I want to see Yankee Stadium look sold out. I don't know why I want it because the Yankees have basically given my tax bracket the bird by pricing all of us out of the great seats, taking Opening Day and Old Timer's Day out of the "affordable" C Plan, and then gouging me on parking. Still, even if I can't see it, I want to think that someone who loves my team gets to go out to the old ball game.
I want to hear the crowd roar through the radio (and mercifully drown out John Sterling for a moment) and I want to see the stands shake under cheers of "Let's Go Yankees!"
So I've been thinking about it. And while it's another crazy idea, I have a plan.
- I'll begin with Stars and (Pin)Stripes Forever: give the unsold seats to members of the military who are home from our two wars. I'm sure that even if the Yanks wait until 12 hours before the game, they could still get service men and women to bring their families out to the Bronx. It's a PR win and it fills the seats. Come in dress and sit where the cameras can see you.
- As I've said before, put the tickets on Stubhub 48 hours before the game. Let's see where the prices go. Yeah, it sucks for the die-hards who have already paid for season tickets, but those fans made their choices with their money. I can get hotel deals online at the last minute because it's the last minute. And it fills the seats.
- Richard Sandomir's plan to fill the empties behind home plate makes step 3:
So hold a raffle: everyone in the grandstand and bleachers throws their stubs in barrels that W. B. Mason could put its name on. By the fourth inning, when the priciest empties down low look as if they’ll stay empty (if the swells aren’t in situ by then, what kind of fans are they?), let the previous game’s starter pick three dozen winners. Then announce their names and let them amble to their cushioned-seat, waiter-service, promised land to Sinatra’s "High Hopes."
Take the poor schmucks out of the obstructed view seats and drop them down the first base line. Front row raffles happen all the time on Broadway. When I was studying abroad in London there was an awesome deal for students at nearly every theater in the city: I'd show up an hour before curtain and put my name on a waiting list; if there were unsold seats left 5 minutes before the curtain, I'd pay my 5 pounds (10 bucks) and sit in the front row. Some nights I couldn't get a seat and I took the Tube back home, but I also saw award winning shows from $150 seats for a pittance. Why wouldn't this work in the Bronx?