Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mets Using Phony Attendance #'s

That doesn't look like a sell-out.

Apparently the New York Mets have been doctoring their attendance figures in order to distort the perceived size of the Shea Stadium crowds. The organization, however, is taking more than the normal cosmetic liberties and instead are calling in figures up to 20,000 fans off.

Congratulations to the Mets, who successfully have taken over the lead in New York for fabricating attendance figures.

This was no easy accomplishment, because the Knicks have been piping numbers for several years now, pretending they had a string of sellouts when there were tickets available at the window and empty seats galore.

But now, the Mets have been adding pretend fans in tens of thousands, each and every night. At their last two games, announced attendances of 51,489 and 47,093 weren’t just exaggerations. They were dreamy fabrications.

I am not a stupid sportswriter. I know that these are supposed to be ticket sale numbers, not an exact turnstile count, and that there inevitably are some no-shows. But the Mets would require a 40% no-show rate to make this believable, and their crowd is working class. Very few Met fans are going to buy expensive tickets and then watch the game on television.

I was at these two games and personally witnessed entire, vast regions of the upper deck devoid of life. This is a stadium that seats 55,601. There were no more than 35,000 fans in the park on Monday, and no more than 25,000 on Tuesday.

I don’t quite understand why it is necessary to pretend that the Mets are drawing fans in droves to their lame-duck, decrepit stadium. Hopefully, when they move to Citi Field, there will be real bodies in the seats instead of air.

I had heard of this rumor recently and took it as a half truth. I assumed the Mets were overblowing their attendance numbers, but not at the levels which had been rumored.

Turns out the chatter was accurate as Shea Stadium is regularly filling up with imaginary no-shows. Not to say that the Mets are the only team who practice this technique, but going to such extremes is just weak.

1 comment:

Mike said...

As Warner Wolf used to say, "25,000 fans came dressed as empty seats."