Friday, May 14, 2010

Misreading the Market

According to Maury Brown and “The Biz of Baseball,” the Mets are down 15 percent in attendance at this point in the season compared to last season, which is good for 6th worst in Baseball.

The Mets have blamed this on poor April weather; the teams bad play last year, and the economic downturn.

Meanwhile over at Jets camp, the Jets still have plenty of PSL’s they have yet to sell. The team is not lowering the prices for these unsold PSL’s and they are confident the team will sell their remaining seats.

Both the Jets and the Mets have people that are hired to look at the market and the way the market is moving, and set their prices accordingly. But in the last two years, we have seen the Jets, Giants, Mets, and Yankees, all grossly misread the market. The Mets blame empty seats on bad play last season, while the Yankees won the World Series last season and are still struggling to fill up their stadium during the regular season.

How did four teams in the New York Market all misread the market so egregiously? Do they not realize in the land of HDTV, the quality of the home team commentators, it is just much simpler and more relaxing to stay home and watch the game at home. Furthermore, one of the things Citifield got rid of was the prestigious $5 upper deck ticket. My senior year I was woken up by a phone call one day in May that said “I’m picking you up in 15 minutes, were going to Shea, its 5 dollar tickets.” That was it, a completely spur of the moment decision. Now, getting to Citifield is a process. Spend money on tickets, spend an additional $20 dollars on parking, spend two hours getting there because of NYC traffic, and spend two hours coming home because of never-ending construction on the RFK/Triboro bridge.

Going to a Mets game now is a 5-11:30 pm process. The same thing could be said about going to the Meadowlands. You need to get there at around 12 for a 1:00 game, and even though it’s only 10 minutes away, there is two hours of traffic waiting for you after the game. A simple three hour football game becomes an all day affair.

Watching the Mets on TV on the other hand, you don’t have to get there until 7:00 and the moment that game is over your already home; not to mention the much shorter bathroom lines. With the quality of HDTV and the prices of tickets, the market is really saying that staying home for games is just that much more convenient and cheaper.

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