The Mets will start back at zero in the standings next month, with no credit given for winning the National League pennant in 2015. But the business end of the franchise continues to benefit from last year’s playoff run.
“Things are, as you would expect, very strong,” said Lou DePaoli, executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “All of the business metrics are up significantly.”
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Among other things: The season-ticket base has more than doubled compared to this time last year.
DePaoli said fans are motivated both by the fact that late last year games began to sell out, shutting out non-season ticket holders on the primary market, and because season-ticket plans allow for access to playoff tickets at face value.
As always, DePaoli declined to give detailed numbers on the Mets’ full and partial season plans. “We didn’t tell you when it was low; we’re not going to tell you when it’s high,” he said.
DePaoli also said individual game ticket sales are up 23 percent compared to late March 2015, and group sales are up 33 percent. That was before the Mets’ late-summer surge, when sales skyrocketed in August.
The goal this year is to drive up individual sales in April, May and June, adding to an overall increase when the final numbers are tallied.
Last regular season the Mets drew 2,569,753 in paid attendance, their best such figure since the first season at Citi Field in 2009 and an increase of 18.11 percent over 2014. Another rise in 2016 is a highly likely.
The Mets raised season-ticket prices by an overall average of 2.86 percent — prices that were set in the summer, well before the postseason run. DePaoli said individual game prices rose by more than that for the coming season, on average, “but not significantly” more.
Determining an average price for individual games is complicated because the Mets use multiple price levels as well as “dynamic pricing” in which costs can fluctuate based on market forces.
DePaoli said weekends will remain a focus of promotions. He expects the Mets to exceed the 39,000 or so fans they averaged on Saturdays last season.
The most visible sponsorship change will be the rebranding of the old “Pepsi Porch” in the upper deck in rightfield to reflect a partnership with Coca-Cola.
The team won’t reveal the new name of the seating area until next week, but the Coca-Cola sign already is partially in place, and DePaoli said compared to the Pepsi sign it will “have more capability; it’s a much more technically advanced sign.”
Nikon has signed up for a 20-fold increase in its sponsorship commitment, and the Caesars Club will be renamed for Foxwoods Resort Casino.
DePaoli said the Mets are comfortable with their ongoing partnership with StubHub — and the use of print-at-home tickets — because it gives fans a place to conveniently resell.
The Yankees made headlines over the winter by ending the use of print-at-home tickets and restricting ticketing to mobile devices or hard-paper tickets, citing a desire to cut down on fraud.
DePaoli said the Mets have had relatively few problems with fraud for tickets purchased through StubHub. He said problems more often arise from unaffiliated sources such as Craigslist.
The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels are the only major-league teams that do not have a partnership with StubHub.