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Schwartz: Get Ready, Mets' Single-Game Tickets Go On Sale Monday

By Peter Schwartz
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It wasn't that long ago when the Mets' storybook 2015 season came to an end in Game 5 of the World Series against the Royals.

While the pain of the loss still lingers with fans, the thought of what possibly lies ahead next season will certainly warm their hearts as the cold weather and holiday season settle in.

Season tickets and partial plans are already available, but single-game tickets will go on sale on Monday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. The Mets will play their 2016 home opener at Citi Field on April 8 against the Phillies.

Their home schedule includes a World Series rematch against the Royals on June 21 and 22, a rematch of the NLCS against the Cubs on from June 30-July 3 and the Subway Series against the Yankees on Aug. 1 and 2.

The timing to begin single-game sales makes all the sense in the world. The Mets are now a hot ticket after their Cinderella season and tickets fit very nicely into a Christmas stocking -- or in the case of the Schwartz house, a really cool present on one of the eight crazy nights of Hanukkah.

"We want to take advantage of the buzz," said Mark Fine, the Mets' senior director of marketing. "It's a fantastic holiday gift."

Memo to Santa Claus and everybody else that has a shopping list: you have some work to do on Monday.

After six losing seasons, the Mets finally gave their fans the gift of a winner as they won the NL East with a record of 90-72. During the postseason, they beat the Dodgers in five games in the NLDS and swept the Cubs in four in the NLCS before falling to the Royals in the Fall Classic. Throughout the playoffs, Citi Field was packed as the demand for tickets far exceeded the inventory. Fans who got shut out during the playoff run should probably consider investing in a ticket plan. The number one reason is obviously access to postseason tickets. Mets playoff tickets during the 2015 run were extremely difficult to get and went for big money on the secondary market.

"Truth be told, you can get a plan through us and lock in a 20-game plan and have that postseason access at face-value prices," Fine said. "It's going to save you so much in the long run."

Mets ticket sales were up 18 percent last season over 2014, the third-highest percent increase in Major League Baseball. They also had the second-highest increase in actual tickets sold and weekend average attendance ballooned 25.3 percent to 36,824.

A big part of the weekend success at Citi Field can be attributed to the second year of promotional branding with Free Shirt Fridays, Super Saturdays and Family Sundays. At Friday games, the giveaway is a limited edition Mets-themed t-shirt. Saturdays feature bobblehead giveaways, concerts, and fireworks nights. On Sundays, there are giveaways, pre-game family activities and the postgame Mr. Met Dash around the bases for kids 14 and under.

Mets Heart concert
Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame members Heart played following a Mets game during the 2015 season. Two more concerts will happens during the 2016 season. (Photo: New York Mets)

"(Last season) was really successful for us, certainly on the field but even from a promotional standpoint we had a really successful year with our attendance being way up," Fine said.

That success is expected to grow in 2016 as the Mets' promotional schedule is quite impressive and features over 500,000 promotional items.

There will be two fireworks nights (April 9 against the Phillies and Sept. 3 against the Nationals), two postgame concerts (following the June 18 game against the Braves and the Aug. 13 contest against the Padres) and two bobblehead games (Aug. 27 against the Phillies and Sept. 17 against the Twins).

The identities of the bobbleheads have not been revealed, but they are both expected to be current Mets players. Regardless of who they are, the bobbleheads will be in demand because the giveaway has always been popular with the fans.

"They are one of those pieces that are very timeless," Fine said. "Across baseball, bobbleheads have remained the number one giveaway item."

A sequel to the success of the bobblehead giveaway is the garden gnome. After the popular Jacob deGrom gnome last season, the Mets will have a Noah Syndergaarden gnome giveaway on April 30 against the Giants.

"Jacob was wearing our blue alternate jersey," Fine said. "Noah is going to be wearing our pinstriped white jersey and he's going to be carrying a hammer."

A complete 2016 Mets promotional schedule can be found here.

While the Mets' amazing run had a huge impact on attendance last season, it's been commonplace in baseball history that a team sees an even bigger increase the year after going to the World Series, simply because of fan expectation that it could happen again.

Once it became apparent that the Mets were postseason bound this past year, staff began preparing for 2016. As the team looks to finish what it started on the field, the goal is also to put more fans in the stands.

"We still have some work to do to get to sellout mode and hopefully this year that starts to really take place," Fine said. "This year, you're going to have to purchase tickets in advance."

Mets fans will get that chance for the first time on Monday when single-game tickets go on sale. If the excitement level at the end of last season is any indication, the Internet and phone lines will be very busy. While single-game tickets will be the way to go for many fans, buying a ticket plan will certainly save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation, especially if the "sold out" signs appear a lot next season.

For Mets ticket information, call 718-507-TIXX or click here.

You can follow Pete on Twitter @pschwartzcbsfan. You can also follow @mets and @CitiField

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