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The rich have gone into hiding...from baseball

Every picture tells a story, don't it? This one above, from the New York Times, shows the lunacy of a world where baseball teams and taxpayers spent billions to build new ballpark to cater to a class of wealthy people just as they are becoming non-existent.

Odd patterns have been forming inside New York's two shiny new baseball stadiums, ones not seen in years. Clumps of empty blue and green seats are painfully obvious because many of them are in the best sections or right behind home plate, while fans are concentrated in the more remote parts of Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.

It's not so shocking when you read this:

The price of an average premium ticket is $510 for the Yankees and $150 for the Mets. The prices of nonpremium tickets rose 76 percent this year at Yankee Stadium, which goes a long way toward offsetting losses from unsold premium seats.

"But it doesn't look good," said Maury Brown, president of the Business of Sports Network, a research Web site. "It's the Yankees, not the Nationals. On television, it stands out like a big sore thumb."

Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees' general managing partner, said recently that "small amounts of our tickets might be overpriced.

Really? Ya think? These stadiums were built for a Bernie Madoff economy, literally in the case of the Mets, but now Bernie Madoff is behind bars and his would-be club-seat neighbors face similarly downtrodden fates. In the case of the new Yankee Stadium, $1.2 billion was spent to build a stadium to look exactly like the old one, right across the street, with a few amenities for regular fans (more bathrooms) but mainly more features for millionaires. I was struck in the Times article about the "cluster of fans" piled up right behind the empty rich seats -- regular people, still so eager to see the sport they love, the sport they can now barely afford.