New York Yankees Mo-Saver half-price tickets are no steal

Yankee fan in ticket lineThose looking to score dirt-cheap tickets at the Yankees' new same-day sale of half-off seats in the Times Square Modell's might get shut out. Fans on Thursday morning were shocked to discover that the least expensive pair of seats available for the Yankees-Tigers game in the afternoon were $250, or $125 apiece. Hardly the double-digit deals they were expecting.

"I am so not happy and I'm not coming back to Modell's again," Verna Barkley, a 59-year-old nurse from Brooklyn, told WalletPop.

The Yankees and Modell's partnered to offer slashed-price tickets beginning this week on the day of every Yankees home game. The arrangement is similar to the TKTS booths that sell Broadway theater tickets at reduced rates hours before the shows. Spare Yankees tickets for night games go on sale at 8 a.m. and tickets for night games are available at noon only at the Modell's Sporting Goods on 42nd Street.

Early birds who began lining up at 7 a.m. for the 8 a.m. sale on Thursday griped that the advertising was deceptive because it implied that truly bargain-basement tickets are available on a daily basis. But on this day, the lowest-priced seats were $75 (normally $150) singles and $40 standing room only. "It's disappointing," said Michael Steinman, a 46-year-old teacher who left his Westchester home north of New York City at 5:30 a.m. to be among the first in line.

Barkley complained to store employee Narsha James, who politely explained to Barkley that the type of tickets depended on what the Yankees had available on a particular day. Also, she reminded the customer, the sign says up to 50% off. Still, WalletPop believes the irate fans have a point. The only $40 tickets discounted to $20 were offered the very first day, James confirmed.

That the store was 30 minutes late in opening the sale on Thursday only increased Barkley's anger. Still, she purchased two $125 tickets that normally cost $250 apiece, but said her husband would be mad at her for spending so much.

Steinman shelled out $250 for two also. "I would have preferred cheaper tickets," he said.

Electrician Tom McCready, 46, of Morris Plains, N.J., had planned on paying $75 each for two tickets, but none of the $75 ones were together. So he bit on the $125 offerings as well. "I'm OK, not thrilled," he said.

There were satisfied customers. Jose Berrera, 31, and Shino Takagi, 30,of Manhattan were first in line and said they were happy with their $125 purchases. Toronto tourist Cory Hoffman said he had expected to shell out $150 apiece.

The defending champion Yankees, which leads the major leagues in attendance, and Modell's still need to work out a few kinks to bring live baseball to the hoi polloi. They need to be more up-front about the price level of tickets usually available and prepare folks for a wait. If the first few sticker-shock transactions on Thursday were any indication, those in the back of the line, which stretched to 43 people by 8:15 a.m., would have had to wait a spell for their turn at bat.

The sale is called the Mo-Saver, a riff on the sporting goods store's name and the nickname of Yankees star reliever Mariano Rivera. But this Mo-Saver is going to have to provide more relief for the cash-strapped faithful.

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