Fans arriving at Citi Field on Monday for the Mets' home opener were greeted by two billboards urging the team's owners to sell.
The 10 1/2-foot-by-22 3/4-foot billboards were alongside the No. 7 line's elevated train tracks. One said, "FRED, JEFF & SAUL Ya gotta leave" and the other said "FRED, JEFF & SAUL Sell the Team."
The billboards referred to owners Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz. The first one played on the team's old slogan, "Ya gotta believe."
Mets fans have been unhappy with the owners' inability to spend big in the wake of their reported losses in the Madoff scandal. The owners repeatedly have said they have no plans to sell majority ownership in the team.
"We appreciate our fans' passion and look forward to a great season in 2015," the Mets said in a statement.
The billboards will be up until May 3. They were put up by Gary Palumbo, 39, of New London, New Hampshire, who raised $6,700 on the online donation site Kickstarter for the effort, according to an Associated Press report.
"They asked us to be patient through the Madoff issue and to let them go through their rebuilding process, and then they said when the time was ready, they were going to reinvest back into the team and get it ready for competitiveness," Palumbo told the AP. "That was supposed to be last year, but with the [Matt] Harvey injury, that kind of set everything back. And so once we went into this offseason and they signed [Michael] Cuddyer and then did nothing else, that was really the tipping point for me. That demonstrated that the Wilpons are still not financially capable of doing what needs to be done for the long-term best of the team."
Manager Terry Collins told the AP: "I think it's a waste of time, but that's just my own opinion. You want to spend $6,000? Go feed the homeless."
David Wright said he hadn't seen the billboards.
"Obviously, I care about the fans and I want to put on a good show for the fans, but the last thing I need to think about before the home opener is some banner that's up in front of the stadium," he said. "It's irrelevant to me and it doesn't help me get ready for a game."