Kingman has returned.
The Kingman crew had a great couple weeks away from NY. We went down to the Deep South for some beach, some sun and a bit of fishing. My middle son caught a Hammerhead shark and we all caught a nice break away from work and the Web.
Thanks for all the comments and e-mails while Loge13 did its summer siesta. I'll get back to all of you this week as we hit the stretch run to the end of Shea Stadium's storied existence.
As of this writing, we are 56 days from Shea's last official game. After dropping four in a row, things are looking rough for the Blue and Orange. But there is still alot of baseball left. Forget the news today about Maine's DL stint or Wagner's MRI. Keep hope alive.
That is, unless you are hoping for tickets next year. Nothing has changed on that front. Loge13 friend Eli sent the following query on July 29 to the Mets: "
Will partial plan customers like myself (Saturdays) have an opportunity to
purchase similar plans in 2009?"
Thank you for your inquiry regarding
Ticket Plans at Citi Field.
At this time, the only assurance made for
Citi Field is that 2008 Full Season Ticket Holders have priority in purchasing
Season Tickets for 2009.
We have not yet made a determination on
the availability of Ticket Plans for 2009. However, we appreciate the
loyal support of our many Plan Holders over the years at Shea, and will
communicate directly with you as soon as a determination on any Ticket Plan
offerings is made.
Thank you for your continued support and
Meanwhile, this week''s Crain's NY does a fantastic job of breaking down the economics of Citi Field. Bottom line: even with less seats and more luxury boxes, Shea's successor is on pace to meet it's financial requirements for 2009:
ets' new base completes return to respectability
The talk in a front-row loge box at a recent Mets game against
the Philadelphia Phillies wasn't about the battle for first place
between the two teams. Instead, fans in the choice location behind the
plate conversed about a different kind of struggle: how to cope with a
doubling in price of those seats when the Mets move into Citi Field
"Everybody's saying, `We're not going to be able to
afford our tickets,' " says Maggie Felpo, a professional fundraiser who
has shared a season ticket plan behind home plate for 12 years. "We're
going to have to cut back."
Ticket prices at Citi will rise, as
the Mets, who for years languished in an outdated Shea Stadium, finally
capitalize on the revenues and resources that New York City can
generate. Citi Field will provide the Mets with unprecedented revenue
and will be the final piece of the puzzle that will guarantee the
franchise's stability for years to come.
But the Mets—who have a
noncorporate fan base—will have to make sure that they don't alienate
the faithful in an all-out push for dollars as they increase their
revenues by more than 30%. And while their finances will be more
robust, they will remain well behind the Yankees, who are also opening
a new stadium next year that could double their take.
move into Citi Field follows the Mets' return to respectability on the
diamond that began with the acquisition of pitcher Pedro Martinez and
the launch of the club's own regional sports television network,
SportsNet New York.
"Citi Field is the final key component to
ensuring the stability of the Mets for generations to come," says Lee
Berke, president of LHB Inc., a sports consulting firm.
suites and club seats in the ballpark inspired by Brooklyn's fabled
Ebbets Field will help push the Mets' revenue above $300 million, from
a Forbes estimate of $235 million in the 2007 season. For
owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon, the value of the team—already second
highest in the majors—will soon exceed $1 billion, up from $824
million, sports business experts say.
"This is Ebbets Field on
steroids," says Bob Leffler, president of the Leffler Agency, one of
the top sports marketing firms in the country.
The Mets declined
to detail revenue estimates but acknowledged the obvious: Their new
$800 million stadium provides ways to make money as varied as pitcher
Oliver Perez's arm angles.
"We're taking on a very large risk by
being responsible for the largest private real estate development in
the history of the borough of Queens," says Dave Howard, executive vice
president of business operations for the Mets. "We do have a lot of
entrepreneurial drive to take advantage of all the new opportunities."
Mets will pay about $32 million annually over 40 years to service the
debt on bonds that financed construction. The bulk of construction
costs will be covered by the $20 million-a-year, 20-year naming rights
agreement with Citigroup Inc.
Luxury suite revenue should exceed
$20 million. The Mets had trouble selling corporate boxes at Shea
because many of the 45 were situated in the outfield and had poor sight
lines. By contrast, all 54 Citi Field boxes are located in the infield,
with much better views of the action. Most of the Shea suites sold for
$175,000 a year, while the Citi ones will cost $250,000 to $500,000.
Already, the Mets have nearly sold out all 49 suites for next season
and may convert five single-game party suites into season-long rentals
to keep pace with demand.
Revenue from ticket sales will also rise, to as much as $215 million from Forbes'
estimate of $114 million at Shea—even though there will be nearly
15,000 fewer seats at Citi Field. The sight lines are improved, and the
seats are closer to the field, allowing the club to charge more.
seat will be a great seat," says Mr. Howard. Some seats will be as
inexpensive as $12, and the team claims that more than 50% of the seats
will cost $50 or less. Some 7,500 club seats will run from $60 to $495
and will come with access to adjacent climate-controlled restaurants.
from food and merchandise should bring in another $24 million, after
expenses, with ticket holders expected to spend an average of $17 on
food. Restaurant capacity will jump to 3,100, from 500 at Shea, and
points of sale for food and beverages will rise to 1 per 150 fans from
1 per 254 fans.
Money will also flow in from merchandise sales,
which a bond prospectus estimates will total $3.6 million, or $3.75 per
fan. The new stadium will house a 7,200-square-foot team store, which
is more than twice the size of the current one. The team will also keep
the first $8 million in parking revenues and split the rest with the
Some 12,000 square feet of high-tech video displays will be
built into the stadium, providing new outlets for advertisers and at
least $24 million in revenue for the team.
Although curiosity and
excitement should trump the sputtering economy next season, a prolonged
economic downturn, combined with increased competition from other new
stadiums opening in the area, could make the Mets a tougher sell down
Fans are already scrambling to find partners to share
season ticket plans, with many expecting to attend half as many games
in the new stadium.
The heightened competition and sluggish
economy put increased pressure on the Mets to field a successful team,
and experts say the club needs to be careful not to alienate diehard
"You're going to have a honeymoon period where the demand
is going to outstrip the supply like you wouldn't believe," says Wayne
McDonnell, an assistant professor of sports management at New York
University. "But I hope they don't sell their soul, because unlike the
tried-and-true fans who have lived and died with the team for
generations, the corporate dollar is fickle and fluctuates with the
market."OLD VERSUS NEW
How Mets stadiums stack up.
(Figures for Shea Stadium followed by those for Citi Field)Capacity
57,333; 45,000 (including standing room)Lowest ticket price
$5; $12Highest ticket price
$117; $495Luxury suites
45; 54Luxury suite prices
$175,000-$390,000; $250,000-$500,000Concession points of sale
1 per 254 fans; 1 per 150 fans