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Yankees attendance, TV ratings have dropped sharply

Jul 2, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Getty Images

News flash: a mediocre team with an often-anonymous lineup comprised of fill-ins for injured stars is not a box office draw:

Through 41 home games this season, the Yankees have drawn nearly 106,000 fewer fans than at this point a year ago, a 6.1 percent drop that is almost twice as large as the overall decline in baseball … Even more sobering for the team: the television ratings for their games have plummeted.

Everyone talks about the New York market giving the Yankees a license to print money. And yes, there are built-in advantages for the Yankees. But it’s not some blank check we’re talking about here. The Yankees draw and rate and rake in cash in large part because they have been an outstanding baseball team for 20 years or so and, with a couple of blips in mid-60s to mid-70s and again in the late 80s to early 90s have been an outstanding baseball team for close to a century.

This year: less so. Declines in TV ratings and attendance should shock no one.

  1. 161andriver - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    The constant sense of impending Yankee doom has kept people away.

    • pjmarn6 - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      We have seen for a long time that George Steinbrenner’s sons are not adept at running a major league baseball franchise much less the New York Yankees.
      The existing Yankees are a patched up team with very little future with the existing players. Do the Steinbrenner sons even know how to run a baseball team. As much as I disliked George Steinbrenner, he did have the smarts to put a good team on the field that did win. I earnestly get the impression that, a little bit here and a little bit there, get this cast off and that cast off for a nominal price is really the theory that the Steinbrenner boys are using. Today’s Yankees reminds me of the horrible days when CBS owned the Yankees.
      It is time for the Steinbrenner boys to cut and run. Sell the team and mind their other businesses. I imagine the Steinbrenner boys are similar to an old man with a trophy wife. But this trophy team is not something you want to show the world. Pretty much, I believe that most of the players are excited and happy to be a Yankee but they just don’t have the ability and flash. The farm clubs have been ignored and who can the Yankees trade for? What bait do they have to get good young players like Petite or Cano or Rivera? You can hire the best manager or the best people in the front office but if you get players who collectively hit .239, you are not going to win ball games. One has to wonder if the Steinbrenner boys are really interested in winning or just getting a profit with an inferior product. I am sure that they will not have to worry where their next meal is coming from.

  2. specialkindofstupid - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    So much for my “fans cannot get enough of Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay” hypothesis.

    • bigharold - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      They couldn’t get enough of them when they were hitting!

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Ha ha, that hypothesis was in the realm of the flat earth hypothesis…utterly nonsensical.

      Maybe if Hafner was included to the hypothesis???

      Pronk!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!

  3. brianincbus - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    But they said it was StubHub’s fault? It’s unpossible that they would lie to us to help their argument.

  4. mikesacks - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    This is the first time in 22 years that I haven’t attended a game. It’s the first time in 4 years that I havent been a partial season ticket holder. In home technology has made attending games obsolete. Why travel and overpay to watch a terrible team play when I can do it for free from the comfort of my couch and 67″ TV?
    What’s better is at the game the idiot sitting behind you keeps talking. At home you just hit mute and the idiot shuts up.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      You have a mute button for your wife?


      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Way healer than “here’s $200, go buy yourself something nice”.

      • bigharold - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        “..mute button for your wife?”

        Any guy married for more than 10 years has one, .. in their head. It’s that built in survival mechanism that allows you to filter out the drone. It’s not like you can’t hear them, .. it’s more like hey sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        $200??? Wow. I used to just slip my ex $20 and send him off to the movies so I could have a couple hours to myself.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        The cash was worth the personal space and less risky than becoming a pot head that goes for long walks.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        I can annoy you for that kind of money. Hello.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Or, as common in the upper deck, you hit the idiot (a Yankee fan..always) and the idiot shuts up.

  5. nbjays - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Cue historiophiliac in 3…2…1…

    • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM


      • theinconvienenttruth - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        $20? With movie theater prices…probably why she is your ex

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        He. And he never complained. He just went…and he kept coming home.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        You are such a guy. I can’t believe you found a guy that wasn’t always looking for a few hours of time on his own….those things are rare.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        Nope, all female. I mean, I can check my pants a-gain, but we’re just gonna keep getting the same results.

        You obviously haven’t dated many guys because a lot of them like to get up in your business actually…and want to change you…and talk during games…and turn you down for sex. Urgh, now I need chocolate.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        These alleged guys of which you speak sound an awful lot like 99% of the women I’ve known.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Well, at least you got some “good” conditioner out of it.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        More than that…for sure, just not a lot of freedom to do my own thing without hearing about it later (over and over and over)….or the freedom to not want to spend every waking hour with her or to not be interested in every one of her hobbies (you can pretty much pick any of them, it still applied) without hearing about it.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Don’t know what to tell you there, paper. Guess that means you’re super-hot. lol

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        Or untrustworthy, apparently, despite never cheating in my life of serial monogamy. Actually, now that I think about it, it may be that I have never really been interested in marriage…though I would never stay in a relationship while having one foot out the door, it may have been apparent that I just assumed that at some point the relationship would end (usually because every where I have been I always knew I was leaving when the work was done).

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Damn, call off your fanboys already. Geez.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        I haven’t been re-visiting threads, just responding through the little orange dealy, are you getting “thumbed”?

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        I assume I’ve gotten more, but I’m also getting comments. Apparently everyone feels the need to defend you or something. I always find it amusing when we have exchanges that at the end, you and I are good but everyone else has their noses bent out of shape.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        This is, fyi, why women don’t give apologies.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        HA! I LOLed, it actually resulted in a snort. (I think you deserve the full benefit of your comments.)

        If there is anyone that doesn’t need someone else to defend them, it is probably me.

        It is probably a social phenomenon. I would guess if the sex ratio’s were reversed, so would the responses be.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        See. Dudes wanna change you. They think they can socialize you into being nice. LOL

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        But, I AM nice.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        So am I! Just not to people who give the thumbs down for apologizing when you don’t even have to or think you shouldn’t vote because they’re a buttinsky.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        Where can I find this stuff?

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        What stuff?

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        People rushing to defend my poor helpless self.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        Don’t let it go to your head. I’m still gonna be a pain in your ass. I don’t buy your whole I’m-fragile-and-sensitive crap. Anyway, the lesson here is don’t bother to apologize to be nice.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        That was sarcasm. I’m not that fragile or that sensitive. I am, of course, the perfect level of both fragility and sensitivity.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        If I don’t agree do I get $200 to get me out of the house for a bit?

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        No need, I’ll go. $20 should do it. /holds out hand for cash

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        Dudes are so easy.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        …and predictable.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

        I like it. Which is just as well, since I’m biologically wired for it and don’t have much choice.

        BTW, got my release from physical therapy today. I’m on my own.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Congrats….just take it easy on those pedicures to avoid re-injury.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        I alternated red and blue for the holiday. Oh, and: pbbblt!

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        PS Do you prefer “paper” or “lions”?

      • paperlions - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Don’t care, as long as it isn’t prefaced with “that asshole” or “you asshole” or some such.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        A-hole paper it is!

      • nbjays - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        “Tis true, Paper… Historio is the “anti-Blue Jays”… no Dickey, Wang or Johnson.

        Also the anti-Valdespin…. totally immune to HBPiD.

  6. yankeesgameday - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    This is the first year since 2004 that I didn’t buy the annual package to watch the yanks from work in California on my computer or phone. And when Jeter, Arod, granderson et al come back I still won’t buy it. The modern Yankee era is over and I am waiting for the next one to begin. Meanwhile I’ll just get more work done from4-7 pm pst than any time in the last decade. The emotional attachmentsto Jason nix and Chris Stewart just aren’t there and the old guard feels like a high school girlfriend you’re looking forward to seeing for 20 minutes at the reunion, but you have no intention of getting back together.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Frontrunner anyone?

  7. psuorioles - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Is anyone really surprised by this? Baseball fans know the Yanks have the most bandwagon fans out there.

    • bigharold - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      “.. Yanks have the most bandwagon fans..”

      All teams have bandwagon fans. The Yankees just have more of them because more fans in general. It goes with the territory.

  8. hojo20 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I like how Lonn Trost/Randy Levine lie and say the lower box seats are half empty because people spend most of the game up in the restaurant area.

    • caeser12 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Exactly. I’m like really, they’re up there for the entire game, aren’t there other people trying to get in.

    • wmt61 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      I would rather have the ghost of Micheal Burke than Trost and Levine. What garbage. How they have their jobs all these years is beyond me.

    • bh0673 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      They are in denial.

  9. caeser12 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    *Disclaimer: Yankees fan (1967).

    It’s not just that the team is not good this year, it’s the whole experience at “The Mall Presently Known As Yankee Stadium.” (That’s what my Dad, a season ticket holder since 1956 calls it). It doesn’t feel like a place for “Yankee BASEBALL” fans, it’s more like a place all the Abercrombie and Fitch types go to meet, and a baseball game breaks out. There is no longer a home-field “advantage” to the place, because too many people are shopping, texting, skyping, etc., and that was before the team went South.

    • jayscarpa - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Yeah. The smell of urine & stale beer really gave the old place some gravitas. It is what it is, I don’t let the peripheral stuff annoy me. I wish I could get to the Stadium more often.

    • bigharold - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      ” There is no longer a home-field “advantage” to the place…”

      That to a large extent is a function of time. The new Stadium does have the history the old one had because it’s not yet 5 years old. When the Yankees generate more history in the new Stadium it will develop it’s own history.

      I loved the old Stadium and all the memories. I saw my first game there in the mid 60s. But frankly, I don’t miss the incredibly crowded corridors, lack of bathrooms nor the wave of heat and the smell of urine every time I went to pee.

      Like a good chili, all the Stadium needs is time to ferment it’s own history. Then, it’ll feel better. To that end, getting a few hits and winning a few ball games would help.

      • If the Shoe Fits - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Big H- great analogy.

        I’ve been a season ticket holder for 10 years, and going to the stadium regularly for 35.

        The old stadium was amazing for the history, and superior for game viewing from your seat, because of the crowds- every other aspect- the corridors,the restrooms, the vendors, the food, the rain delays, the hike up incredibly steep stairs, nowhere to go when it rained, the incredibly caustic and drunk fans (both home and visitor), the insufferable crowds leaving afterwards… were much, much worse across the street.

        This team is tough to watch because they have no offense. It’s not a lack of stars that make it bad- it’s lack of runs. No one wants to see their team give up a run in the 2nd inning and have to pray that they figure out a way to actually tie the game.

        Over the last 15 years or so, Yanks fans are used to seeing their team scoring ~5.5 runs per game. This year they average 3.9.

        The fans would be thrilled to get behind Adams, Nix, Romine, etc. if they could actually hit. The fan base is dying for young, exciting players to embrace.

      • bh0673 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        I have to argue with you there Harold, the old place as old and nopn fan friendly as it was was still the house that Ruth built. Maybe in 20 or 30 years when today’s kids who barely remember the old place are taking their kids will the new stadium mean something. I am a season ticket holder and yes the new stadium is nice but it will never be the old stadium I grew up going to.

  10. jolink653 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Because they’re a boring team right now…no one wants to watch Jayson Nix or David Adams or Lyle Overbay…this team is mediocre at best and no one is gonna spend the money to go out to the Stadium to watch a mediocre team

    • bigharold - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      They boring because they not winning, not so much because the players per se. If the Yankees were winning with this line up they’d be drawing.

      I’m as big a Yankee fan as anyone and I’m getting tired of watching them not only lose but do so by not scoring runs. That’s the boring part. The pitching is why they aren’t 10 games out right now but they aren’t hitting and nobody want to see their team lose and not even have a sluggers chance.

      • jolink653 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        I agree to a point and I’m probably just as big a Yankees fan as you are, but I don’t think it’s the losing that makes them boring because they were winning with this lineup in April and May and only recently have started losing and they weren’t able to draw when they were winning…They just don’t have any players other than Cano in the lineup that provide any excitement or energy

  11. jayscarpa - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I’ve seen Yankees lineups that looked like this:
    Horace Clarke
    Jake Gibbs
    Mike Hegan
    Joe Pepitone
    Steve Whitaker
    Bill Robinson
    Charley Smith
    Reuben Amaro

    I can put up with the current group – hell, they’re even winning.

    • wmt61 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      I would rather have the ghost of Micheal Burke than Trost and Levine. What garbage. How they have their jobs all these years is beyond me.

  12. yousuxxors - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Yankee fans are the biggest bunch of spoiled brats in the world. your team has been kicking ass for over a decade and you have one bad season which your still winning in and you stop going.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      You hit the nail on the head…their sense of entitlement is boorish at best.

      Enjoy 3rd – 5th place for a while Yankee fans…the Steinbrenner bros have taken over for good!

  13. coloradogolfcoupons - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Pepitone…didn’t he retire and become a cop named Serpico? Just wondering…where my mind went

    • bigharold - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      No. Serpico had his own hair, .. Pepitone had to lease his.

  14. pisano - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Would pay that kind of money to see the mess they’re in?

  15. giantssb42champs - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I’d be interested to see what their rating were during the CBS/Jerry Kenney 1965-73 years and the Kevin Maas 1990-93 years as well. Big drop off then as well?

  16. wmt61 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Don’t forget Celerino Sanchez

  17. theinconvienenttruth - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    With all the spending they do in the offseason for the last 20 years or so and no farm system, this was bound to happen. Just face it, your team failed with ARod, Tex, Pineda, etc. transactions. You should be happy your team is still competing.

  18. jimeejohnson - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    So maybe God will finally have more money than the Yankees, except the Yankees have their own television station called The Yes Network and it makes a heck of a lot of money. No worries: God had her own TV station(s) too, but they don’t have instant replay or beer commercials with James Bond and “The Most Interesting Man in The World”!

    • bh0673 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      I think God does have his own station EWTN

    • bbk1000 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Pretty sure the family sold the majority interest in YES a while back….they probably saw what was coming…haha.

      George loved winning….it almost appears the family loves money……let’s see what happens after the tax situation restarts and they can start spending (in their minds)…

  19. ndnut - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Historiophiliac. *gets down on one knee* Will you marry me? *opens envelope containing tickets to the local Indy ball team*

    • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM


      Are you an NL fan?

  20. bh0673 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    In 2010 they raised the price of most tickets for 2011, I emailed Lonn Trost and predicted that increase was going to be the death of the secondary market and it was the secondary market that enabled most season ticket holders the ability to buy all 81 games. Sure enough in 2011 I ate more tickets then I sold because that increase as small as it was was the breaking point for a lot of people. On top of that they raised the price to park to $45 dollars. Now I am still a partial season ticket holder since 2012 but apparently a lot of season ticket holders didn’t renew in 2013 because the full court press I went through to pick up a larger seat plan was something I never had to deal with before and now when I see how empty it is when I do go it all adds up. They squeezed the average guy who would buy all 81 games to the point it was no longer worth doing, they killed the secondary market making it hard to even get even close to break even and blamed StubHub and they catered to the Premium Seat holders and forgot about everyone else.

  21. barkleyblows - Jul 2, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Good, hopefully they crash n burn

  22. ralphrc - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    This is the House That Overbay Built.

    • mazblast - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:29 PM

      Or is it “The House That Overpaying Built”?

      Those huge contraacts to Teixeira, Jeter, and A-Roid are looking good now, aren’t they, all you “27 championships” fans?

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