LETTER TO THE METS, #1: RESTORE BP ACCESS.

This is the first in a series of letters I will be emailing (and snailmailing) to the Mets regarding things I would like changed at Citi Field. I encourage all of you to do the same with your own concerns. I have chosen to write separate letters for each issue in the hopes that keeping focused will get greater traction. I am tired of whining and am instead actually going to do something.

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to request that you please revise the current batting practice access restrictions to fans at Citi Field. When I went on my pre-season tour of the new ballpark, the first question to my tour guide was regarding BP access in our new world-class home. I was informed specifically that the BP access had not changed from what it was at Shea: 2 1/2 hours before first pitch, access down to the field and behind the dugout.

Therefore, it was incredibly disappointing to arrive for BP during the first week of the season, ensure I was one of the first through the gate and behind the dugouts – only to be rudely barked at by an usher and herded over to Section 125. We were curtly informed that “it had been that way all week” and somehow, we were supposed to know, when no instructions were ever issued to fans or publicized in the media, that our access was now restricted to the outfield and furthest corners of the infield.

This is simply unacceptable.

Batting practice is the one time people who sit in the upper deck can actually see the players life-sized without aid of television or DIamondvision. The whole point of opening the ballpark 2 1/2 hours early is so that fans can go down to the field level and not disturb the seat owners. The current permissible locations are too distant from the on-field action. Broadcasting the proceedings on Diamondvision as the “Batting Practice Show” is not a substitute for seeing things up close. Fans want the chance to take photographs, obtain autographs, or just confirm for themselves what Jose Reyes or David Wright really look like. Confining fans to a tiny area of the far infield is disadvantageous for small children and families. It defeats the entire point of getting to the ballpark early for batting practice.

No one is suggesting that you have to allow the rabble anywhere near the sacred seats of the Ebbets or Delta Clubs – we weren’t allowed behind home plate at Shea, either, and no one is requesting that now. If you were able to effectively police behind-the-dugout access at Shea, how are you suddenly unable to do so at Citi Field? Why is the $25 difference between tickets in Section 100 and tickets in Section 125 so significant as to require that you not allow fans access to those areas for batting practice? Why was this change to the batting practice policy not clearly communicated to fans? Why do the ushers have to be so downright rude when enforcing it?

I learned today that the Yankees also instituted an even more draconian BP policy upon their move to their new home. However, I also learned today that they have repealed that policy, due to letters from ticketholders, via this story in the New York Times:

http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/yankees-to-allow-field-level-access-to-all-fans-before-games/?hpw

I am generally glad that the Mets do not follow the Yankees’ lead, but this time, I am willing to make an exception. I strongly urge you to open up BP access in the same fashion you allowed it at Shea Stadium. There is no reason that fans cannot be allowed the same access you granted them for all the years at Shea. Please reconsider your policy and allow fans behind the dugouts and down to the field from all non-exclusive seating areas once again.

Sincerely,
Caryn Rose

If you agree, I would encourage to NOT leave a comment on the blog, because it does not matter nor does it have any impact whatsoever. Sit down and write your own letter. I don’t even care if you steal this letter and sign your name to it. Just please do something instead of calling WFAN, whining on MetsBlog, or commenting here. Let’s get off our collective asses and make something happen.

If you do send your own letter, I encourage you to let us know below in the comments.

Send your own letter in one of the following ways:
Snail mail:
New York Mets
Citi Field
Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing, NY 11368-1699

Via email at : fanfeedback AT mets.mlb.com (replace AT with @)

Via web form.

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