Has anyone won the lottery yet?
The Shea Stadium ticket lottery ends Friday night, midnight. It is your only fair and balanced chance to buy single game tickets for Opening day, Shea’s last day or the Subway Series.
The odds aren’t very good. According to published reports, only 11,000 people our of an estimated 275,000 registrants will have a chance at Opening day tickets. The rest of those 55,000 tickets are claimed (presumably) by season-ticket and seven-pack plan holders.
The NY Daily news had a good article the other day about the end of pre-season ticket lines at Shea. Some excerpts:
Diehards who annually camp outside Shea Stadium to get big-game tickets the moment they go on sale are annoyed with the Internet lottery - now in its second year - that chooses who can buy highly prized ducats.
"It's a major disappointment," complained Matt Hoey, 32, a teacher from upstate Newburgh, who had a seven-year streak, from 1999 to 2005, of being first in line, ahead of thousands of fellow fanatics.
"After baseball season, it was always, 'See you in February.' Not anymore," said Hoey, bemoaning the loss of a treasured fan ritual that rewarded grit and stamina over mouse-clicking prowess.
A Mets spokesman said the team decided an online drawing was the fairest way to sell tickets - especially for fans not near Flushing> - to the home opener, matchups with the Yankees and the last regular-season game at Shea.
The Amazin's will offer the seats to 11,000 of the 275,000 e-mailers who registered. The faithful will learn whether they made the cut by tomorrow night.
Single-game tickets to remaining home games go on sale March 9 by phone, online at mets.com and at the ballpark.
That day, the box office line is expected to reach an anemic 100, a far cry from the thousands who used to pitch tents - and forge friendships - as they waited in line for days at a time.
Paul Bayona, who was first in line in 2006, wondered if he'd now be shut out of the home opener and Mets-Yankees tickets.
"A fan who'd put in his time and spent a week out there is pretty much getting screwed," railed Bayona, 21, of Kearny, N.J. "It's not fair for the real fans. It takes a certain person to stand out there for their team."
The day tickets went on sale, fans were often treated to free coffee, giveaways and greetings from Mets greats like Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who stopped by the ticket line in 2005.
"It's kind of surprising that they canceled that. The fans looked forward to it," said Carter, now a manager with the Orange County Flyers, an independent team in California.