New York loves a winner.
— George M. Steinbrenner III
Though a young, winning ballclub plays every night in the Bronx, New York Yankees ticket sales are down again in 2017. Overall, the decline is not huge — about 3,000 seats per game compared to 2016 — but the multiyear downward trend is severe. Since the franchise’s last World Series title (2009), ticket and suite revenues fell over 40% through the end of 2016.
Certainly, the Bronx Bombers of this decade were not as compelling as those of the “Core Four” era, so you can expect some drop-off, but the story goes deeper. A New York Times report featured interviews with team president Randy Levine and Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ general managing partner, who searched for answers in marketing surveys and brand evaluations.
They should have saved their money. If they asked season ticket holders who jumped ship between 2010 and 2016, they would have heard about a team that ignored its fanbase following the move to the new stadium, one that gave priority to ticket brokers looking for riches in the $2.3 billion ballpark. But the story does not end there.
Between contempt for longtime fans, the slow move to rebuild, and the celebrity farewell the club staged for its last captain, Yankees brass turned diehard season ticket holders into occasional visitors to the Bronx.