Best seat in Mets' new ballpark will cost average of $495

Updated: August 12, 2008, 8:13 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Here's what qualifies as a bargain in New York - $495 for a seat at a ballgame. Hoping the price is right, the New York Mets set that figure as the average cost for the best seats next year during Citi Field's first season. While that's a 79 percent increase over this year, it's a small fraction of the $2,500 for the top tickets at the new Yankee Stadium.

"We have different customer bases and fan bases," Mets executive vice president Dave Howard said. "We set our price where we think it was fair given all considerations of the various issues."

The Mets appeared to make a conscious effort to price themselves lower than the Yankees.

"Whatever works for them, I'm happy for them," Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said. "We do what we think is appropriate. In order to have 47,000 affordable seats, we had to have 4,500 expensive seats."

The priciest tickets at Citi Field are the 76 Sterling Club Platinum seats behind the plate, which include food and nonalcoholic drinks. The price is up from $276 for the comparable seats at Shea Stadium this year, a 73-seat section called Home Plate Club Gold. All of the most expensive tickets for next year have been sold.

Citi Field, scheduled to open in April along with the new Yankee Stadium, has 42,500 seats, down from 57,365 at Shea Stadium. But there will be about 39 ticket prices, an increase from the current 29.

Prices for tickets behind the dugouts at $800 million Citi Field average $375 for the first two rows, with the best seats in the house at $495.

The average price is $225 for rows three-to-six, $175 for rows seven-to-12 and $150 for rows 13-to-31.

A little farther out in the lower deck, the field seats average $125 to $225.

At the $1.3 billion new Yankee Stadium, which seats 52,325, the 1,800 Legends Field Suite seats in 25 sections ringing home plate go for $500 to $2,500, up from $250 to $1,000 for the comparable tickets this year. There also will be 1,200 Main Level Outdoor Suite seats in nine sections behind the plate at $350 to more than $500, and 1,300 Terrace Level Outdoor Suite seats in nine sections behind the plate, which sold out at $100 to $135.

The Yankees have not announced prices for the seats near the outfield but say they will keep the lowest-priced reserved seats in the top deck at $20 and $25 and bleachers at $12. Trost said 25,000 seats will not have an increase and that a complete price list will be released this month.

Reserved seats in the upper deck at Citi Field, called the Promenade, will average $19.

Howard said the Mets have talked to about 3,000 season ticket holders about relocation and hope to speak with about 3,000 more by the end of next month. The Mets are requiring 10 percent deposits for next year.

"We weren't looking to extract the last dollar," Howard said. "We were trying to produce revenue that would support our expenses and our debt service but also balance that against the realities that tickets were going to be going up for our customers. We were going to deliver qualitatively a far, far higher product for them."

While the Yankees have the same prices for all games, the Mets have five sets of prices, depending on the opponent, the month and the day of the week. An April midweek night game costs less than half the price of weekend games against a popular rival.

The Mets have sold 48 of 49 available luxury suites for next season at $275,000 to $500,000, with some purchased for up to 10 years.

Trost said the Yankees have lease commitments for 44 of 51 suites priced at $600,000 to $850,000, and are sold out at the $650,000 and $850,000 levels.

The Yankees already had the third-highest average ticket price in the major leagues this season at $41.40, according to the Team Marketing Report, trailing the World Series champion Boston Red Sox ($48.80) and Chicago Cubs ($42.49). The Mets were fourth at $34.05, well above the major league average of $25.40.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press