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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.