According to Baseball Reference, the Mets sold 2.2 million tickets in 2012, their lowest total since 2003, which prompted Business Insider to create the following chart comparison:
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Money and revenue aside, based on these numbers and relative TV ratings, think of how many young kids didn’t go to a Mets game again this summer. What’s worse, in the last 12 years – since losing to the Yankees in the World Series – the Mets have made one playoff appearance… one… while the Yankees have 11 (including another World Championship). To take it a step further, in the last 24 years, the Mets have three playoff appearances, while the Yankees have 16.
Think about it: that’s basically entire generation of kids that have been bombarded with Yankees, Yankees and more Yankees, all while the Mets have repeatedly been cast as second-rate (and much worse if you only read headlines and listen to talk radio).
Yes, there were also 12 painful seasons between 1973 and 1986, during which the Yankees were sporadically successful, and yet I managed to choose Blue and Orange over Navy pinstripes. But, this is a different era. Today, kids can watch any game, with every team, any time. They can easily access an endless supply of highlights, recaps, research players and buy merchandise for every team in every market, all day and all night. They hear directly from players all over the league on Twitter and they can get news in an instant. In other words, not only has this stretch of losing in Queens been twice as long as ones of the past, there is simultaneously more competition for the attention and eyeballs of future fans, meaning the hole the Mets must dig out this time (for relevance and market share) is deeper and wider than what it probably was in the past.
By the way, it’s worth noting that attendance is down in half of the league’s cities, including San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and the Bronx – all of whom played ‘meaningful games in September.’ However, attendance is up in Kansas City, Arizona, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Toronto and other locations notorious for lacking turn-style support. I don’t know if this is a matter of wins and losses, ticket prices, ballpark amenities, tourism, the economy or what, but it’s probably something MLB might want to investigate…
Also, according to the Sports Business Journal, SNY averaged 173,000 viewers per game in 2012, up 3 percent from last season, making it the second most-popular regional sports network behind YES.