Notes from the Dave Howard and Mets bloggers conference call

Wow.

Where to begin?

What a crazy 36 hours and once again regular readers, I have made this a sticky post to keep it up top, new content will roll in below this post.

This evening, Dave Howard did a conference call with many of the bloggers (the usual suspects, the blogs you and I all read, and I will link to their versions of the story as I notice them.  Start with Hotfoot’s twitter and scroll down his timeline to about 6:30pm)

I got my invite mid afternoon.  Surprised. Excited.  Thrilled.

The time, slightly inconvenient.  I juggled things.  Hoped I could make it.

I wound up making the call with seconds to spare and sat in a parking lot scribbling notes on whatever I could find…which was this.

Yes I read Men’s Health magazine…but I digress.

Mr. Howard gets on the call…and let me see what I can read from my chicken scratch and what I can remember.  Nothing here is a direct quote, consider all paraphrasing.

He made some opening statements about bloggers being truly the voice of the fans, an important part of the community. I also wrote down “appreciate the passion” (If I recall, he appreciates the passion of the bloggers) and said that there was more interest in the blogosphere about the Mets than the Yankees.

- the phones lit up when the release went out

- still formulating partial plan information. That info will be finalized in the next week or so.  (I believe this was a new piece of information, I hadn’t seen/heard anything about the plans – but I may have missed it.)

Fellow bloggers forgive me for not identifying who asked what….from memory Caryn from Metsgrrl went first (her version of this story is here, her recap is much better and more thorough than mine).

Next a nice fellow from Amazin’ Avenue went.  Around then I seem to have scribbled “MLB has no say in pricing – club decision” which was in response to if MLB had an influence in the ticket pricing.

Dave was asked why the cheapest seats went from $11 to $12.   I scribbled “those were selling above face for most of the year.” (quoting my scribble not Dave) and Mr. Howard also said that although Promenade Reserve is +5% that plan holders getting the 10% discount will see their invoices be less.

Let’s pause on that.  That’s what has been confusing me since the ticket leak (oh, I found out the story on that and will be sharing that story this week).   When I looked at the tickets I am actually familiar with they seemed to be “more.” Yet Dan and everyone else who sent in things was showing decreases.  Now I get it.   It’s more on a game by game, less if you buy a 15.  Got it.

The next thing I scribbled was “more days at value level.”     That’s how it winds up being less even if a Yankee game upstairs is like $45.  OK, now I understand that too.

Now it’s my turn.

Ready?

I thank him for taking the time out of his day to do this and identify myself.   He jumps in and says he reads Mets Police.

Yeah.

And…….wait for it……….

We will catch a game together!

Long time readers know that I from time to time “invite” Mr. Howard to catch a game with me.  As fans.  No agenda.  No freebies.  I just want to sit in the “uppers” with the guy and hang.  I wouldn’t even tell you guys that it’s going to happen when it does so that we can do it as real anonymous fans.  (Yes I will share afterwards).

So that’s kinda neat!  We’ll fantasize about that as the winter goes by….back to tickets.

I say “I’m buying” and ask about the weekend plans.  There are 13 weekends, you are selling 15 game plans.  Can we expect 10/5 or 13/2 or what.   Caryn from Metsgrrl took better notes:

Shannon from Mets Police (who Dave Howard openly admitted to reading!) asked about the weekend plan disparity we all know and hate. Howard responded, “It’s really the function of going to a smaller building, [at Shea] you could whack it up so you’re doing 13 game plans, Sunday only, because you had so much more inventory to work with. It’s a balance, and we’re doing our best to strike it, and we haven’t yet finalized the plans, but I think we’ll have that shortly. We hear what you’re saying and we’re trying your best to balance this and make plans available for people that they will and enjoy.”

I started to run out of room on my magazine inserts (again had I known when I left the house that Dave Howard was gonna taklk to bloggers I might have brought a piece of paper.  I was lucky I had a pen.)

Greg from Faith & Fear asked if Promenade Plannies would be able to enter the Promenade Club.  They are looking at it.

Now I’m really out of cardspace and didn’t write down who asked what…the next question is about Saturday and Sunday often costing more than the Friday game.

Paraphrasing Dave….the process of ranking games are about peak demand.  Peak and Off-peak.  Summer is peak.  Weekends are peak.  Saturday and Sunday are more peak than Friday. The opponent factors in too.

All that makes sense to me.

Then, my favorite part (well except for the whole reading Mets Police and going to a game thing) was when Dave told us about the first Mets game he attended.  September 1965, midweek against the Pirates.  School was in session.  He was in kindergarten and fell in love with the team.  He met Ron Hunt, Cleon Jones, Buddy Harrelson and a fourth lesser known player whose name I missed.   He thought the game was in 64 but he spoke to Buddy about it and Buddy said he didn’t come up until September 65.  He still has pictures of it!

He thinks the Mets lost and there were about 3,000 people in the park.  That looks like 9/29/65 to me! I’l wait until Faith & Fear writes 10 pages about the game.  Greg probably randomly wrote about that very game like 5 years ago anyway.  He’s amazing.

There ya have it!

I found, as always, all the blognoscenti to be cool.  Nobody talked over each other.  Everyone was patient.  We all get along.  Everyone was professional….like I didn’t get on and was like “Yo so WTF with the hybrid caps?”   We’re actually a pretty responsible bunch.

Dave said we’d do it again…I look forward to it…and I will daydream about grabbing a beer and a dog sometime in ’11.  What should I wear?

…..

Here’s the important links from the latest news cycle.  I am including them here so they don’t get knocked off.

Official 2011 Ticket Prices and the official announcement

2011 Schedule with the color code that tells you which game is which tier

The season ticket holder benefits. You may not have seen this in mainstream because it’s long.  Good read.

Ceetar’s notes from Dave Howard on WFAN

and let’s not forget the weird Adam Rubin/Wally Backman thing.

…..

That’s a wrap from tonight (Wednesday).  I’m exhausted but I’m going to work on some more posts.

I posted a LOT of stuff today and things will get lost.   However we will get to what happened behind the scenes with the leak and my take on the ticket prices in the next cycle of surises and sunsets.

It has been a good week for Mets Police credibility.  As always I leave it to you to decide if you believe what you read here…but the next time I say “they read MP in Flushing” I ain’t kidding.

Thanks for reading everyone!

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22 comments
Tom
Tom

Shannon, Awesome job and congrats on the recognition! I wrote about your post over at http://www.metsondeck.com/calling-mets-police/115 I've officially added an exclamation mark to your blog title! This is pretty promising and I hope the Mets will continue to try and be more fan-friendly. Thanks Tom

Ted Montuori
Ted Montuori

The Mets Police sent me on a wild goose chase when they listed the National Anthem, for games 1 and 2 of the 1986 World Series, were sang by Billy Joel and Paul Simon. Paul Simon sang the National Anthem for the 6th game, at Shea, of the World Series.

Slim
Slim

You have a pole up about favoite mascot, you forgot to add on the Met Maniac! He was the large Orange bird with a Mets jersy on, that said Maniac on the back with a question mark for the number. he was in the stands in the late 70's. He was my favorite!!! and the kids loves him.

Geoff Gordon
Geoff Gordon

Thanks for posting this. I especially took interest in the part about the club access. I have had 4 full season seats in Prom 513 for 2 years now and I find it really aggravating that people in the Pepsi area have access to the club, while sitting on top of it, I have nothing. They pay for 1 game and get to use the club, when I pay for a whole season and have zero access. Dave Howard said they can’t give more people access due to over-crowding. The concept of using "coupons" or "vouchers" for when it’s cold or rainy is silly, because wouldn't it be most crowded then anyways? And if that is the case, why not let us in when we want to? I have been in there when it’s nice out and the place is EMPTY! It should be a privilege for Promenade season ticket holders, not for people sitting on the other side of the park, not in the Promenade! Maybe not the whole Promenade, but at least the sections sitting right on top of it! Thanks for letting me air my 2 cents. Would love to hear people’s thoughts if you wanna hit me up.

Jerry Z
Jerry Z

Shannon, Thanks for the update. Started reading your blog in March, I believe, and have slowly started reading the other Mets blogs, Metsgrrl, Faith and Fear in Flushing (really good writing), CERRONE's MetsBlog etc, all of which I enjoy immensely. I'm also glad to hear that Dave Howard (or people in his staff) from time to time read some of the blogs, it's actually encouraging as a fan to find this out.

Mack
Mack

Way to go. I'm extremely jelious. Mack

Chris F
Chris F

Yea whatever happened to the SRO's they were talking about ? And with the tons of emptys from the foul pole over last year I'm surprised they didnt invent a PR Outfield price. Could've made GA seating for 10 bucks a game on weeknights or something. Still would mean people in the park buying food,beer,souvenirs.

Eric
Eric

I should say, overall I'm happy about the new pricing and I think it will lead me to buy a plan for the first time in years. I can also see myself splurging on nicer seats for a game or two. I'm just all for having at least some VERY cheap tickets for every game, even if it's limited quantities or standing room or obstructed view or whatnot.

Eric
Eric

Ceeter, you're right if you're talking a Value game. But realistically, how many families can make it to a weekday night game? The more realistic weekend games in the summer have gone up more than a buck it seems. It may not be a huge deal, but I just think back to how important being able to afford to go to those weekend day games with my friends was to me becoming a lifelong Met fan. We saved our allowance and we saved our after school job money to go to games on every home stand. I'm not sure if kids now could afford to do that. Perhaps my thinking is antiquated, but it seems getting young kids used to going to games frequently is the best way to get them to buy more expensive tickets and plans as adults.

Chris F
Chris F

Dave Howard gets into it during the game more then you would think. I sat near him the night in August that Castillo had the walk off hit. He was there with his kids I think . I kept yelling at him " Francessa Sucks !!".. He was laughing and after the big hit and he was walking out we were giving him high fives. Definitely a good guy.

Eric
Eric

That said, I'm looking forward to seeing what incentives the Mets offer for 15 game plans holders. If the incentives are even 1/2 as cool as the ones they're offering season plan holders, I can see myself picking up a package in 2011. I really hope they open up Promenade Reserved Infield to plans this season. Shannon, congrats on the site... it's great to see you getting such recognition for it.

Eric
Eric

I'm glad to see discounts, but to raise prices on the cheapest seats while lowering the prices on basically all the others is in my opinion not family friendly, or a good way to make new, young fans. Seems to me that you make your new fans in the upper deck and as they get older and get more money, they might move down and spend more.

Eli from Brooklyn
Eli from Brooklyn

Mazel tov on the occasion, Shannon! What was more enjoyable... this? being in the New York Times? or your Bar Mitzvah? Take your time, as you don't have to answer on the spot. PS: If there was one perk that I, personally, would want... is to be inside Mr. Mets costume for a game (and I get to pimp out the t-shirt launcher and do my own Shannon'igans). I'll mention it to Sommers next time I'm on. PSS: Get it? SHANNON'igans? Ah.

Maggie
Maggie

Such excitement this week! World Series what, who? Stale, old news. Big news is that Dave Howard reads here, and will be hangin' at a game with Shannon.

john
john

Nobody talked parking ill bet it goes to $21 to make up for ticket discounts

Paul
Paul

Congratulations on the recognition! I hope that you have an interesting time watching that game with David Howard.

Shannon Shark
Shannon Shark

Hi Ted - drop me a note at shannon@metspolice.com so I can better understand what I goofed up and what the correct info is and sorry for any loss of time.

Shannon Shark
Shannon Shark

Slim you are so right. When I was doing the poll I thought of the Maniac (he used to rub his hands together) and I think when I mentioned the Magician (they were around the same time) he popped out of my brain.

Shannon Shark
Shannon Shark

Thanks Eric. I'm sure Mr. Howard reads most of the blogs or has a "Dave Howard" google tracker or something -but yes the shoutout was nice. More importantly, heading forward the next time I go on a crazy crusade we can all know that he's reading. As Bob Grant used to say (I think ) - your influence counts...use it!

Ceetar
Ceetar

$1 is not really much, and considering there are 3x as many games with tickets that cheap..

Shannon Shark
Shannon Shark

Eli that's a tough call. Being mentioned in the Times was pretty cool...made me feel 'real' - but I guess hearing from DH himself that he reads the site lets me know that this whole concept works. We Mets fans get to know we're being heard, and I hope is encourages you all to be more vocal and more passionate! At the end we all want the same thing, Dave included, and maybe out of the masses some good ideas we'll be verbalized and implemented.

Ceetar
Ceetar

I wouldn't be surprised if he's got a google alert on Dave Howard

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