The Mets are fun to watch. They’ve had some bad games, but they’ve had some great ones. They are a young team. They have heart. Their manager is fiery and gets the best out of his players. Their veterans are All-Stars and leaders. Dickey shocks the world. Santana changes HI57ORY. Wright breaks Mets records. The team is 3.5 games out of first place and half a game out of the wild-card.
The bottom line is that the Mets are a solid team and are fun to watch.
But that’s not all… It’s fun to go to Citi Field. The baseball being played there is obviously exciting. Ticket prices are high, but less than previous years, and you can find cheap tickets to any game. The stadium is more fan friendly than previously. Also, the walls are now blue; the fences are now moved in, and the food is still getting better with the addition of Two Boots Pizza. The staff members are generally friendly and helpful too.
Citi Field is a fun place to be.
Reduced ticket prices + a fun team + more wins + a good stadium = more attendance, right?
It doesn’t look like it.
According to ESPN’s Attendance Standings, the Mets average 29,300 fans per game, good for 16th in Major League Baseball. Last season the Mets averaged 30,108 fans per game. This year’s attendance is down 2.7% from last year, or 9.6% down from 2010, or 24.8% down from 2009. That’s not good. At the same time, the Phillies, who right now are 36-45 in in last place, have the highest attendance in Major League Baseball.
Some fans probably think that Mets are better this season than last season. Well, from a baseball standpoint, they are doing better, and from a financial standpoint, with all the Madoff crap settled, they technically should be doing better. So, yes, they’re doing better if you look at it that way.
But, somehow, they’re not doing better from an attendance standpoint. In fact, with ticket prices lowered and attendance down, they must be grossing less money from ticket sales than last season. Baseball teams, believe it or not, don’t make the majority of their money from getting people in seats, or concessions, or jersey sales. The majority of their money comes from TV deals.
The Mets own their own TV network, so things get a bit complicated here… The Mets own 65% of SNY, Time Warner Cable owns 27%, and NBC Universal owns 8%. Basically, instead of a local cable company paying the Mets to air their games and the company making money from advertisements during games, the Mets get the ad money directly because they own SNY.
I’m kind of rambling on about a lot of stuff now, but I’m going to continue. If what I’m saying is confusing just comment and let me know…
The Mets’ overall payroll is down from last season. So, even with decreased attendance, I believe the Mets are making more money this year than last year. Also, better ratings for SNY from more viewers at home mean better ads, which means more money for Los Mets. …And, you know those ESPN games? Yup… The Mets make money off of those games also.
It’s the 50th anniversary. There are new uniforms. There are young players. Everyone wants to get an R.A. Dickey jersey or shirt or something that has to do with Mr. Dickey. A pitcher recovering from surgery threw the teams first no-hitter. The team has two all stars. Their exposure in the local papers has increased. Even The New York Post has treated the team better recently.
Bottom line: The Mets, from a business standpoint, are doing better, but they need to get more people to the stadium. I know Mets fans are a loyal, committed group of passionate people. Are there just not enough of us? The 2008 Mets drew an average of 51,165 fans per game. Shea Stadium was bigger, but not as nice as Citi Field. The attendance is down almost 50% from ’08. What happened to all of the Mets fans from 2008.
And 2008 was when the market crashed… Even in the terrible economy of 2009, the Mets drew almost 39 thousand fans per game, with a team FULL of players on the DL that was straight up not fun to watch.
Don’t blame this year’s attendance drop on the economy. It’s way better now than it was back in ’08.
I don’t know the answer to my next question, but I’m really curious.
Keeping everything in mind that I mentioned in this post (better economy, better park, better team, younger players, exciting team, cheaper tickets, No-Han, Dickey-sanity (?), David Wright, etc…), why aren’t more fans going to games at Citi Field?
I’m not questioning Mets fans. I’m just trying to figure this thing out. I know there are tons of us and I know we are passionate. So how come so many of us aren’t going to any games?
You can find tickets for $10 for any game of the year. Go to some games. I promise you that the team on the field is exciting and the stadium is one of the best in the country.
Let’s Go Mets!