Last week Yankees COO Lonn Trost created a controversy when he said that people “who [have] never sat in a premium location” tend to “frustrate” Yankees fans who do sit in the expensive seats. In response, the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., sent a letter to Yankees president Randy Levine, blasting the team for seemingly abandoning its working class fans.
The letter goes after the Yankees for their secondary market ticket policies which impose price floors and prohibit printing at home and further blasts them for being elitist. In relevant part:
“I have been a Yankee fan my entire life. Without the everyday, working class fans who make up the vast majority of their fan base, the New York Yankees would not be the successful franchise they are today. The Yankee organization should not be making it more difficult and more expensive for their fans, especially fans who might be visiting our great borough for the first time, to occasionally enjoy a ball game in The Bronx . . .
“. . .Yankee fans have always been the best in baseball. We root for our team harder than anyone, we live and die with every single loss. The idea that some of us would recoil in horror because the person sitting next to them paid less than face value for their seat is absurd, and represents the very definition of elitism.”
Borough President is more of a ceremonial title than anything, but my New York friends tell me that Diaz has designs on running for Mayor of New York one day. When a New York politician thinks that slagging on the Yankees is good politics it must mean that the Yankees have REALLY stepped in it.