Coming Storm Among New York's Baseball Ticket Holders?

Soft resale market may affect renewals

It's been a while since there's been any discussion of tickets, be it cost or pace of sales or whatever, at New York's two new baseball stadiums. With the final three games between the Mets and Yankees kicking off Friday night, however, Ken Belson of the New York Times decided to revisit the issue.

He examines the likelihood of renewals among season ticket holders who have been disappointed by a weak resale market for their tickets this season. He speaks to people who bought tickets to each stadium, with Mets ticket holder Jesse Goldman serving as a good spokesman for the general point of the article.

"I figured this year would be a no-brainer,” said Goldman, a salesman from New Hyde Park on Long Island. “But it’s a buyer’s market. I get offers all the time for my tickets that are insultingly low. I don’t know that being a season-ticket holder is the right route."

Here's the thing, though. There's not much science behind these findings. You could just as easily find four or five people who are sure to renew their tickets and draw the completely opposite conclusion.

We already know that ticket prices are high, probably too high given the current economy, but we also know that that has affected corporate sales as much, if not more, than individual sales. Without the corporate market, which is much less likely to resell tickets, eating up a large portion of the available seats, there's a glut of them on the market. That's good for buyers and bad for sellers, just as it is in real estate and other commodities in a down market. 

So, are there really going to be a groundswell of ticket holders giving up their seats? Maybe, but there's not much persuasive evidence presented to back up the claim. As evidence of the perils of speculating with tickets, however, it is quite strong.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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