Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yankees Top Ticket $2,625: Will the BLS Call It Inflation?

Ticket prices at the new Yankee Stadium are a further indication of the flow of money coming from the direction of the consumer.

There's been some slowdown in the top priced tickets, which in my book are in most cases a capital good, i.e. businesses are buying them to nurture long term client relationships.

The Yankees said last summer that they had sold 3,500 of 4,300 premium seats as part of season plans, but sales slowed when the recession intensified.

However, at the ultimate consumer level, the bleachers, the lowest priced ticket is $14.00. Last year at the old Yankee Stadium, bleacher seats were $12.00. To understand the damage inflation has done to the dollar, here's a little perspective, in 1923 (the first year the Yankees played in the then-new original Yankee Stadium) bleacher tickets cost 25 cents--and that was in the middle of Babe Ruth's career. Ruth finished the 1923 season with a career-high .393 batting average and major-league leading 41 home runs.

If you want to buy a front-row seat at the new Yankee Stadium for an individual game, the list price for the top ticket is $2,625. The highest priced ticket in the old stadium, last year, was $400. The $2,625 priced ticket obviously reflects considerable new demand as a result of the new stadium. Though, the BLS will probably count the entire price hike as new demand, thus no inflation impact :)

But the money flow is all about heading towards the consumer goods right now, and baseball proves it. Prices of brand new houses (a capital good) have crashed, but to get into the new Yankee Stadium, you are going to have to pay up.

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