SBD/Issue 39/Franchises

Mets Lowering Ticket Prices By Average Of 14% For Next Season

The Mets' Price Cuts Impact 62% Of Seats At
Citi Field, Including The Highest-Priced Tickets

The Mets yesterday released a sweeping set of ticket price reductions for the '11 season, with the average cut standing at 14%. The price breaks, widely expected after a second consecutive losing season at Citi Field, are in place for 62% of seats at the ballpark, and season-ticket holders will receive an additional 10% price break. "What we're doing is the result of a lot of feedback from our fans, our customers, and a thorough analysis of the marketplace," said Mets Exec VP/Business Operations Dave Howard, citing that fan response, team performance, the economy and secondary ticket market as key factors in the new pricing structure. Howard: "We feel like this is going to be a very positive step forward, particularly with regard to rewarding our most loyal fans. We felt like we had to be very aggressive, and in some cases, we're being very aggressive; reductions are in excess of 40% in some sections. We think this will make our tickets more affordable, and affordability is a big concern of ours." Following the reductions, nearly 2 million tickets, amounting to 61% of total ballpark capacity, will cost $50 or less, up from 54% in '10. In addition, the Mets have created a new rewards program, dubbed "Amazin' Mets Perks," in which season-ticket holders will be eligible to win a wide variety of experiential awards, including taking batting practice at Citi Field. The Mets, after setting club records for ticket revenue and percentage of available tickets sold in both '08 at Shea Stadium and again in '09 at Citi Field, posted MLB's second-largest percentage drop in attendance this season with a 19.2% decline to 2.56 million. The club is additionally studying dynamic ticket pricing, much like many other teams, and may introduce some component of that next year, Howard said. If that does happen, prices will not be allowed to float below season-ticket holder levels, similar to policies used by the MLB Giants and other early adopters of dynamic pricing (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

CUTS ALL AROUND: In N.Y., Ken Belson noted "more than half of all tickets will be cut by more" than 10%, and 18% will be reduced by at least 20%. A few ticket prices "will be increased by about 5 percent, mostly in the upper deck, where prices are the least expensive." The highest-priced tickets -- the Delta Club Platinum seats behind home plate -- are now $440, down 26% since Citi Field opened in '09. The cheapest ticket "remains in left field on the third deck and will cost $12, a dollar more than last year." Suite holders also will see their ticket prices reduced, "but the rental fee for the suite is based on a long-term contract and will not change until the contract expires" (NYTIMES.com, 11/3). Mets fans "buying tickets in the middle price ranges seem to benefit the most from the new prices." A Field Box Silver ticket for Opening Day or one of three home games against the Yankees will sell for $126, down 38% from last season (N.Y. POST, 11/4). On Long Island, David Lennon notes the "tier-pricing plans were revised, trimming the categories for specific-interest games from five to four." Also, the names "have been changed from Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze to Marquee, Premium, Classic and Value." Howard said that the revision was a "result of confusion with the ticket classifications and certain seating areas of Citi Field." The Opening Day and three Yankees games are the "only four Marquee games on the schedule" (NEWSDAY, 11/4).

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