Indie Sport
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The New York Yankees have announced the top price for tickets to games at the new Yankee Stadium that opens in 2009: $2,500 for each of the 122 front-row seats and other so-called "premium areas."

That's the size of a mortgage payment and it doesn't get you season tickets. It gets you one game from a vantage point breathlessly described as "an exclusive experience for those with discerning taste who seek the very best that life has to offer." 

It's as though you were renting an ocean view butler suite at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui. All that's missing is a pane of glass to ensure the inhabitants of these seats don't have their sensibilities sullied by exposure to the earthy atmosphere of what used to be known as a baseball game.

I don't know about you, but when I go to a ball game the last thing I'm seeking is an exclusive experience. I'm seeking an inclusive experience, a chance to be a part of something, to talk smack or cheer with people I've never met before but who hold common bonds with me because of our love of the game. 

One of the great joys of my teenage years in Los Angeles was having the freedom and opportunity to fill up my parents' car with gas that cost 25 cents a gallon, drive with my brother or a good friend down to Dodger Stadium, pay a buck for parking, and then watch Sandy play Willie from the outfield bleachers or the high seats directly behind home plate for $1.50. On days we wanted to splurge, we'd grab a "reserved" seat closer in for $2.50 or the ultimate-- a box or loge seat for $3.50. In today's dollars that would be about $51 for two box seats, parking, and the gas to get there.

To paraphrase the Yankees' marketing hype, it was the very best that life has to offer: a shared community experience between and among unspoiled athletes and their supporters, who were afforded access to the front of the cathedral regardless of their station in life. How far we've come from that truly discerning era when the best of life meant a connection of lives, not a separation between them.

Indie Sport

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