It's news that brings any baseball fan out of the off-season doldrums: Bleacher tickets to the first two games at the new Yankee Stadium will only cost a quarter, the Yankees announced Tuesday, and grandstand tickets will be $1.10.

The "Turn Back the Clock" promotion matches the prices for the opener of the original Yankee Stadium against Boston on April 18, 1923, when Babe Ruth hit a third-inning home run off Howard Ehmke.

But don't get too excited. While it is the opening of the stadium, they're exhibition games (against the Chicago Cubs, a good team worthy of seeing) and for the general public to get the tickets you have to wait for season-ticket holders and even partial season-ticket holders to get the discounted tickets. The exhibition games are April 3 and 4.

Field level seats at the 52,325-seat ballpark will cost $45-$50, main level $20-$45 and terrace level $20-$35. Full season-ticket holders will get the seats for free, and partial season-ticket holders will be given a pre-sale.

After season-ticket holders get their free tickets, "The balance of tickets will be sold first to our partial-plan holders, then to the general public, at vastly reduced rates compared to the regular season," Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said on the Yankees Web site. "Using such a pricing model for these games allows us to thank our fans for their continued loyalty and introduce them to baseball's new grand cathedral."

Tickets will not be higher than $50 for each game. Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public at a date that hasn't been determined yet. The club recommends going to www.yankees.com for more details and purchase instructions.

The regular-season opener is April 16 against Cleveland. Tickets cost up to $2,500 a game during the regular season.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job hunt at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com


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