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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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80 Other Opportunities

These days SNY’s broadcasts are a showcase for not only horrific baseball but also acres and acres of unoccupied green seats. The Mets are touting increasingly desperate ticket plans — you can get into Citi Field for a steep discount by bringing a child, a Pepsi can, enthusiasm for R.A. Dickey or, quite possibly, a white flag. None of this matters, because StubHub is cheaper if you actually want to go.
—Jason Fry, “Death Spiral,” September 13, 2012

The innovative $63 Promenade ticket the Mets proudly introduced for Opening Day — when the traditional time-honored raising of the NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST FOURTH PLACE FINISHERS banner is sure to unleash a surge of Mets Pride that will resonate from the $63 seats atop Section 501 clear around to the $63 seats in the last row of Section 538 — makes perfect sense to the visionary organization that launched it into the marketplace Monday. Why, who couldn’t read a clear and cogent explanation like this…

“We made a limited number available that are not in packs. So if people want a cheaper price for Opening Day, they can buy it as part of a package. Obviously, there are other games in that mix as well. But some people may think that’s a better value. That’s why that’s an option.”

…and not be impressed by the cutting-edge salesmanship and marketing that went into the decision? And who among the Mets-consuming populace wouldn’t be motivated to act immediately on such a decent proposal? You can either purchase distant seating to this one game for an unusually large amount of money, or you can wait a bit and purchase the same seating for perhaps less money but you’ll also need some more money to buy tickets for other games you didn’t realize you wanted to go to.

Plus service charges.

So even though the Mets are visionaries with the pricing and the packaging and the explaining, and you can’t blame a Mets fan for thinking about laying out $63 per pop (plus service charges) to attend Opening Day 2013 — or perhaps snapping up sets of tickets, one of which is for this annually attractive affair while the others are not, it’s a shame the Mets won’t eventually sell you a far less expensive, more available ticket for some other game during which the Mets will also play baseball and pursue fourth place.

Oh, but they will. According to a reliable source, multiple transactional opportunities (or “Mets games”) will exist in 2013 after Opening Day. They won’t be Opening Day, but they can be if you make it so. Here’s what ya do: don’t go to Opening Day; pick one of the 80 home games that isn’t Opening Day; and make it your Opening Day. Sit in the Promenade for less than $63. Squint until you’re pretty sure you see festive bunting. Or just wait for a Mets runner to reach first when the home team trails late and you’re sure to see plenty of bunting. Experience as much Mets Pride as you like.

It might not be April 1, but given the savings and self-respect, you’ll feel a bit less the fool.

12 comments to 80 Other Opportunities

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    I understand a certain amount of seats being held for potential season and partial season ticket holders but why should those who want to attend opening day be forced to buy tickets for other games as well?

    The limited amount of individual and higher priced opening day tickets wasn’t made to “entice” fans to buy packs, it was made to FORCE fans to buy packs. Make most all tickets available individually and entice some with a discount who are possibly interested in purchasing packs. When they are sold out (if they are sold out) then they are sold out.

    That is the fair and honest way to conduct business – not trying to squeeze the fans for all they can get out of them.

    This opening day price gauging is another example of a complete lack of ethics in business. For some of us, that is quite important. There are various ways to conduct business. Good will, even though obviously not for altruistic purposes, goes a long way to making a nice profit by making the fans want to come back.

    All the Wilpons have accomplished is making the fans not want to come back for even when we were tied for the wildcard and in love with what we were seeing, one cannot forget all those empty seats. It still hasn’t come through to the Wilpons that their attempts to soak the fan base since Citi Field opened in 2009 is turning fans away and not the team on the field. Fans are intelligent enough to recognize they are being taken unfair advantage of.

    Designing a ball park that caters to the elite and treats the rest as second class citizens (your own brilliant analogy years back) sealed that fate. Who wouldn’t resent restricted entrances, escalators that don’t go up to the top, cutting off a third of left field for those on top so the patrons of an exclusive and expensive restaurant below are angled closer to the field and even the lack of public facilities for those on the uppermost level?

    Having a general manager as the pubic spokesman who speaks in terms of double-talk doesn’t help either. He is complicit in creating the smoke screen of “rebuilding” to cover up the fact that he is not a baseball person or was the architect of those great Oakland clubs (despite the public persona of him being the grand father of sabermetrics and money ball) but a business person forced upon them by Bud Selig to avoid bankruptcy. Sandy’s concern is for the owners and has cut down the operating budget to bare minimum, re-restructured and downsized the entire operation and represented the owners in re-financing/

    It’s simply not wanting to do business with gonifs (which means thief for those who are not familiar with Yiddish).
    The Wilpons have shown themselves to be thieves and it’s a shame because as long as Fred and Jeff remain owners, both the team and the fans are the ones to suffer. The damage they created by their absence of good will – as further exampled by this opening day debacle – has been too much.

    • Kevin From Flushing

      Well said, the both of you.

    • Duffystaub

      Citi Field is such a turn-off in so many ways. We knew it was a “whole new ballgame” when we attended the very first game at Citi between St. John’s and Georgetown. As we entered through one of the “VIP” (that dreaded acronym)entrances we were cheerfully told how that was actually going to be off limits to most fans. We entered the elevator to find an attractive young lady operating the buttons. We’re wondering “Am I at a ballgame or the Opera?” The operator with great joy in her voice stated that “You are lucky, this is a special VIP elevator.” People looked at each in bewilderment. I casually asked her “How do you know I’m not a VIP?” She thought that was humorous and chuckled. I then asked “And that’s funny because . . .” and she got very uncomfortable in a hurry. We couldn’t grasp the concept of a VIP private entrance to a ballpark.

      The whole VIP thingy is absurd. If you spend more money then you are considered a VIP? And do the VIP’s who do so really think they are actual VIP’s? It’s like rich guys donating millions to a college and have a building named after them.

      • Joe D.

        Hi Duffy,

        Glad to know I’m not alone with finding the manner in which the Wilpons designed Citi Field to be insulting. And we thought it was designed as a tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers. How silly. It was a tribute to the all mighty buck and the extreme and indifferent ways one can go and get it.

        Let’s admit it – as much as we love the Mets, there is something about that love and passion that at least for the time being has been lost. Mrs. Payson and the Doubledays recognized the unique bond between the team and it’s fans, that there was something special about going to a Met game and that the team and it’s fans were bonded together because for some wonderful reason the Mets instantly reflected the city and it’s people and remained so despite all the other changes we’ve seen with baseball conducting itself more as a big business than ever before with owners and players alike becoming fabulously rich and more out of touch with the fans.

        Yes somehow, the Mets still seemed to above all that. Yes, it was an illusion on our part but the illusion seeemed real nevertheless. Therefore,the Wilpons have damaged the Mets much worse than M. Donald Grant ever did – and who would have thought that even possible? The Wilpons brought us into the world of reality that being a Met fan always used to make us forget.

  • Omy GOD, just SELL this MF already…

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    Add to the charm of “Opening Day” that is against our dreaded arch rival, the San Diego Padres……Guaranteed not to sell out!….Can you say Stub Hub!

    • Mets opened their last pennant-winning season (after the Japan trip) against the Padres, in 2000. Mets opened their new ballpark against the Padres, in 2009. Mets opened at San Diego in 1997; it was brutal but the Mets went on to improve their record by 17 games over 1996.

      I’m willing to get on the Mets about the $63 Promenade ticket, the abuse of their loyal fans’ goodwill in marking Opening Day so high and the craven ticket-packaging we should all be used to by now — and the lack of any indication that this will be an even slightly better team in 2013 — but that they’re playing the Padres? The Padres are a National League team in good standing, no more, no less so than the Mets or any potential Opening Day opponent.

      Bring on the Padres! Just don’t gouge the fans while doing so.

  • Steve D

    My Opening Day last year was August 11…they were losing 9-0 by the top of the second. It was also my Fan Appreciation Day (usually the last game of the season). I got to see one inning of semi-competive ball in person last year. It is never a bad time to give thanks to the Wilponz for allowing me that one inning.

  • dak442

    Even with the prospect (certainty) of sucking, I have always looked forward to attending Opening Day, the best day of the year. It’s like Christmas morning, with beer. I’ve only missed two of the past 25 (new job in ’96, unavailable in 2009). Looks like I’ll be taking a pass again this year unless the price gouging doesn’t pan out and they relent, offering tickets at reasonable prices.

  • Andy B.

    Are they nuts? I always go to Opening Day. I collect those dumb magnet schedules and revel when we finish the game in first place. But not this year.
    I rushed to the web site to buy my cheap seat, as usual, AND THE CHEAP SEAT WAS $63 !!!
    Who am I, some idiot Yankee fan? So for the first time on many years, I won’t be going to Opening Day at New Shea to see my beloved Mets start their quest for the pennant.
    I am totally blown away by the callous disregard of the loyal Mets fan by the evil, or just plain stupid, Wilpons. Just how much extra revenue will they get from this asinine idea? The small amount of increased revenue for this one day can’t compensate for how they are chipping away at my die-hard loyalty to my team.
    Last year was the first time in five years that I didn’t buy ANY pack of tickets. I’ll probably attend even fewer games this season. Get me Michael Bourne and Swisher, keep Dickey, and then maybe you’ll get some more of my hard-earned money. But you’ll never get $63 from me for the cheap seat.

  • Been a fan since 1969. Had a 25-game plan in 1999, before kids. They’re pushing their luck. The idea that the Wilpons might own this franchise the rest of my life is enough to seriously consider rooting for someone else. Impossible? Ya gotta believe….that the Wilpons find new definitions of rock bottom for their fan base.

  • […] you’re kicking the can down the road for yet another season. How are you asking people to pay $63 for a Promenade ticket for Opening Day…” “I just want to interject, Angel, that that’s not our department.” “Nevertheless, […]