Yankee Stadium attendance falls while TV ratings rise

The Yankees are the big talk in New York sports right now. But it's not all good. Fans are psyched the young team is in first place, Yankee Stadium ticket sales aren't living up to the hype.

"I think people don't show up because it's really a pain to get here," one fan said.

Well, that's one way to look at it. And it seems many Yankees fans would agree.

"$15 to get over the bridge, $40 to park," another fan said. "It's still $100, $150 out of your pocket."

Since the new Yankee Stadium was built in 2009, the team's ticket and suite revenue is down a staggering $166 million.

The truth of the matter is you can find $20 tickets but if you want to sit in the lower deck, you've got to be prepared to shell out the dough. Yet, NYU Tisch Institute Associate Professor Lee Eagle said the high ticket prices aren't the biggest cause behind the drop in attendance.

"I'm not so sure this is really about outpricing the market as much as it is a real change in just the way the fans consume a Major League Baseball game and the Yankees actually are one of the teams that's really been out in front in terms of getting to understand how that fan is changing," Eagle said.

Some of those changes here in the Bronx: 2,100 obstructed-view seats in center field were removed and turned into plazas for fans to gather. With it, they have also made more than 200,000 tickets available for $15 or less. This price tier includes the Pinstripe Pass, which comes with a park entry and a drink of choice, but no seat.

And for the team known for selling its history, the customer just doesn't seem to be buying it. One fan told us the new stadium, while nicer, isn't the House that Ruth Built.

So while the team is ahead of the youth movement, the stadium that fans described as "cold" just isn't as welcoming or comfortable as being at home.

While the numbers inside the park are on the decline, for the YES Network, the TV home of the Yankees, the ratings are up 47 percent from a year ago and on pace to have their highest-rated first two months of the season in five years.