Friday, August 15, 2008

Take Me Out to a Loan

I love baseball. I've loved baseball since I was a kid in the 1950s, a time so long ago it seems from the vantage point of George W. Bush's America to have been prehistoric. And, as seems to be true of most subjects, I have a unique (which is to say, extreme minority position) viewpoint on what used to be called, but certainly could no longer be called "The National Pastime." Indeed, I don't think there's a professional sport played in the United States that is affordable for the ordinary working stiff. Since I don't attend these events--the only national professional sport close by will be the former Sonics basketball team, and you tell me if you think an average price of $47.50 a ticket at the arena we ordinary people are paying for is affordable for most people.

Maybe I'm living in another world, maybe I'm dreaming, but almost $100 to go see a basketball game seems pretty dear to me. And that's not counting parking, and any amenities whatever at the game. And of course it doesn't consider baby-sitting or dinner before or after the game. You could be talking $200 or more for a night out for the NBA. And that is not affordable for most people.

Well, that is positively dirt cheap compared to what you're going to pay for seats in the new Yankee Stadium, which, by the way is being built at a cost of $1.3 billion. Also by comparison, much cheaper than seats in the new Mets stadium, where the average seat will cost only $495. AVERAGE.

Are you ready for this? The best seats in the new Yankee house will be going for $500 to $2.500 a seat. Now, that's the season ticket price, and season ticket buyers must commit to at least three years. It boggles the mind. As for the suites where the corporate fat cats suck down booze and eat their lobster dinners in carpeted swank, those will go for $600,000 to $800,000 per year. Oh, and there's a 74-seat suite for anybody off the street for $700--food, but not alcohol included. $700 for a baseball game and free hot dogs and Cokes. What a deal!

And what about the rest? Oh, the Yankees didn't forget them:
"Of the non-premium seats, 88 percent will be less than $100. . . . It's easy to say that that's not cheap, but on the other 55 percent of the ballpark is going to be $45 or less. That's over 24,000 seats. We recognize everybody can't afford the suites. At the same time, we're trying to allow those suite prices to subsidize the other seating in the stadium. Look, the bleachers are $12, will be $12. The grandstand is $20 and $25, will be $20 and $25."
It's just obscene, pornographic when there are children starving in this country--or anywhere else, for that matter.
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