TODAY'S PAPER
29° Good Morning
29° Good Morning
SportsColumnistsNeil Best

Ticket price spike for Jeter's 3,000th

Ticket price speculation surrounding Derek Jeter's possible 3,000

Ticket price speculation surrounding Derek Jeter's possible 3,000 hit has picked up, leading to higher prices on the secondary market for his upcoming home games. Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Derek Jeter will be the first player to reach 3,000 hits since the resale ticket market achieved its current state of efficiency - and legality - and the big event has fueled a frenzy of educated guesstimating.

El Capitan's two hits Sunday caused asking prices for Thursday, the final game of the Yankees' home stand, to rise an average of $11 per ticket overnight, to $110, according to FanSnap.com, which searches prices and availability across dozens of sites.

Prices for that game have doubled in recent weeks as fans have targeted it as their best hope for seeing Jeter reach his milestone at home. Meanwhile, prices for Tuesday and Wednesday have sunk.

Christian Anderson, a FanSnap spokesman, said the site did not see a similar price spike last year for Alex Rodriguez's 600th career home run.

For one thing, home runs are less predictable than mere hits; also, fans mostly sought tickets in sections where a home run ball might land. Those who want to see Jeter's 3,000th simply want to be in the building.

Another site that tracks the secondary market, TiqIQ.com, showed an average asking price of $83 for Tuesday, down 12 percent since Sunday, and $112 for Thursday, up 14 percent.

TiqIQ has a Jeter Countdown page that projects the most likely games for No. 3,000. It has targeted this weekend at Wrigley Field, where the average asking price for Saturday had risen to $210 by Monday.

If Jeter's quest lasts into the weekend, national TV executives will be doing cartwheels, and Jeter will get the biggest audience possible. Fox has Saturday's Yankees-Cubs game at 4 p.m.. ESPN has Sunday's at 8 p.m.

Decision is in: Finals a hit

Nothing beats a villain when it comes to sports drama, a ratings verity as old as ratings themselves.

Thus it was no surprise the NBA Finals performed well, helped not only by Heat hatred but also a series of close, entertaining games.

Game 6 Sunday averaged 15.0 percent of homes in major markets, the highest for a Game 6 in 11 years and 22 percent higher than last year's Celtics-Lakers Game 6 (a blowout played on a Tuesday).

In the New York area, Game 6 averaged a 13.9 rating, 24th best among 56 major markets, peaking at a whopping 20.3 in the final minutes.

Jackson goes West

Mark Jackson's rise as a television analyst was meteoric, beginning on YES' Nets telecasts in 2005-06 and quickly landing him on ABC/ESPN's No. 1 team with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy.

Metropolitan-area fans should root for him in his new gig as the Warriors' coach. How can we not? The guy played high school ball in Brooklyn, college ball in Queens and pro ball in Manhattan.

But Jackson's departure is a loss for viewers. His chemistry with Breen and Van Gundy, each of whom he has known for years, will be difficult to replicate.

So why try? How about bucking the 21st century trend toward three-man booths and just leaving Breen and Van Gundy to work as a twosome? It's worth considering. But it's unlikely to happen.

Speaking of Jackson, belated birthday wishes to his former YES partner, Marv Albert, who celebrated his 70th (!) on Sunday.

NBC is back at Belmont

NBC provided its usual solid horse racing production Saturday in its return to the Belmont Stakes for the first time since 2005. The ratings were pretty good, too, for a Belmont with no Triple Crown drama.

The race averaged 4.8 percent of homes in major markets, up 55 percent from last year. New York's rating of 7.4 ranked fifth among the 56 markets measured.

New York Sports