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Yanks' attendance just slightly down this season

Baseball fans make their way through the Great

Baseball fans make their way through the Great Hall at Yankee Stadium. (April 13, 2010) Photo Credit: Photo by John Dunn

The Yankees and Mets sold a total of more than 8.3 million tickets in 2008, a figure that never will be surpassed in their current stadium configurations.

But compared with their counterparts, the Yankees' attendance is holding up much better in an era of costly tickets and economic woes - no surprise in the wake of a championship season.

Their average attendance of 44,269 ranks third in baseball, not far behind the Phillies and Dodgers and only 336 fewer than last season at this point.

Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said the team is slightly ahead of last year's pace with nearly 3.5 million tickets sold for the season.

"Plus, the no-show factor is down,'' he said. "Our show factor is in excess of 90 percent, which is an incredible number for this time of year.''

Still, for a stadium that can seat just over 50,000, there remains room for improvement. On Monday night against the Orioles, attendance was 41,571, a low for the new building.

And although more than 90 percent of seats in the Legends Suite have been sold, according to Trost, the sight of empty seats in prime locations remains an awkward reality.

Often, even though those seats are sold, the people who bought them are not in their seats but are busy eating the unlimited food that comes with their tickets.

"In the sixth game of the World Series, I walked into the Legends Club and the place was packed,'' said Trost, who admitted to being surprised by the phenomenon.

The Yankees adjusted the prices of some of their costliest tickets during and after last season and have no plans for further changes.

"We're very pleased with the Legends [prices], which is what everybody criticized,'' Trost said.

The Yankees continue to advertise full and partial season-ticket plans and game-day suites.

"I'd like it to be higher,'' Trost said of the attendance average. "We still have seats to sell.''

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