Tickets to the first two Mets games at Citi Field, a pair of exhibitions against the Red Sox on April 3rd and 4th, went on sale at 10:00 Friday morning. They weren't around long, so if you don't have them already you'll need to talk to your friendly neighborhood scalper. Or your unfriendly corportate scalper. Even in a crummy economy, events of a unique and historical nature have a certain currency. That tickets started at $6 doesn't hurt either.
Tickets to individual regular season games will go on sale next week, although the Mets would really prefer it if you bought a season ticket package. Even if you're buying the cheapest seats in the house, putting down a chunk of money down up front is a tough sell in the current economy. The Mets are trying to rally interest by offering tours of Citi Field, starting Friday, which will show you the view from your seat, give you a glimpse of the place before it's open for business and, they hope, inspirational enough to open your wallet.
The Yankees have drawn more headlines for their inability to sell the highest-priced tickets in their new stadium, but, as the Wall Street Journal points out, the problems are not theirs alone. The Mets and the Dallas Cowboys, who start play in their extravagant new digs later in 2009, are also suffering from the confluence of events that led to their stadiums opening under stormy economic clouds.
Of course, all three teams opened the door to those problems by focusing the majority of their efforts on the most expensive seats and amenities, like a wine bar and Danny Meyer restaurants at Shea, while cutting thousands of seats. Those seats might have brought in more modest revenues, but they probably would have sold quicker than the seven luxury boxes that the Yankees have turned into game-by-game "party suites."
That's the tough thing about charging people $500 a seat for baseball games. Some nights you get the Red Sox or Phillies, but other nights bring the Nationals or Orioles. Throw in all the tours and fancy food and special parking you want, it isn't going to make that any easier to swallow.