Yesterday, Newsday wrote an excellent piece on Citi Field and the disenfranchisement of current Met partial season ticket holders.
There was some decent feedback on the piece, mostly along the lines of:
- Shea is an eyesore anyway. I’d rather see games in the new stadium.
- The Mets don’t sell out now so having less seats doesn’t matter.
- Quit grousing. This is the price of progress.
The first two points miss the point. Whether you like or dislike Shea, the new stadium is being priced so that the average fan will have less opportunities to see games. There are 13,000 less seats in total and more luxury boxes. Getting into Citi Field will be only slightly easier than getting into a NY Jets playoff game.
The second point is just wrong. The Mets have been setting attendance records the past two years. Over 200,000 people went to last weekend’s Red/Mets series, setting a franchise record for largest crowd at a 4 game series. And that was the Reds! Demand is not down, as anyone who actually goes to the game can attest.
We’re very mindful of the last point. And strive in this blog to praise Shea-sar, not bury it (apologies Bill S). Whiny, indignant posts aren’t very interesting so we (mostly) avoid them. But it’s important to point out when a corporation errs in a policy, as the Mets are doing now. This post from umpbump.com sizes up the issue very well. An excerpt:
I know that it seems like I and people like Goldman are dramatizing the issue. But do consider the fact that so far in 2007, the Mets have averaged over 44,000 fans per game, which is already 2,000 more people than Citi Field will accommodate. When the new stadium opens, the interest generated by the novelty will create a tougher competition for the tickets themselves. The Mets can hike up the price of tickets quite a bit before they will find a lack of interested parties. As if that were not enough, NY State legislature has made scalping legal, which will no doubt exacerbate the issue.
I am not so naive as to make this out to be armageddon, or to paint devil horns on owner Fred Wilpon’s picture whenever I see it. I understand that this is a business and that in this multimedia age, there are many options out there where I can continue to follow my team even if I may not be able to attend the games as often as I would like. The Mets have a business plan to increase revenue, which I’d like to think will improve the quality of players on the field.