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Internet Saves Baseball in New York

empty-yankees-stadiumIn a time of general economic crisis, the Yankee organization has revealed that they are particularly out of touch with their target demographic. This disconnect was made evident by revealing stadium seats that go for an astronomical asking price. To that end, some of the luxury seats go for as much as $2500 a game, and the more “reasonable” seats were advertised as $1000 a game. For many club houses, that would constitute the price for season tickets. Even for a club as popular as the Yankees, there was an inevitable fan backlash to follow in the form of poor ticket sales.

Having to put their tail directly between their legs, team manager Hal Steinbrenner announced that those luxury seats would be reduced in price by almost half, making the seats $1250 and $650 respectively. While it’s a move in the right direction, it still reveals a general lack of understanding as to the demands of the average baseball fan.

Luckily for Yankees fan, Major League Baseball has partnered with Cablevision and YES, the Yankees cable network. This partnership means that Yankee games can now be watched online for a flat registration fee of $49.95 for the remainder of the season or $19.95 for any given 30-day period. This service will officially launch on July 8, 2009.

While the stadium will still be conspicuously empty due to unrealistic ticket prices, at least the Yankees can console themselves with thoughts that all those fans are at home, watching the game on their laptops.

Internet conscious individuals can’t help but ask, is this move indicative of how sports will be consumed in the future? With people increasingly tuned into the internet at all times, will the ability to watch live streaming video of the game ultimately trump the real life experience? On a personal note, being from Philadelphia and a die-hard Phillies fan, I would love this type of service for the Phillies, but wouldn’t pay a dime to see the Yankees.

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