In these times of economic uncertainty for so many families, with workers losing their jobs, homeowners defaulting on their mortgages, and consumer confidence in the basement, it's good to know that professional athletes are still being taken care of. The New York Yankees this week inked pitcher C.C. Sabathia to a deal worth an astonishing $161,000,000 over 7 years. Apparently, this is one industry that's recession-proof.
Or is it? Here in Boston, the ownership of our local nine recently gave itself a very public pat on the back because it doesn't plan to raise ticket prices next year, for the first time in decades. Which is all well and good, except that the cost remains prohibitive. Try this for a day at Fenway with your family.
Four bleacher seats: $120
Four Fenway Franks (mandatory): $16
Four bottles of soda: $15
Souvenir program: $5
Total cost: $156
And if you want to treat yourself to a beer, go ahead and spend $6.25
on a plastic cup of Bud Light, or splurge for the $8.25 Sam Adams.
You could take in a movie for about 1/4 of that, and not even have to deal with packed trains or $30 parking fees. With so many teams handing out these massive contracts -- including, sad to say, my beloved Red Sox -- you have to wonder how long their business model is sustainable. What happens when nobody can afford to go anymore?