NEW YORK -- The average cost of attending games at Citi Field just became cheaper.
The Mets on Wednesday announced a pricing program that will reduce the average cost of a ticket by more than 14 percent in 2011. In total, the team reduced the face values of 62 percent of Citi Field's 41,800 seats.
Season-ticket holders, ticket-plan and group-ticket customers will also receive an additional 10 percent discount on their tickets.
Coming off a second consecutive fourth-place finish in 2010, the Mets instituted double-digit price reductions on more than half of Citi Field's seats. Though single-game tickets now start at $12, compared to $11 last year, the Mets also increased the percentage of tickets available at $15 or less.
"Affordability has always been an important component to all our programs and plans, because we feel we are the people's team," executive vice president of business operations David Howard said. "We are always mindful of that. We're a family-oriented, fan-friendly organization, and affordability is still key."
The "Amazin' Mets Perks" program, a system of daily awards with hundreds of winners from Nov. 21 through Dec. 20, is also now available for season-ticket holders who pay in full by Dec. 15. Through the program, fans can win prizes such as a batting-practice session at Citi Field, a Spring Training trip to Port St. Lucie, Fla., and a meet-and-greet with the new Mets manager.
Other prizes include a team shopping spree, a personalized autographed jersey or bat, a wine tasting with Hall of Famer Tom Seaver and a tour of SNY studios.
"We're excited about that and we think that our season-ticket holders will be excited," Howard said. "We've been listening to them. We've conducted many market research efforts and focus groups, and largely what we're doing here is a result of the feedback we have received from our fans and from our customers, along with our analysis of the marketplace situation."
A struggling economy and a struggling team conspired to reduce ticket sales in 2010, after a series of record-setting seasons toward the end of last decade.
Howard said he expects the new pricing system, along with the appointment of general manager Sandy Alderson and a new on-field manager, to help boost season-ticket sales back closer to their old levels.
"There's already a new energy, and I think a new feeling of hopefulness among Mets fans with Sandy," Howard said. "There's going to be a new approach and there are going to be changes there, and the changes are all going to be geared toward, as Sandy said, increasing the probability of success. I hope that probability rises dramatically, because it is a very, very important factor with our overall business. It is what Mets fans want, and we're confident that Sandy and his staff will deliver that."