Derek Jeter is worth three times Mariano Rivera to New York Yankees fans.
Tickets for Jeter’s Yankee Stadium regular-season finale Sept. 25 and tribute Sept. 7 are selling for triple what Rivera’s did last year, according to secondary ticket market aggregator SeatGeek.
With two months remaining in the Major League Baseball season and the Yankees at 55-53, currently outside the playoff picture, the average price paid on the resale market for Jeter’s final regular-season home game is $386, according to SeatGeek. The average price paid for the tribute game is $333.
The final game in the Bronx for Rivera, baseball’s career saves leader, last season drew an average price of $101, while a late-season tribute for the 13-time All-Star reliever had an average sale price of $143 per ticket.
“The Sept. 25 game is the most in-demand regular-season MLB game we’ve ever recorded,” said Connor Gregoire, a spokesman for New York-based SeatGeek, which has been tracking the secondary ticket market since 2009.
Jeter, a 40-year-old shortstop who’s helped the Yankees to five World Series titles during his 20-year MLB career, this week got his 3,420th hit to pass Carl Yastrzemski for seventh place in baseball history. He’s batting .276 with three home runs and 28 runs batted in this year.
The Yankees, who lost 4-3 last night at the Boston Red Sox, trail the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles (61-47) by six games. New York is 3 1/2 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays (60-51) for the final AL wild card. Playoff wild cards are awarded to the top two non-division winning teams in each league.
The Yankees disclosed plans last month to honor Jeter on Sept. 7 against the Kansas City Royals. That announcement has slightly tempered demand for the finale, according to Jason Berger, chief executive officer of Rye, New York-based AllShows.com. Prices to the Yankees’ regular-season home finale currently start at $275 for upper-level and bleacher seats, while front-row bleacher seats are going for $400 due to the possibility of catching Jeter’s final home-run ball, Berger said in an e-mail.
“With the Yankees’ standings pointing to no postseason, I expect demand to pick up the next month and would expect the game to increase in price as we move closer,” Berger said.
Fans interested in celebrating Jeter’s retirement would receive a relative bargain by traveling to Boston for the Yankees’ final series this season, at the division-rival Red Sox. The average sale price for the series opener in Fenway Park on Sept. 26 is $159, followed by $177 the next day and $330 on Sept. 28, the last day of the season.
“The Friday and Saturday games in Boston are less than half the price of Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium, but those prices are still inflated by about 50 percent compared to what we’d normally see for a Yankees-Red Sox September series,” Gregoire said. “The Sept. 28 game will be the hottest regular-season ticket at Fenway since at least ’09, when we began tracking the market.”
As marquee recent New York area sports events go, Jeter’s farewell ranks low, according to SeatGeek: the average price paid for a ticket to February’s Super Bowl in East Rutherford, New Jersey, was $2,540; Game 3 of the Stanley Cup between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden went for $1,558; baseball’s All-Star Game and Home Run Derby at Citi Field last year combined to cost $943, and an all-sessions pass to the Big East Conference men’s basketball tournament at the Garden averaged $842.
“If back in February you had decided to save that $2,540 for a rainy day, you could use it for the Sept. 25 game to get a seat just a few rows behind the Yankees’ dugout,” Gregoire said. “And you’d still have $339 left over for parking and food.”