Are you debating whether or not to pull the trigger on Mets season tickets? I made the plunge this past season. And like you, I reached the end of the Internet to help make my decision. After trolling Reddit and obsessively Googling questions like, “are baseball season tickets worth it” and “how do season tickets work?” and “Mets season ticket packages”– I took the calculated risk and went with a 20-game package.
Despite my intense research, I found very few answers, making me wonder if the Mets season ticket experience is purposely shrouded in secrecy, a pact made by MLB teams and super fans to preserve a host of benefits only unlocked for the fortunate few who make the plunge.
This article aims to talk about some of the lesser-discussed nuances of being a baseball season ticket holder.
And let’s be clear. I am not griping about the MLB season ticket holder experience. I feel supremely blessed that I was in a position to afford this luxury. Sitting alongside my son, watching him cheer on his favorite team while Mister Softee dripped down his face and hands, was well worth the STH experience.
Deciding to commit to multiple baseball games in advance is subjective, influenced by many factors out of the customer’s control. YMMV.
Money: How Much Are Season Tickets?
I chose the Sunday package, granting me two tickets to 20 games. The seats were located on the Excelsior Level (300s) and averaged $57 a ticket. The perks included:
–Mike Piazza 31 Club Access: This ended up being the benefit I appreciated the most. The club access provided shelter, climate-control, shorter lines, and cleaner bathrooms–all of which were appreciated.
-10% Bonus for Food/Beverage and Parking ($226.10 worth of credit): Free money for being a first-time season ticket holder, no complaints. OK, maybe one complaint. The MLB app that must be used to redeem your credit kind of sucks. More on that in a bit.
-Guaranteed face value on playoff tickets (half strip): This “perk” is a bit misleading; we’ll get to that, too.
-Cover from the sun: This was a personal must-have since my kiddo and other people I go to games with often complain about the sun. While having the protection of cover is nice, I found the air to be a bit stagnate under the overhang. Also, I kept finding us surrounded by many out-of-town fans which was a bit of a buzzkill.
Many of you simply want to know, how much are Mets season tickets?
Total Investment: $2,261.00
The hefty expense was eased by the ability to make monthly payments. But like any initial investment, it’s easy to forget what you paid, creating more “waste” than you would normally accept.
When considering a season ticket plan, don’t forget that it will run you about $25 per game to park ($50 for the postseason), plus the concessions and gift shops will add up, despite your best intention to bring your own food or avoid buying gear. However, these items are ultimately a fun part of the game, especially for kids, so just embrace the beast and factor in the expense before making the season ticket commitment.
The Mets, like most MLB teams this past season, were basically giving tickets away. Between constant coupon codes and promotional pricing, it quickly became apparent that it would have been cheaper to buy tickets to each game a la carte. Like 60% cheaper.
Granted, I understand a lot of this has to do with team performance, but even when the Mets were in their winning groove or battling for a Wild Card position, tickets were always available before a game for somewhere between 25% and 80% less than what I had paid. Sure, there’s the risk of being locked out. And yes, you need to put in some additional legwork to secure tickets. But the savings would have been significant if I went that route for the 2021 season.
Time: Season Tickets Are a Commitment
Twenty games over a 162-game season doesn’t sound like much, but if you are not a total die-hard fan with easy access to your team’s stadium, partial season ticket plans can feel overwhelming to your personal calendar.
Games are long, and travel time can be significant. Despite living under 10 miles from Citi Field, there were times we barely made the first pitch. (It didn’t help that several of our games fell during the same time as the U.S. Open which shares parking facilities with the Mets. I know, I know…public transportation).
The biggest “time” factor that I did not anticipate was the dwindling amount of MLB day games. I purposely chose the Sunday package since the Saturday package lacked any day games. Day games seem to be on the verge of extinction here in New York; presumably, MLB cares more about TV ratings/dollars than young fans who relish sunny afternoons and need to be home early enough for bedtime. Unfortunately, a few of my Sunday afternoons were shifted to Sunday nights to accommodate ESPN airings. Use this as a cautionary tale that you are at the mercy of schedule makers, which can put you behind the 8-ball when buying tickets so far in advance.
“The Mets have shown me more ways to lose than I even knew existed.”Casey Stengel
The Mets look to lock you up in September for the coming season, meaning that you are filling up your calendar more than half a year in advance. But season tickets can be sold or exchanged, right?
Flexibility: Exchanging Season Tickets
Major League Baseball allows you to exchange season tickets you have purchased through an online portal, which frankly, is either purposely poorly designed to deter fans or is in desperate need of an upgrade.
When you exchange tickets, you may only do so for the same ticket class. For example, your Wednesday night tickets to see the Mets vs. Pirates (“Value” game) can’t be traded in for the Mets vs. Dodgers on a Saturday night (“Premium” game). Even if you wanted to trade them in for cheaper seats and use credit toward a different game category, that is not an option.
Another lesson I learned was that season tickets are a bit tricky if you are a family of three. I purchased a pair of tickets since it’s normally me and the Boy. But on occasions when I wanted to bring a “third wheel,” snagging the extra ticket next to us was always a difficult proposition. And since you are not allowed to leave single seats behind, even trading in two tickets to then re-purchase three was a pain in the ass. Also, the MLB Ballpark Tickets app needs some serious work.
The Perks of Being a Mets Season Ticket Holder
The benefits of being a season ticket holder were lost on me. Never once did I feel the “love” of being a ticket season holder– in or outside of the stadium. Even with most of the extras stripped away due to the pandemic, I never felt part of a community. This is an area that the Mets would be well-served to focus on. I’m not expecting the grossly underpaid and overworked food service employee to give a shit that I’m waiting 30 minutes for my $7 hotdog. But if the Mets put half as much effort into an engagement/retention strategy as they did closing the sale, they’d make their lives easier bringing back first-time season ticket holders such as yours truly.
Part of me understands why previous perks such as meet-and-greets and on-field experiences were spiked due to the pandemic, but it appears very little effort went into looking for alternative ways to surprise and delight fans.
Season Tickets Promise You Access to the Playoffs…With a Catch
“Access to playoff tickets” is often the ultimate benefit, the one that sways indecisive baseball fans to take the plunge. It’s also a potentially fleeting benefit, as we saw with the 2021 and 2022 Mets. But there’s a catch to how playoff tickets work that was never made clear to me until the season started to wind down. You do get access to playoff tickets. However, the seat location (and price) are outside of your control. You are literally given a seat assignment. In my case, my season tickets were in the 300 section. But my playoff tickets were in the 100 section, making the expense outside of my reach. Plus, the seats were not overly desirable, presumably since I was a newbie with “only” a 20-game package. Oh, and the biggest catch of ’em all–you must buy a full playoff ticket “strip”–meaning tickets to all 12 home games. That is a serious commitment–meant only for die-hard fans.
But wait, there’s more!
In order to get the “discounted price” you must re-up your season ticket membership for the following season. So essentially, if you want “fairly” priced playoff tickets to all 12 home games, in a section chosen by someone else, you must commit to being a season ticket holder for two seasons. I was looking at over $6k for a pair of playoff tickets; approximately $4,800 if I renewed my plan for next season. While the Mets collapse made this a moot point, this was the issue that really got under my skin.
Also, be warned, season-ticket plans auto-renew for the same seats unless you take action.
Season Ticket Account Reps and Support
I came into the season ticket arrangement expecting very little in the way of a personalized experience, and that’s what I received. There’s a ton of attention paid to closing the sale, incessant text messages and emails. But once you’re in, you are forgotten. Early in the season, when the experience was new to me and COVID was still throwing a monkey wrench into scheduling, I found I’d have to make multiple advances in order to get a response. I have no idea how these account reps are paid and what their motivation is, so no blame on them. But their jobs do feel similar to car dealers who are just trying to move vehicles off the lot. No one needs the red carpet rolled out, but a little sense of care/community would go a long way. And did I mention the MLB Ballpark Tickets app needs a facelift?!
Unfortunately, many of these same issues are back for 2023 Mets season tickets. As the sales reps freshen up their sales scripts with the Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer tandem, it doesn’t translate to a better experience for the average season ticket holder.
So Are Season Tickets Worth It
Despite focusing on some of the more negative aspects of the experience, I ultimately was glad that I tried it. My son and I spent many hours looking at the schedule, getting psyched for the games that were part of our package. It was similar to the joy you experience when planning a vacation, which is sometimes half the fun!
Being a season ticket holder also helped me fulfill a bucket-list wish that I didn’t even know I had. As a kid, I recall thinking how cool it was that people got to come to the game after game and experience the same seats again and again. I can now cross that off the list.
I will roll the dice and go into next season as a former season ticket holder. I plan to buy tickets to two or three must-attend games when they go on sale–but will play the rest of the season by ear. But never say never!
The business of season tickets seems to follow an old sales model that will not be effective with the new generation of sports fans. Sales reps sell you hard. You feel their desperation a la Glengarry Glen Ross. They are relentless in their attack, and then as soon as they reel you in and get you to sign, they fall predictably silent. You will never hear from your season ticket rep again–at least not until it is time to renew. I shouldn’t be so naive–but the lack of community and appreciation for hard-working season ticket holders was a letdown.
2023 Mets Season Tickets
Steve Cohen’s aggressive spending continues transforming the Mets into a formidable threat for that elusive World Championship. Whether you’re a Mets diehard or an average baseball fan, you must be impressed with Uncle Stevie’s gumption. Heck, even George Steinbrenner would be respectfully concerned.
But if you are considering 2023 Mets season tickets, aka “Season Membership,” will the team’s heavy-duty investments pay off?
Sure, the team will be vastly improved, but has the team invested in ensuring your hard-earned season ticket money gets more bang for the buck?
Unfortunately, 2023 benefits appear in line with previous seasons, making for a fairly lackluster experience. A 20-game package entitles you to:
– Guaranteed opening day seats (though not necessarily the ones you have purchased)
– Half strip of tickets to the postseason (remember, the Mets pick your seats, and you must purchase tickets for all games)
– Ticket presales
– Tons of 10% discounts on concessions, merchandise, and other items
If you think 2023 is THE SEASON for the Mets, get in touch with a rep to secure your tickets ASAP. But I can assure you that one thing hasn’t changed: incessant calls from a revolving door of ticket reps. Godspeed!
P.S. – As a partial season ticket holder for the New York Islanders at UBS Arena in 2022, I will double down on my suggestion that season tickets are not for “average” people…at least not when your team is not a true playoff contender.
I enjoyed reading this Drew, as I am a season ticket holder to the Islanders and contemplating buying the NY Mets
Drew Rosen says
Thanks, Jimmy! After this disappointing 2022 season with the Isles, wishing you luck with the Mets.
Loved ghe article, thank you. This is actually my first year as a season ticketholder with the Mets, 20 game Sat package and I agree with a lot of what you wrote. The exchange program definitely needs work and the secrecy of pricing for things like suites and ticket packages is baffling. I’m trying to get suite pricing for a game and my rep wants to call me instead of just emailing me the info to review beforehand.
Was at the game last night and always had the same thought, it would be cool to try. This was really well written and is one of the few good accounts of the experience I could find. Thanks, probably will also stay game by game
Jeanette Rizzo says
I completely agree with everything you posted. I was a 2021 20 game weekday ticket holder. I purchased the plan in January of 2019…well we all know how 2020 turned out. I enjoyed the experience of being a season ticket holder. We got to know the people in our section. The APP is terrible. You are spot on about the customer experience. I love my Mets. I just wish they could love me as much. A little more recognition from the Rep during the season could have persuaded me to purchase a 2022 package. The only recognition I received was after the season was over and time to fork over some more hard earned money. I will save my money and watch the game on TV. I wish I could say I’ll miss the $15 beers.
Steve Cohen should know how much the fans sacrifice to go to the games. Getting to Citifield is a drag. Getting out is even worse. The fans that commit to a ticket plan should be treated better. Maybe I should join the 7Line. LFGM
Tony G says
I read your article with interest as I am a first time 1/2 season (weekday) ticket holder also in the Excelsior section. I can say that your review for the 2021 season would be an accurate portrayal of my experience during the 2022 season. I am now going through the same thought process you had gone through in deciding whether to renew for next year. I still haven’t decided what I will do about next year, but your review will certainly help to inform my decision. Particularly, your thoughts about the cost and availability of tickets on the secondary markets and the special ticket deals that NYM roll out throughout the year. I always feel like I am competing against the Mets when I have to sell tickets to a game. All in all, I’m glad I became a season ticket holder. I didn’t “lose” any money doing it, but it was time consuming and stressful at times. All the best to you. Good luck and thank you. LGM!!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I purchased a 10 or 15 game package in 2015 immediately after getting Cespedes in a trade, while on my honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand. I just had a feeling that we were going to make a long run into the playoffs that year. It was such a wild ride, and although I haven’t been able to dig in again for season tickets since, it was such a memorable experience. The part where you said it crossed off a bucket list that you didn’t even know existed, really hit home also. LGM!
This was extremely useful for a father of young children. Thank you.
Thanks for posting this. It’s funny, like you had once done, I’ve been doing exhaustive online research about the Mets 20-game plan when I saw your post on Reddit that led me to your article here.
I’m considering the weekday plan in the 300s section, probably for two tickets. The seats aren’t exactly where I’d like them to be compared to the cost, which is probably due to the Mets being good this year and potentially next year.
Years ago (2009 to 2012), I did the 6-game plan. I only stopped because I think they discontinued offering that plan. I don’t remember exactly where my seats were, but remember it being worth it overall, although not as much of a financial commitment.
I’ve flirted with the idea of the 20-game plan for awhile now. I can’t make the financial commitment for the 40 or 81-game plans, even if it was for one ticket. A couple years ago, I called to inquire about the 20-game plan. The sales rep put the hardest sell on me you can imagine, but in the end I decided against it. A couple months later COVID hit, and the rest is history. I’m not sure what they did to accommodate season ticket holders, but I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that.
Since then, at the beginning of each year, they’ve called, texted, and emailed me nonstop. Every day my phone was blowing up with a “718” area-code. It was actually very off-putting.
Also like you, I recognize how fortunate I am to be in this position to make a financial commitment like this; it’s certainly a first-world problem and I don’t forget that. Right now, I’m 50/50 on it; there’s still a lot for me to think about.
Similar experience to Drew’s. I had a 20 game Sat package for 2016- 2019, in the 500’s but right behind home. Not bad tickets for about $650/seat. I didnt renew for 2020, and that was before the pandemic hit.
I agree —they sell you hard but do nothing for you. For most games, it would have been cheaper to buy on the secondary market. And that playoff strip ! — I bought it for 2016. but the strip was about $1500 per seat. Ouch. Waited months to get my refund. They price the playoff tickets so high, with all the fees added in, that you would be hard pressed to make a profit on the secondary market. Tried the 20 game for 4 years. IMO not worth it. I’d rather go when I want, for good games in good weather, taking however many people I want. And last comment—ALWAYS go to The Lemon Ice King of Corona on 108th after the games. The Italian ices make the trip in from NJ worth it.
Robert Samla says
Had paper tix for a Saturday plan in 2002, so i figured I’d try again. By the time I purchased my 2023 twenty game package, opening day tickets were off the table. I was told there would be vouchers for a Monday through Thursday game for the missing opening day game but it remains to be seen if this becomes a 19 game package. Also cannot see how to do a Ticket exchange on the app. We’ll see how it goes But for now this just might be a one off for me.