(buncha good looking girls hanging out in front of 2nd Ave./St. Mark’s Place’s venerable Gem Spa, long before the price of an egg cream rose to $75.00)

Even for an decorated Joe Namath/Pete Maravich biographer like Fox Sports’ Mark Kriegel, $2500 for a box seat at the New Yankee Stadium seems exorbitant (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory). The ascendance of the hedge fund classes has transformed the city,” claims Kriegel,  “and nowhere is that transformation ” a system of segregation by net worth ” more apparent than at the stadiums and arenas.” Indeed, opera dogs or not, a night at the Met seems downright reasonable by comparison.  Other than, you know, the singing.

Everytime I go home to Manhattan, it feels less home-like. I suffer the symptoms of Tourrette’s Syndrome. You can find a Whole Foods, but not a Greek diner. It’s not my city anymore. The funky people ” as insufferable as some of them might have been ” have been banished in favor of the fund people. The resultant metropolis is Trump-like, which is to say, more crude and predictable and more like every other city with an Olive Garden and a Banana Republic.
Not all of these fund people are Yankee fans. Some of them are Knicks fans, too. The mythical aficionados of the city game have long since been replaced by sheep with BlackBerries. OK, maybe they deserve to be gouged. Then there are the Mets fans. The Mets are asking (and getting) only $495 for their best seat when Citi Field opens next year. After last year’s historic collapse, they are celebrated for a 79 percent increase.

The football teams, however, are the absolute best. Jets and Giants fans will have to buy personal seat licenses for the privilege of keeping their season tickets. In any other business this is called a shake-down. The Jets haven’t been to a Super Bowl in almost 40 years.Still, their nerve pales in comparison to the Giants. A single PSL for the Giants will run up to twenty grand. The cost of a ticket for next season will also rise exponentially.

I know a guy whose seats will go from $85 to $700 when the new football stadium opens in 2010. He doesn’t want to give his name for fear of reprisal, believing that the Maras and the Tisches can be as vindictive as the Sopranos. He’s desperately trying to hold on to the tickets, which have been in his wife’s family since the fifties when an uncle bought them to celebrate his survival in the Korean War.

But most likely, they’ll be sold. The corporation that buys them will enjoy waitress service and free non-alcoholic beverages.

This is what you get for supporting a team through lean the years of Pete Gogolak and Homer Jones and Joe Pisarsik.