SYRACUSE, N.Y (WSYR-TV) — The Mets’ inaugural season of Triple A baseball in Syracuse is now in the books with a huge increase in attendance.
A total of 328,000 fans turned out this season to NBT Bank Stadium to watch the Mets. It’s about a 50,000 fan increase from the 2018 season and the most in six years.
“The Mets effect is real. The Mets brand is real. People coming in from right here in Central New York but from all over the state, from Canada,” says Mets General Manager Jason Smorol.
The season did come to a crushing end Tuesday in a special one-game tiebreaker playoff with the Scranton RailRiders.
The Yankees affiliate scored eight runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to take the lead in the game and then blanked the Mets in the 9th to take the game and North Division title.
“It came right down to the very end. It was a heartbreaking loss, but overall when you look at the whole season, absolutely magical,” Smorol tells NewsChannel 9.
Smorol says the recipe of promotions and extras will be similar in 2020 but with much bigger crowds, the club will work on improving customer service to make the fan experience the best it can be next season at NBT Bank Stadium.
He says, “We’ve got to be able to get fans in faster, we’ve got to get them out faster, we’ve got to serve them faster.”
They’ve got just over 200 days until Opening Day 2020 to work on it.
Smorol says fans can help by anticipating bigger crowds and packed parking lots and getting to the stadium earlier.
He says with the Syracuse Mets leading the league in walk-up ticket sales it may be a better option for fans to order tickets in advance. The tickets can be loaded to a phone and save fans waiting in ticket lines.
With play on the field wrapped up for 2019, Onondaga County can begin big renovations to NBT Bank Stadium.
The plan is to start in October will seat replacement and painting. Other work, like possibly a party deck behind all of the outfield fence, would likely happen next year.
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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9