Field of Schemes
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March 06, 2009

Mets ticket prices go sky-high, too

Amidst all the fuss over New York Yankees ticket prices at their new stadium, the Mets' new stadium has been largely overlooked in recent weeks. But today, Citi Field gets its day in the spotlight with a love letter from the New York Times' Ken Belson and Richard Sandomir, declaring it the "anti-Shea" and raving about its waterless urinals and "intimacy" — a baseball industry buzzword that means not that it's actually physically smaller (it's just as large as Shea Stadium was in height and breadth), but that it holds fewer fans: 42,000 as opposed to 57,000 at Shea.

And what do the Mets gain by lopping off one-quarter of their seating capacity? Seating scarcity, which they hope will enable them to charge much higher prices than at Shea as demand outstrips supply. And oh, are those prices higher — Sporting News blogger "greenjet5" links to the new Mets pricing scheme and has a fit of apoplexy:

Yes, there are 140 different ticket prices! You will have to typically spend $40 to $50 to sit in the best outfield seats, and those are the worst seats in the stadium. Upper deck boxes may run from $60 to $75. There is one positive. I expect upper reserved to be pretty good seats in this stadium. I don't know what kind of maniac fan spends over $100 to see a regular season baseball game. It appears to me that the majority of tickets are over $100. Now I'm not one of those idiots that complain about high ticket prices and then pays for them anyway. I'll look for an upper deck seat to a couple games. It's a baseball game. I can afford to spend $100+, but why? That's not what it's worth. The Mets will have to find out the hard way.

As FoS reader Andrew Ross chimes in: "Which is more expensive: the most expensive season ticket at Citi Field, or buying Citibank itself?"

"Pre-sales" for individual Mets tickets begin next week, so maybe after that we'll see whether fans will swallow these ticket price hikes as they've done at past stadium openings, or whether the economic crash has changes the rules of the game. If the latter, expect to see some meal deals as the season progresses.


"Citi Field will hold about 42,000 fans, 15,000 fewer than Shea. The park is enclosed and many seats wrap around the outfield, so it feels much cozier than Shea?s open-ended bowl, which favored watching football."

Huh? Seats in foul territory=good for baseball. Seats in fair territory=bad for baseball. Shea had 95% in foul ground.

The seats throughout the stadium are angled toward the center of the infield, reducing the need for fans, particularly on the field level, to crane their necks toward home plate.

The seats themselves may be angled, but the sections are not, so the sightlines aren't as good from seats down the lines (looking straight ahead gives you a better view than looking diagonally across a seating section, as you must do in seats down the lines to see the plate, and there are more people to get in the way by standing up as well. This problem is common to all of those in the new breed of stadiums). Shea's seats, however, except for the moveable sections, all faced second base.

Posted by Brian on March 6, 2009 02:38 PM

There is a reason why the Mets and CitiField haven't been making news these past few weeks. It has to do with ticket prices compared with the size of the stadium. Yes there is reduced capacity and higher prices, but the Mets have the right to reduce seating if they want to do so. Besides that, prices are high everywhere in New York. Unless you want to live in the slums of Brooklyn or the Bronx, apartment prices are very high in the area. You will not rent anything in Manhattan for less than $1,000 per month.

Regardless, there haven't been complaints about sight lines and other problems that have been cropping up regarding New Yankee Stadium.

Posted by Jessy S. on March 8, 2009 09:44 PM

I suspect there haven't been as many complaints about sightlines because the Mets haven't put up "view from your seat" computer renderings on their website, like the Yankees have.

Posted by Neil on March 10, 2009 09:15 AM

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