Amazin’ Solutions: How To Get Fans Back In The Seats At Citi Field

An article by posted on August 14, 2012

As I sit here watching Shark Week, I can’t stop thinking about how I wish the Mets would be more aggressive. I know their financial situation isn’t the greatest, but as fans, why do we have to suffer for the bad investment choices of a few? It doesn’t seem right.

The saddest part of the story is, much like the poor seals that swim off the coast of South Africa, there isn’t much relief in sight for New York Mets fans.

As the Mets struggle to draw fans to the stadium, their financial woes will continue. New York is a very unforgiving city, and the fans will show their disdain with declining ticket and merchandise sales. The secondary market for tickets has to be killing the Mets right now. The Mets are being undersold by their own fans as they sell their tickets at discounted prices, trying to recoup some of the big money they spent on them before the season started. Now that the Mets are no longer in the playoff hunt, this trend will continue for the remainder of the season. If fans aren’t coming out to the games, the Mets miss out on the opportunity to lure fans into spending even more money once they have you within the gates of the stadium. I wonder if they’re making up foam fingers with the hand holding up four fingers, instead of one, because that’s where they’re going to finish this season in the NL East.

It already seems like the last thing the Mets want their fans doing is watching the game. Take a stroll out behind center field wall at Citi and you see distraction after distraction – a dunk tank, a booth to see how fast you throw, even an area to play Xbox. These things are better suited for Brooklyn Cyclones games. What ever happened to going to a ball game and filling out a score card? In other words, actually watching the game. I don’t know, maybe those gimmicks are the only reason why people are coming to the stadium these days.

It’s hard enough to draw fans out to the stadium when you are competing with high definition broadcasts. Personally, I would rather sit in the comfort of my own home and watch the game versus go to the stadium – and that’s when there is a formidable team on the field. I opt to watching games at home, but when I see Scott Hairston hitting cleanup, even I have trouble not changing the channel. There has to be a reason to keep the fans watching, and coming to the ball park. And with all respect to the season he’s having, it’s not Scott Hairston. Maybe that’s why they want to trade him now? Hmmmm…

Now the only question that remains is how do the Mets get the fans to start coming to games again?

I have a borderline controversial answer to that question. I think there is one player out there, that the Mets can sign, that will draw the fans out of the woodwork. But this player is going to cost them – that’s the rub. This player has the potential to be as polarizing as Tim Tebow was coming to the Jets. This player will put butts back in the seats at Citi Field, and fans will have a reason to actually watch the game, instead of squeezing in a game of MLB2K13 out behind the center field wall. This player will steal the back page from the Yankees. That player is none other than Josh Hamilton.

Josh Hamilton is arguably the greatest player in the game today. Josh Hamilton is a risk I would love to see the Mets take. Josh Hamilton will bring respect back to the Mets. Josh Hamilton will take the city by storm. I can see record breaking jersey sales, an instant boost in season ticket sales, and bragging rights as the Mets can proudly claim they have the best player in New York on their roster. Hamilton certainly comes with his baggage, but his upside far outweighs the downside.

Jim Mancari noted earlier in his segment From Left Field that the Mets have “a significant amount of building blocks in place.” In other words, things aren’t as bad as they seem. Maybe Josh Hamilton is exactly what is needed to pull all those building blocks together. While it’s not likely we will see Hamilton in a New York Mets uniform, it sure would be something special. With Hamilton wearing the Mets blue and orange, I can’t guarantee you they will be winners, but at least they will be watchable. And as an added bonus for the Wilpon’s, they may actually start making money again.

Amazin’ Solutions is a segment I will be covering for Mets Merized Online going forward. It will take an in depth look at the different issues the Mets are facing, and provide solutions for those issues. Sometimes, when the issues are so complex that they may not have a solution, I may just have a little fun. 

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