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Babe Ruth moves to House That Jeter Built ... but will fans?

Big League Stew

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Release that stress and tension, folks. Today's install of the Babe Ruth slab and the other monuments at the new Yankee Stadium went swimmingly. You can find a good photo gallery here, if you don't believe me. But, really, take my word for it. They look just as cool in their new digs and they've made the move across the street without getting lost.

However, I'm not so sure we can say the same for some Yankee ticket holders. As we've been hearing for the past year, the price hikes at the new house have been stupendous and a lot of long-time season ticket holders are being faced with some tough decisions over whether they can keep the much pricier seats — especially in this proverbial "climate."

For the most part, the situation had been a quiet one, but that changed earlier this week when Jay Jaffe of the influential Baseball Prospectus related the story of how the Yankees magically bait and switched his $25 grandstand seats (part of a partial season ticket plan) with a $75 option located smack behind the right field foul pole.

As you might imagine, Jaffe is none too pleased and he theorizes the new stratospheric pricing system has caused an intense demand for the cheaper seats and that the Yankees won't be able to fill his previous seats, which are priced between $150-350 (Yes, a game).

Of course, the way the Yankees are handling things isn't helping much, Jaffe says.

From Baseball Prospectus:

The Yankees deserve every pixel of bad publicity they receive over this, every blankety-blank karmic quantum of bad yankety-blank karma. My friends and I are hardly the only customers wronged in such a fashion; an informal discussion with a few other longtime Yankees ticket holders who write for various sites (including this one) reveals similarly shoddy treatment. Indeed, all of us who have something at stake short of a full-season ticket package are being screwed because the Yankees have bungled this so badly that they can't possibly fulfill the demand. So naturally, their impulse is to trample the loyal customers who helped carry them past the three million and four million attendance milestones over the past decade. This is a story worth illuminating, not only to fellow Yankee fans who may commiserate about finding themselves up the same fetid creek, but to baseball fans everywhere.

I'd encourage all of you to go over and read Jaffe's post and make a judgment for yourself. The article is already gaining some traction and I'm sure we'll be seeing more stories like it as the season approaches.

Have the Yankees horribly misjudged the demand for their product? Will they feel the hit at the box office, where season ticket packages — both full and partial — provide the steady lifeblood?

Or are they right in their assumption that for every person who doesn't want their seats there will be 10 others ready to take their place?

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