SBD/July 15, 2013/Events and Attractions

Ticket Prices On Secondary Market For MLB All-Star Game See Sharp Decrease

Secondary market ticket prices for tonight's MLB Home Run Derby and tomorrow's All-Star Game have fallen sharply in the last two weeks, and are now comparable to pricing for last year's event in K.C. According to N.Y.-based ticket aggregator TiqIQ, average listing prices for tonight's Home Run Derby at Citi Field are $292.35, down from $360.42 at a similar point prior to last year at Kauffman Stadium, and down by a third from two weeks ago. Average listing price for tomorrow's All-Star Game is $862.77, down 10% from late June, with low-end listings on many sites under $250. A full strip for this year's All-Star Game events early yesterday was $1,139.14, just above a comparable figure of $1,098.24 last year in K.C. (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Ben Cohen reported a seat in Citi Field's Section 136, which is located in left-field gap, "figures to cost around $600" for tonight's Home Run Derby. Ticket search engine SeatGeek "took data of all eight Home Run Derby participants' dingers from ESPN's Home Run Tracker and overlaid their locations and distances on a map of Citi Field." Section 136 turned out to be the "best bet for those seeking a souvenir." The "average sale price in that section is $626 -- or $60 per estimated home run -- with the most expensive ticket so far going for $1,000 and the cheapest for $440." The average "resale price in Section 136 for a Mets game this year is $44.88, below the stadium's average of $58.37" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/13).

CATALYST FOR TICKET SALES: In N.Y., Ken Belson noted to secure tickets to the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, fans had to "commit to a season ticket of some kind in 2013 and pay a deposit of $250." The Mets "declined to say how many fans paid the deposits." While the Mets’ "piggybacking season-ticket sales on Tuesday’s All-Star Game may appear desperate to some, they are only doing what other clubs have done in previous years." The main "financial lift for the host club is to use the All-Star Game to help push ticket sales to every other game on the schedule." Royals Senior VP/Business Operations Kevin Uhlich: "For us, the big plus is you expand your season-ticket base going into that year. While our play on the field didn’t change, our season tickets were up 25 percent because the only way to guarantee All-Star tickets was to buy a ticket plan." Belson noted in general, about "one-third of tickets to the All-Star Game and other events are reserved for Major League Baseball, with the rest available to the host team." This year, a package to "sit in the upper deck at Citi Field, including tickets to the Futures Game, the Home Run Derby, the game and the FanFest at the Javits Convention Center, was $700" (NYTIMES.com, 7/13).

THE CITI THAT NEVER SLEEPS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jared Diamond notes when fans "walk into Citi Field this week, the stadium will look different." There will be "new graphics for the scoreboard ... and even some different advertisements around the park." MLB Senior VP/Special Events Marla Miller "stressed that MLB doesn't cover up any permanent signage, 'but we will enhance and customize All-Star signage, including national sponsors, within areas that are open'" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/15). Meanwhile, the WALL STREET JOURNAL's Brian Costa wrote the All-Star Game will "be at once a reminder of what Citi Field hasn't been and what it still could be: filled with energy, loaded with stars, the center of attention." It will be a "reminder of everything the ballpark offers, from first-rate concessions to a general feeling of coziness that Shea Stadium never had." Costa: "Let's face it: The Mets are pretty desperate to remind you of those things." If you are "looking for a night at Citi Field comparable to the All-Star Game, with all the buzz and hype and attention preceding it, you have go back to Season 1, Game 1." That was the "last time Citi Field commanded the attention of New Yorkers" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/13). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes Citi Field "conjures much of the city’s National League past," and it is "far more welcoming than, say, Yankee Stadium, and only about 99.9 percent more aesthetically pleasing than MetLife Stadium." It is "time for Citi Field to have this moment, to earn this moment, to own this moment." The stadium has been "open for business for 4 1/2 years and as of this moment ... it isn't hard to pinpoint the biggest, brightest moment of its history." That was when P Johan Santana threw the franchise's first no-hitter in June '12 (N.Y. POST, 7/15).

THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT...: Yesterday's MLB Futures Game in N.Y., featuring minor-league all-stars, drew an announced, paid attendance of 39,175, less than a thousand below last year's event-record draw of 40,095 at Kauffman Stadium in K.C. But unlike last year's game that featured a no-show rate of just 17.5%, roughly half of Citi Field seats remained empty, leaving the actual turnstile count far below the announced figure. The Futures Game historically has been by far the weakest draw of MLB All-Star Game events each year, but saw marked growth last year in K.C. and two years ago in Phoenix. The host club Mets had three of their prospects in yesterday's game. The crosstown Yankees were playing the Twins in the Bronx at the same time and drew an announced crowd of 43,131, providing a level of market competition typically not present in All-Star Game markets (Fisher).
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