— Days Without Shea —

Filed under: Baseball | Shea | Tickets
by Kingman on January 23 at 9:01PM

Sheainterior_062807Loge 13 residents have recently been in touch with Mets brass about the status of our ticket plans beyond 2008. We were told the same party line: upgrade your package to a fullseason plan ASAP or take a hike.

As we enter our 23rd — and as of now final – season as Met ticket holders, I am a) not surprised at the Mets stance and b) not too excited about the 2008 season.

MetsGrrl posted a ticket manifesto recently. She is also a long time partial plan owner and also disgusted with how the Mets are treating loyal fans. You should read the entire post, as she expresses disdain for the Mets last game lotto, as we did a week back. On the subject of transferring plan owners to Citi Field, MetsGrrl says:

The whole thing smacks more of fearmongering than any kind of marketing savvy. At some point, no one will care. At some point, the people who have $5k for a full season have stepped up to the plate. There will be those people who panic at the last minute and commit, but my gut is that it’s not going to be a number that will make a true financial difference to the Mets.

I’m trying hard to understand why someone who has had a Saturday plan for 10 years would have less priority in Citi Field than someone who coughed up the cash for a full season in 2008. I do not expect to have the same priority as our friends on the Loge who have had their Tuesday/Friday plan for twice as long as I have.

I hate to mention That Team From The Bronx on here at all, especially in comparison to the Mets, but I can tell you that:
1) Plan holders have already been told what their rights are regarding all games, INCLUDING the All Star Game
2) Plan holders have also been told that they will receive information regarding what will happen in 2009 in a few months.

Come on, Wilpons. Step UP here

MetsGrrl advises her readers to call the Met ticket office to complain. We’ve been on the case and will continue. But this will probably go down to the wire.



[January 24, 2008 1:27 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

It's our 24th season!

[January 24, 2008 4:58 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Rickey24 said

You and Mets Grrl are absolutely right.

I did some research and was able to find the following article about the size of the Mets full season ticket base. The article is about 3 years old but it contains some information regarding what the Mets are trying to do with respect to increasing their full season ticket base. For comparison, I think the Yankees have slightly under 34,000 full season ticket holders.

http://www.mlb.com/news/article.jsp...t=.jsp&c_id=nym

According to the article, the Mets had 13,000 full season ticket holders in 2004 (after a string of bad seasons). Dave Howard stated that their goal was to get back to the high-water mark of 24,000 full season ticket holders which was established in 1988. Looking at the attendance for each home game last season, the lowest total was 25,236 (for a Wednesday afternoon game against the Marlins in early May). Assuming a small walkup crowd for that particular game, I'd say the Mets had about 24,000 to 25,000 full season ticket holders in 2007.

If that total increased to 27,000 full season seats for the new stadium. The Mets could potentially offer the following partial plans: 8,000 half season plans (41 games) which would cover approximately 4,000 full season seats; and 16,000 quarter season plans (20 games) which would cover approximately 4,000 full season seats. That would leave 10,000 full season seats (45,000-35,000) at Citi Field available to the general public. I think the Mets goal is probably to leave 5,000 to 6,000 seats available (this is the total that was left available for the lottery for Opening Day and the Yankees game).

As a result, the Mets might try to get the full season ticket base to 30,000 and perhaps sell more of the aforementioned partial plans or perhaps offer a limited number of Saturday or Sunday Plans. In any event, they will likely wait until they have gotten their full season ticket holders locked in for 2009 before they offer any partial plans. It wouldn't surprise me if the Mets required 2008 season ticket holders to place a substantial non-refundable deposit for the 2009 season at some point during the 2008 season (For example, the Nationals required current plan holders to pay a deposit by July 13, 2007 in order to keep their priority for the 2008 season; of course, they also offered partial plan holders priority upfront).

This would allow them to have a good idea of how many full season ticket holders they will have at Citi Field as well as figure out a way to allocate a portion of the remaining Citi Field ticket inventory to their current partial plan holders (such allocation likely to be based on the size of the partial plan and seniority of such plan holders).

Admittedly, this is pure speculation on my part but it might be how the Mets are thinking.

Finally, the Yankees will be sending all of their ticket licensees a relocation guide in "early 2008." As soon as this comes out, Mets partial plan holders should pepper the ticket office and media with questions regarding what the Mets will be doing.

[January 25, 2008 11:34 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Nice post Rickey 24, good info, thanks!

Everyone else, please keep those cards, letters, emails, phone calls flowing to David Newman at the Mets.

Should I post his phone number?

[January 26, 2008 12:00 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

A quick and dirty estimate from data obtained describing the current configuration of Shea (# of seats / level) and number of rows of seats in box seating and reserved seating suggests that Shea Stadium has only 22,000 BOX seats total in all levels (Field, Loge, Mezz, and Upper)

I realize there are some persons that have full-season seats in Reserved Seating, but I think that is offset by the fact that nobody has a full season box in Section 48 of the Upper Deck.

Even if EVERY BOX SEAT at Shea was sold as a Season Ticket, that means that 22,000 season seats are sold, leaving at least that many for partial plans / packages / single games.

I personally believe there is nothing to worry about. I believe that partials will be offered in the new park. The biggest issue will be location location location. I will worry when I logon to Mets dot Com, attempt to purchase a full season package, and all they can offer is Upper Deck, Section 48.

Cheers!
-Doug

[January 27, 2008 3:07 PM]  |  link  |  reply
kingman said

Good post, Doug. I hope your optimism pays off for all of us. It's too bad that the Yankees organization, as dysfunctional as the media has portrayed it the past year, is way ahead of the Mets in transitioning ticket holders.

[January 28, 2008 11:39 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Kingman, Thank you for the nice words. If anyone can give me the actual number of rows of reserved seating in each level (including obstructed view), I'd be happy to revise my estimate. I originally assumed that their are 12, 16, and 24 Rows in Reserved Seating in the Loge, Mezz, and UD respectively. I know there are 4, 6, and 6 rows of box seats in each respective level.

The Yankees are way ahead in publishing their relocation package because they have a much bigger season ticket base - they have a more pressing need to disclose their plans. I can see the Yankees turning away some partial-plan holders in the end if they cannot accommodate them all. (As they had to eliminate their plan holder's rights to post-season games because of capacity issues.) The Nationals published theirs early (I read it when it was made available) because they NEEDED to draw fans into buying packages early. And by offering generous relocation rights, they may have been able to get more people to RFK.

The Mets are somewhere in between the Yanks and the Nats. The Mets have chosen a path they feel will garner them the most revenue and increase their Full Season Ticket base. They haven't stated whether or not partials will be offered in the new park, just that Full Season Ticket holders will get first dibs. One of their letters sent to me read that they have not decided what to do with excess inventory. That is fine by me.

I think that anyone who can afford / is willing to afford a Full Season Ticket Package already has one. I don't see the Corporate entity buying a Full Season Package unless it is in a sweet location, and those are probably already spoken for.

When I went on a tour in the preview center (RIP Casey's), we were told that the reps on hand have NO info about relocation. The majority of visitors who signed the attendance sheet wrote that they are partial plan holders. They also said they'd be calling in long time season ticket holders (those most senior) into the room to view their new seat locations...

If there was really a shortage on seats in the new Ballpark, they wouldn't have to advertise "The only way to guarantee your way in is by buying a Full Season Plan."

In the end, I believe they will give all the Full Season holders their seats, then start filling remaining capacity with partial plans as best they can. There are plenty of seats to go around. I am sure they have their plans, they are just holding their cards close, because if they told the public that partials will be offered, they risk not meeting their goal of increasing Full-Season Tickets.

The fact the Mets choked in September, and their lack of off-season moves this year actually helps us partial-plan holder's cause...

-Doug

[May 14, 2008 12:45 PM]  |  link  |  reply
a hitler said

I AM STARTING TO DISLIKE THE METS

[August 17, 2008 12:37 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Mariobro said

I have had my loge Sunday plan since 1986 and have been gradually upgraded to Section 3, where I have been for the last few years. I remember buying the plan at $13 a game and now paying 55 or more. 3 years ago when the Mets suggested that I buy a full plan to insure that I would get seats in Citifield I was skeptical. I could barely afford my 4 seats now, how can I pay for 80 games? Surely the Mets would not forget there long time subscribers and I have written those concerns to Bill Innanciello every year as I renewed my partial plan. I will not buy a full season plan and become a secondary market ticket agent for the Mets. In my last visit to the front office I was told that partial plans would be addressed in September but I have a feeling that it will be much longer than that before they let us know if they owe us any thing for our years of support. Below is an excerpt of some of my letters to the Mets.

Dear Mr. Ianniciello and Mets Front Office Staff.
Thank you for your letter dated Oct. 15. 2007 I appreciate the condolences for what was for the most part, a great season with a truly heart wrenching ending. As we come to the time of year to renew our plans. I hope your office has made a decision as to the fate of your long term partial plan holders. I wrote to you in October of 2005 and December of 2006 about this issue and have excerpted part of my letter below. As a plan holder who has been going to Sunday games for 22 years I am more distressed over the fact that I might be shut out of the new stadium more than a bad Mets Season. After all I have endured a few of them. As I told you in my previous letters, I am making a financial sacrifice to keep my Sunday plan and can not afford the time or money to purchase a full plan.
Excerpts of my Oct. 13 2005 letter: I WAS TALKING TO THE FRONT OFFICE AND I SUGGESTED THAT THE METS SHOULD HAVE AN ANNIVERSARY DATE FOR THEIR LONG TIME SUBSCRIBERS. WE SHOULD GET REWARDED FOR OUR CONTINUED COMMITMENT. I AM HOPING THAT IN THE OFF-SEASON, THE FRONT OFFICE WOULD CONSIDER SETTING UP ANNIVERSARY PLATEAUS WITH EXTRA PERKS FOR THEIR LONG TIME PARTIAL PLAN HOLDERS. YEARS FROM NOW, AFTER THE NEW STADIUM IS NOT SO NEW AND THE AMAZINS MAYBE AREN’T SO AMAZIN HOW MANY OF THOSE NEW SUBSCRIBERS WILL STILL BE THERE. TIME HAS SHOWN THAT I AND A LOT OF OTHER PART TIMERS WILL BE. PERSONALLY, I HOPE TO PASS MY SEATS AND THE SUNDAY LEGACY TO MY SON WHO JUST CAME TO HIS FIRST GAME LAST YEAR. I LOOK FORWARD TO OUR MOVE TO THE NEW STADIUM AND I AM REALLY EXCITED TO SEE IT GO UP BUT I MUST ADMIT THAT I AM A LITTLE WORRIED OVER THE FATE OF THE PARTIAL PLAN HOLDERS IN THIS PROJECT. PLEASE MR. IANNICIELLO; I BEG YOU, DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF ALIENATING YOUR WORKING CLASS FAN BASE. OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS I HAVE GOTTEN MY TICKETS SLOWLY UPGRADED TO LOGE SECTION 3. AS PRICES ROSE, I LIKE MANY OTHERS MADE SACRIFICES TO KEEP MY PLAN. I HOPE THAT WHEN THE TIME COMES TO ASSIGN SEATS AT THE NEW PARK THAT IT WILL BE DONE IN A FAIR AND SENSIBLE MANNER.

MESSAGE TO METS COMMUNITY OUTREACH, 8/08: Thank you for the opportunity to fill out your recent survey. I know this may have nothing to do with charity or other worthwhile causes but as a 23 year partial plan holder I am quite concerned that the Mets are pricing out their everyday working fans. It is a financial struggle to keep my current plan, but I do it out of my commitment as a lifelong Met Fan and the desire to share and pass this tradition onto my young son. It is sad that I and many other fans are being asked to purchase full season plans in order to have a seat at Citifield. As a kid I could sit upstairs for $5, I don't want to think about what my son has to pay for a cheap seat at the new stadium. We do not have corporate accounts to back us but we have been with the Mets through bad and good, I am begging the Mets not to forget the little guy, please consider affordable seating options for all and more importantly allow us to continue our partial plans, especially those of us who have shown a long time commitment to the ball club. That would be one of the greatest forms of community outreach the Mets can take! Thank you.

If the worst case scenario happens and we are shut out of CitiField I can only suggest a grassroots effort to organize Met fans affected. I envision alerting the media and showing up at Citifield with bull horns and tombstone placards with our sections and the years we have had our plans, we can march, chant and stage our own die ins, after all we will be dead in the eyes of the Mets. I am writing this so we can be prepared, alert metsgrrl, metshead, metsblog, loge 13 and all other met fan forums that if the time comes I and I hope many others will be ready to act. Until then lets hope the Mets come to their senses.


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