Before we get started here, I'd like you to try something. Walk to the mirror.
Look into it and say "You are the reason my tickets are so expensive."
OK, I'll admit the headline is a bit misleading and a bit of a gimmick, but I wanted to take a minute to vent on something that has been bugging me lately.
Despite the economy, tickets sales for both the Mets and Yankees seem to be doing great. Yet, it seems everywhere you turn, someone is complaining about ticket prices. Turn on any sports radio show and you're sure to hear some caller demonizing their organization of choice which has put me in a position I hate—having to defend big business.
The simple fact is that if you want to know why your tickets are so expensive you need to look in the mirror. Some of you may not like to hear this, but we the fans play a role in ticket pricing going up every year. Every year, ownership raises prices for tickets, concessions and parking. The response? Every year, opening day sells out in January. When you strip away all the Terrence Mann speeches and Ken Burns documentaries, baseball is a product. And, like any product, the market dictates the cost. If no one shows up, do you think prices will stay that high?
So why don't we boycott?
The answer is simple. It's a combination of addiction and paranoia.
Like a smoker craving that first smoke of the day, some of us simply cannot stay away. We have an itch and we will scratch it at any cost. Others are simply paranoid that they will miss something.
I have been to something like 12 straight Mets opening days and every year I go out of my way to secure my opening day tickets. Why? I have no idea! Would the world end if I watched it on TV or went the next day instead? Probably not, but I can't take the chance.
It is this combination that allows ownership to charge what they charge. This is not to say that there isn't some corporate greed on ownership's part but look at it this way. If you are selling pencils on eBay and customers are willing to keep paying more for your pencils, why wouldn't you keep raising the price?
What about the corporations?
Sure, they buy out luxury boxes but corporations don't fill stadiums. If the real fans stay home, believe me—it wouldn't go unnoticed. Lost concessions, parking and ticket sales would send a pretty strong message, don't you think?
Are the Mets & Yankees innocent?
Are the fans completely to blame?
Of course not.
I am just tired of all the moaning and wailing going on about tickets. Until we as fans—myself included—develop the collective willpower to stay home, it will continue.
This season, I saw my ticket plan balloon from an 8-pack to a 15-pack, but I paid it and frankly found it to be pretty decent value for my money.
Am I thrilled about paying more? Not really, but it is what it is. I'm not saying you can't be mad about it, but the next time you are getting ready to start complaining, I want you to look in the mirror at that man or woman staring back at you and say the following:
"You are the reason my tickets are so expensive."