BRONX, N.Y. - Two Yorktown residents got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit front row behind home plate at a New York Yankees home opener last week—for only 25 cents a ticket.
John Welch and Joe Spilo entered a contest offered by John Oliver, host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," which required them to dress in the most outrageous costumes possible, reports USA Today. Oliver offered the tickets to fans who would normally be unable to sit in a "premium location" in response to what he felt were condescending comments made earlier this year by a Yankees executive.
This season, the Yankees no longer allow fans to enter the ballpark using print-at-home tickets (PDFs). The team said the move was made to "combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets." The decision also hampers fans' ability to re-sell tickets on websites like StubHub.
Yankees COO Lonn Trost, in explaining the decision on WFAN, said: “It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and [another] fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount. And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”
Oliver asked fans to Tweet him photos of them wearing outrageous outfits using the hashtag #IHaveNeverSatInAPremiumLocation. Two fans were selected to attend each of the first three games of the season. Welch and Spilo attended the home opener wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes.