BrandDunk

Branding the World of Sports

New York Yankees COO comes clean

Posted by ZA on March 30, 2009

A lot of executives put off the persona that nothing phases them…they subscribe to the ‘never let them see you sweat’ mantra.  But not New York Yankees COO, Lonn Trost, who will tell you exactly how he really feels.

The Yankees’ Trost had a great quote in the Newark Star-Ledger about how he is feeling coming into the 2009 baseball season.   Trost said, “Most expensive stadium, highest prices and the worst economy in history means I don’t sleep at night.  Everybody in every walk of life is suffering from the economy, and we’re no different“.

One of the most powerful people in one of the most successful sports franchises on the planet isn’t getting a good night’s sleep.  He’s worried about how the Yankees are going to fill up their luxurious, new stadium every night.  I love that Trost is so honest about the Yankees situation, because I’m not sure everyone in his position would be so candid.

Trost is probably right not to be sleeping so well, because the challenge facing the Yankees is a daunting one.  They are opening up the new Yankee Stadium at a time when discretionary spending in New York City is at one of its lowest points this decade.  The financial sector of New York has taken it squarely on the nose during this economic downturn.  The Yankees were obviously counting on selling luxury seats to many of those who were most effected.

With many of those prospects suddenly unable to buy season tickets at new Yankee Stadium, the team was forced to put those tickets on-sale to the public.  The single game ticket on-sale the Yankees offered through Ticketmaster featured scores of seats priced between $350 and $2600.  Imagine the pain the Yankees are feeling selling that $2600.00 Infield Box seat on a game-by-game basis.  The only thing worse would be not selling that seat.  Lonn Trost is a guy who is most feeling that pain.

In the long-run the New York Yankees will be fine.  But the next few seasons, particularly after the hype of this inaugural season in the new ballpark is gone, could be rougher financially than what they’ve experienced recently.  The Yankees are going to face the same challenge other MLB teams have faced for years.  They’ll be forced to watch their spending closely as they try to sell out all of their tickets.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

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