Opinion: Queens likes the Yankees more than the Mets

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In the event the Mets and Yankees meet again in a World Series, 59 percent of New York City residents say they will root for the Yankees, while 37 percent would choose the Mets, according to a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University.

The poll says 50 percent of fans in Queens are Yankees fans, while just 43 percent root for the Mets… in Queens… where Citi Field is located.

My hunch has always been that roughly 30 percent are Yankees fans, roughly 30 percent are Mets fans, and the middle 30 percent lean toward whichever team is more popular and fun to root for at that time…

For instance, in early 2007, this same poll about the World Series had the Yankees at 46 percent and the Mets at 40 percent, the closest it had ever been. However, since that point in time, the Mets have done serious damage to their brand, due to lackluster performances, an overwhelming number of demoralizing injuries or the countless bizarre off-field stories (from Maddoff  to the The Tony B Shirt Incident to firing two managers to having their GM get in to a public dispute with a beat reporter). So, it should be of no surprise that the number look as they do today.

There are people who say, ‘New York is a National League town,’ and, ‘If the Mets win, those numbers will easily show it.’ However, at this point, I don’t know if that’s totally true anymore. It’s been a really, really long time since the Dodgers and Giants left for California, and a lot has happened in the Bronx, on TV and in marketing since the ’80s, when the Mets last ruled New York. There is an entire generation of New Yorkers who have seen nothing but the Yankees dominate baseball, financially and in October, who probably have no idea the Dodgers and Giants started in this town.

The point is, the Mets have a long way to go and it’s not just about wins. It’s about sustaining that success and rebuilding a brand that casual fans (as well as die-hards) can connect with, have fun and take pride in supporting. I think ownership being able to put the Maddoff litigation behind them has helped that, since it has allowed most fans to also turn the page, accept this team’s reality and look forward – and I think that has helped stabilize how other fans view the franchise as well.




62 comments
Brandon Andersen
Brandon Andersen

The Mets used to dominate Queens. Many old time Queens residents have moved a bit further east to Long Island and as someone who lives on LI I'd have to say that It's probably 55% Mets 45% Yanks.

upstater
upstater

For those of you who feel that the team is poor, consider that the franchise is currently valued by Forbes at $800m. Wilpons bought the team in 2002 for $391m. Thus they made $409m all the while complaining about their poverty. We should all be poor like that!

Jim Yager
Jim Yager

I think that is better that I thought it would be since the METS have sucked for so long :} I think that a bunch of those Yankees fans are band wagon fans. When the Yankees fade away into nothing, like they did in the 80's, those fans will also fade away. Being a METS fan is like a virus, once it gets in your blood, your doomed, there is no cure :} LETS GO METS!

John Mallios
John Mallios

That's pretty sorry because I grew up in the 60s and 70s and the Mets owned Queens.  Much of f that had to do with the novelty surrounding a young franchise, and the fact that the Yankees were a weak team from mid 60s to the mid 70s.  But even when the Yankees had some success in the late 70s, the Mets still dominated through the 80s and early 90s.  Time to change things around, I just hope today's ownership doesn't stand in the way.

steve333
steve333

The only thing that would help the Mets is if Wilpon sold the team. 

Steven G
Steven G

In a completely unscientific observation, I would estimate that in Queens, you see about a 55/45 split in people wearing Yankees vs Mets gear. I would think that a better team, October play, and star players would increase that considerably, prompting casual fans to rep and support their team and bringing those undecideds over to orange and blue.

Or, as I always tell my daughter, when the Mets finally make it to the playoffs, you'll see orange and blue caps everywhere.

Ian Roberts
Ian Roberts

Cerrone even has a problem spelling M-A-D-O-F-F. I guess that's from continually avoiding the use of Bernard Madoff's name in connection with the Wilpon/Katz Mets ownership.

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

New York is mostly blue color, and the working class like to identify with a winning brand these days. The mets have not been an identifiable, winning brand in a generation or two. This is why attendance is so stressed, because the mainstream fans not only don't like the mets, they don't want to be associated with the mets, as there's a stigma currently.

hankincolo
hankincolo

Matt,    How does someone who covers the Mets not know who to spell the name of the man who stole so much money?  Furthermore, as far as fans turning the page on the MADOFF mess, how can you say that? There's not a day that goes by that someone doesn't mention it or chastises the Wilpons for running a shoe string budget because of MADOFF. 

JoMama
JoMama

PLEASE. Yankee "fans?" 3/4 of them are total band wagoners and couldn't name the starting rotation to save their life. They like the brand, they like the logo and are fair weather as they come. The only other team that comes close is the Lakers.

rico
rico

probably half of the people in queens do not speak english( yet) , they all do know the word "yankee" 

so you might want to factor that into your poll results.



Shawn M. Milburn
Shawn M. Milburn

Yankees missed the playoffs in 08 after 13 straight appearances. They but Sabthia, Texiera and Burnett and win a World Series. They miss the playoffs again last year and buy Tanaka, Ellsbury, Beltran and McCann. Mets collapse and trade for Santana, collapse again and the Madoff scandal occurs. They sign K-Rod and Bay and they deteriorate. They trade everybody away, let Reyes walk and then buy Granderson, Young and Colon, why would you want to be a Mets fan? Yanks miss postseason so they buy the best players. Mets need players badly and they go cheap. I've watched this same nonsense happen for 20 years now.

upstaphan
upstaphan

"The point is, the Mets have a long way to go and it’s not just about wins. It’s about sustaining that success and rebuilding a brand that casual fans (as well as die-hards) can connect with, have fun and take pride in supporting. I think ownership being able to put the Maddoff litigation behind them has helped that, since it has allowed most fans to also turn the page, accept this team’s reality and look forward – and I think that has helped stabilize how other fans view the franchise as well."

Its mostly about wins, and when you are not winning, then the refusal to spend comes into question, and then it inevitably comes back to the fact that the owners seemingly only care about their own personal interest of holding onto control the team at all costs, even if that means raking the fans over the coals with losing teams year after year and higher and higher ticket prices.


Sustaining what success? You have to succeed before you can sustain that! So far they are still not winning, still not spending, so no... fans have not "turned the page" or bought into the brand again, they are still pointing the finger at the owners as they should be.

Chris Torgersen
Chris Torgersen

I'm a Mets fan, but this poll is not at all surprising. The Yankees have clearly been the more popular team for quite a while now, and for good reason. If I put on my visor of objectivity (it's a real thing, I swear!), it's clear that the Yankees are a much better-run team that carries an air of greatness and expectation that no other team has, certainly not the Mets.

I envy Yankee fans. Their team is always at least a threat, and often a favorite, going back about 20 years. The Mets have had a few brief good runs, the last of which coincided with a better Yank run, blotting it out. I'd love to have owners who give more than lip service to the idea of winning.

Figolas
Figolas

The Yankees can sign guys like Jaret Wright and get away with it because their ownership spends money and wants to win.  Meanwhile the Mets allow one contract (Jason Bay) ruin several years for the fans. The Wilpons are too "invested" in themselves and their image that they forget there are fans. If Freddy wasn't so buddy-buddy with Selig then the Wilpons would have (and should have) lost this team a few years back like the Dodgers' Frank McCourt. It constantly surprises me that NO ONE brings up that point. The fact that Mike Piazza's jersey number isn't retired at Citi Field is a testament to how awfully run this team is. I bet they'll wait until the team can attract no fans to retire 31 so they can put butts in the seats. Lastly, Matt Harvey is not the saint that David Wright. You can already sense that management is pushing Harvey out the door.

Vincent Hall
Vincent Hall

That cause the queens from queens don't have the balls to confront Yankees fans on a daily basis and fold under pressure

Steven Bauer
Steven Bauer

Most of Yankee fans are simply band wagon riders and have no real investment (nor any knowledge) with that team as opposed to actually caring for the team and going through all trials and tribulations with growing pains like we have with the Mets. So to say that X% are Yankee fans is a mute point.

Mike
Mike

Sorry Matt, but it is about wins. George Steinbrenner was loathed by his own fan base throughout the 80s and into the early 90s. I remember Yankee fans wearing shirts that read FOUL - Fans Opposed to Useless Leadership. Steinbrenner passed on and was deified. What changed? They dominated on the field. If the Mets ever win back-to-back World Series titles under the Wilpons, our opinion of ownership changes. The winning provides three coats of paint over the losing.

upstater
upstater

Accept this team's reality? Not hardly. This team's reality is that it has owners who are selfish and greedy, and won't spend to build a winner. Why should I accept that?

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

The Yankees commitment to winning says it all. In the same city, you have a franchise that is repulsed by losing and does whatever it takes to turn bad seasons around, and another franchise who calls a team with no real SS or 1B a "90 game winner."

A business school professor would say the Yankees have a covenant with their fanbase. What is the Mets covenant with us? 

Ken Schultz
Ken Schultz

Up until the Yankees started winning in the late 90's, there was an ebb and flow between the popularity of these teams in the NYC market. The attendance figures were close to even over the course of 30 years 1962-1992. The Yankees have been incredible over tha past  20 years and its relfected in these numbers.  The difference for the Yankees was that in the 90's they did a great job of producing from their minor leagues (Jeter, Posada, Bernie, Mariano, etc)  while continuing their agressive free agency acquisitions. The success the Mets had in the late 60's/early 70's, 80's and late 90's/early 00's proved that the Mets dont have to be like the Yankees to succeed.

As Met fans we have to hope that this emerging crop of minor leaguers is the real deal and that the Mets act like the big market team that they are and do not lose them to free agency. If Harvey, Wheeler, Thor, etc are the real deal and we hold onto them along with the others coming from our farm system while plugging holes via free agancy/trades, there is no reason that the Mets cant have a sustained period of success which is what would be needed to reverse poll trends like this one. This poll respresents a trend, it does not respresent any kind of permanency.

gt73
gt73

To quote a late great Brooklynite from another sport -- "Just win, baby."


Kevin Connelly
Kevin Connelly

Terrible analysis by the editor. The Tony Barnazhard incident or firing of Jerry Manuel has zero to do with the deteriorating fan base. It is WHOLLY about Wilpon and Madoff, the very reason that a strong team cannot be put together. Please, we're mentioning the Tony B incident as a reason kids like the Yankees? Try a $500MM offseason versus a $5MM offseason, something that has happened with regularity recently.  

cj1786
cj1786

Why do we care where the number of mets fans compares to Yankee fans? This city is plenty big enough for two teams. The mets can be highly successful without ever getting near the Yankees in terms if their number if fans? The mets don't have to overtake the Yankees to be relevant or successful.

FakeSandyAlderson
FakeSandyAlderson

No Met fans-I mean NONE-have "moved past" the criminal activity overseen and committed by the Wilpons, and the arrogant detached running of the team by an actuary named Sandy. You can speculate all you wish. You can slice data and perform polling, but NO ONE will EVER move past the fact that the Wilpons STILL own and hold this franchise hostage.  Only the sale-the complete divestment of all Wilpon blood money from the team will allow fans to move forward.

johnsec125
johnsec125

I bet at least half of those 59 % can't even spell Quinnipiac.

DMMP
DMMP

It's simple.  Put a winning ballclub out there, and it won't be an issue.  Show that as an organization you actually are COMMITTED to putting the best product out there... Spend like a New York organization.  Show you value WINNING above nickle and diming.  People will be more than willing to spend to see a winning team, and the prices would be much better explained within a winning team that you can actually see where your dollars and cents are going towards. (as opposed to the owners pocket.)  This is what needs to happen. Then, and only then, will you see substantial change.  

rico
rico

get a winning team out there for 10 years and then take your poll.


as a mets fans I could care less about popularity polls and the local teams.  I mean, c'mon?



exileinla
exileinla

There are about 20mm people in the greater NYC area.  If only 6mm of them are Mets fans, that's more than enough to fill the stadium...if those 6mm want to come to the games!

nolrog
nolrog

This is what happens when you suck for 5 (going on 6) years.

TheRealSayHey24
TheRealSayHey24

@hankincolo  That, and citing Omar Minaya's accusation against a beat reporter as a reason for poor attendance?  Please.  Nothing to do with POOR MANAGEMENT, and avoiding the fact that Omar was nothing short of a gentleman, with everyone during his tenure with the Mets.  

Watson5665
Watson5665

@upstater Give me a break. You talk as if a Yankee's signing is an act of charity. 


All owners are business men. They don't spend a dime without the reasonable expectation that it will provide a certain return on investment. The Mets spend less on players nowadays because they have less to spend (and more debt).

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

@upstater  So true. I just listened to an interview with Sandy (ESPN) from back in November. I know his public statements have a healthy degree of posturing in them, but it BURNS me to hear him talk about our payroll.

"It's a shame that ownership's commitment to the fans is measured in dollars." Well, what else should it be measured in? Number of empty promises? Star shortstops allowed to leave for nothing? Great players trashed on their way out?

He also says "I want to remind everyone that the Red Sox model is not inexpensive." Here's what I want someone to ask him: why does our model NEED to be inexpensive? MLB is not inexpensive. Revenues are up across the sport. Player salaries are rising for no other reason than that. 

If the Mets financial woes are over (direct quote from Fred) then the only thing we could logically believe is they have the money to make the team better but are obstinately refusing to spend it. 

Either that or they are still broke and MLB wont let them talk about it. In which case we're still being lied to and the team still suffers. 

Ian Roberts
Ian Roberts

@gt73 Al Davis, baby. Always put it to the other tenants at Shea Stadium, except for late 1968.

TheRealSayHey24
TheRealSayHey24

@Kevin Connelly  I disagree, Kevin.  Im not going to games this season.  I didn't like it that Tony B took his shirt off in that locker room.  I didn't like it that sub-par managers were fired.  I didn't like it when Omar argued with that reporter.  


Any editorial by metsblog should be dismissed.  

Kevin Connelly
Kevin Connelly

such garbage analysis, top to bottom. I mean the editor suggests the Madoff situation is behind  them. Bottom 7 payroll , biggest market? Its behind them?!?

john connolly
john connolly

@Kevin Connelly agreed also when management says they wont spend money on free agents until fans spend money on tickets just sell team remem dodgers and mets situation selig got involved and forced dodgers owner to sell and mets to take on sandy and become the brewers for years to come

Chris Torgersen
Chris Torgersen

It's true. NYC is more than twice the size of any other city in the country, with a whole lot of rich people. It can certainly support two teams, probably more if we wanted to go there again.

manicmesia
manicmesia

@cj1786 This is spot on.  In 2007 the teams sold a combined 8 million tickets.  There is plenty to go around for two teams who are winning.

DMMP
DMMP

@FakeSandyAlderson  I agree to an extent. I think winning solves everything.  BUT as long as the Wilpons own this team, I don't know if the two can go hand in hand.

DMMP
DMMP

@Victor Triguero  I've had people say to me, would you rather have been where the phils were for years, or where the mets could be in a few years... And I say the Phils circumstance EVERY time.  Yes their team is in serious decline and has a glut of players making way too much... BUT, they had years of sustained success, made the playoffs multiple times, AND won a WS in 2008.  I'd take that every time.  We've proven nothing.  

upstater
upstater

@DIY Degree Right. Keep in mind the tea's financial woes were always an accounting fiction. Sure, the team's cash flow was inadequate to pay salaries. But that's only part of the revenue stream. SNY makes a bundle that goes right into the same owner's pockets. And more importantly, the real money comes when they sell the team -- if it's value has appreciated, that is a huge capital gain.


In other words, you could lose money in operational terms every year and still make a fortune. The owner's budgetary pleas are, and have always been, laughable.

DMMP
DMMP

@john connolly @Kevin Connelly  Selig is only going to be the commish for the rest of this season... Then someone else will step into the head role... Hopefully someone who won't let a major market team be run to the ground.  

DMMP
DMMP

@Sergio p @nolrog  Lets look at this... 2004 we were lousy.  2005 we showed signs of becoming a good team and were at least exciting to watch.  2006 we were a playoff team. 2007 we SHOULD have been a playoff team if not for blowing it in the last week of the season.  2008 we also had a playoff caliber team that made every effort to blow it.  2009 onward could absolutely be argued that we were terrible.  

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

@upstater @DIY Degree  Well, I actually think the owners are still in very real financial danger. They owe money against SNY and the team and have been refinancing it, borrowing from MLB, and doing everything imaginable to keep that debt from forcing them out of their ownership.

If they sold the team now, it would barely pay off their debts and give them a tiny profit at this point. 

What's comical is their claim to be in solid financial shape. They act like the fans are stupid and incapable of doing basic analysis to decode their lies. 

DMMP
DMMP

@Sergio p @DMMP @nolrog  We haven't had an "exciting" team in a long while I'll give you that.  The only "exciting" players the mets have right now are Lagares (who might not even be the starter!) Wright, and MAYBE Murph (when he's gritty and grinding it out.) Not including pitching (Obviously Harvey can be exciting. I find Mejia exciting...  Hmmm...) It's not like the 2000 mets where the whole team was FUN.  Ventura, Alfonzo, Ordonez, Piazza, even Todd Ziele and Agbayani.  The team was fun of characters, thrills, and was definitely gritty.  True test of the quality of a team is how memorable that team is.  Lets be honest.  Some of the best teams in history people remember for their grit.  The 86' mets for example notoriously.  These are teams that were full of character, grit, and a true character.  

Sergio p
Sergio p

@DMMP @Sergio p@nolrogI agree but there are too many of "if" and "should" for such a long time.The team was always exciting though with Jose running and Piazza hitting homers.I miss those players.We will see this year though.Still hopeful.Oh by the way I like the Chess board photo in the blog.Nice touch.