Talk About Paying to Get Screwed

Up until now, I thought that only prostitutes and the airlines made one pay to get screwed. Now, we can add the New York Metropolitan Baseball Team.

The Mets are an abysmal, rudderless team that, despite a recent renaissance, will go nowhere this year. They’re a bad product that consistently whets fans’ appetites with occasional above average and sometimes even stellar play, only to fall apart when the chips are down. Take last season, please. And take Tuesday night’s debacle against the Phils, please.

So, what does a consistently disappointing team do? Double the cost of ticket prices naturally.

Raising Mets season-ticket holder prices is wrong for every conceivable reason. In addition to further alienating a fan base that is ready to choke the next player who chokes in a critical spot, the Mets have made attending one of their games prohibitively expensive (it’s always been emotionally expensive. Now, it’s just a plain rip-off).

One can count on death, taxes and the Mets blowing a lead. Here’s hoping the Mets organization can count on a lot fewer paying fans next season. 
If ever a team decision deserved a fan boycott, it’s this one.

Thanks to Greg Schmalz for the idea.

7 thoughts on “Talk About Paying to Get Screwed

  1. Stand in line, Chipper. The Braves had their day in the sun. That said, the chop has to go. Worst interactive fan exercise since the wave’s invention.

  2. I going to argue that my Atlanta Braves are the most frustrating team in baseball. For starters, our 35-year-old pitcher with a career ERA around 4.00 that made $15.5 million last year hasn’t thrown a major league pitch since August 2005. Our win last night was marred by our best pitcher (Hudson) and best hitter (Chipper) both leaving the game early with injuries. And the fans are terrible. After 14 straight division titles, our annual post-season appearance became expected, and now that we can barely turn in a .500 record, fans have grown complacent and apathetic. What happened to our crazy fans who drove us to back-to-back worst-to-first seasons in ’91 and ’92? We must have lost them to free agency.

  3. Thanks for the note, OnTheFencePRGuy. The Mets did indeed turn things around in their three-game set with the Phils. That said, they remain the most frustrating team in the baseball world (with the possible exception of, say, the Cubs). The Mets are always loaded with talent, play exceedingly well for a stretch and then end up choking. The Wilpons should be paying Mets fans for their loyalty, not doubling season ticket prices.

  4. I beg to differ on your post, which I read before I went out to Shea and watch the Mets pull into first place. I think your leftover animus from last September (which I sympathize with) is outweighing reason here. Yes, corporate VIP seating and free agency, plus ridiculously tax incentivized stadiums like Citigroup puts attendance out of reach for many Mets fans, including me.
    The Wilpons are no worse than any other owners caught in this 30-plus-year cycle, make changes when needs, and now own a team with a real chance. Why are you raining on our parade? The only NYC sports team to boycott in NYC for mismanagement is Jim “Idiot Son” Dolan’s Knicks.

  5. I can’t argue with your Meadowlands comment. That is a disgrace. But, the Mets are unique in their ability to tease their fans with what might be. The Yankees and Giants deliver. The Jets never will, but no one expects them to.

  6. I think the big reason for the increase in prices has to do with the fact that they have decreased the number of seats. Couple that with a stadium that is supposed to be really nice and you have created a higher demand for tickets. Additionally, they have a good product on paper – cant speak to the choking – so they should be able to keep interest in attendance up for at least the next five years.
    That being said, I think what the mets and Yankees are doing are far better then PSLs that the Giants and Jets have created. If you want a rip off, go to the meadowlands.

  7. To me, free agency has destroyed sports. Once a player wins a championship, there’s no more loyalty and it’s time to make as much money as they can. Owners continue to pay these outrageous salaries and with the “trickle down” effect, the fan ends up paying the freight. The Mets decision to double ticket prices when they move into their new stadium next season is another sign of teams gouging their customer base. Over the past few years, the trend has been to “downsize” with the construction of new stadiums. The Cardinals did it in St. Louis and both the Mets and Yankees have done it in New York. Major League Baseball has set attendance records in each of the last four seasons, but it’s going to stop somewhere. Fans are going to get fed up of being raked over the coals. No longer is it “affordable” for a family of four to attend a game and seeing your local minor league team is becoming a viable option. Parking at $3 and ticket prices at $9, make it reasonable. Concession stand prices, though, are another topic of discussion. But with these outrageous player salaries, teams are looking for every opportunity to increase revenues from luxury boxes and so on. But if they lose the fan, as I believe they will, they lose the ancillary dollars that are spent for parking, concessions and licensed products, too. Teams in the smaller markets simply cannot compete with the larger market teams. Seattle, Kansas City and Pittsburgh, for example, will never consistently win the way teams in the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago markets do. Sure, MLB has a luxury tax where teams that exceed the salary cap pay a fine and that money goes to the smaller market teams. But Yankee owner George Steinbrenner will gladly pay the tax to put the best players in the game on the field to continue the Yankee tradition of winning a championship. A week ago, MLB played its all-star game at Yankee Stadium and one of the pre-game activities was a parade up the Avenue of the Americas in New York City where the fans could get “up close and personal” to some of the great players of the game. Then, they turn around and kick you in the groin. I remember in 1979, Pittsburgh rallied from three games to one down to win the World Series over Baltimore. Yet, the Pirates lost money that year because they only averaged 12,000 fans a game. What’s going to happen? Fans will finally get smart and stay away from the ballparks. They’ll opt to watch the games on television in the comforts of their own home or local sports bar. Then, when owners need to find another way to generate revenues, they’ll negotiate to make the games available on “pay per view.”