Mr. Fred Wilpon
New York Metropolitan Baseball Club
Flushing, NY 11368
Dear Mr. Wilpon
Thank you for sending me my 15 Game Plan renewal invoice. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but with Thanksgiving falling right after I received the invoice I was a bit too distracted to focus on the Mets. I did want to respond this week though before the main holiday season pushes the team out of my immediate concerns again.
I am writing to tell you that I will not be renewing my plan for the 2010 season. There are a number of reasons I have decided on this action and I wanted to share them with you.
1. What happened to my 20% reduction? Yes I know the official statement was that tickets would be an “average” of 20% less. Well my plan is less than 6% less than last year. I am really curious how you calculated this average of 20%. Assuming there are a lot of people like me with Promenade plans, that must mean that the people down below in the Main level got discounts of over 20%.
A reduction in my ticket cost of 20% really would have meant something. Only a little over 5% really doesn’t mean much.
2. Speaking of discounts and ticket prices, how come the Mets don’t offer any bulk discount for buying into a plan? I checked it out – the cost for the 15 games in my plan is the same whether I buy the tickets individually or in the plan. So where is my incentive? The possibility of playoff tickets? Really?
Just about every other sports franchise in the country offers plan holders a discount for bulk purchasing over the cost of individual games.
3. I noticed you changed the name of some of the plans. The Sunday plan is now the Sunday-Plus Plan. I guess that’s to make it sound that much more special – there’s something extra in there? Seriously, that “Plus” isn’t fooling anyone. I understand that weekday games are harder to sell, but that doesn’t mean you should force them on us. There is a reason I want a “Sunday” plan – it’s because I cannot make it to many games, especially not weekday games. So all of a sudden my 15 game plan is now only 10 games, but I’m paying for those extra 5 games. I really am curious as to why you think I should do this.
4. OK, this is my last point on tickets. Stub-Hub. In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a fairly robust secondary market out there for tickets that is sanctioned by MLB. Yes, I know that a lot of this secondary market will dry up in 2010 because people (like me) won’t be buying as many plans. Regardless, there will still be a market for most games. So why should I worry about buying 15 games when I won’t go to at least 5, when I can pick and choose games I want to see, getting some at below cost?
5. The next two reasons I have decided not to renew deal with the ballpark. Yes, you built a beautiful structure, especially when compared to what they did in the Bronx. But what about all those obstructed seats?
What obstructed seats you ask? I know that Dave Howard has claimed time and time again that there are no truly obstructed seats in New Shea. I would like to ask you and Mr. Howard to come up and sit with me sometime, say in Section 527, Row 1. Try to describe what is happening in the game to me from those seats. Please. Then try to explain to me that there are no obstructed seats.
Again, I understand that no ballpark is perfect, and I am not complaining about sight-line issues (such as not seeing LF from many LF seats – Old Shea had those issues). But when I am paying that much money to see a game – well, honestly I expect to actually see it.
6. This last reason I will say that you have begun to address – making New Shea a Mets ballpark. Is New Shea a nice place to visit? Yes. But as I commented to a friend of mine last season, it felt like we were on the road there was so little Mets related signage and history in the park. I applaud you for taking some steps to address this issue, though from what I have read so far it’s not as far as you could or should go. Acknowledging Mets history is not the same as honoring it – and that is something that still needs to happen. Bring back Old-Timers Day and Banner Day. Put up a Seaver statue in front of the rotunda. Retire 17, 16, 18, and 31.
I was also going to cite as a reason a mediocre team, but then I thought back to so many years of bad Mets teams when I still enjoyed coming to the game. What I realized, and I think this is a lesson that no matter how long you own the Mets I don’t know if you ever will understand, while the quality on the field is important, the atmosphere off the field and the relationship that management and the team has with the fans is far more important. Right now the Mets could have a great team – but there is no connection with your base.
Bottom line Mr. Wilpon, if you want to win me back, show me you care.
I realize that the chances of you actually reading this letter are slim, so I have decided to send copies to the people within your organization that have a direct effect on these issues. And because I feel so strongly about this, I have also sent copies to several members of the media, and will be posting the letter on www.metspolice.com
I don’t expect a response, but it would go a long way if there was one.
cc: Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, Dave Howard, David Newman, Craig Marino, Bill Iannicello, Phil Mushnick, Craig Carton, Evan Roberts, Shannon Shark
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