh, how can we ever thank you enough!
Coincidentally, Trost was a guest on WFAN on Wednesday and following the fall-out from the article from fans, he said, “Those seats are being sold at $5, not $12. I think some seats may have gone out improperly invoiced.”
Hey, Lonn – can’t blame the intern doing the paperwork on your own words, which clearly repeated the $12 price. Later during the radio interview, Trost came up with another gem by calling the restaurant being built further out than the seats an “architectural shadow.” He must have been reading off of cue cards to come up with that one.
The tickets will now be marked as having an obstructed view, similar to an area located at the top of the Nassau Coliseum. When arenas and stadiums were built years ago, that was commonplace due to the architectural structure (not shadow). The ballparks of yesteryear had those thick, long columns that held the upper levels in place and were the cause of many a stiff neck the next day for the people sitting near them.
But that was then and this is now. Especially with a brand new stadium that was built to perfection, this should not have taken place. A prime example of having your cake and eating it, too.
This should come as no surprise when the Yankees are involved, the same team that signed free agent pitcher CC Sabathia to an average annual salary of $23 million over seven years. Win at all costs; no matter how many dollars are involved and how many people you leave in the dust, even if they’re your own fans.
They are an organization that never bends or makes amends for anyone, but in this case they reluctantly did. A sportswriter’s attention to a topic that is about more than just the cheap seats was at stake. It was the principal of the matter, and this time the good guys won.