Fired Mets VP of Ticket Sales Leigh Castergine, has filed a lawsuit today in Brooklyn Federal Court against the New York Mets.
Castergine claims she was fired by the team because COO Jeff Wilpon objected to her becoming pregnant and single.
Additionally, the filing states:
“He frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the Team’s all-male senior executives that he is ‘morally opposed’ to Castergine ‘having this baby without being married,’” the suit states.
“Wilpon told her that, when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus,” the suit states.
Wilpon told Castergine that “something had changed” in Castergine after the birth of her child — “with still no ring on her finger,” the suit states. “Wilpon told her that she was no longer as ‘aggressive” as she used to be.”
When the first female senior vice president in the team’s 52-year history complained about Wilpon’s behavior to the team’s human resources department, she was abruptly terminated, according to the suit.
“In particular, the Team’s front office has failed to field a winning team in six years, including 2014, and has made a series of public relations blunders that too frequently led to the franchise being ridiculed in the sports pages,” the suit states.
“The team’s ownership and front office have only made things worse,” the suit states, noting that the Mets alienated their fan base by denying obvious financial difficulties while failing to sign big-name stars.
“Some fans had become so disenchanted that they pledged not to attend any games until there was a change in ownership,” the suit states. “Others compared Castergine’s job to selling ‘deck chairs on the Titanic’ or ‘tickets to a funeral.’”
MMO will be continue to be on this like white on rice.
September 1 – Mets Fire Senior VP of Ticket Sales Leigh Castergine
In a statement released to Fred Kerber of the New York Post, the Mets confirmed the recent whispers that Leigh Castergine, senior vice president of ticket sales had been fired.
“Leigh Castergine, Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales & Services, is no longer with the organization. Although no replacement has been named yet, we have a talented staff in place to handle all ticket related business while we embark on a national search for this role.”
With only the Diamondbacks and Marlins selling fewer tickets in the National League than the Mets, writes Kerber, the team made the decision to ax Leigh, who had been with them since 2010.
Every disaster demands some blood-letting and a fall guy, or in this case, a fall girl.
Leigh leaves an indelible mark on the organization as she was the force behind modernizing the Mets ticket operations by ushering in dynamic ticket pricing while it was still in its infancy – a growing trend that has since been adopted by many other major league teams.
She also had an acute awareness of her marketplace and the ticket environment as a whole, confronting the ever-growing secondary ticket market head-on by offering ticket buyers more value for their dollars in the form of Summer Concerts, Free-Shirt Fridays, Family Tickets, and other unique promotions geared toward customer satisfaction and consumer value.
Unfortunately for Leigh, and despite all her best efforts, she could not overcome the fact that more and more fans were becoming disinterested in the primary product she was trying to market – a lackluster team who hasn’t had a winning season since 2008.
Castergine, who became a mother this year after the birth of her first child on Opening Day, will bounce back and reappear somewhere. There’s always a need for talent like hers in the sports industry, and after successful stints with the Orlando Magic in the NBA and the Boston Bruins in the NHL, it won’t be long until she’s called upon by another team.
We wish her luck.