Citing unnamed sources while trashing Mets and Yankee ownership for their overpriced/undersubscribed new venues (“a dozen games into the season, and both teams in this town are seeing something they never expected to see in their sparkling new ballparks: empty seats…in this context, they’re a beautiful sight to behold”), Newsday’s Wallace Matthews raises expectations for lower ticket prices. 

(image taken from River Ave. Blues)

When Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium draws only 48,000 paid admissions, and the Mets, after nearly filling the 42,000 seats in their opener but then can’t draw much above 36,000, you know that the geniuses in the business offices who decided to Mel Brooks the baseball fans of this town made a serious error in judgment.

For the theatrically challenged, to “Mel Brooks” an audience is to charge infuriatingly high ticket prices for a show you expect to be a smash hit, as Brooks did by charging $450 for the best seats to “Young Frankenstein.” Fittingly, it was a flop and the seats went largely unsold.

So, too, it seems are the obscenely overpriced high-end tickets at both New York ballparks. At Sunday’s Yankees game, there were many empty seats in all price ranges — mostly in the high-rent districts, the ones they expected to sell out in a hurry. Across town, the Mets drew their fifth straight crowd of 36,000 or fewer. 

This weekend, I spoke with two Yankees officials, both of whom begged for anonymity. (I like to make them beg.) Both agreed that ticket prices, presumably set before the bottom dropped out of the economy, might need to be adjusted.

“When you’ve got the owner of the team admitting the tickets are overpriced, you’ve got to figure something is in the works,” one of them said.