The Mets are an organization that in recent years has seemed to do everything wrong, whether it is firing a manager in the middle of the night to designing a Mets stadium with no Mets identity to handling injuries. But Tuesday the Mets finally did the right thing, lowering ticket prices following a third straight losing season.
According to the Mets website, for season ticket holders:
— 80% of seats will have a reduction of approximately 5% or greater
— 57% of seats will have a reduction of 10% or greater
— 35% will have a cut of 20% or more
— 18% will have a drop of 30% or more
— More than 15,000 seats will cost less than $25 per game
This is a great idea (still, box seats won’t cost $4.50, left. Ah, the good old days!). Aside from acknowledging that the product on the field does not warrant the higher prices, it appears the Mets are learning that lower ticket prices means more fans.
Back in July, the Mets were here in sunny Los Angeles for a four-game series. Game 1 was July 4, so it was a sellout. Games 2 and 3 drew 32,239 and 31,005 fans respectively. In the middle of game 3 the Dodgers announced a massive sale for game 4. Tickets would start as low as $5. Tickets behind the plate that usually cost $120 were going for $25. Guess what? The game was a sellout — 56,000 fans.
(Interesting fact — a city law limits Dodger Stadium to 56,000 seats, so in any renovation in which seats were added, other seats had to be taken away).
I’m sure the Dodgers more than made up the lower ticket prices with parking and concession sales. Perhaps the Mets were watching.
There is one part of the new ticket prices that I’m not particularly crazy about. The Mets call it “Dynamic Pricing”:
The Mets will introduce dynamic pricing for 2012 single game tickets. The face value of single game tickets will initially be offered in March 2012 at prices at or below 2011 prices. As time progresses, those prices may be adjusted on a real-time basis, either upwards or downwards, based on market demand.
Which means if the Mets are doing well and there is a high demand for tickets, prices will rise. That doesn’t seem fair. It is fine to lower prices if demand is low, but raising prices in good times smacks of price gauging. That is generally illegal for such commodities as milk and gasoline, but apparently it is okay for baseball tickets.
In any case, this is a good public relations move, and it will likely result in more fans going to games, so it is also a good fiscal decision.