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Sticker shock (or the joys of ‘dynamic pricing’ and ticket fees)

Yesterday, I attempted to take advantage of one of the Mets’ single game pre-sale opportunities to buy tickets for Opening Day and Banner Day. It took about ten minutes to get out of the “virtual waiting room” in the morning. (I checked back later in the day with no wait.)

For Opening Day, I was offered a choice of Promenade Reserved, Promenade Outfield, and tickets that cost more than I was even willing to consider. So I picked Promenade Reserved and was offered Section 528 for $50 per seat plus a $7 fee per ticket.  I wasn’t thrilled, but Banner Day had to be cheaper, right?

For the May 27th game, there was a larger selection of seating categories. I picked Promenade Box, but could have chosen Promenade Reserved, Promenade Infield, Pepsi Porch or Left Field Landing for the same price – $40 per seat plus a $6 fee per ticket.

To go to two baseball games and sit in the upper deck, it would cost $103 per seat plus a $6 per order fee!

Let’s put that in perspective. Last year, I spent $123 for a Promenade Infield seat for Opening Day and five other games through a flex plan promotion. (The Mets did not charge any per ticket or per order fees.)

I ended up not placing the order.

Yesterday evening, I decided to take a better look at the six game marquee flex packs being offered this year – maybe they’re a better value. I was able to put one together with Opening Day, Banner Day, three early-season weekend games and a game from Jose Reyes’ first series back at Citi Field for $128 per Promenade Reserve seat (I was offered Section 519.) Not too bad, right?

Well, not quite. That $128 price doesn’t include the fees. Add in a $2.50 per ticket fee, and that raises the price to $143. But we’re not done yet – there’s also a $20 “order processing” fee! At least that includes mailing costs….

I’m not loving the cost of watching Mets’ baseball in 2012.

In other news, Major League Baseball and the players’ union are working out the details to expand the playoffs by adding a second wild card team in each league beginning this season. If it’s going to happen, we should hear about it soon. Since we can’t do away with the wild card entirely, I’m in favor of the new system to make it tougher for non-division winners to advance in the playoffs. And the sooner it’s put into place, the sooner the Mets can hope to cling to the edges of the playoff race. (Just how bad will a team have to be before they admit they’re out of the race when it will be technically possible for a third-place finisher to go to the playoffs?)

And just for laughs, here’s a link to a MetsBlog video of Mets reliever Tim Byrdak doing his Hulk Hogan impersonation earlier this week. It’s the most entertaining thing I’ve seen from spring training camp in Port St. Lucie so far this year, and I can’t believe I didn’t point it out before (even though I’m sure all the Mets fans who stop here have seen it already.)

12 thoughts on “Sticker shock (or the joys of ‘dynamic pricing’ and ticket fees)

  1. I have gotten into the habit of checking StubHub a few hours before a game to see what the prices are for Reds games. I won’t pay out the nose for seats, and I think the extra charge for “premium” games is ridiculous.

    I think the most we spent on any single ticket last year *might* have been $20. But I also know I saw at least a couple of games for less than $5, and when we went to Pittsburgh we got the tickets free (through the Pirates’ free kids club).


  2. I purchased two Mets games off stub hub yesterday. I got the Seaver give away on 4/22 and the Hernandez give away on 6/17. I was able to get a total of two 400 level tickets between the bases for each of the above games in ROW 1. The total $$$ for both games came to around $130 including stub hub fees.
    Slight savings off yesterdays online prices; however, I wound up with a better seat location than if I bought tickets online from the Mets.

    I would recommend checking stub hub to purchase any Mets tickets now- the premium games are still high so I would just wait those out


    1. The Stub Hub process is better – you can actually pick a specific section to look in. The Mets’ site (and I think this is true for every MLB team) only lets you pick a pricing category. You’d think they’d be able to improve this functionality, if they really wanted to.


    1. I just looked quickly yesterday, but it did appear that Stub Hub was offering better prices for Banner Day. For Opening Day, they had better seats but higher prices.


  3. As someone whose Mets roots go back to the beginning (although, granted, I was a bit too young those first couple of years to appreciate the game), I’m telling you… The best thing Mets fans could do for this 2012 Mets team is to turn their back on them and walk away. If they don’t give a crap about the product they’re putting on the field–and clearly they don’t–then giving them any money or time at all is just going to encourage them to not give a crap ever. I’ve been there through all the down cycles, the Seaver trade, the Ryan trade, all of it, and I have NEVER felt as disrespected as a fan as I feel this year. They aren’t even phoning it in this year…they’re using a dixie cup and a thread. If the ticket prices reflected that lack of effort…well, then, ok. But to actually have the nerve to raise ticket prices as they spend even less money and put an ever more inferior product on the filed? You’re just paying for their personal investment losses and I won’t be played like that.


  4. Games are getting way to expensive now-a-days to go. Remember thats just the price of the game. Not including parking, scorecard, hotdogs, drinks, etc.. I used to go to anywhere from 6-12 games a year. But I’ll be lucky if I go to 2, unless for some reason I find cheap tickets on StubHub later in the year.


  5. Thank you to all for the info. I will be looking at the Mets on my TV in 2012. I will be going to see the Newark Bears games in 2012.


  6. You people that are buying advanced tickets are fueling this “Dynamic Ticket Prices”. You are playing right into their hands.

    I would not buy in advance for this crappy team! You are waisting your money. Wait and go to secondary market and you will get them for half price. By mid May they will practically be letting you in for free!

    I am going to the Spring training opener and I will be buying my ticket from a fan outside or at the worst I will spread out a blanket and sit on the berm for $8.00.

    Sad to say that is about all this team is worth paying for. You know its one thing to be crappy (USA Today ranked us the 6th worst team), but what really amazes me is that are lineup is practically set, as well as the whole team.

    Why don’t we have battles for positions and spots on the roster?


  7. I can’t pay that much ($40) for a seat in the upper deck. No way, not at all. The Two Mets games I went to last year were tickets that were given to me. I’ll stay home. A good deal of the seats at Citi Field have obstructed views as is …


    1. I don’t blame you; I feel the same way. I wanted to go to Opening Day and Banner Day because television really isn’t going to capture the experience of the pre-game pageantry. But for your average Mets baseball game, SNY offers a better experience than actually going to the game… unless you can afford the good field level seats.


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