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Thread: Shea Stadium

  1. #13151
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpineinc View Post
    But only a very small die-hard faction of fans feel that the Wilpon's have been "hostile"; most aren't even paying attention, so the constant railing back and forth about ownership is mostly lost on the sports public at large. Regardless of ticket prices, obstructions, and seat color, if the product on the field again improves, the casual fans will return, and fill Citi Field. Before then, you can offer discounts and freebies from here to the moon, but you won't fill any established stadium that way, especially in the 21st century.

    And as you noted, television drives the bus, with the live baseball experience only a part of that strategy, a far cry from the old days of gate receipts making or breaking a franchise. And all teams cater to the high end fan in attendance; all parks have luxury suites, gourmet fare, and perks for the haves over the have-nots, and the Wilpons are right in line with all other franchises in this regard. Accordingly, one can't market a team like they did 40, 50, 60 years ago without great financial risk; as such, continually demanding ownership to go back to tactics from decades ago in order to recall or relive the state of baseball in our youth may be short-sighted.

    Us older Mets fans love Shea, but we also know that the fans didn't come back in the '80's because they loved the new rainbow colors of Flushing Meadows and Diamond Vision. The only reason they came back was because the on-the-field product improved, and 90% of the fans didn't care what bowl they were sitting in. Our joyful memories or the place are not sitting in empty Shea reflecting on its architectural splendor; our memories are a combination of what happened on that field, coupled with the family or friends that shared those memories in that park at that time.

    Lastly, if the Mets had a great year in 2009 (playoffs, maybe) and continued that success into 2010, etc., the Mets would likely have had near-sellouts every day going forward in the new park. Absent of that crucial variable, any discussion of what the Wilpons are doing or have done to draw fans to Queens is largely moot.
    Good baseball helps, of course, but it isn't everything. I have to remind you: the Mets outdrew the Yankees for years despite often fielding inferior teams. In those years Mets P.R. was brilliant and they were fan friendly, which pretty successfully compensated for the fact those teams lost 100 a year.

    Marketing is important and connecting with fans is crucial - especially in an age when media has unprecedented power in projecting image. Rather than try to squeeze every penny possible out of the live baseball experience, it's possible to generate strong profits while using the stadium experience as a marketing tool to enlarge the audience. Enlarging the audience should be the main objective, so television profits can be maximized.

    You talk about casual fans, but they're not going to pay $150 for a Mezzanine seat. Wilpon's stadium pricing strategy was aimed at the die hards with no eye towards growth of the audience. If anything it was a strategy for shrinking the audience, to the long term detriment of profitability via advertising and television.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We got to see this plan in action. As I predicted in advance, it was a disaster that generated considerable ill-will for the franchise and inflicted considerable harm on the Mets brand.


    "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

  2. #13152
    Quote Originally Posted by Mygirljess View Post
    One of my personal favorite Shea stories was one night when the Rolling Stones played there in 1989. Because of Shea's open end, you could go into the parking lot in center field and really hear the sound great. One of those shows I had no ticket and wandered in there to listen. I met a young female of the "hippie" type who was there for the same reason, and I guess we sort of hit it off and we got a bit amorous on the hood of someone's car in deep left center during the Stones show. Never saw her again. To this day, sometimes I smile when I see a play on the infield at Citi Field, knowing that the romantic encounter I described took place somewhere on that exact piece of land.
    My friend told me after a lucrative day scalping Jets tickets on a December afternoon in the early 80’s; he was counting his profits in the Center Field/East End Zone parking lot and was robbed by an unknown assailant.

    The robbery occurred in the vicinity of second base at Citi Field.

  3. #13153
    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post
    A MLB franchise in NYC is inherently lucrative enough that it'll still be highly profitable without squeezing every short term dollar possible out of fans to the long term detriment of the brand's good will. Because of location the Mets have an almost limitless ceiling to expand the value of their brand.

    Before current ownership hijacked the team the Mets ruled New York. New York is the center of national media, so at that time the brand also carried national weight. If run properly the Mets could capitalize on this by greatly expanded sponsorships, advertising opportunities and selling T.V. rights for more money outside the immediate NYC area.

    It should also be remembered much of the time the Mets ruled New York the Yankees were actually a better team. There was often no correlation between quality of team and how well or poorly they drew. Part of it was the large Dodgers/Giants fan base they inherited. Much of it was how brilliantly they marketed a really horrendous product from the beginning. The Mets brand meant something. The Yankees were a perfect foil for such marketing in the early 1960s, and are today.

    Homespun fan friendliness and charm went a long way towards expanding the fan base. I'd also pursue an active strategy through sponsorships, ticket giveaways and player appearances in the community to make fans of youngsters. Team loyalties are forged in childhood and are often passed on for generations. This would be a focus as well.

    Finally I'd put good baseball people in charge of baseball and refrain from interfering. I'd also quit skimming scores of millions of dollars from SNY and pump them back into the team so all the money needed for a championship level team will be available.

    At the end of the day, the winning baseball that will result from a well funded, professional organization will increase attendance and advertising rates to a level that will generate great revenue without the fan-hostile strategies that have characterized current ownership.

    I think the current grab for every available penny is short sighted and threatens the long term popularity of the game. I also think that in a market where you're competing with the Yankees it's wise to position yourself differently, rather than simply charge Yankees prices for a sham Yankees experience without the winning.

    The biggest single factor in MLB revenue today is television. As a result I feel the key to greater long term prosperity is expanding the fan base/audience. Making the live baseball experience exclusionary works against this growth. I feel it's foolish.

    not when they're depending on a ponzy scheme for income. all mlb franchises are going for every short term dollar these days. because of the yanks, the ceiling isn't limitless - your assumptions smack of pollyanna-ish thinking.

    since the early 70's the mets only have "national weight" when they are in the post season, how and/or why would they have been able to extend their brand outside the nyc area? the 2 franchises with national reach are the yanks and dodgers - when they are winning and the former does a good job of that.

    in the mid 80's thru early 90's the yanks were bad/ mediocre, during the late 90's uptick they did not "own" the town.
    the old nl nyc fans went to see the mets because they were without an nl product for 4 years, and mets picked the retreads from the lost franchises that local customers wanted to relive the past with - not "brilliant marketing".
    no matter what the family does to market the team they'll never overtake the yanks brand for the foreseeable future.

    your "homespun" approach is as out of date as a '63 schedule, big league sports can't focus on individuals/families because they don't have the $$$'s available to spend that high-ender's & corporations do. the upward spiral of athlete salaries and quest for profits above that make that a losing proposition. with the proliferation of ways to see any mlb game (like the nfl) the childhood loyalties of the past aren't the way those loyalties are forged today.

    the reason why mlb franchises get involved with regional sports networks is so they can "skim" $$$'s to funnel into the teams, a revenue stream independent of ticket sales etc. makes good biz sense.

    if you had a business that lost it's main income stream (madoff) wouldn't you look for every penny available to make up the difference? "hostile" strategies to the small $$$ ticket buyers are weighed against the attitudes of the big timers and the big $$$'s will win out, that's the way it is in biz.

    you should include the players in the $$$ grab, look how quickly the average salary has risen above the national norm since 1974. the family doesn't have much choice but charge in the neighborhood of what the other franchise does, they are competing in the same available talent pool, are in a mallpark of the same age but also have mountians of debt to pay off. if they slash tix prices heavily now and the product improves when they increase prices to market normals there'll be an uproar about that.
    Last edited by Paul W; 03-31-2012 at 09:07 PM.
    the turd in the punchbowl
    reality really sucks.
    enjoy the game more...

  4. #13154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul W View Post
    not when they're depending on a ponzy scheme for income. all mlb franchises are going for every short term dollar these days. because of the yanks, the ceiling isn't limitless - your assumptions smack of pollyanna-ish thinking.

    since the early 70's the mets only have "national weight" when they are in the post season, how and/or why would they have been able to extend their brand outside the nyc area? the 2 franchises with national reach are the yanks and dodgers - when they are winning and the former does a good job of that.

    in the mid 80's thru early 90's the yanks were bad/ mediocre, during the late 90's uptick they did not "own" the town.
    the old nl nyc fans went to see the mets because they were without an nl product for 4 years, and mets picked the retreads from the lost franchises that local customers wanted to relive the past with - not "brilliant marketing".
    no matter what the family does to market the team they'll never overtake the yanks brand for the foreseeable future.

    your "homespun" approach is as out of date as a '63 schedule, big league sports can't focus on individuals/families because they don't have the $$$'s available to spend that high-ender's & corporations do. the upward spiral of athlete salaries and quest for profits above that make that a losing proposition. with the proliferation of ways to see any mlb game (like the nfl) the childhood loyalties of the past aren't the way those loyalties are forged today.

    the reason why mlb franchises get involved with regional sports networks is so they can "skim" $$$'s to funnel into the teams, a revenue stream independent of ticket sales etc. makes good biz sense.

    if you had a business that lost it's main income stream (madoff) wouldn't you look for every penny available to make up the difference? "hostile" strategies to the small $$$ ticket buyers are weighed against the attitudes of the big timers and the big $$$'s will win out, that's the way it is in biz.

    you should include the players in the $$$ grab, look how quickly the average salary has risen above the national norm since 1974. the family doesn't have much choice but charge in the neighborhood of what the other franchise does, they are competing in the same available talent pool, are in a mallpark of the same age but also have mountians of debt to pay off. if they slash tix prices heavily now and the product improves when they increase prices to market normals there'll be an uproar about that.
    1) Good will is an essential ingredient in the relationship between a business and its customers. That's pretty much traditional business thinking. What you're suggesting pro-sports consumers are somehow cut from an inferior cloth and treating them like rabble is a winning paradigm. I disagree.

    2) You're looking at ballpark revenue in a vacuum. I'm not. Strategies that numerically grow the fan base will result in greater television revenue, which will result in greater long term profit. Nobody's suggesting eliminating high roller seating, but configuring seating and pricing so families are priced out is a strategic mistake that will ultimately erode the fan base. The bigger the fan base the higher the television revenue.

    3) Product differentiation is a key to successfully competing for market share in any business. The Mets' traditional persona worked in the New York market. Acting like the Yankees without the winning has not worked. It has also alienated many traditional Mets fans I personally know - myself included. I suggest making the Mets brand mean something once again - besides overpriced failure, that is.

    4) Check your history: the Mets overtook the Yankees in 1984. The mid 80s Yankees, with Mattingly, Winfield, Henderson, were good, exciting teams and perpetual contenders. They were coming off a run of 3 pennants and 2 World Championships in 5 years. The Mets by comparison were a joke. If it was doable then it's doable now. The Yankees teams of today are good, but not very charismatic and by no means invincible as market leaders here. The biggest obstacle to the Mets retaking New York is not the Yankees, but the Wilpons.

    5) The Yankees and Dodgers ascended to national importance by virtue of being in New York. Los Angeles was big enough for the Dodgers to - somewhat - sustain that stature. New York media can build national presence for a good local team. The mid 80s Mets were on their way there - they were an enormous draw on the road. A sustained run of winning, appealing teams, if marketed properly, can transcend the New York market.

    If nothing else it can restore a healthy share of the New York market itself which, since it's the biggest in the world, would be just fine.

    At any rate that's how I'd run the team differently, in answer to a much earlier question.


    "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

  5. #13155
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    Mongoose, whether people agree with you or not, I'm in awe and envious of your eloquence.

    ...although I do happen to agree with the vast majority of your points.
    Put it in the books.

  6. #13156
    treating sports customers like cattle/sheep has worked for owners for the last 30+ years, they (and the athletes) continue to increase the cost of attending - far above the average rate of inflation - and the customers keep on buying no matter how ricuclously expensive it becomes. btw - look up the old h. l. mencken quote...

    as much as you would want families to be a more important part of sports franchise marketing, they are not who big time sports franchises see as their target customers these days. it may be short sided to subjugate this potential resource to secondary status but families don't have the disposable income for big time sports tix prices and sports franchises can't afford to be cutting tix prices to lure them in. that's why the baseball minor leagues have thrived.

    it is dumb for the met(s)s to "act" like the yanks, doubt the the family wants their product to have the appearance of being second to the yanks even if it is the right way to go in marketing. fred-o's ego wouldn't allow that. the 60's persona evaporated after winning the series, after that they became another mlb franchise.

    aside from the few stars that you mentioned, the 80's yanks were awash in overpriced/under achieving free agents and the steady stream of columbus shuttle wanna-be's. all that and the negative persona of stein-grabber set up a situation where it didn't take much for the mets to overtake them. winning w/the aura trumps charisma these days and the yanks have carefully crafted the image that the met(s)s can't match. since the family intends to hold on to the franchise for many years to come, the wilpon/katz persona of incompetence will continue to play 2nd fiddle regardless
    of on-field success. they and their ways of doing biz aren't going to change.

    the dodgers haven't been in ny for more than 50 years, that franchise's ny shine has rubbed off many years ago.
    if a ny location is the magic wand for national interest, then explain the nets, islanders and devils?
    it's the dodgers success in l.a. that continues to get them national interest and keep it. if they were an inept business and provided a sub standard product their brooklyn shine would not have helped them 10, 20, 30 years later.

    few of those who went to see the mets in other cities were converted, the went to see 'em lose. the mets don't have the sustained history of success that have made the lakers, pats, packers, yanks, dodgers, celtics, cowboys, canadiens "national teams" and regardless of who's operating the franchise it will be second-tier.

    your ideas might have worked in the pre-free agent/big media era, but not now, sorry...
    Last edited by Paul W; 04-01-2012 at 06:32 PM.
    the turd in the punchbowl
    reality really sucks.
    enjoy the game more...

  7. #13157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul W View Post
    since the early 70's the mets only have "national weight" when they are in the post season, how and/or why would they have been able to extend their brand outside the nyc area? the 2 franchises with national reach are the yanks and dodgers - when they are winning and the former does a good job of that.
    The Braves led the way for National Branding outside their local area when Ted Turner uplinked WTBS as a SuperStation. The other stations that followed were WGN, WPIX, WOR, WSBK. WGN broadcast Cubs games. WPIX had the Yankees. WOR had the Mets, and WSBK, although I don't recall them doing Red Sox games, sure broadcast Bruins games.. The teams that had their games on these SuperStations got National exposrure. Until the FCC began to clamp down on these far-reaching stations, teams saw ad revenue galore outside their home area.

    the reason why mlb franchises get involved with regional sports networks is so they can "skim" $$$'s to funnel into the teams, a revenue stream independent of ticket sales etc. makes good biz sense.
    That is, and will be, the reason for teams to own, or have a stake, in their RSN. They will get pretty much guaranteed revenue for each and every cable and satellite home that subscribes to anything above the bare-bones minimum package. I think the only way one can get PayTV w/o RSN is via some Dish packages...

    you should include the players in the $$$ grab, look how quickly the average salary has risen above the national norm since 1974. the family doesn't have much choice but charge in the neighborhood of what the other franchise does, they are competing in the same available talent pool, are in a mallpark of the same age but also have mountians of debt to pay off. if they slash tix prices heavily now and the product improves when they increase prices to market normals there'll be an uproar about that.
    I had pointed this out months ago, and actually posted a graph showing average ticket price per year with average player salaries. They went hand in step. Every time a mediocre player signs a big contract, everyone else pays.

    Cheers!
    -Doug
    20-Game "A" Plan, Prom Box 423.

  8. #13158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post
    1) Good will is an essential ingredient in the relationship between a business and its customers. That's pretty much traditional business thinking. What you're suggesting pro-sports consumers are somehow cut from an inferior cloth and treating them like rabble is a winning paradigm. I disagree.

    2) You're looking at ballpark revenue in a vacuum. I'm not. Strategies that numerically grow the fan base will result in greater television revenue, which will result in greater long term profit. Nobody's suggesting eliminating high roller seating, but configuring seating and pricing so families are priced out is a strategic mistake that will ultimately erode the fan base. The bigger the fan base the higher the television revenue.
    Goose, what do you think is an affordable price for families? I can't see a family of four spending less than $200 to take in a game; maybe $100 if they do it on the cheap. It was expensive for my folks to take me to a game back in the late 70's / early 80's. I am know it's expensive to do so now.


    At any rate that's how I'd run the team differently, in answer to a much earlier question.
    I'll post the rest over in the ownership thread. I think your missing a couple of things. In a nutshell, it's easier to have a meeting and come up with a plan then it is to execute said plan. Sadly, I think the Mets will have a hard time displacing the Yankees unless the wheels fall off the Steinbrenner Bus... and happens when they begin to not make the playoffs like clockwork. And I just don't see that happening. They will spend whatever they need to in order to make the playoffs every year. For them, fiscal restraint is not part of the equation.

    Cheers!
    -Doug
    20-Game "A" Plan, Prom Box 423.

  9. #13159
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  10. #13160
    [QUOTE=alpineinc;1997725]Small, but a neat pic of the 23 inning Mets/Giants tilt in '64. Taken in the 22nd inning.

    Wow, it is actually amazin’ that there are so many fans still there!

    And I remember the first time I sat in field boxes seeing that appropriate and mildly worded sign along the railing that said “Please do not reach out of box for baseballs”.

    I think those signs were discarded in the mid ‘80s.

  11. #13161
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    Left field ramp looking out on to flushing bay..the cars in the lot look mid 70's vintage...
    "to a new yorker like you a hero is some sort of weird sandwich"

    "Because I'm loyal and true, to the orange and blue"

  12. #13162
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    This might have been taken from the same ramp!

    shea lot 001.jpg

  13. #13163
    Quote Originally Posted by Mygirljess View Post
    This might have been taken from the same ramp!

    shea lot 001.jpg
    No, that was taken from the open left field end of the stadium, before it was closed in, and murals put up. That is right behind the visitor's bullpen area. You can actually see the shadows of the left field light towers casting a double shadow across the entire center of the picture, passing over the buses!

    The picture above, taken from the ramp, was definitely not the end of the stadium. It is almost right behind the plate.

  14. #13164
    Quote Originally Posted by alpineinc View Post
    Small, but a neat pic of the 23 inning Mets/Giants tilt in '64. Taken in the 22nd inning.

    Good find Alpine. Through some internet shenanigans I was able to pull up a larger resolution of the image, and adjusted it a little.



  15. #13165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario Mendoza...HOF Lock View Post
    Good find Alpine. Through some internet shenanigans I was able to pull up a larger resolution of the image, and adjusted it a little.
    Wow, thanks. I pride myself on having a few tricks up my sleeve with these, but this one is impressive indeed! Really a keeper now.

  16. #13166
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  17. #13167
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    Wow. Thanks for that. I bet this old photo of mine shows a large portion of what is now Citi Field, correct?

  18. #13168
    Quote Originally Posted by Mygirljess View Post
    Wow. Thanks for that. I bet this old photo of mine shows a large portion of what is now Citi Field, correct?
    Yes correct, that parking lot u see currently is where Citi field sits now...

  19. #13169
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymTom View Post
    Yes correct, that parking lot u see currently is where Citi field sits now...
    The two-story brick building on the left is across the street from Citi's Bullpen Gate.
    X
    I wonder what it’s like after death. Prob’ly it’s like it is b’fore birth. Is it nothing? Non-existence? That’s not hard t’understand, but it’s hard for people t’accept. It’s hard for them to imagine not existing because all of their memories are of their existence, not non-existence. An’ people ain’t too crazy about the idea of themselves not existing. - Harvey Pekar, “Short Weekend: A Story About the Cosmic and the Ordinary,” American Splendor #3, 1978.

  20. #13170
    The picture from the marathon game is taken from in or near Field Box 26B.
    I sat in that area ONCE in for a September 1986 game (after the Mets had already clinched).
    A unique upclose "in the game" prospective that you will no longer get from any regular seat. (only top level club seats)

  21. #13171
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    Franco's 400th save
    4/14/99: John Franco becomes the second pitcher in MLB history to record 400 saves

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20521731
    "Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing." - Warren Spahn

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  23. #13173
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    Random shea pic..probably late 60s
    "to a new yorker like you a hero is some sort of weird sandwich"

    "Because I'm loyal and true, to the orange and blue"

  24. #13174
    does anybody have pics of the diamond vision being built? with that in mind are there pics it going down?
    That awkward moment when you are off 1 dollar buying something

  25. #13175
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