Get the latest from TODAY
Thanks to comedian John Oliver, the New York Yankees had some turtle power in the expensive seats at Tuesday's season opener.
A pair of men dressed in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes sat in the premium seats behind home plate at Yankee Stadium thanks to Oliver, who bought the tickets to needle the Yankees over what he sees as an elitist ticketing policy. Fans were asked to use the Twitter hashtag #IHaveNeverSatInAPremiumLocation to show the "riffraff" costume they would wear to the game, and the winners were John Welch and Joe Spilo of Yorktown, N.Y., according to Newsday.
The stunt stemmed from comments Yankees executive Lonn Trost made to radio station WFAN in February regarding the team banning printouts of paper tickets bought from ticket marketplace Stubhub. His comments were perceived as elitist in insinuating that wealthy fans may not want to sit next to lower-income fans.
"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,'' Trost told WFAN. "And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location."
The host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight" responded by holding the "I Have Never Sat in a Premium Location" contest. The show buying is two tickets, which have been listed up to $1,595 apiece, for each of the first three games at Yankee Stadium and selling them to the winners for 25 cents each.
What do the Yankees think of Oliver's stunt? "Everyone is welcome at Yankee Stadium," Yankees president Randy Levine told ESPN. "And I thank John Oliver for buying Yankees tickets."
Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.