Yankees' Dumb Ticket Policy Turns Soccer Match At Yankee Stadium Into A Ghost Town

from the papers-please dept

You may recall that we discussed the New York Yankees’ bumbling attempt to institute a new ticket policy for Yankee Stadium that disallowed print-at-home tickets. Dressed up as a policy designed to combat fake tickets being sold by scalpers, the policy was actually designed to be a warm hug to the team’s partner Ticketmaster and a slap to Ticketmaster rival StubHub, as well as all of the other secondary market resellers out there. Still, some people probably shrugged, assuming that this would only have an effect on Yankees fans, a group that might find the soil of sympathy barren.

But of course that assumption isn’t true. Aside from representing a potentially virulent precedent that could be adopted by other teams, the Yankees aren’t the only team that plays in Yankee Stadium. The local soccer (football) team, New York City FC, not only plays there as well, but the team hosted a match recently, and that match was likewise governed by the new ticket policy. So, how’d that work out exactly?

Now, it’s a bit confusing from the tweet, but that picture was taken shortly before the match was to begin, during warmups. It was not, as some had interpreted, taken with eight minutes left in the game. Which isn’t to say that the results of the new ticket policy were anything short of disastrous.

And the Deadspin post has a rolling series of tweets, including more pictures of crowded lines of pissed off fans, with reports that getting in was a massive problem, fans were being turned away, and everyone involved was generally aggravated.

Now, some will retreat back to the safety of the assertion that any new policy will breed some confusion and take time before all things go seamlessly. And, hey, that’s true. However, this fustercluck also is a wonderful reminder of just how full of crap the Yankees were when they rolled out this policy. Were fraud to be a massive issue in need of addressing, why then is there so much overwhelming demand from fans for the use of print-at-home tickets? If the secondary market were a cesspool of fraud and abuse, that demand would cease to be. Yet, there was so much of that demand for this NYCFC match, that the ticket gates were mobbed by the angry. Not the best of starts for a fan-friendly ticket policy, methinks…

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Comments on “Yankees' Dumb Ticket Policy Turns Soccer Match At Yankee Stadium Into A Ghost Town”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Only so many people can have their tickets checked and walk through the gates at a time. With so many people seeking to enter at the same time, a line forms. So everyone prints their ticket at home like they would for everything else, goes to the stadium, and gets in line to have their ticket checked at the entrance.

Anonymous Howard says:

Re: [8 minutes before *warm up*]

The question then is how does that compare to normal? Would one expect more people to be present 8 minutes before warm-up?

I know the games I go to over here on Surveillance Island I would expect to see more people than that, but maybe it’s different over there?

Either way, it is indeed a fustercluck to change the policy (presumably) after people had already printed at home.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: [8 minutes before *warm up*]

Here in Philadelphia, everyone is still out in the parking lot drinking and playing around until about 30 minutes before the game, and a lot of the times later even.

According to the NYCFC website, it was basically that they only had specific gates open for print at home tickets but announced it only 48 hours before and didn’t have any signs up stating this. Here’s the link.

All in all though, Yankee’s stadium sucks for soccer. It just barely makes FIFA standards. Last I heard they were talking about renovating Columbia University’s stadium. So hopefully Ticketmaster will lose more and more events to stupid crap like this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ticketmaster can and does support print at home tickets. In fact, they used to charge you more for this “convenience” (where they don’t have the cost of printing and mailing actual tickets to you), much like Ma Bell used to charge more for touchtone dialing, which actually cost them less to provide. What they’re trying to do is eliminate the secondary ticket market. Tickets re-sold through ticketmaster have a price floor. You can’t sell them for less than face value. And, of course, Ticketmaster gets to collect fees and “service charges” for any tickets re-sold by them. By not allowing tickets to be sold below face value, it encourages people to purchase more tickets from the team, because why pay more for a ticket on the secondary market than you can get one for from the primary? It totally ignores the rules of supply and demand. Many season ticket holders will sell some less desirable games below face, and make up for it with other, more desirable games which are sold for way more than face value. This puts more fannies in the seats, and increases concession sales (which are WAY more profitable than ticket sales), but apparently some teams don’t seem smart enough to realize that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It seems rather trivial to somewhat verify that the person that purchased a ticker from home didn’t resell it much later. For instance they could require that I input my identity as seen on my ID card or drivers license upon purchasing including my ID or drivers license number. The ticket can include a bar or QR code and a set of numbers that can be scanned (or typed) into a computer. When it’s typed or scanned in the computer the drivers license number can show up. The person validating the ticket, assuming he’s half competently trained to make sure that a drivers license is real (they are hard to forge against a competent inspector) can then match the drivers license number and name against what he has in the system.

If you want to transfer a ticket from one person to another they can set conditions. For instance they can allow up to one transfer but not within 24 hours of the game (or whatever conditions they want to set).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

and if you think about it this is actually more secure for the time being spent at the stadium. You buy the ticket at home. It prints with a bar code that can be scanned or typed.

Upon purchasing online you enter your drivers license or ID number and all of the information on your DL card. Eye color, hair color, height, gender, weight, etc… Saves everyone the trouble of having to do it at the stadium.

You go to the stadium with your DL or ID card and ticket ready. You hand them both, they scan the ticket and all the info pulls up on their computer. They simply glance at your ID card to verify the ID number, glance at the info (height, weight, eye and hair color, I dunno why light or dark skinned is not included on mine, seems like an important oversight. Yes the picture can reveal that but the picture is something that can be changed on a fake ID later on and is harder to enter in a computer and it takes slightly more time to verify an ID card), glance at the picture, and glance at you to make sure everything matches up reasonably. Next in line since all the hard work was done at home.

Anonymous Coward says:

Stupid question...

Do the Yankees actually own and operate Yankee Stadium?

In my area all the arenas are owned and operated by private or public/private entities, not the teams that play in them. The teams have long term leases with their arenas. So if what is described in this article were to occur at any of these arenas the local folks would quickly find out that it was an arena policy, not a team policy. And the team can always say when their lease is up they’ll be looking elsewhere if the policy causes too much trouble.

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