05.28.08

Bondy : I’m Smarter Than I Look

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 4:01 pm by

“I am not a stupid sportswriter,” proclaims the New York Daily News’ Filip Bondy (would Peter Vecsey care to chime in?), while denouncing the Mets’ claims of 51,489 and 47,093 tickets flogged for their last two games as “dreamy fabrications”.

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. The James Dolan era has produced more imaginary spectators than any in memory.

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.

Without disputing the main thrust of Bondy’s argument — the Wilpons will spit in the public’s mouth and swear it was Diet Pepsi — ’tis a bit of a stretch to claim Mets season ticket holders are all “very working class”. And there’s nothing unusual about well-paid New Yorkers blowing off a game in poor weather, particularly if the team in question has won 1 of their last 8 games. In that respect, the Knicks comparison is all too apt.

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