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The narrator is not happy that
1) there’s a lot of whining in baseball.
2) the tickets for a game are very expensive.
3) baseball isn’t as good as it used to be.
The narrator says that
1) he enjoys the comfort of new ballparks.
2) he prefers the Giants’ old home.
3) the new Giants home is very expensive.
According to the narrator, the average Yankees ticket
1) for the season costs $2,000.
2) has doubled in price over the last year.
3) is actually overpriced.
When the narrator visited the new Yankee Stadium with his friend, their seats were
1) good enough to see the game.
2) too high to see the game.
3) suitable for catching foul balls.
The Old Yankee Stadium
1) didn’t have a large LCD screen.
2) was quite comfortable.
3) offered good views from all seats.
Most of all the narrator dislikes that
1) that there’s a ‘luxury’ area in the stadium.
2) fans are offered seats in the ‘luxury’ area during the game.
3) front-row seats are empty.
The narrator believes that these days kids
1) have more chances to attend the game.
2) could get near the players.
3) could not afford to buy their own tickets.
1 – 2
2 – 1
3 – 2
4 – 1
5 – 3
6 – 1
7 – 3
There’s a lot of whining in baseball, at least among baseball fans. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told the game isn’t as good as it used to be. Still, you could’ve seen game three of the World Series that year for $4, which brings me to my point: ‘When did going to a Major League Baseball game become more expensive than going to the opera?’
Don’t get me wrong. I like the trend in new ballparks, which began with the opening of the Camden Yards in 1992. I appreciate the padded seats, the unobstructed views, the variety of food. I used to go to the Giants’ old home, Candlestick Park, which was so cold and miserable that they tried to market fan endurance. The new Giants home is paradise in comparison, and it is relatively affordable. My brother and I went to see a game there in May, and our lower box seats cost $42. A steal compared with the L.A. Dodgers’ $285 VIP seats, and the average 873 Yankees ticket.
Average! That’s a hundred percent increase over last year’s Yankees ticket average, and the most expensive seats, directly behind home plate, were priced at $2,000. That was not the price for the season, or a month, or even a week. That was the price per seat, per game. For that kind of money, they should let you choose the batting order. Instead, all you get is free braised short ribs with fresh watercress.
When I visited the new stadium this summer to see the Yanks host Toronto with my pal Steve, I purchased two seats for a total of $240. They were on the third level above home plate, a great vantage point from which to see the game but not the one where you are likely to catch any foul balls. The new Yankee Stadium looks a lot like the old Yankee Stadium from the outside, and you don’t have to rely on your memory to make that comparison: The original sits right across the street while they tear it down in slow motion.
Sure, the old stadium was about as welcoming as JFK Airport and as confusing as Penn Station, but you could see the field pretty well, no matter where you were. The seats were uncomfortable, but if you wanted comfort, you could stay home and watch the game on TV. In the new stadium, you feel as if you are watching the game on TV. There are 1,400 screens and one LCD giant that’s six times bigger than the former stadium’s JumboTron. All the better, it seems, to broadcast animated figures telling you when it’s time to ‘make noise.’
Honestly, the velvet-rope treatment is my biggest complaint. It just seems ill-timed. When the team set out to build its new stadium, it was counting on Wall Street’s former Masters of the Universe to be putting their feet up on those $2,000 front-row seats. But now those same masters are building their resumes at home, and it’s embarrassing to televise games with empty front-row seats. So twice during the game, giant screens announced promotional upgrades in which lucky fans were picked out of the cheap seats and ushered into the ‘luxury’ area.
But what were the Yankees thinking in the first place? When did baseball become a rich man’s game? What happened to the game a kid could afford by working a paper route, with the dream of catching the game-winning home-run ball? These days, that kid wouldn’t stand a chance. He could never sneak in, and he certainly couldn’t buy his own ticket. Nor could he get anywhere near the players as the now discounted dugout seats, where fans used to plead for autographs during batting practice, are still $1, 000.
Steve and I had a great time at the game that day. Burnett pitched seven excellent innings. The Yankees won 4—2. But as I left the stadium, I thought about the long-term effects of excluding the majority of baseball fans from the experience of watching the game live.