Last October, the Cowboys announced a partnership with the Yankees to form a new hospitality company that would handle concession and merchandise sales at the new stadiums for each team. That formed a bond between the two teams and, by extension, the two stadiums.
The similarities between the two buildings are striking. Both raise the bar in terms of pricing for seats and concessions beyond what's been seen before, and both cater to those willing to pay the most with a variety of bars, clubs and lounges that can only be accessed with tickets to particular sections. They each strive to offer an experience beyond the one we normally associate with going to a sporting event, even though few people ever complained that there wasn't a wine bar or art gallery to distract them from watching the Cowboys or Yankees in the first place.
The Yankees opened their new palace first, and found that their brand of decadance didn't sell particularly well in a time when people don't have a lot of spare change lying around. Large swaths of seats were empty, creating an embarrassing tableau for television and eliciting a gleeful reaction from those who thought the whole thing was a grotesque monstrosity in the first place. That led to the Yankees either cutting prices on or giving away blocks of the most expensive seats in the house, a black eye for a franchise that thought simple rules of supply and demand didn't apply to them. All of which turned Yankee Stadium, once one of the most imposing places to play in baseball, into a building with all the noise and ferocity of a library.
Is JerryWorld looking at the same thing when they finally cut the ribbon? There are still tickets available via the Cowboys website for the second regular season home game against the Panthers, and if one was willing to buy a PSL there's no doubt that they could find season tickets there for the taking as well. That said, there are a few things working in Jerry's favor.
The first is that he's going second and has had a chance to see where the Yankees failed this season. The biggest Yankee failure was that they had a tin ear and blind eye to what was going on around them. Instead of accepting that there would be issues with ticket sales in this economy, they acted like it was the ticket buyers who had a problem (even claiming expensive seats weren't selling because people were ashamed to be seen in them) instead of just accepting that it wasn't going to go exactly as expected.
That leads right into the second thing that works in Cowboys Stadium's favor. The $29 Party Passes may not be the best seats in the house, but they are in the house and they take away a lot of the chance that there would be empty seats on TV when the Cowboys play at home this season. It also tells people that Jones and the Cowboys understand that not everyone can afford the "full" experience of a Cowboys game, but that they want everyone to be able to take part in the fun. It's self-serving, of course, but that doesn't mean it isn't smart.
The Cowboys also benefit by the simple math of 10-12 home games against 81-plus home games in the Bronx. Setting aside the loathsome existence of PSLs for a moment, the season price for Cowboys games ranges from $590 to $3,400 for sideline seats in the club section. A single ticket to a Yankee game in seats next to the dugout run you $2,500 and a season strip for the bleachers or upper deck will run you much more than the equivalent at Cowboys Stadium.
The final thing that should cheer Jones is what Yankee Stadium looked like for last weekend's series with the Red Sox. The Yankees, in first place and battling their rivals, finally filled the park and it got as lusty and loud as it did during big games across the street. No one in New York is talking about the price of the Stadium now that the Yankees are winning and winning big, and no one will care what it costs to get into JerryWorld if the Cowboys matter come November and December.