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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Megdal: The Mets may be in decline but their tickets prices aren’t

Tickets Outta Loserville…

The Mets are coming off a 74-88 season, their sixth straight without a playoff appearance and third straight in which their record was worse than the previous year’s. The team cut more than $50 million from the 2011 payroll for 2012, and announced that they will be keeping payroll static for 2013.

Attendance dropped from 3.16 million in 2009 to 2.56 million in 2010, 2.35 million in 2011 and 2.24 million in 2012. This happened despite steep cuts in ticket prices in each season, along with extensive deals and giveaways just to sell out 2012’s Opening Day and keep the 2012 fan drain to a minimum.

So in 2013, the Mets are trying something different: ticket prices are going up.

The released prices for 2013 season tickets are out, and no seats will be available for less money than in 2012. However, the prices of a significant number of tickets will go up more than seven percent, from the least expensive seat in Citi Field, Promenade Reserved, to a large number of the field level seats.

The Mets declined to provide any 2012 ticket pricing, despite repeated requests. But their prices are still available online, and an apples-to-apples comparison is possible.

Repoz Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:50 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4264541)
"And we'll keep raising prices until you ingrates start buying more tickets."
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4264554)
The Mets declined to provide any 2012 ticket pricing, despite repeated requests. But their prices are still available online, and an apples-to-apples comparison is possible.

Is he implying that the ticket prices for the season that just ended were somehow secret? Or is it that because of all the sections, tiers, and other variables, no one remembers what the prices were.
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4264561)
"I'm going to write an article critical of the Mets, and they have the gall to refuse to cooperate!!!"
   4. HowardMegdal Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4264586)
2. The latter. Didn't have last year's prices committed to memory, wasn't on the site.

3. Thing is, I didn't go in with the intention of writing a negative story. See last comment; didn't know what I'd find, but I certainly thought the price structure was newsworthy, and it was an interesting contrast with the team's huge push to emphasize price cuts the past three seasons. Actually tipped off to the new prices being out on Twitter.
That said, I am surprised they chose to raise prices.
   5. MC Skat Kat kann es eigentlich kaum erwarten Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4264749)
Decline from what?
   6. John Northey Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4265977)
I suspect they saw that fans were not coming out due to pricing thus figured 'might as well soak them'. Ticket sales are far more dependent on team quality and promotions than raw price (within reason) from what I've noticed over the years but if a team ever admitted that they'd be torn apart in the press.
   7. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4265989)
Those fans who renew their 2012 tickets will see no increase in price.

Absent an increase in payroll for new players or decrease in prices to entice bargain shoppers, the Mets appear to be relying on the promise of a chance to buy All-Star Game tickets as a spur to new attendance.

They could be on to something there, although the precedent is mixed, in terms of how significant that something will be.

The Kansas City Royals, who hosted the 2012 All-Star Game, saw attendance rise just 15,409 for the season over 2011, or a difference of 190 per game. The Arizona Diamondbacks not only hosted the 2011 All-Star Game, they did so while the team improved from 65 wins to 94. Their attendance went up just 48,735 from 2010 to 2011, or roughly 600 per game. And the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who hosted the 2010 All-Star Game, saw attendance inch up a total of 10,428 fans all season over 2009, or roughly 129 fans per game.

But what would attendance be without the AS game tie in and did those other teams use the AS game to sell season tickets?
   8. HowardMegdal Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4266277)
7. To the former, we have no idea, it is a hypothetical. But year prior offers a good picture, especially since none of the three teams tanked (and one went on playoff run), of the difference it made year-over-year
As to the latter, of course they did. It isn't that the Mets are unique in this. It is that they may be looking for the ASG to provide ticket demand magic it hasn't, in any recent examples.
   9. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4266367)
KC Attendance from 2005 to 2008 was between 17,00 and just under 20,000. In 2009 for whatever reason it jumped up to 22,00 and then fell back below 20,000 for 2010. In 2011 it was back up to 21,300 and in 2012 they got 21,500. So question is during all that time how stable was the season ticket base. During that whole time is the season ticket base steady at say 14,000 a game? If so then yes you could argue that the ASG was meaningless but if those dips and rises are in large part because of season ticket holders coming and going then the ASG can be used as evidence that it increases sales by more than 200 tickets per game.

We should also realize that 200 tickets per game is quite a lot of money when you factor in 81 home games. That's 16,000 tickets and if we credit those tickets to season tickets we'll get a nice chunk of change.
   10. HowardMegdal Posted: October 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4267853)
Wait, is it a nice chunk of change? I mean, in terms of a team? For instance, Forbes estimated revenue per fan at 23 dollars for the Mets in 2011. So at 16,000 extra fans, that comes to 368,000. They'll pay every player more than that in 2013, most at minimum salary.

If you use Wilpon's estimation to Toobin that 200,000 fans are worth 25 million in revenue to the Mets, 16,000 fans are worth around 2 million. Better, but almost certainly too high.

Not sure why crediting those 16K to season tickets makes it more lucrative. They get it earlier, so there's that. Maybe they have a great place to invest it?
   11. bobm Posted: October 13, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4267865)
Maybe the Wilpons got permission from the judge to pay their Madoff/Picard settlement using Mets tickets at face value.

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