By Laura Amaro
BY LAURA AMATO
Welcome to New York, where everything is expensive and slightly overpriced—including our Wild Card baseball tickets.
The Mets hosted the San Francisco Giants in the National League Wild Card game on Wednesday night and the one-and-done playoff game didn’t just boast some of the best pitching in the league—it also set a new standard for ticket prices.
The most expensive seats cost fans upwards of $3,000 in the days leading up to the game. Just a few hours before first pitch, even the cheapest tickets cost $185 on the resale site StubHub.
Of course, that didn’t stop fans from turning out to Citi Field. After all, this is only the second time in franchise history the Mets have made back-to-back postseason appearances and after last year’s run to the World Series, even the Amazin’s most fair-weather fans were determined to see their squad take the field.
“It’s huge to be here,” said Long Island native Chris Seider. “As a diehard Mets fan, you’ve got to get here. When your team makes the playoffs, you’ve got to try and be there.
The temptation is there to try and make a quick buck selling your tickets, but if you’ve got them, you’ve got to come out to the game.”
According to ticket-search site TicketIQ, the average ticket price for the matchup earlier in the week was $314, making it the most expensive Wild Card game in the history of the postseason. And it wasn’t even close.
The previous mark was set in last season’s NL tilt between the Cubs and Pirates. Tickets for that game averaged $264.68 and the temptation was certainly there this year for some Mets fans to barter up their seats.
“At first I was going to sell them, honestly,” said season-ticket holder Phillip Park. “My reason is if we lose the Wild Card, I would not want to be in this stadium. But after seeing how the prices were going, and no one was buying because of the pricing, I decided to keep them.”
There were however fans—from both sides—who turned to resale sites in order to make sure they’d be able to see the Wild Card game in person.
Chris Lee—a California native who grew up cheering for the Giants and now lives in the Lower East Side—paid $350 on StubHub for his tickets. He didn’t flinch at the number, though, determined to see his squad and represent his hometown colors.
“It was just very fortuitous that they would play the Mets,” Lee said. “There’s four of us going today—there’s a sports bar in Manhattan called Finnery’s and it’s a small slice of the Bay Area in New York. So we all decided to go together.”
The box office prices for the game were based on marquee-game costs like Opening Day and the Subway Series, but while the Mets don’t influence resale sites, the team did offer fans another option.
Bethpage native Eric Ritchie bought his tickets through the team’s postseason ticket opportunity, submitting his name several weeks ago for the chance to purchase Wild Card and Divisional Series seats.
“I like the way the Mets do it, you put your name in and see if you get it,” he said. “The worst that’ll happen is you can’t buy tickets. And then I just wouldn’t go.”
The 44,747 fans—most of them decked out in blue and orange—walked away from Citi Field disappointed after Conor Gillaspie connected on the go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth, sending the Giants on to the NLDS and ending the Mets season.
But while the loss certainly hurt—as did the slightly slimmer wallets most fans sported to see the game—most stayed until the final out was thrown. They wanted to see their team and, no matter what the ticket price, they stuck it out until the very end.
“I definitely wanted to be here,” Park said. “But after they lost I was just happy to get out of the stadium.”