The New York Mets, which touted the team was decreasing the price of tickets in 2011, is one of several Major League Baseball (MLB) teams that increased the convenience and processing fees they charge fans this season.
The team charges the second-highest add-on fees of all MLB teams at $10.50 per ticket, up $0.50 from 2010, behind only the Boston Red Sox at $11.25, according to a report released this week by The Hardball Times. The Mets also charge fans $4 to have their tickets mailed to them, the only team in baseball to charge fans a separate mailing fee, though the team only charges $2.50 to allow fans to print tickets at home.
The Mets have struggled on the field the last couple of years and continue to struggle at the gate this season, in part due to the cloud hanging over ownership for their ties to the Bernie Madoff scandal. Last night, June 5, for example, the Mets beat the division rival Atlanta Braves at Citi Field before an announced crowd of 21,015, less than half of the roughly 45,000 the stadium holds.
For an upcoming September game at Citi Field against the Washington Nationals, another divisional rival, with the $10.50 fee, the least expensive ticket — located in the Promenade Reserved section — will cost $22.50 on Mets.com. On StubHub, similar tickets, with fees, would cost just under $12.
By comparison, the equally scandal-ridden Los Angeles Dodgers lowered its add-on fees by $0.75 per ticket this season to $8.10. And, the Mets cross-town rival, the Yankees, charge $7.50 in added fees, though to be fair, the Yankees also often charge more for tickets overall.
Whether on the primary or secondary ticket market, virtually all ticket sellers charge some sort of fees, unless the listed price is an “all-in” price. But, with the Mets faced with slow sales and a public relations nightmare, increasing the fees — since 2007, the fees have risen $4 from $6.50 to $10.50 — is surprising considering the team lowered face values for many tickets prior to the season.
After the Red Sox and Mets, the remaining teams in the top five for added fees are the Chicago Cubs ($10.35), the Los Angeles Angels ($9.50) and the Toronto Blue Jays ($9.46), according to the Times. Out of the top five, only the Red Sox did not increase fees in 2011.
The Mets did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
John Breyault, vice president of Public Policy, Telecommunications & Fraud for the National Consumers League (NCL) told TicketNews that consumers are “fed up with being nickel-and-dimed” by teams, venues, music artists and others at the box office.
“Your average sports fan is willing to pay a fair price to see a game, but they want to know the cost up front. These fees are just another way for billionaire team owners and ticketing companies to spring a new ‘gotcha’ on fans once they’re already invested in the buying decision,” Breyault said. “This is a prime reason why NCL supports greater transparency and competition in the ticketing marketplace; so that consumers can freely shop around and compare prices to find the best deal.”