My how the once mighty have fallen.
The New York Mets -- just four seasons removed from drawing more than 4 million fans in their final season at Shea Stadium -- were so desperate to sell out their opening game at Citi Field this season that they were offering a buy-one-get-one-style ticket deal.
The Mets are so terrified by the embarrassing prospect of playing to empty seats at today's opener, they've made an Amazin' "buy one get one free" pitch.
Some 15,000 of their fans have been offered one free seat for Saturday's or Sunday's Atlanta game in exchange for every ticket they buy for today’s opener.
Plenty of the 41,880 seats for this afternoon’s game at Citi Field against the Braves were still available early today.
A Mets executive told The Metro Newspaper in New York that “several thousand” tickets remain for Thursday’s 1:10 p.m. game against the Braves despite the team honoring Hall of Famer Gary Carter pregame.
Basically, the Mets are bad and like many bad teams their fans don't want to pay hard-earned money to see them.
Considering the Phillies will open their home slate at Citizens Bank Park with their 200-something sell out in a row and that the cross-city Yankees have averaged more than 45,000 fans per game the last couple seasons while the Mets dropped all the way to 2.4 million fans last season (about 30,000) a game, things in Queens don’t look bright for the Mets.
It wasn’t long ago that the Mets and Phillies were fierce rivals with fans that battled to fill each other’s ballparks -- both teams easily topping the 3-million fan mark. But after the Bernie Madoff fallout, underwhelming play, some key injuries (Johan Santana) and bad personnel decisions while the rest of the National League East got better or stayed the same (Phillies), the Mets fans ho-hum attitude about their team is understandable.
It’s going to be a long season for Mr. Met and company as the Mets battle to stay out of the basement of the National League while fighting to get fans down to the ballpark.