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Friday, July 11, 2008

Prices for next year?

I saw this column by Phil Muschnick (Someone pointed it out to me, I wouldn't read him on a regular basis) about his friend's invoice for season tickets next year, and wrote up a reply. I tried sending it to him, but his mailbox is full. (Can the Post not afford adaquate storage or just Muschnick just not know how to use email?)

So I'm posting it here. While there is some disappointment involving rising prices of tickets, and really everything in life, most of Muschnick's points don't really translate well. (What do you expect? He's writing for the New York Post) Here's his article, and my response. Real brilliant 'Citi Slickers' headline too..

It's a capitalist society and baseball is a business. Sorry, that's just how it is, and I probably couldn't afford to buy those season tickets for 1993 even if I was purchasing them today.

The Sunday night thing is a non-issue, and you should know it. It has nothing at all to do with the Mets, and is solely between ESPN and MLB. A baseball season is a grind and if someone can't handle staying up late to watch a game, oh well. Sure, he'd rather be home by 8pm on a Sunday, but that's exactly why the game is at 8; National TV ratings, which are higher when everyone is home. And you get a couple of weeks warning, and if you're really a season ticket holder and follow the team, you'd have to be pretty daft not to notice the change.

You're talking about virtually the tip of the iceberg in seating too. You don't walk into Applebees, look at the exclusive steak special and declare the whole restaurant too expensive, because it's not true. Sure, it's going to be expensive, sure even the 'cheap seats' will be overpriced, but to go to every game and sit in the top deck is probably going to be less than $4000. You'll still be getting the same ballpark experience, the ability to walk around and see the sights, get to most of the restaurants and food stands, and see the same players play the same game. You won't get into the Sterling Club or the waiter service type stuff, and if you argued that _that_ upgrade wasn't worth $50000 I'd agree with you. The Yankee comparison is valid, because it's the 'competition' in terms of going to a ballpark to see baseball. There are a lot, and probably way too many in my eyes, of fans that easily flipflop between the teams and would use financial excuses to determine where to see games.

Is it a worsening deal? A lot of that depends on the team. But a deal is what people will pay for it, and people will pay for season tickets next year. If it was really a worsening deal, you and he wouldn't be bent out of shape about it because you'd figure it wasn't going to be as good as in the past. Shea is a leaky dump, and Citi Field will be a nice place to see a game, plus the revenue streams created help the Mets compete and put a better team, or deal, on the field. The issue here isn't about the rich folk who are suddenly having to pay more money for the product, ti's the average working class family that will struggle to afford to get to any but the games against the worst opponents and maybe even struggle to do that.

If your friend is really that concerned about it, and he's obviously high on the priority list of ticket holders, he should call the ticket agent and negotiate for a lower priced ticket somewhere else. I'm sure there are excellent box seats for half that price in a different part of the stadium.

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