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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Baseball Fields and (Empty) Corporate Boxes

I am a HUGE Mets fan and I was fortunate enough to spend WAY too much money scalping tickets to last night's home opener (which happened to be the first ever regular season game at the new Citi Field). My initial thoughts of the stadium; absolutely beautiful, but it oddly doesn't feel like it was built for the Mets. The all green seats / green wall when the Mets colors are Blue and Orange, plus the new dimensions that actually cost the Mets the game because Ryan Church (the Mets rightfielder) isn't used to the new dimensions of the outfield, all felt slightly off...

Anyhow, the place was PACKED... with one odd exception. As most new ballparks have ridiculously new pricing for the best seats, these best seats now ALL go to... corporations. Yes, I understand this has been a growing trend in recent years, but the pricing discrepancy has moved to a new level with these new stadiums. The result per Ticketnews:

Overall, the Mets raised ticket prices 8.6 percent – against the tide of what many MLB teams have done. According to the just-released April 2009 Major League Baseball Team Marketing Research (TMR), 16 MLB teams either cut, maintained or raised ticket prices by less than 1 percent for 2009. Four others raised ticket prices by less than the MLB average of 5 percent. The Mets average ticket price is $36.99, $10.35 above the MLB average.
This would all be fine if all those clients actually enjoyed baseball and were fans, but lets take these two pictures as proof that they are not. These were both taken in the 7th inning of a 1 run game.

First the upper / nose-bleed seats in right field... packed!

Now the best seats in the house, those right behind the plate...

Unless these fans were dressed like empty seats, they had already taken off. Is it worth it for a non-baseball fan to go out of there way for a ball-game? I have a feeling no, thus we'll see a lot of empty seats going forward...