Mets struggle to seat a full house in Flushing

As of last night, there were still seats available at Citi Field.

Are you a New York Mets fan? Odds are you won’t be at Thursday’s Opening Day game.

Unlike the Yankees or the Phillies, the Mets are struggling to sell out their Opening Day. Dave Howard, the team’s executive vice president for business operations, said Tuesday there were still “several thousand” tickets available for today’s home opener, illustrating just how sour the mood of the fans has become.

The Mets are, of course, eager to fill their 41,800-seat ballpark for the first home game of baseball season, but in order to get a packed house, they will need brisk sales today and anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 walk-up fans to buy tickets, Howard said, according to the New York Post.

The team ownership’s involvement in the Bernie Madoff scandal and hemorrhaging funds have caused them to part ways with some of their best players to cut payroll. The Mets’ $52 million reduction in payroll from last year represents the largest reduction in baseball history.

And attendance at home games dropped 7 percent last year, to its lowest levels since 2004.
“It’s not lack of enthusiasm, it’s just realism,” said lifelong Mets fan and Bronx resident Ramsby Roland, 32, yesterday, of his low expectations for the team this year. “I think they’re going to battle it out with the Nationals for last place. They’re not better than the Phillies, they’re not better than the Braves; they lost Jose Reyes. I don’t even know who their closer is.”

It’s a far cry from years past. The Mets have sold out every home opening game since 1997, and it’s often one of the hottest tickets of the season.

Compare the Mets’ scramble to fill seats this weekend to New York’s other baseball team. The Yankees season opener on April 6 in Tampa Bay against the Rays is sold out, as is their opening game at home, on April 13. And Mets archrival, the Phillies’ April 9 opener is sold out, setting an MLB record with 204 straight sellouts.

Cheap seats

Some fans may just be waiting for cheaper tickets. Opening Day Mets tickets average $133, the 10th highest across the MLB, according to SeatGeek.com, which aggregates ticket listings from 60 different sites, such as StubHub and eBay.
  
That’s a steep increase from last year’s Opening Day game against the Marlins, which cost fans on average $93, while their 2010 opener against the Washington Nationals cost $101 on average.
   
But tickets for the weekend will drop back down again. The Saturday and Sunday games in the Mets-Braves series are averaging $67 per ticket. Tickets to the next series at Citi Field against the Washington Nationals average just $39.

Mets make odd offer

In a particularly desperate move, the Mets sent out an e-mail last week to some fans who had already purchased tickets, according to Capital New York. “You can still purchase tickets to watch the first pitch … And to thank you for your support, you can choose to come back on Saturday or Sunday for free.”

Summer looks bleak

Opening Day should be packed, and it’s usually later in the season when fans drop off. For example, prices for a Mets home game against the Cincinnati Reds later this year average at just $41.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.