After 19 home games this season, the Mets have had just 548,518 fans come out to Citi Field according to ESPN. This comes out to an average of just 28,869 fans a game, which is only 69.1% of the capacity of Citi Field. Anyone who has been to a Mets game this year can tell you that that number seems to be higher than the actual number of fans who show up.. There are tons of empty seats at Citi Field every game and tickets can be found on Stub Hub for as little as $3 and yet the ticket owners are having trouble selling them.
There has been a significant drop off in the Mets attendance numbers from last season to this season. Even while putting a 79-83 team out on the field last year, an average of 32,401 fans stepped through the turnstiles at Citi Field last season. This was enough fans to fill Citi Field to over 77% capacity.
The Mets are not alone in seeing their attendance numbers drop this year. One would think the Cleveland Indians, who have been outstanding this year, having won 26 games so far, after winning just 15 games at the same point in the season last season, would have seen an increase in their attendance. This is not the case as the Indians have seen their attendance numbers fall from 17,435 per game last season to 15,647 per game this year.
It is clear that something is keeping baseball fans away, but trying to answer what exactly is keeping the fans away is a difficult question. Is it the rising ticket prices? It does not seem so since there are so many tickets available for a very reasonable prices on resale sites.
Have Mets fans finally decided to send a lesson to ownership that they are fed up with the product they are getting? This could be part of the reason for the Mets decline in attendance, as many fans did not renew their season tickets for this season. However, it cannot explain a drop of almost 3,500 fans per game for the Mets.
While the NBA playoffs have been very exciting this year, only one major baseball market, Chicago, has a team left, so this cannot be keeping fans from the ballpark.
Baseball fans have made a decision to stay away from the ballpark this year for their own reasons. The Mets are going to be in big trouble if they cannot start bring fans in through the gates. They are missing out on a lot of revenue needed to pay for players. They team is already having money issues and the low attendance obviously does not help them.
The Mets will trade some of their big name players this year to save money. They cannot afford them if they have such low attendance. However, if the goal of Mets fans is to send a message to ownership that they will not show up unless their are changes being made, then it is certainly a move that should be respected. Going to a game is a luxury and fans should not need to pay exorbitant prices to see a losing team.
However, attendance figures are down across baseball, so it could also be possible that the baseball is losing some of its ground as America’s pastime.