The NY Yankees have splurged on some of the biggest talents in football. But free in-flight Wi-Fi? You can forget about it.
Gerrit Cole. Aaron Judge. Giancarlo Stanton. The New York Yankees have no problem shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars to retain its high-profile players, yet they have a nit to pick when it comes to giving out free Wi-Fi on planes.
Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein recently wrote a damning piece on the Yankees’ refusal to provide complimentary Wi-Fi to its millionaire players on flights with the team.
No, this is not a joke. The Yankees, ranked as the fourth-most valuable franchise in U.S. sports, actually chargers players for internet access when they fly on the team plane.
Per Apstein’s research, only one other MLB team doesn’t provide complimentary Wi-Fi: the Cincinnati Reds.
How much would the Yankees theoretically have to pay if they did cover the cost of Wi-Fi? Pennies, compared to their players’ contracts.
A person familiar with the prices of such things said an in-flight Wi-Fi plan for one team for one year costs approximately $40,000—or about the price of four Cole pitches.
Yankees are one of two MLB teams that charge players for in-flight wifi access
Was Apstein’s piece a subtle advertisement for T-Mobile? Yankees star Aaron Judge, who has T-Mobile, proudly notes that he gets free Wi-Fi on Delta flights. Compared to his teammates who are dealing with the first-world problems of not being able to stream “Looney Tunes,” on a plane, Judge doesn’t have to worry about a thing.
He can Google his name however many times he wants. Play a little Words with Friends. Maybe even study for his next game by watching his opponent’s tape.
Not the majority of the Yankees, though. They, like the rest of the common people, have to take our their credit cards and pay for a basic perk and (relatively) cheap convenience. The Yankees franchise should be embarrassed.
So the next time you’re frustrated that your airline doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi, just know that Yankees players — some of the most handsomely paid guys in the sports world — don’t have it either. You’ll sleep great on that plane, that’s for sure.