Big League Stew

Derek Jeter’s finale a tougher ticket at Fenway than opening day ring ceremony

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

With Derek Jeter announcing 2014 will be the final season of his Hall of Fame career, it should come as no surprise there's already a greater demand around Major League Baseball to land Yankees' tickets. Naturally, fans don't want to miss the opportunity to see Jeter pass through their home stadium one last time and take a bow before the final curtain falls. That includes what is now scheduled to be Jeter's final regular season game, a Sept. 28 matchup with New York's greatest rivals, the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park.

What might come as a surprise, however, is just how in demand these tickets have already become in Boston.

From ESPN's Darren Rovell:

Within minutes of the announcement, which was posted to Jeter's Facebook page, ticket prices soared on the web.

"This last Jeter game is now a tougher ticket than the Opening Day ring ceremony," Jim Holzman, CEO and president of Boston-based Ace Ticket, said. "Now that's a story."

Ticket aggregator TiqIQ said that the cheapest seat for the finale at around 2 p.m. ET, before Jeter's announcement was posted, was $26. An hour later, the site didn't have anything for less than $200.

As of 5:30 p.m., the average ticket price for Jeter's last game was $1,153.01, up 278.2 percent from 2 p.m.

Yes, this is quite a story, but there are obviously several factors in play. First and foremost, Yankees fans are everywhere and their home base in the Bronx isn't a far enough trip to deter diehard fans from travelling to be a part of history. Many will be willing to do anything and everything to attend that game, so they're going to influence the price hike heavily.

It also can't be denied that Boston is baseball town through and through. The Red Sox fan base will always respect and honor the history of the game, even if it means tipping their cap to a longtime rival. We saw how important it was for them to honor Mariano Rivera in his final season, and it will be just as important to many of their fans to attend the game and honor Jeter in their own way.

And let's be completely honest, though ring ceremonies are always special, a third championship in ten years is a little different than a first championship in 86 years. The thrill isn't gone, but the luster might be just a little bit.

When all added up, it makes perfect sense why Derek Jeter's finale is the toughest ticket in Boston. But even with all of that taken into consideration, it still takes a few moments for the reality to truly settle in.

As for how ticket sales are looking in New York. According to A.J Perez of NJ.com, the demands are said to be unprecedented.

Before news filtered out about his retirement, seats were going for about face value on secondary ticket sites like StubHub. Within minutes, that $15 bleacher seat for that Thursday night game against the Orioles on Sept. 25, however, surged past the $300 mark.

"This is unprecedented," ticket broker Lance Patania told NJ.com. "The game is usually giveaway if the Yankees aren't in the (playoff) hunt."

Another ticket broker told NJ.com to expect demand for Yankees seats to remain high all season.

"Mariano was special," said Chris Vlahos, referring to recently Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who retired after a victory lap that lasted the entire 2013 season. "But this is Derek Jeter."

With each day that comes off the calendar, demands will get a little higher for each home game that remains on the Yankees schedule.

What will be interesting to watch though is just how much Jeter will be able to play coming off a broken ankle in the 2012 postseason and a 2013 season limited to 17 games by numerous setbacks. You know he'll be out there as much as his body allows, but what will his body allow, and how will manager Joe Girardi go about resting him? Sooner or later, some fans will be very disappointed. There's almost no way around it.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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