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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Problem with Mets Pricing - Perception is Reality

There's something that is majorly broken with the Mets pricing structure for tickets.  It's called the Yankees.

Yes, Yankee Stadium has a greater seating capacity than Citifield - but when it comes to the public, perception is reality.   If you were to get a 16 day weekend plan (consisting of 13 weekend dates + 3 other non-weekend dates), ticket prices start at $320/seat plus fees.  That's $20/ticket.  Advance purchase prices for tickets are $22.  Game day tickets (if there are any left) start at $23 for non-obstructed view seats ($15 for obstructed view).

Let's compare that to the Mets, who have different price structures for their games.  Yeah, yeah - they're doing the "dynamic pricing" where ticket prices either go up or down depending on demand (which tells you something right there).  Starting game day prices range anywhere from $12 to $36, depending on the "category" - Marquee, Premium, Classic & Value.

So on the surface, you have some games that are less than what the Yankees would charge, some that are more.

But let's look at this further...

When are the highest in-demand games?  The weekend.

How much do the Yankees charge for low end, non-obstructed view tickets on the weekends? $20-23.  That includes the Red Sox, the Mets, Opening Day, and Old Timer's Day.  Those are the Marquee games.   How much are the Mets charging for their Marquee games?  $36.  All the other weekend games are either Premium or Classic games.  That's $28/ticket for a Saturday or Sunday game except for the April and the first series in May when it's $20/ticket.

In other words, it's cheaper to see the Yankees (which frankly is the better product) than it is to see the Mets if you want to take your kids on the weekend.

Okay, Okay... so they Mets have those $12 value game tickets.   When are they?  Mid-week before schools get out and after schools are back in.  That's less than the Yankees, right?  Uh.... the Yankees also have ticket specials for games (they haven't announced those dates yet) for $5 for some mid-week games.  So yet again, the Yankees give you the better value for the better product.

And if you want to get a weekend ticket plan to the Mets?  It's going to cost you more than a weekend plan for the Yankees.

In other words, you have the Yankees, who have put a winning tradition on the field for nearly 20 straight seasons, lets you see their product live for a better value (which will in turn solidify your fan base for future revenues) than the Mets do.  The Mets are struggling on the field, struggling on the balance sheet, and struggling to get fans into the ballpark.

With the product on the field, the Yankees could afford to do a pricing structure the way the Mets do, but they don't.  The Mets can't afford but to do a pricing structure the way the Yankees do, but they don't.

If I weren't already a Mets fan, I'd be more apt to take my kid to a Yankee game.  

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