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Thursday, February 19, 2004
Updated: February 23, 5:33 PM ET
104,000 extra tickets bridge salary gap

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- In just four days, Alex Rodriguez has nearly paid for himself this year, at least as far as the New York Yankees are concerned.

New York has sold nearly 104,000 tickets worth a total of $4.6 million since Monday, when it acquired the American League MVP from the Texas Rangers. The sales are double the amount for the same period last year, the team said Thursday.

By acquiring Rodriguez, the Yankees committed themselves to an additional $1.6 million in salary this year -- they owe him $14 million and are saving $12.4 million in what would have been paid to Aaron Boone, Drew Henson and Alfonso Soriano.

By selling 22,000 tickets Monday, 23,000 Tuesday, 27,000 Wednesday and 26,700 Thursday, New York raised its season total to 2,334,000. Those tickets have an average price of $44.69, the team said, meaning the Yankees have sold $104.3 million of seats.

In addition, New York received deposits for full and partial season plans that translate to an additional 5,000 total tickets.

New York is 105,000 tickets ahead of its pace last year, when the Yankees drew a team record 3,465,550, and 277,000 tickets ahead of 2002.

The Yankees will pay $14 million this season to Rodriguez, and owe him another $1 million in 2004 salary that is deferred without interest until Jan. 15, 2011.

He will receive an additional $3 million this year from Texas, and also will get $3 million in 2004 salary from Texas that is deferred at 1.75 percent until June 15, 2016.

New York saved $5.4 million by trading second baseman Soriano to Texas, $2.2 million by releasing third baseman Henson and will save another $4.8 million by terminating the $5.75 million contract of third baseman Boone, who tore a ligament in his left knee and will miss most or all of the season. New York says that because Boone violated the guarantee language of his contract, he is owed 30 days' termination pay, which comes to $917,553.