The New York Yankees found a new way to screw over their fans this year by eliminating the customer-friendly print-at-home option for tickets, and John Oliver, of all people, isn't taking this lying down.
During a segment on Sunday night's episode of "Last Week Tonight," Oliver ripped the Yankees for their new ticketing policy, which will make it difficult for fans to resell tickets through online secondary markets like StubHub. Not only are fans priced out of seats constantly, but now the club, which used $1.2 billion in public subsidies to build the $2.3 billion Yankee Stadium, essentially is declaring that only the one percent are welcome to score good seats to a game.
As Oliver pointed out, Yankees COO Lonn Trost basically said as much during a February radio interview defending the new policy, failing to realize how elitist he came off as (emphasis ours):
The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money. It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and [another] fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount.
And, quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.
"The New York Yankees will continue to find ways to look like the biggest elitist assholes in all of sports," said Oliver in his opening salvo. “The Yankees make sure nobody gets into their premium seating who doesn’t belong there. But, for the first three games of this season at least, there will be riffraff in those seats.”
Riffraff? At Yankee Stadium? How is this possible? Well, Oliver is having a contest for the common folk among us: If you tweet a photo of yourself dressed as if you've never sat in a "premium location" using the hashtag
#IHaveNeverSatInAPremiumLocation, Oliver will pick the best looks and sell the winners a pair of tickets right behind home plate for 25 cents -- about 3,400 percent less than a pair could cost you from the Yankees.
So far, the Twitter submissions for the 25-cent tickets have been downright hilarious:
While all of the submissions above have their merits, these two guys below pretty much need to, through Oliver, be chosen to represent the common baseball fan behind home plate at Yankee Stadium:
UPDATE (April 5, 3:40 p.m. EST): During Tuesday's Yankees home opener, two men in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles suits were spotted behind home plate. According to Wall Street Journal sports reporter Jared Diamond, these two turtles are the lucky winners of the first pair of tickets from Oliver.