Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A tale of two teams: What will the Mets' success mean for the Yankees' attendance?

I've wondered a lot this fall about what the Mets' winning the 2015 NL Pennant is going to mean for their attendance -- and the Yankees' attendance next year. After all, the real jump in attendance that happens when a team gets good happens in the following year.

Look at what winning did for the Kansas City Royals' ticket sales, with their 2014 pennant-winning season:

2013: 1,750,754
2014: 1,956,482
2015: 2,708,549

Here's the Mets' home attendance for last year and this year:

2014: 2,148,808
2015: 2,569,753

And if history is any judge, the Mets should see a big jump in ticket attendance in 2016, especially if they have another good season. 

On the other hand, the Yankees' attendance is heading in the wrong direction:

2014: 3,401,624
2015: 3,193,795

That's the worst Yankee home attendance since 2000. And truth be told, a lot of the fans last year were dressed as empty seats.

The gap between the Yankees' and Mets' home ticket sales is 624,042, the closest it has been since 2009, the first year of the teams' new ballparks. And keep in mind that Yankee Stadium holds about 4,500 more seats than Citi FIeld does.

So what's going to happen next year? Well, look at how each team is marketing their 2016 ticket sales. I got an email the other day from the Yankees with this graphic:

How funny is it that A-Rod, the very guy the Yankees claimed last year was no longer marketable, is their marquee figure for marketing their tickets!

The Mets, on the other hand, are able to market their entire team's success for their ticket sales (what, you mean winning an AL Wild Card spot isn't exciting enough to put fannies in the seats for the Yankees?) Look at the email they recently sent out to their fans:

Yet the Yankees are supposedly going to keep on sticking to their budget, even though this is the best free agent class in years.

I am one of the Yankee fans who wants to see a successful Mets team. And it's not just because it's good for the Squawkers. It's because money is the only language that Hal Steinbrenner understands. So if more fans (and,more businesses buying and renting luxury boxes and purchasing fancy seats) spend money in Citi Field than Yankee Stadium, it will hurt the Yankees' bottom line. And it might ultimately force Prince Hal to shake up the team's manangement.

Most of the media hasn't really talked about this issue. But it's going to be interesting to see what happens next year, now that Mets fans are finally coming out of the closet again. (Let's face it -- until this year, you'd see more Red Sox gear in this town than Mets fan gear!) Get your popcorn ready.

1 comment:

Uncle Mike said...

Lisa, if you believe the Mets actually drew 2.5 million last season, then you might also believe that David Ortiz never used steroids. Maybe the Yankees didn't actually draw over 3 million, but for most of last season, even while the Mets were in line for a Playoff berth, a lot of THEIR fans this past season were dressed as empty seats.

The Mets' "success" should mean nothing for the Yankee ticket drive. The Yankees should act as if the Mets don't even exist. After all, this was the first season since 2006 that they did exist as more than a punchline.

The Mets can sell a Pennant and whatever else they want. The Yankees can sell something that no other team in North American sports can: The Yankee tradition. And before you say, "One title in 15 years," that's one more title than the Mets have in 29 years. I didn't see the Rangers selling their 2014 Finals berth, or the Knicks their 1994 and 1999 Finals berths. The Mets' Pennant should mean no more to the Yankees and their fans than it would have meant if it had been won by the Cubs, the Dodgers, or any other NL team.

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