Fans are coming back to Yankee Stadium! They’ll be there by Opening Day, in fact. We just don’t know exactly how many.
This week, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that indoor sporting events in the state will be able to permit 10% capacity. Just last month, he allowed fans to be in attendance for the Buffalo Bills’ two home playoff games. And if he’s allowing 10% capacity indoors, just imagine how higher that number will be come April for outdoor events.
We can expect it to increase as the season progresses, too. Dr. Anthony Fauci said that April will be “open season” for the vaccinations, meaning it will no longer be restricted to a certain demographic of candidates, and that close to 300 million Americans could be vaccinated by the end of July.
Theoretically, we could see a packed house in the Bronx for the final six weeks of the season. And that’s good for the Yankees’ revenue, which is even better news for the team’s potential endeavors at the trade deadline.
With no income from ticket or concession sales, the Yankees seemingly remain hell bent on staying under the $210 million luxury tax threshold. But when those once-lost revenue streams start pouring in, plus the promising possibility of postseason revenue, there simply has to be a world in which the Bombers make acquisitions at the deadline and go over the tax limit.
Hey, if they don’t have to because the team is looking unstoppable, then so be it. Remain under, save the money, and don’t disrupt the order of things. However, fans just find a hard time believing that something won’t go wrong and prompt general manager Brian Cashman to, say, add another top starting pitcher assuming the rotation isn’t completely getting the job done.
Perhaps the Cubs are fully out of contention by mid-July and are open to the idea of shipping Kyle Hendricks, who’s making $14 million in 2021. That’s a good example of something that could be more realistic when the time eventually comes.
For now, expect low-cost additions at the margins as we approach spring training. But once the season is in full force, the Yankees have a better idea where this roster stands and can better assess any injuries, and have a steady stream of revenue coming in, we can be more hopeful of aggressive deadline deals.
So keep those trade scenarios coming!