Four Points Flushing. The Official Hotel of the Queens Baseball Convention and The

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Open letter to the @Mets from a now former(?) ticket plan holder.


Nick Schiavo is a die hard Mets fan that I met many years ago. He has hit me up in the past about both good things and bad things the mets have done in the past with Mets Ticket Plan Holders. This tenure system and the way it is set up seems like a really bad system. I feel his frustration and I am sure that a lot of other plan holders feel the same way. The playoff strips I can easily see it being a MLB thing. But who are the folks that okayed the way Tenure is set up? Are they trying to get rid of loyal fans? Are the new folks that they are bringing in to be executives not baseball fan knowledgable folks? I have no idea anymore. Read this from Nick. It is a lot but you can see what the team and the tickets mean to him and from what I can tell that he feels insulted by the team he and his family loves.

So, back on September 12 an email was sent from the Mets and my ticket rep saying my renewal window was “on deck” and explained a new “tenure” system that the Mets would be using starting next season.  The most interesting and curious line in this email was “if you choose to terminate your membership for the 2024 season, your tenure will reset to zero.” Pretty bold statement since the team had never used such a system before, no one even knows what this system will be about and to me it sounded like a threat against your account.  Also, a very bold statement to make after such a train wreck of a season when you know people aren’t happy and are sure to cancel their memberships.  But okay, I figured i’d wait to see the actual renewal paperwork numbers in the coming weeks hoping it would explain “tenure” and any perks it may have.

Now keep in mind my first playoff game was Game 4 1988 NLCS vs the Dodgers and I haven’t missed a home playoff game since and I have had some sort of a season plan since 1998.  I started out small (it was actually the first thing I ever purchased with my first work paycheck, something I am proud to say) several 7 packs, as they were back then, and then quickly to a weekday plan, then to about 20 games if I remember correctly.  So my devotion to being at big games is serious and such thats why I value my season tickets so much.  I always saw my season tickets as a way to hedge my bet for the playoffs, a small deposit all year so I would b at the biggest games.

So back to the communications this past month.  The renewal email arrives on September 18.  I immediately notice the heading “new for 2024” option to purchase HALF POSTSEASON STRIPS.  Now, again keep in mind I have had a 40 game weekday home games plan since 2008, always with the option of full strip purchase since at least 199, if i can remember correctly, since I have been to every playoff game.  This leads me to a few questions for my ticket rep… please explain the reason for the change? what was the major issue in offering a plan holder like myself that commits to a large plan such a downgrade in postseason options? things of that nature.  Keep in mind I never once even care that my tickets barely went up in price.  This is not a money problem complaint here, I guess you can say I am actually complaining I cant give the Mets more money in theory.   The rep (and don’t get me wrong Im not blaming any of this on them because i know they’re probably just reading this off an organizational script) kept blaming MLB for how they request tickets be allocated for postseason games, telling me I don’t understand how it works and it’s not so cut and dry.  But it is, unless you had a major problem last season fulfilling postseason orders, why now coming off the worst season in a long time would you alienate any fans? Never-mind loyal fas that are literally begging you (the Mets) to take more of our money, it’s all very confusing.

At the bottom of this renewal paperwork was a virtual RSVP to a meeting at Citi field last week to meet and hear from Mets owner Steve Cohen, I gladly attended.  I will say this, although the initial question session was clearly some “ground balls”, questions about team performance and upgrades to the citi next year, he told everyone in attendance they could get in line and talk to him, take a photo etc.  and he did.  He was there for about 45 minutes longer than scheduled and made it a point to hear from everyone on the line.  That says a lot to for me about a man in his position, call its schmoozing us or not, it still deserves a hat tip.  When I asked him about the tenure system and this removal of the full strip option he and I spoke about plan structures, why they had to do it, again blaming MLB but of course never giving a real concrete answer as to bottom line reality for the die hard fans.  He did say he was not happy about what he was hearing about this tenure system and wanted to look further into it and acknowledge that I was not alone about the postseason strip complaints.  I did have several reps there ask me (along with others) if they panned on renewing and you can easily hear the majority say “I don’t know, I’m not happy about this or that”.  Now some plans were affected by taking away opening day or a subway series game, some had parking options taken away, the ticket redemption program seems to be gone, the post season strip options sound like a train wreck.  Theres just so many hidden, and dare I say sneaky tactics that honestly i never thought id reach this point.

I am 99% sure i will not be renewing by my October 18 decision day.  My reasoning is simple, you’re preaching this new tenure system but you’re not honoring the “tenure”, the loyalty and lets face it the financial commitment we have made to you (the Mets) for all these years.  It seems very clear that they want to start fresh.  I was now told I was BLUE tenure (the lowest level). Which would provide me with the lowest amount of perks (perks i don’t care about anyway) i want to go to games and watch baseball.  I don’t care how fancy the speakeasy club is or the new upgrades being made to clover club.  However, these “perks” that they offer every season, last season I was offered the same perks as the highest level tenure level would next season, so it just doesn’t make any sense how you came to classifying these levels.  I sit and ENJOY the games from the upper deck, I’m a baseball fan.  But, I have come to the conclusion that unless the club can give me some sort of solid answer about how I can purchase the other half of this strip without being unavailable due to corporate and these aftermarket companies buying them out from under us I will definitely be canceling my membership.

This is a long winded post and I could go on for hours about this because having season tickets was a luxury I was proud to have.  Times change I understand and maybe now the club doesn’t honor the devotion of us fans as much as they used to (dare I say the Wilpon era never made such a drastic change to our accounts).  

There are a portion of every fanbase that have stuck with their team through the worst of seasons and the best of seasons.

Now that this club has turned a corner and the future does look promising (aside from the disaster this season has) you are not luring us back. We stuck through the bad years, we just want to be there for the good ones… Shame on you Mets!

Thanks Nick. What do you have to say Mets? 


Anonymous said...

Well said Nick. The tenure is just money spent. I have been a plan holder since 2011. I have a 20 game field box. I am gold. If I was in the upper deck I would be blue. The color tenure system was a horrible idea. So was the e mail stating you will go to zero tenure wise. I am leaving. Who would want to give them any more money? The Wilpons treated us better Cohen only cares about his richest customers

Anonymous said...

My partner and I are not renewing our 20-game plan next season. If they turn out to be postseason contenders I'd bet there will be an offer late in the season to sign up for 2025 tickets and get access to the 2024 postseason. I liked having the plan but there are too many issues that I feel undercut the value. Here's a couple.

1) The constant ticket discounts offered throughout the year that included the promenade reserved seats (where my plan is). It felt like a slap in the face to be paying for 20 games upfront only to constantly see ticket deals and bogo offers where I could have gotten better deals throughout the summer. If the Mets had done something to compensate season ticket holders (a free Coke even) it may not have stung so much.

2) The perks while cool, (Mike Piazza Q and A last year) always felt like they were secretive and offered arbitrarily. We were never presented with an offering of events to choose from in advance. It was always just a random email from a ticket rep about an event coming up that usually came after we asked how the perks worked, what they were, and what we were eligible for. It always felt kind of haphazard whether you'd be offered perks or not.

There are some cool positives to having a plan - it's fun to have "your seat", there are some cool members-only promo items, etc... but overall we don't see the value going into 2024.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Nick and the two people before me. I’ve talked with my mom and we agreed the wilpons treated us better. No insane ticket price increase when the team is below 500. We also got more from our reps when the team was trash. This year, absolutely nothing but frustration. Increased prices but lower value for my ticket. I can’t even sell my tickets, which I never have, and break even due to the offers the Mets offer for games (bogo, the Alonso in the HR derby, etc.) as well as the team doing so poorly. Yes there was high hopes for this season, but besides the players and games themselves, the organization is not treating their loyal fans right. I’ve been a STH since 2015, but was a loyal fan prior to that, and I get a lousy blue tier when my friend who has been a STH less than me gets higher ranked. It seems they only care about the fans that spend more money. Let’s face it, Cohen spent a lot of money on this purchase (and now this new golf adventure) and he needs to keep that billionaire status somehow. And while I’m at it, let’s talk about the reps. They’re absolutely garbage as well. Last year and this year I have no idea who my rep is, two different ones mind you. You can give me a line of four people and I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one is mine from this year or last year. While this email came out, mine is over seas with no access to email so I cant even get a response for my questions. He has been utterly useless this year and I HOPE he gets no commission from my account, although I’m sure he does. My list goes on and on in regards to the negative experiences I’ve had there this year. It’s time to really sit down and think on if I want to give them almost a grand next year, for what? To continue to be treated like dirt from this organization.

Anonymous said...

I also decided to not renew my ticket plan. I was very disappointed in how the season unfolded. Furthermore, I was turned off by the increased ticket prices after such a disappointing season.

Keith Whiteside said...

100% agree! I’m also a 40 game weekday plan holder since 2013. Last year the playoff strip for the seats I had for ten years went to the weekend plan holder and I was offered different seats. When I questioned I was told they were plan holders prior to me but had different seats. I accepted that because that’s respecting tenure. I understood that and agree with it. But the new system? I also told my rep I’ll make my decision on 10/17 but I’m leaning toward non-renewal