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The invisible hand in action: cheap seats available for Mets games

Apr 19, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

Billy Joel's "The Last Play At Shea" Premieres At Citi Field Getty Images

Wanna go to a Mets game? It’s pretty darn affordable these days, reports the New York Times.  Seats directly behind home plate with a face value of $134 are going for $69. Seats in boxes between third base and home plate are going for $28, when they normally retail for $80 to $134. If merely getting into the park is what you’re after, $3 gets the job done.

People may be inclined to mock this as a function of a bad team suffering bad times, but I see a silver lining. There are families who have been priced out of baseball in the past several years. And those that haven’t been totally priced out have at least been priced back into worse seats or way up high into the nose-bleeds.  These cheap seats, however, may be result is some people going to the ballpark who may not have otherwise gone, sitting where they might not have otherwise sat, if only on a couple of occasions.

I didn’t go to a ton of baseball games when I was a kid, but I was lucky enough to go to a handful in some pretty darn good seats.  I think being close to the action like that played a big role in my becoming a baseball fan.  Ask people who suffered through lean times in Cleveland and places like that and they’ll tell you the same thing.

While it may hurt the Mets’ bottom line in the short term, a plethora of good cheap seats may very well help create some fans who may not have otherwise been created.

  1. BC - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Take a look at the price on eBay for some of the games against Houston, Pittsburgh and Arizona. If it was any cheaper they’d be paying you to go to the game.

  2. jdmcmill - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    This is smart. I do not know why more teams do not do this. If you buy a cheap ticket I think you are more willing to buy beer and food at the park. Much more beer and food gets sold with a $5 ticket than a ticket that does not get used.

  3. clydeserra - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    This is why I only buy A’s tickets. Cheap good seats. Having to buy tickets for 2 people under 5 and myself would cost me way too much in SF.

  4. Jonny 5 - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Absolutely sitting closer is wayyyyyyy better. And in packed stadiums like you get with NYY, and Philly you find a much nicer crowd to watch the game with as well. Less F bombs and idiots.

  5. Old Gator - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    The way the Mutts are playing so far, I would just buy up a load of tickets now and sell short before the end of the season. It’s a better deal than Enron right now.

  6. bigharold - Apr 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    “While it may hurt the Mets’ bottom line in the short term, a plethora of good cheap seats may very well help create some fans who may not have otherwise been created.”

    True enough but when the team rebounds you find yourself priced out once again. I used to have pretty good seats, 12 game package, at the old Yankee Stadium, third base line looking directly down at third base about 6 rows back. The seats weren’t even expensive, about 60 bucks per. After the move, these good relatively inexpensive seats were changed to looking down at the top of the left field foul pole almost in fair territory.

    As long as you go into it understanding this is nothing more than a chance to see a MLB game relatively cheap and nothing more than OK. But, if you get attached to the team your feelings are going to get hurt because as soon as they start winning again you won’t be able to afford the tickets any longer.

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