With third baseman Alex Rodriguez set to return for the 2015 regular season after being suspended for all of last season, the New York Yankees are currently a hotter ticket going into this season than during last season. Last season, while the team remained competitive for a wild card spot, the focus was primarily on Derek Jeter‘s farewell. It definitely should come as a little bit of surprise given that the Yankees “core four” are now in retirement and Jeters farewell 2014 tour currently is being valued as a lesser-valued ticket than this upcoming seasons.
Going into this season, the average ticket price to see the Bronx Bombers is set at $145.70 on the secondary market compared to $108.01 during all of last season (Jesse Lawrence, Forbes.com). Of course, the demand for Yankees tickets can change over the course of a season depending on how the club performs.
A big reason for that could be the return of Rodriguez, a polarizing figure for Major League Baseball. He is the one who set out, on a record-pace, to capture some of the league’s most sacred records with the career home runs record being the most notable. Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach the 500 and 600 career-home run mark during his career and was seen as the one to unseat Barry Bonds as the all-time home run king.
Despite Rodriguez’s record pace, his career has become forever tainted with his involvement in performance enhancing drug-use. His naming in 2007’s Mitchell Report along with the recent Biogenesis scandal of this past year have been huge blows to Rodriguez’s credibility. Anthony Bosch, the owner of the south Florida Biogenesis clinic, was just sentenced to four years in prison during this past week and was the one to supply Rodriguez with PEDs.
Despite the drama that came with Rodriguez’s career, the Yankees are not so quickly to part ties with the slugger because of his ability to sell tickets. The club is reportedly in a legal process to fight their contractual obligation to award Rodriguez on his milestones since they can be proven to be attained unethically. While there are even fewer now who cheer for Rodriguez, and more-and-more who are shunning him, the man known as A-Rod is a hot topic.
Rodriguez is not expected to begin the season as the clubs starting third baseman since Chase Headley was signed to a four-year deal worth $52 million (and $56 million if certain incentives are met). Rodriguez will likely see most of his time at designated hitter given his inability to stay on the field, missing significant time during both the 2013 and 2011 seasons.