— Days Without Shea —


by Kingman on November 25 at 6:05PM
Thumbnail image for Citi Field from Shea Stadium, September 14, 2008
Without revealing too much, I can tell you that some folks today did get new partial season tickets in Citi Field.

Folks who had at least six tickets in their plan got phone calls from the group sales office with promises of seats if they acted immediately. The 15-game plan included Opening Day and all weekday games.

The seats secured are not comparable to what folks had in Shea Stadium but they are in the new stadium.

The real good news: the prices were not outrageous. Tickets averaged about $33 per seat.

Tomorrow the plan details get posted. Congrats to those of you who have already got their 2009 plans secured.


[November 26, 2008 3:40 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Well, the information has been posted. No surprises here, as I nailed this on the head with my predictions a month ago when we got our refund letters.

I have looked over the offerings, and I am a bit disappointed in the big jump between the 15 game plans and the 40 game plans.

The 15 gmae plans seem very affordable, but are in less desireable areas of the park.

The 40 game plans are a big jump, and it seems they are not being offered in affordable areas of the park.

There is also a big disparity between rights for playoff games. Where the 40 game plans give you every other game (and not even in your seat!), the 15 game plans give you the right to buy pre-sale.... no guarantees...

Makes choices that much more interesting.... what to do.. what to do...

Everyone have a Great Thanksgiving!

Cheers!
-Doug

[November 28, 2008 6:00 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Eugene said

First, I'd like to thank the people who put this site together. I stumbled across it when looking for info on the demolition of my beloved Shea Stadium (I'll echo Todd Pratt's sentiments to its detractors), and have found myself checking back frequesntly to find out info about getting tix to our new "home" next year.

I'm afraid I have some bad news for the 7-Packers out there. My friend and I have been buying the 6 and 7 pack offerings since the Mets started offering them. When we attempted to sign up for a 15 game pack using the account number that my friend has with the Mets from previous year's, we thought we were in luck, since the Mets web site allowed us to plunk down a $250 per seat deposit on Wednesday. Well, our bubble was burst today, when he got a call from the Mets ticket office telling him that his deposit will be refunded, and that we don't qualify for a partial ticket plan at this time. I guess our loyal patronage doesn't count for anything, or maybe our money isn't green enough. Welcome to the new world folks.

[November 28, 2008 6:39 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Not to say that persons who purchased 6 or 7-packs are any bigger or less fans than those who have purchased partial plans in the past, but the Mets are doing this schlepping over to Citi in some type of order.

From what I have read here and on various blog / web-sites, it seems that the Mets have deemed when a plan holder is longevity and plan type, as some people have posted comflicting info based on plan-type alone -- meaning that seniority has something to do with the pecking order. Multiplying plan type (assigning a larger number for the old 55-game weekday plan, a mid-number for the old 25 game Tu/Fri and Mini-Plans, and a small number to the old 13-game Saturday and Sunday plans) and consecutive years of ownership gave them a number for each account holder. Then then line up these numbers from largest to smallest, and divide them into groups. Those with the largest numbers pick first, and so forth.

There are a lot of people who've had their plans for years, who should be taken care of first when it comes to relocation.

Hopefully there is room at the inn for all.

Cheers!
-Doug

[November 28, 2008 8:21 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Rickey24 said

Eugene,

It would be unfair to every partial planholder (Weekday Plan, Tuesday/Friday Plan, Mini Plan, Saturday Plan and Sunday Plan) who purchased at least 13 games last year if the Mets allowed 7 pack purchasers to purchase partial plans before them. You'll get a chance to purchase a partial plan starting on Wednesday December 17 after every 2008 partial planholder has had an opportunity to purchase a partial plan.

[November 29, 2008 10:06 AM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

one thing i noticed is that the Mets have an official seating chart for Citi Field. No pricing info on the map, but it's a real visualization of how they section off the ballpark.

[November 29, 2008 2:06 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Eugene said

Guys,

You are missing my point. I didn't suggest that I was looking for another 7 pack offering. We were looking to upgrade to a 15 game pack in accordance with the plans that the Mets have made available. To draw a line between 13 games and 7 games is kind of arbitrary. People that purchased a guaranteed pack of tickets for many years should have some opportunity before the general public on sale date. I also don't disagree with the whole seniority/priority approach as those who have bought more games for a longer period of time should absolutely have a crack first. But to shut the 7 pack crowd out completely is wrong. We are customers too. Last year, We had 4 seats for 7 games (28 tickets), and get no consideration, while someone who had 2 seats for 13 games (26 tickets) can get tickets, no problem. Just doesn't seam fair.

[November 29, 2008 3:34 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

I don't think its fair to include the number of seats in any given plan when it comes to deciding pecking order. The only thing that the number of seats in your plan determine is how many seats you can purchase going forward, not when you can purchase.

Cheers!
-Doug

[November 29, 2008 4:50 PM]  |  link  |  reply
gene replied to Doug

Question-I had the 13 Sunday pack for the past 6 years. The Mets have my playoff money. Do I still need to log on before the 10th and guarantee my seats with $250 each??? That part is not clear.

[November 30, 2008 5:34 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Eugene said

Doug,

Again, I don't have any problem with establishing a pecking order in establishing who can buy tickets first. I agree completely. I made the number of seats comparison to point out that people that purchase 7 pack plans should be given consideration, and included in the pre-sale in some form. To draw a line and leave those people out in the cold to purchase tickets at the same time as the general public without any consideration of past purchase history is wrong. Thats all I'm trying to say.

[November 30, 2008 7:30 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Kingman said

The biggest bummer is that, seniority aside, buying a 15 game pack means there is no guarantee for postseason tickets. Folks in the M-W-TH plan either add on even more tickets by upgrading to a 40 game plan, or take on less games and risk no playoff games. This may be a disappointing week for lots of fans.

[November 30, 2008 8:32 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Kingman,

What really really sucks is that there is no truly affordable plan that gets you guaranteed post-season tickets. And one of the biggest factors which will sway me away from a 40-game plan is that, even after shelling out more than $2,000 per seat, they don't even have the decency to let you have your seats for every other playoff game... The offer reads that you will get your tickets in an alternate location. What kind of crap is that? You could spend almost $10,000 for 4 tickets, with club access, then get put somewhere else in the ballpark (Prom Reserved) for the playoffs, with no club access.

The more and more I think about it, the less likely I am to buy a 40-game plan.

If the Mets offered a 40-game plan in Prom Reserved Seating, with playoff rights as stipulated, I'd pony up in a second.

The fact that the Mets are offering 40-game plans in prime locations in the park tells me that they are having trouble selling them.

I'm better off getting my 15-game plan, then using the money I didn't spend on the 40-game plan to buy the playoff tickets I want on the secondary market. I am sure that I can get playoff tickets for the difference in monies spent between the plans.

Cheers!
-Doug

[December 2, 2008 5:35 PM]  |  link  |  reply
rodney dangerfield said

the reason there has been such a hubub about plans is the fact that in 2000 they began offfering 7-game plans at all....prior to 2000 any package was given full playoff rights because they had the availability, not necessarily in your seat but rights to every game nonetheless. Once they started with six and seven game packs, which were in shitty seats but had soome playoff rights they managed to swindle money from people that werent even interested in 6 or 7 games but just wanted to go to the playoffs. This organization has routinely screwed with there plan holders. while i undestand your angst you must realize there are people who have had ticket plans for 25 years, on the field, and until a couple of weeks ago did not know if the were going to get seats at all. point being, you will be next in line for the 15 game pack andf will get your seats, just be patient with the inept people running the ticket office. as far as customers? i sat on the field for 25 years and last year my invoice for 13 games was over 4000, this year i cant even get a decent enough seat to spend more than 2400.....wow, what a rant, love the mets, hate the organization....would dump my tix if i could, but mentally, i will sit in there subpar seat locations to which they have shunned us


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by Kingman on November 24 at 9:57PM
The big news of today: The U.S. government is helping back stop Citigroup (the eponymous successors to the immortal William Shea) with over $300B.

The government will provide Citigroup with $20 billion, on top of the $25 billion in TARP funds its already received  AND provide guarantees on up to $306 billion of the bank's troubled assets.

Does this mean Met fans will get a bailout on ticket prices for Citi Field?

Does this mean there will even be a place called Citi Field?

There will undoubtedly be alot of speculation on this topic going forward. One thing is certain: the Mets picked A BAD WEEK to start Phase Two of their 2009 ticket selling plan (Phase one of course being the Citi Field full season ticket plans that were offered as a take-it-or-leave-it option for inquiring Met fans throughout the entire 2008 season).

This is the best piece yet on stadium naming rights and the current financial crisis.  Lots of good points raised about named rights and their overall benefits to both the sponsor's brand and that of the sports organization. I bolded the relevant bits:

Critics Slam Bailed-Out Firms' Pricey Deals for Naming Rights, Logo Placement
By JUSTIN ROOD

November 24, 2008—

AIG, Citibank and a number of other federally bailed-out financial institutions have no plans to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in sports team sponsorships, even as they take billions in taxpayer support, ABC News has found.

In boom times, the sponsorships were seen as a way to advertise the firms' "brands" and appeal to potential customers. Even today, at least one bank told ABC News that a naming deal was increasing its revenue. But critics, including a member of Congress, say the decision to continue them now is hard to defend.

Struggling Citibank just sealed a multi-billion-dollar emergency "backstop" deal with the U.S. government. The financial behemoth, suffering with billions in bad mortgage-related assets on its books, recently shed 53,000 workers and saw its stock price lose over half its value. Yet it's in a 20-year contract to pay the New York Mets $400 million to name the team's new stadium "Citi Field."

"This type of spending is indefensible and unacceptable to Citigroup's new partner and largest investor: the American taxpayer," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., in a statement Monday.


Citi isn't alone: Imploding insurance giant AIG is paying the British soccer team Manchester United $125 million for the privilege of having its logo appear on Man U's uniforms. That, despite the fact the firm is standing largely thanks to a $150 billion lifeline from the U.S. Treasury.

"A friend of mine joked they should put 'US Treasury' on the front of their uniforms," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan watchdog group which is outraged by the expenditures.

In boom times it was fine for AIG, Citi and others to spend millions on naming rights and other promotional arrangements with professional sports teams, critics say even if they're a waste of money, as some marketing experts believe. But when the economy teeters on the brink of collapse even as firms are using American taxpayers' money to keep lending or just keep their doors open  those critics are making a stink about the expensive deals.

"Up until now they were businesses who could invest or waste their money as they see fit," said Taxpayers for Common Sense's Ellis. "But now we're the shareholders. And frittering their money away with naming rights and ties to sports teams isn't a really good investment of taxpayers' money -- particularly when credit markets are collapsed."

A spokesman for AIG confirmed that its sponsorship deal with Manchester United remains in place, but that the company is "reviewing all sponsorships to identify any relationship that might be essential, to maintain the value of the business and service customers, so we can repay the [government] loan."

Citicorp is not reviewing its deal with the Mets, chief financial officer Gary Crittenden said in an interview Monday. Crittenden told CNBC the contract was "legal and binding" and "not an issue."

Last week, a bank spokesman defended the arrangement, saying that "there is absolutely no relationship between our sports marketing expenses, including Citi Field," and the government funds it had already received.

That's not enough for Rep. Cummings. "I strongly urge Citigroup to find a way out of this contract and instead spend that $400 million on retaining its employees and restoring confidence in its operations," he said.


AIG and Citibank are just two examples TCS cites of institutions who are taking federal money with one hand, and paying hefty sums to sports sponsorships and naming deals with the other. Many are banks which are not perceived as financially faltering, who have taken money from the Treasury's Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to boost their anemic lending.

Bank of America (TARP take: $25 billion) is reportedly poised to ink a $20 million-a-year sponsorship with the New York Yankees  a team that is hardly hurting for cash. They are already in a reported 20-year, $140 million deal with the Carolina Panthers football team to call the team's arena "Bank of America Stadium."

Bank of America spokesman Joseph Goode said his bank's deal with the Panthers is making the bank money. "Any investments we make in sponsorship marketing are directly linked to driving revenue growth for the bank," he said, noting the deal also allowed Bank of America to market debit cards with the Panthers logo. He would not comment on the reported pending deal with the Yankees.

Even before the crisis, some marketers believed the naming and sponsor deals were idiotic. "It's pretty clear that it's a complete and utter waste of money, ego-driven," said Seth Godin, a marketing guru and bestselling author.

It's time for banks to re-evaluate these deals, says Ellis. U.S. taxpayers ponied up billions to these to lend because they wouldn't do it with their own money, said Ellis. But now, "Just as Americans all over the country are having to decide, 'what am I going to do without?' companies are going to have to make those decisions," he said.

"At the end of the day, they've got to look at the taxpayers and say, 'Yeah, we'll take your money and spend some of our assets on [naming] a stadium, or a college bowl,'" said Ellis. "That's a hard sell to the public, obviously."

Who else is taking public support while holding pricey naming deals? It's not a short list. Among the biggest:

PNC Bank ($7.7 billion in TARP funds pledged) is locked in a 20-year, $30 million deal to keep the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates named "PNC Park." A spokesman there said the bank did not use TARP funds to make payments on the deal.

J.P. Morgan Chase ($25 billion from TARP) has a 30-year, $66 million contract for the Arizona Diamondbacks to call their stadium "Chase Field." "That was an agreement that was signed 11 years ago," by a bank that was bought by Chase, said bank spokesman Tom Kelley. "Tell me what 2008 has to do with 1997? That's a contractual obligation."

Comerica ($2.3 billion in TARP funds pledged) has an identical deal with the Detroit Tigers to refer to their home field as "Comerica Park." Both expire in 2028. "From our perspective, they're not connected," said Comerica's Wayne Mielke of the stadium deal and the bank's anticipated receipt of bailout funds. "Why should it be reviewed?" The cost of the naming rights, said Mielke, "does not inhibit our ability to lend."

Capital One  famous for their tagline, "What's in your wallet?" and a recipient of $2.3 billion in TARP money  are the proud and paying sponsor of the Capital One Bowl, formerly known as the Florida Citrus Bowl. The bank did not respond to requests for comment.

Naming deals are "a big gamble," said Steve Hall, a marketing industry veteran who writes a popular advertising blog, AdRants.com. "My whole issue with the naming rights is, in a lot of cases it just sounds stupid. 'Staples Center'. . . It's sort of taken away the good old glory days of sports."

That said, Hall noted that buying a stadium gets a company's name repeated an awful lot. "When a stadium gets named after a company, it gets mentioned millions of times," he said.

Instead of spending millions on naming rights, marketing guru Godin says, why not invest in something that will really improve the credibility and public opinion of banks: customer service. "Instead of spending $400 million to put your name on the side of a stadium, how about hiring enough people so that every time someone calls you on the phone it would be answered by someone who knew your name and was delighted to hear from you?"

Despite the criticism from watchdogs like Taxpayers for Common Sense, given the current crisis Godin said banks would be right to follow through with these costly sponsorships. The economic collapse is being fueled by a lack of confidence in what tomorrow will bring, he said, and banks' changing their behavior would signal that fear is justified.

"When banks walk around. . . wasting money on sports sponsorships," said Godin, "it sends a message of profligate spending and confidence."



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by Kingman on November 23 at 5:23PM
Citi Field from Shea Stadium's Upper Deck_081008
Some of us partial season folk got "the letter" this weekend. Loge13 loyalist Doug posted the jist of the letter in a previous comment, and as a public service I will reprint it here:

"Letter arrived from the Mets today. Partial Plan info to be made available on-line 11/26. (Dates, playoffs, etc.) All that is written now is there will be 2 40-gamers, 5 15-gamers. Sale to begin 12/3 via mets dot com in a two-stage process. Offerings to be based upon type of plan held in 2008. (No word about seniority). You will be permitted to buy the same number of seats, plus 2, across up to two plans. You can spread those seats over those plans. Once you pick the plans and seat categories, you will get an invoice 2 days later, with full payment 5 days after that. Wa-HOO!!! Looking forward to much reading next week. Cheers! "

So there you have it. I'm still processing the letter but it seems we have the rights to join TWO different plans and bulk up your current seat number by two. Seems awful generous, if so. Lets hope the Mets are equally generous with the pricing details on 11/26. Thanksgiving Eve seems an odd occasion to publish such vital information...unless you want to lessen the backlash by burying the news in a holiday haze.

Things are getting interesting!


[November 23, 2008 7:13 PM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

when you said "Plan of Attack", I thought you meant you knew of a weak (steel) beam in Citi Field and were plotting on how to get in and make the new park come crumbling down. I agree - it does seem weird that Thanksgiving-eve is the day this info goes "public". I don't think they handled this transition very well. I wonder how they're going to announce individual tickets.

[November 24, 2008 7:32 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ceetar said

Thanksgiving seems a decent time as any. Allows for discussions with family maybe? hmm.

Seems fair enough to me from the looks of it, I'm actually looking to go from 4 seats to 3. hope that works out.

I doubt any real info about individual tickets will be available until February or march, as has been par across MLB for a couple of years though.

I wonder if any of the plans include opening day..

-Ceetar

[November 24, 2008 10:19 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Well, the fact that the Mets are permitting plan owners to add, up to two seats, across two plans, puts me in particularly in a pickle.

I had a Tuesday / Friday plan, with 4 seats. That plan was about 25 games a year. Two 15-gamers at 4 seats a piece would be comparable. However, I won't be able to get 4 seats over 30 games, unless I buy a 40-gamer. All I could do with the 15 gamers is a 4 seater and a 2 seater....

Will have to wait and see when the details are out, but it looks as if I may have to cut down on Mets baseball, or take on the burden of having to move extra tickets.

Cheers!
-Doug

[November 24, 2008 10:20 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Any one other thing... I really hope that the seat plan and picking process isn't a old fashioned land grab, and my seats will be at the mercy of what the computer thinks is the best available seat in that category....

[November 24, 2008 10:03 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Glenn replied to Doug

Count on it.

[November 25, 2008 7:43 PM]  |  link  |  reply
caryn said

It's not an odd time to announce it if you're going to put tickets on sale a week later, and are trying to keep the backlash from customers down to a minimum AND be able to downplay it in the press. From that point of view, it's a brilliant decision. I mean, who's busy over the holidays? I mean, people don't travel, go out of town, host family and other visitors, cook, deal with children, etc. Everyone has time to leisurely consider their options and pick up the phone to voice their opinion to the Mets.

Like I said, it was a brilliant decision. No one will have TIME to do anything but click.

And of course it's going to be first come, first served. I just hope it doesn't bring down the Mets website, and really hope the ticketmaster switch won't happen before 12/3. At least we know how to game the current site.


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Filed under: Baseball | CitiField | Mets
by Kingman on November 22 at 9:04AM
Citi Field with letters missing near Shea Stadium

Citi Field_closeup_082008.JPG
On August 20th, 2008, I took these pictures of Citi Field. The construction crew had knocked off for the day, leaving the new stadium's sign in limbo. They eventually did finish the sign the next day bu given Citigroup's status, the ballpark may look like this again soon.

Citigroup closed Friday at $3.77 a share. ATM there are all kinds of unseemly rumors out there about what might happen to the namesake of the Mets new home. Normally, this would be a good time to mock CitiField and the decision that went into tearing down Shea...but these are not normal times. Things are rough out there and I hope everyone is hanging in there, still employed and not checking their 401K too often.

Thanks to everyone who sent e-mails and  comments. No I did not shut down Loge13.com.  After we got the letters about partial season ticket plans, I decided to take a few days off from Loge13. That turned into a few weeks and my longest stint away.

I have to admit, I also could no longer look at photos or watch videos of Shea Stadium coming down. I had grand designs to go to Shea each weekend and maybe pick through the rubble. Ultimately, this felt way too macabre and depressing. So in the words of some former Shea Stadium residents, I chose to Let It Be.

Also, there was this little thing called the financial meltdown. As a business journalist, the past few months have been like covering the invasion of Normandy in terms of historical magnitude. However, D-Day only happened on one day; this current thing just keeps going and going and - unlike that other war - we still don't know who the enemy is. The point is, you didn't see alot of war correspondents updating their blogs around June 6, 1944, did you? That's what I thought.

So I'll be slowly cranking up Loge13 again. Between Willets Point, new stadium details, the Shea memorabilia fiascos and the hundreds of e-mails y'all have sent me, there's lots to catch up on. Plus there all those fantastic moves the Mets have made to make the 2009 version even better than the 2008 team!!!!






[November 22, 2008 12:05 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Dan said

Citi Fi, not be confused with "Tadium," which stands next door.

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee98/citi_field/Shea%20Demolition/071-4.jpg

[November 22, 2008 4:00 PM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

nice. I was there the night you took that picture, when the construction site said "Citi Fi". I actually arrived earlier than you when it just said "Citi". Even with the money I spend on memorabilia, I have nothing to show for it yet. Someday, I'll get my best Shea pictures up online.

[November 22, 2008 6:39 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Letter arrived from the Mets today.

Partial Plan info to be made available on-line 11/26. (Dates, playoffs, etc.) All that is written now is there will be 2 40-gamers, 5 15-gamers.

Sale to begin 12/3 via mets dot com in a two-stage process.

Offerings to be based upon type of plan held in 2008. (No word about seniority). You will be permitted to buy the same number of seats, plus 2, across up to two plans. You can spread those seats over those plans.

Once you pick the plans and seat categories, you will get an invoice 2 days later, with full payment 5 days after that.

Wa-HOO!!!

Looking forward to much reading next week.

Cheers!
-Doug

[November 22, 2008 8:53 PM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

any info on the pricing of these plans - by comparison to where you were last year?

[November 23, 2008 6:40 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Bobster said

The big question now is - what will the Mets new ballpark be called when the season opens? Citigroup might be out of existence by then. Shea Stadium kept its name for 44 years, but there's no way that's going to happen with the new park.

[November 23, 2008 11:14 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Rickey24 said

The letter that Doug referenced above doesn't provide any pricing details. However, it provides that information on our Ticket Plan offerings and benefits, as well as the Terms and Conditions of your purchase of a partial plan, will be available at mets.com Wednesday, November 26.

[November 24, 2008 8:48 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Paul said

Glad to have you back, Kingman!


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