The New York Mets don’t plan on leaving the seats in Citi Field empty. They plan to fill them up, just not in the usual way.
According to Tim Healey of Newsday, the New York Mets plan to fill Citi Field with cardboard cutouts of fans. Fans who have renewed their season tickets for 2021 will be the first to have cutouts made and placed in the stands. It’s currently unknown what happens after that, though Healey believes the Mets will make cardboard cutout seats available for purchase at an unknown price.
Season ticket holders won’t have to pay for their cardboard cutout’s seat. It will be complimentary and they will get one cardboard cutout per seat in their package.
The Mets are far from the only team who will be putting cardboard cutouts in the stands. The San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers have similar plans. Oakland is even willing to send foul balls and home runs to fans if it hits their cardboard cutout, for the right price.
Fans will be under some restrictions. They will not be allowed to send in photos with advertisements, player names, or political messages. The Mets want this to be a fun experience that hopefully makes up a small fraction of the lost excitement. They don’t want this turning into a legal battle or Twitter war.
Healey is also reporting the Mets currently have no plans to raise ticket prices in 2021. However, that is likely subject to change with a new owner likely to be in charge for the 2021 season.