Attendance at Yankee Stadium is down 3.6 percent so far this year.
Why is that, you might ask? Is it the Yankees' somewhat sluggish start? Bad weather? High ticket prices? The still-recovering economy?
No, say Yankee executives. They told the New York Post it's all StubHub's fault:
"We believe there are serious issues with the StubHub relationship," team president Randy Levine told The Post yesterday. "We are actively reviewing more fan-friendly alternatives for next year."
The Bronx Bombers and other Major League Baseball teams have bellyached about StubHub for a couple of years — as more fans turn to the low-priced online reseller for tickets instead of buying directly from the team.
The Yanks and other teams claim tickets are priced too low on StubHub.
Ticket buyers are always looking for deals. Some season-ticket holders put their part of their ticket packages on StubHub as a way to subsidize part of their payment, or to get some money for their tickets instead of eating the tickets they can't use. StubHub doesn't set prices -- individual sellers do -- and to blame StubHub for the fact that ticket buyers are looking for inexpensive tickets ignores the real issue, which is that many Yankee Stadium tickets are priced higher than the market will bear. Claiming that there's something else "more fan-friendly" is disingenuous, at best.
But now baseball fans can price their tickets however they want on StubHub; the NFL has a partnership with Ticketmaster that prohibits pricing tickets below face value. Perhaps that's the start of a dialogue with MLB, although StubHub says they'd never allow a system that doesn't allow sellers to name their own price.
Major League Baseball's partnership with StubHub expires at the end of this year.