Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps Mets fans from showing up in droves to fill the seats at Citi Field, and Shea Stadium before it.
It's an odd concept to me, fans going to baseball games; I live about half an hour from Tropicana Field, where your $12 ticket in the nosebleeds can turn into a seat 20 rows behind home plate simply because there isn't anyone around you to say you're in his seat. Yet when I watch Mets games, Citi Field looks full. Not actually full, but it's pretty packed with orange and blue. In fact, through ten home games, the Mets are averaging 31,285 tickets sold per game, including a Citi Field record 43,047 people in attendance for the home opener. And I think that needs to be recognized more.
Last year, the Mets sold 2,148,808 tickets to home games, averaging just under 27,000 people per game. They finished 21st in attendance in baseball, leading only the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Seattle Mariners, the Oakland Athletics, the Kansas City Royals, the Houston Astros, the Miami Marlins, the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians, and the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2008, when they finished 89-73, the Mets had an attendance over 4,000,000, the highest since they came into existence in 1962. At Citi Field, the record is 3,135,904 in 2009, its inaugural season. So 2,000,00 may not sound like a lot compared to those years.
But think of it a different way: Every time you go out to a Mets game, you're surrounded by THOUSANDS of people chanting "Let's go, Mets" right alongside of you (okay, some of the fans are probably supporting the other team). Add radio, TV, and social media, the Mets have an army of support every time they step on the field. Over the course of a season, two million people (I know there are people going to more than one game and people at Citi Field who aren't actually rooting for the Mets, but it's just such a good number) walk through that rotunda to see the Mets. It's a thought that gives me goosebumps. Millions of people are out there with one, deeply relevant, life-defining thought in common: We love the Mets.
In Florida, the closest I get to acknowledgment when I wear a Mets shirt is "oh, I'm a Yankees fan." (We have a lot of Yankees fans down here. I don't like to talk about it.) In New York, you can walk down the street and bump into people wearing Mets t-shirts, jerseys, hats, shoes. The schedule is posted on the walls in subway stations. The Empire State building glows blue and orange after Mets wins during the Subway Series.
There's no escaping the Mets. Remember that. Love that. Appreciate that.