How do you think Mets Opening Day ticket sales are going?

This is one of those posts where I will just share some random things and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Let’s begin with this article in Newsday.  (Cap-tip to @dickyoungsghost for showing me this).   Dave Howard is quoted…

Howard said he is “confident” the opener will be a sellout.

“Ticket sales have been strong,” he said. “I think overall, both teams will do well. We both have significant fan bases and this is going to be a big game for us, as it will be for them. We’re still confident that we’ll be sold out.”

Ticket sales have been strong.  Dave is confident that the Mets will be sold out.

So I decided to see if I could take 11 friends with me to Opening Day.  I asked Mets.com for 12 tickets.  My 11 friends and I all like to sit together.  Since I am cheap I asked for the lowest price ticket, this being $63 since the $39 tickets seem to no longer be available and $63 is a perfectly reasonable price to sit in the wings of the upper deck.

mets tickets Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 6.44.28 PM

Well hey would you look at that. 12 together! In 507!

Well, maybe we should sit more behind home plate. Let’s splurge and sit in Promenade Infield..

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 6.49.14 PM

Not too shabby…the 12 of us can sit together in 510!  Maybe we should move down to the 400s!

 

mets tickets Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 6.52.21 PM

By the way I really appreciate that after spending $2800 including a $234 convenience fee and a $6 order fee that there is still a delivery fee (see pesky print at bottom).

Maybe we should really splurge…the 12 of us are going to sit downstairs!  The Metropolitan Box!

mets tickets Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 6.54.21 PM

Absolutely fascinating.

I’m not sure what we have learned.  It’s possible the Mets are just 48 seats short of an Opening Day sellout.  They have access to the sales figures and I don’t.  Plus Dave says ticket sales have been strong and he is confident of a sellout.

I reached out to Howard Megdal about this, and he was well ahead of me.  He had already published

So while single-game tickets for Opening Day for the Philadelphia Phillies are already sold out, despite an 81-win season, and while the Pittsburgh Pirates, fresh off of two decades of losing seasons, have already sold out Opening Day, the New York Mets have blocks of at least 12 tickets available together in every section on Opening Day but two.

photoI have no reason to question Howard’s finding.   I’m just some dumb blogger who is eating an ice cream cone while typing.  What do I know?

But you guys are smart.  So I ask you – how do you think Opening Day ticket sales are going?

…..

On a related note, Albert was kind enough to do some research.  I didn’t check his work, I’m a guy with an ice cream cone, but assuming he isn’t some sort of maniacal liar out to punk Mets Police, he made a spreadsheet.

Albert included in his spreadsheet the $39 tickets the Mets sold.  I don’t know how many the Mets sold but they apparently sold out of $39′s.  Dave did say sales are strong.

Looking at the spreadsheet, I suppose the Cardinals Police are losing their bleeping minds, but that’s their problem.

Does $20 really get me inside in Philly?  $22 in the Bronx?  $17.25 Canadian to see R.A. Dickey and Jose Reyes?  How could this be when other teams are charging numbers like $39 or $63?

some opening day ticket prices

 

I make no conclusions here.   I just ask you, do you think Mets Opening Day tickets are selling well, and if not, what do you think are the reasons?

 

 

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17 comments
mariobro
mariobro

Opening Day Blues, Why the Mets are Not Sold Out! As the Mets and Yankees approach opening day, we find the Yankees sold out and the Mets sitting with a large number of unsold tickets. Is it because they are both playing on the same day and time for the first time in history? Or is it that the Mets are much more inferior to their cross town rivals? I don’t think so. The Mets have consistently sold out opening day, even with some of the worst teams ever. It has more to do with the bottom line. The Mets have made baseball unaffordable to the little guy and family man. I just received an email that in the past would have been unthinkable; the Mets announced I can purchase opening day tickets, with one week to go – what is the cost of showing support for my favorite team in a year where all are saying they are going nowhere? $116 for a pair of tickets in the upper deck outfield! The Mets, in their efforts to squeeze every penny out of their fan base, have made a big mistake here. Just because a small number of people pay high prices to go to opening day on the secondary market is no reason for the Mets to price their tickets at secondary market rates to start. $58 to sit in the upper deck outfield is ludicrous! Tickets at $ 20 would have ensured a sellout. Yes, some people would have paid $50 or more for the cheap seats on the secondary market but the majority of fans cannot afford to be secondary market shoppers. So on the day that traditionally brings hope to hometown fans they find themselves sitting with a large inventory of empty seats. This is not only an opening day problem; the cheapest seat on weekends in the summer is over $40! We are talking upper deck of a 40,000 plus capacity stadium. Sad to say but their competition on the other side of town consistently puts out a better product and prices their cheapest tickets in line with what a working family could afford. Even the subway series which the Mets charge $ 45 to $75 for outfield reserve cannot compare to what I got when I went to ticket master and paid $27 (fees included) for decent upper reserve outfield seating on the 3rd base line for the Mets at the Yankees. As a Met season ticket holder for over 20 years I find it appalling that they can hold their loyal fans hostage with these prices. I teach middle school and every year I poll my students, who are Met fans and who are Yankee fans. The hands for Met fans go down more and more each year and at this rate I can’t say that I blame them. I only hope that as I sit at Yankee Stadium watching my beloved Mets with my son this year, he will remember which team we came to root for.

EnglishMetsFan
EnglishMetsFan

This is an excellent and accurate piece of journalism. The Howard Medgal piece is amazing and highly disturbing. There are a number of additions I think it needs. The first is what Lost Mess have done to their more loyal fans. A comparison to pre-Citi Field pricing. You could buy a 6 pack with Opening Day and Yankees for under $100 at Shea. Then they split those games up (Strike 1). Then they increased the prices significantly when they moved to Citi Field (Strike 2), and by significantly I mean apprxoimately 100% for the cheapest seats. Finally (Strike 3), they increase Opening Day prices, screwing the loyalist fans, by 500% compared to the same game 2 nights later. Last year I grabbed a $75 face dollar Opening Day seat from outside for $30. Even the Phillies have started down the Mets' wrong path. I have bought a 6 pack of Phillies tickets (4 or 5 Mets games), each year for the past 4 seasons. This season they took out the Summer time Mets series, leaving me with the option of early April or late September. No thanks. Finally, the secondary market. Stubhub currently has over 3,000 tickets available for Opening Day. They are attempting, once again, to hold prices. Ther cheapest seats available are $59, only $3 lower than a week ago, when there were...3,000+ tickets available. Nobody is buying, yet prices remain high, with the option for 'fans' to buy at face value from Lost Mess. This seems highly suspicious, and something I am keeping a track of. We will see if seats fall below cost before Opening Day. If not, perhaps the conclusion can be reached that Lost Mess are offering their own tickets through Stubhub? The acid test will be next season, when there is no money for season ticket holders to make on an All-Star game. That is when, if Lost Mess have any sense, they will try and engage their forgotten fan base by reducing prices to levels more benefiting of a team based in Queens (very similar to south Philadelphia), instead of trying to woo corporations. I doubt it as the wage/price inflationary spiral in MLB (and all sports) is, and will be for the immediate future a killer for families wanting to watch sports. At this point, I have taken to boycotting anything to with giving Lost Mess my hard-earned money. No tickets, no TV, no mechandise and little love. Roll on 2014, when maybe Lost Mess change.

Willie
Willie

I think they are pricing individual tickets so high because they are trying to encourage fans to buy the multi game ticket plans. If you buy it, opening day is cheaper. I honestly don't know the motive for charging so much for such a crappy team. I love this team but I'm not willing to pay such high prices to watch them. I would rather stay home and watch SNY.

neal
neal

I am a Phillies fan who just happened to find this site though Deadspin.com One cannot use opening day as a barometer for overall sales for the rest of the season. Opening day, for the most part is, and always has been special. If the game is sold out, tickets will almost always command a premium on the secondary market. Now, lets look at games during the regular season. Stubhub has essentially killed the reason to own season tickets for baseball. Almost any game, with the exception of heated rivalry's or milestone games, can be found on stub hub for way less than face. Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Red Sox, etc. I have to disagree with the poster who said that Phillies, Yankess,etc are underpriced and Mets tix are not. Just the fact that the Mets opener is not sold out is proof the tickets, in the mind of the public, are overpriced.

Ceetar
Ceetar

Something to think about: If the Pirates/Phillies/etc are sold out already, weeks before the game, then they're under-priced. Yes, the Mets are greedy and money grabbing..but they're a business. And from where I stand, it seems like they've been doing a better job at understanding fan purchasing. Especially in New York, which is simply a different thing. Yankees tickets for example, are more than 3x face on StubHub while Mets tickets are basically face (At least at the lower values). That means the fans waiting to buy (common these days) can buy directly from the Mets, but have to go with secondary markets elsewhere. Same thing last year, and the Mets sold out. It sucks, but the Mets are charging as what we're willing to pay. But from a consumer stand point, I'd much rather deal with the Mets than StubHub. The Mets see value in that too and try to cut out the middle man while the Yankees (And others) blame the middle man for the problem.

5w30
5w30

Brian Erni: Love to see that sentiment on MetsBlog. With comments.

Brian Erni (@brianerni)
Brian Erni (@brianerni)

this issue has been chaffing me all winter. albert did a great job with the chart, because it shows how out-of-freakin'-whack the thinking is here. $63 for the prom is ridiculous. it'd be ridiculous if the mets won 97 games last season, but at least then you could justify it by calling them a hot ticket, etc. not just that, it speaks to a large point about the pricing levels. they've always annoyed me. it just wreaks of arrogance. "well, the yankees are here, so if you wanna see them, you have no choice but to give us more money." silly. but at least when opening day was a "marquee" or "gold" or whatever back in the oh-so distant past of the 2000s, it was at least affordable. if i want to sit in baseline box, i have to pay $160. really? i could go on and on and on and on about this, but let's just call a spade a spade: mets marketing is doing a really bad job wrapping their mind around the idea that they should be the "blue collar, let's have some fun, grab your kids and come to see ballgame with a park that feels like home with great sight lines, and we don't want you to break the bank" team. the anti-yankees. "come see our young pitching and get in on the ground floor of something special," is what they should be conveying. not, "well..we know you probably won't come in may against the pirates, so we might as well get as much money out of you on opening day."

FL Met Fan Rich
FL Met Fan Rich

Ask yourself Do I really want to watch this team? I went to the game against the Nats yesterday, only because tickets were free. This team is awful! They kicked the ball around more than a soccer team. The crowds in PSL have been sparse. So take it for what it is worth. Nobody down in FL wants to see this low grade minor league team in sunny 70 degree weather! Oh by the way the tickets are only $8 and nobody still cares! They will not sell out!

5w30
5w30

Shannon NAILS it. Need to see more Dave Howard weaseling.

Albert
Albert

What happened to dynamic pricing? If the demand isn't there, isn't the price supposed to come down? Or is this another Mets trick to price-gouge their hard working fans? Dynamic pricing only works in their favor so they can INCREASE tix prices when they have a good match-up, it doesn't work in the other direction to help lower prices to drive up demand. Yet another class missed by the Mets Marketing Dept...

Albert
Albert

Also observed, the closest $12 ticket for Game 2 was in Sec532. Therefore, it seems that Game 2 is outselling Opening Day. Maybe that arbitrary $63 price point was too high...

Pete McNally
Pete McNally

I'm sure it's only a matter of days before we see the "Buy one ticket get one free" email promotion from the Flushing Flash for Opening Day.

Albert
Albert

Correct. They are fairly priced. What is the difference in price from Game 1 to Game 2 for the Phillies? For the Mets, it is a 525% mark-up. That is NOT a typo... $63 vs $12. Also, my seats on the lower level went from $55 to $130 this year. Thats almost 2.5x more. Its sickening to a fan who likes to make Opening Day a tradition and basically a man-holiday. The Mets just don't get it... I think that is the prevailing theme of the article.

Albert
Albert

Fair. I will grant you that from a business perspective, you make excellent points. My argument is that baseball is not a 1 time purchase like a toaster. You are buying a long term relationship, which should be symbiotic and unlike other things, involves passion. The term fan in itself means fanatic, therefore, if you are pushing away your fans, you are doing a bad job in your business. By Shannon's analysis and my own anticipation, the building is still relatively empty while other teams in worse economic markets are sold out. So I'm guessing, and I think you may agree, the Mets will have to run "deals" in order to sell out, such as BOGO. So what does that do? It makes your diehard fans who bought at full price resent the organization. Other fans like myself will resent you for trying to price gouge them...and yes, I equate 500% markup on the price for Opening Day just as bad as doubling gas prices during a gas shortage, just to maximize your profits on the same exact product. I can see both sides...I'm trying to... Also, the dynamic pricing should not have a floor, do you agree?

Albert
Albert

Let me also add that my $55 Opening Day ticket from last year went to $130 this year...based on what? 4th place? Slashed payroll? A AAA outfield? RA gone? Johan not ready? Enough is enough. This is the 1st Opening Day I will miss in 10 yrs but I won't be taken for a fool any longer (still will tailgate). Sorry Mets, it doesn't make me a bad fan, it makes me better with my money than you have been...

Dustin
Dustin

You can't compare spring training games to the regular season. That's just ridiculous.

Ceetar
Ceetar

I agree, but that floor is at least in part to season ticket holders bitching about the Mets lowering prices in Sept of 2009 below what they paid. I agree that it's not very nice, although I fall short of feeling resentment. But they know that attendance is almost solely reliant on winning, and no matter how they treat us most of the base will return and if they win the place will be packed even if they spit on us on the way in. That doesn't provide much incentive to not price the marquee games like they are. They do some stuff that's fan friendly on other days and other events, even if it's not exactly what some would like, so they probably feel the payoff is worth the grumbling about prices.

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