NEW YORK (AP) — Hal Steinbrenner says the New York Yankees won’t alter their policy against contract extensions and will deal with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Joe Girardi after the season.
“Everybody does business in a different way,” the team’s managing general partner said Tuesday following a news conference to announce details of the first Pinstripe Bowl at new Yankee Stadium, “I just don’t believe in contract extensions, and that’s throughout the organization, no matter who it is. Hopefully nobody takes that personally. It’s just business.”
Jeter’s $189 million, 10-year contract expires after the World Series, as does Rivera’s $45 million, three-year deal. Girardi is entering the final season of a $7.8 million, three-year contract.
“I’ve got a great relationship with them all,” Steinbrenner said. “I’ve expressed to all of them that, ‘You’re part of the Yankee family and you’re wanted. It wouldn’t be the same without you.’ But as far as no extensions, it’s a business policy of mine.”
Coming off New York’s first World Series title since 2000, the Yankees have sold about 35,000 full-season ticket equivalents, according to chief operating officer Lonn Trost. The Yankees were between 33,000 and 34,000 at this point last year and finished at between 37,000 and 38,000 in the first season of their $1.5 billion ballpark, Trost said.
The Yankees have sold 3 million tickets for this season and have not put individual game seats on sale yet.
New York did have trouble selling some its most expensive seats last year, which were behind home plate and prominent on television cameras. After the first homestand, the Yankees slashed prices on more than 40 percent of front-row seats by up to 50 percent. The team gave free additional tickets to many fans who bought seats closest to the field for $325-$2,500 per game.
For 2010, the Yankees reclassified 538 Legends Suite seats, denying those ticket holders access to the duplex restaurant behind home plate, leaving 1,357 seats in the highest premium category. The Yankees cut prices on many remaining tickets by up to $1,250.
“We think we made the right changes,” Steinbrenner said. “I’m glad that we looked into it, and I’m glad we looked into it in a methodical way, didn’t rush into anything.”
Across the street at old Yankee Stadium, the bleachers have been demolished along with part of the upper deck behind third base and in left field.
“A lot of people come up to me, and they’re surprised it’s still up,” Steinbrenner said. “But it’s a big building and it takes a while. I think there’s going to be some emotion when it starts coming down.”