That's right, a team that plays in the largest city in America and has a two year old stadium that was only filled to 77% capacity this season, will be cutting ticket prices by an average of 14% for 2011.
From the press release:
Within the 14%-plus average price decrease, the Mets have made a full range of market-based adjustments to Citi Field's 41,800 seats:
- Ticket prices for 62% of the ballpark have been reduced
- More than half of all seats have double-digit price reductions
- 18% of the seats have been cut by 20% or more
- 8% of seats have price decreases of 30% or more
- Several seat categories have modest increases that average approximately 5%
In addition, fans will have access to "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunities through the new "Amazin' Mets Perks." Heh. I'm guessing this includes the option of having Francisco Rodriguez beat your father-in-law and Johan Santana hump your leg. That's not confirmed, however.
I spoke with successful ticket broker, who told me the following about the market for Mets tickets:
Save for opening day and the subway series, the Mets just don't attract fans to their stadium. Although Yankee Stadium has more than its fair share of exorbirantly priced seats, it does have a redeeming offer–$12 bleacher seats which offer a decent lower level view. Other teams like the Phillies and Red Sox offer similar cheaply priced seats. I have yet to find anything that resembles a deal for Mets tickets on both the broker side (resale side) and fan side (bang for the buck).
It appears the Mets took a mentality going into the new ballpark: build an attraction first, then worry about the team second. People want to see a game, not a glamorous food court. The 14% discount is a start, but still not enough to make tremors. A 50% reduction would be a better decision. Overall, it was not a decision made for the fans as indicated in the Met's press release. It was an admission of poor decision making and failure to adjust for recessionary times.
The amazin' Mets, folks.