— Days Without Shea —

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.

[July 20, 2007 3:56 PM]  |  link  |  reply
coreynyc said

People are jumping to way too many conclusions and making to many incorrect statements.

The Mets are a for-profit business, I do not blame them one bit for telling people that partial season holders are SOL. Why not try to get people to commit for the full season? Sell as much product as possible, I don't blame them one bit.

But the reality is that there will almost absolutely be partial season plans. For one thing, it would be a public relations fiasco.

But all you need to do is look crosstown to the Yankees to understand that there will be partial season tickets. The Yanks have been drawing over 4 million fans (50,000+ a night) over the last few seasons and they offer partial plans and have tickets available to the public. In fact they even sell discounted tickets in plans and as singles.

I bought a plan in May from them that gave me tickets for 2 Subway Series games at regular and 3 "non-premium" games AT HALF PRICE.

Those 3 games were all weekend or holiday games in pretty good locations and I immediately sold them on Ebay for face value or better (thus paying for my Mets Subway Series tix).

Now if the Yanks have to resuort to partial seasons and ticket discounts, plus have tickets available for all games for the public to buy on a regular basis...why wouldn't the Mets?

My prediction is that the Mets aren't going announce partial plans until the winter before the ballpark opens, so as to sell as many full seasons as possible....but they will sel partial plans. They will piss off too many people if they don't.

I don't understand why people are coming down on the Mets when you have the Jets and Giants who never sell tickets to the public and have enormous waiting lists for tickets.

Going to a Mets game, like the Giants or Jets is not a g-d given right.

In full diclosure, I upgraded from a Saturday plan to a full season this season. My friend and I probably go to about half the games between the 2 of us and we sell off the rest to people with have found on Craigslist. I always ended up going to more games (20-25) than just Sat, so this made sense to me...plus we get full playoff rights.

[July 20, 2007 7:27 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

I hope you work for the Mets, Coreynyc, and are pulling a Whole Foods here and your full disclosure is not.

Many teams could sell out their facility to only season ticket holders, and don't bring up football...eight home games...please, especially from the league that invented seat licsensing so you pay to buy the seat and have to buy the tickets to sit in the seats. Look at the NY Rangers, even under the terrible Dolan regime, they realize that you need to build a fan base by making game tickets available, by selling partial plans, by offering group sales, so fans have an opportunity to see their teams. This builds the fan base as opposed to the short-sighted approach being taken by the worst owners in NYC, the Wilpons. Don't you think Steinbrenner could sell more seasons and not offer group sales or partial plans. And btw, your buying partial plans to sell online, makes me puke on myself, you're the type of fan we don't need.

[July 23, 2007 5:31 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Dave said

The problem is that the fans have unconditional allegiance to their team, but the ownership has unconditional love for power and money.

[July 27, 2007 9:13 AM]  |  link  |  reply
James Vazquez said

Yea I kind of believe what coreynyc said, at some point the Mets may start mini plans again.
And like he said, it does suck for those fans and I hate the price of progress, believe me, but its not the end of the world. You're still going to get to Mets games, just at a higher price. Join the club, because thats what everyone else sadly suffers through, NY and the Mets fans weren't going to remain immune forever.
Be happy you're not a Rangers fan like myself who has to pay a mortgage just to see my team play a handful of games in Dolans Madison Square Garden.

[August 13, 2007 5:14 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

I have had a partial plan since 1996. Lean years to be sure. When I read the letter sent with my invoice for this season, I decided not to play that game. I pay for 25 games as it is, and I too, cannot take on the burden that a full-season plan would entail. I read their letter to mean that persons who commit will have priority in the new ball park - and I am fine with that. However, I hope that if partial plans are not made available, I still will be given the option to purchase a full-season plan in the winter of 2008, if that is what it comes down to. I cannot fathom that the club will not offer partial plans. I don't think it's in their best interest. However, I can see how they do not want to commit to announcing said plans. If I have to buy a full season, I have the partners who'll commit, but we'd end up selling the ones we can't use. And with the announced partnership of stub-hub and MLB.com, this may be actually easy to do.

And as attendance goes, how many of those patrons bought their tickets:
1. On a full season plan
2. On a partial plan
3. On a seven-pack
4. As a single game?

I believe there are plenty of people behind me in the scheme of things.

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