I took a look at Saratoga Race Course's 2014 reserved seating prices and compared them to its 2013 prices. Here is the numbers breakdown on the price increases per seat.
Grandstand Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 2013 price: $7 2014 price: $9 = 28.6% increase
Clubhouse Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 2013 price: $11 2014 price: $13 = 18% increase
Grandstand Friday, Saturday, Sunday 2013 price: $9 2014 price: $11 = 22% increase
Clubhouse Friday, Saturday & Sunday 2013 price: $16 2014 price: $18 = 12.5% increase
Grandstand Travers Day 2013 price: $19 2014 price: $25 = 31.6% increase
Clubhouse Travers Day 2013 price: $26 2014 price $35 = 34.6% increase
I have no problem with the Travers Day price increases; in fact they should have happened years ago. But the weekday, and to a lesser extent weekend, price increases demonstrates an out-of-touch NYRA that is insulting and bleeding the very fan base that keeps it going.
You could shoot a cannon ball from section M to section Y of the grandstand seats any given weekday and not hit anybody. So NYRA decides it makes sense to chase away the few dozen fans left? The weekends also have large gaps in most seats in both the clubhouse and grandstand, and the further you get near section Y, the more likely it is that the entire section's seats will be emtpy. NYRA doesn't get it: They should have lowered the prices, at least on weekdays. They might have made up the admission total in volume, increased handle, and retained fans rather than drove them away.
How about free seating on Wednesdays for senior citizens? That's the fan category that arguably most would appreciate a seat, and incidentally comprises a large percentage of the gambling community. Many of us wanted a new NYRA, myself included. The old NYRA was annoying to say the least, but this new NYRA seems intent to drive a dagger into the heart of the the fan base, and by extension our beloved Saratoga race course. All in the name of the dubious goal of weaning itself from VLT money. I'm nostalgic for the devil I knew. The old NYRA wasn't so bad after all.