Fans looking to buy inexpensive Mets tickets this season might be in for a surprise: Asking prices on the secondary market are up nearly 10 percent compared to this time last season.

So says data compiled by TiqIQ, a ticket search engine, which shows the average for 2011 is $91.97, up from $84.13 at this time last year.

Why? One factor presumably is a diminished supply because of a shrinking season ticket base.

On average, 3,383 tickets per Mets game are on the market compared to 10,203 for the Yankees.

(In some cases there is duplication of available tickets across sites, so the actual numbers of seats on the market is lower than those figures.)

Then again, the greater supply has not cut the asking prices for Yankees tickets; they are up 36 percent from last year at this time - $115.57 compared to $84.90.

The average price for the Mets home opener April 8 was $155.66 as of early this week, down 21 percent from last year.

For the Yankees opener Thursday it was $145.72, down from $211.06 in 2010, likely because the team will not be unveiling a championship banner this year.

The most costly Mets game was the average of $235.09 for the July 3 game against the Yankees; the least expensive was the $38 for April 20 against the Astros.

The most costly Yankees game was the average of $210.28 for the Sept. 24 game against the Red Sox; the least expensive was the $46 for Monday against the Twins.

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