The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets have been going in different directions ever since the Phillies won the NL East with a stunning September comeback in 2007. The two teams are taking divergent paths, as well, when it comes to ticketing philosophies and prices.
While the Mets are relying on sizable cuts in ticket prices to lure fans back to Citi Field after suffering the biggest dip in attendance in Major League Baseball last year — as well as two straight losing seasons and four straight seasons without a playoff berth in Queens — the Phillies are raising ticket prices after winning their fourth consecutive NL East title. The team’s streak of consecutive sellouts at Citizens Bank Park reached 123 in 2010.
But even with the increases, most Phillies tickets will still be cheaper than those of their fiercest division rival. The most expensive ticket at Citizens Bank, aside from premium seating behind home plate in the Diamond Club and Hall of Fame Club, will be infield field level seats in sections 115 through 132 priced at $65, an increase of $5 from this year. About 100 miles to the east, meanwhile, the cheapest seat in a comparable section — the “Metropolitan Box” — is $72 for a “Value” game.
In Philadelphia, the ticket increases range from $2 to $5. Baseline seats in sections 112-114 and 133-135 are going up to $50 from $45. Seats in three other sections are going up to $36 from $33 while Scoreboard porch. Six areas are rising by $2 and four areas will remain the same, including the cheapest seat in the house ($20 for Terrace Deck sections 430-434) and the cheapest ticket ($17 for standing room only).
Phillies vice president of ticket sales John Weber told the Philadelphia Daily News that it wasn’t easy to raise ticket prices, even with the sellout streak and the Phillies’ overwhelming success creating unprecedented demand.
“We want to remain family affordable,” Weber told the paper. “Families are the backbone of our success. We want to keep things as low as we possibly can and we think we have done that with this scenario.”
The Phillies led the NL in attendance last season with an average crowd of 45,028 per game at 43,000-seat Citizens Bank Park. It was the first time the Phillies led the NL in attendance since 1950 and completed a meteoric rise for a franchise that was last in the NL in attendance as recently as 1998 and as low as ninth in the 16-team league in 2005, the second season of play at Citizens Bank Park.
Prior to the National League Championship Series — which the favored Phillies lost to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants in six games — the average price to one of the first three games in Philadelphia (Games One, Two and Six) on the resell market was $504. Such interest in the Phillies led Wanamaker Ticket Office vice president Jeremi Conaway to tell TicketNews that Phillies games are to Philadelphia what Red Sox games are in Boston — “…the ‘in’ thing to do.”