Mets fans may not be able to attend any games this year, but they can still have a presence once the season kicks off next Friday at Citi Field. The team is selling cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands for $86 each, and a significant amount of them have taken the Mets up on …
Mets fans may not be able to attend any games this year, but they can still have a presence once the season kicks off next Friday at Citi Field. The team is selling cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands for $86 each, and a significant amount of them have taken the Mets up on the offer.
“Obviously, we want to be there in person,” Michael Ammirabile, a season-ticket holder who attends roughly 10 games a year, said in a phone interview. “I got me and my 7-year-old son in there. I guess this is the best thing at this point. … It was something cool, something fun to have your picture there, especially for my son. He thinks it’s pretty cool.”
The Mets have begun to put the cutouts in the seats to the right of home plate. The team said close to 5,000 fans have bought the customized placards, proceeds from which will be donated to the Mets Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund. JT Teran and his girlfriend each bought a placard as well.
“I love this team, so anything that can at least connect me to the season I felt was [worth it],” said the 32-year-old Teran of Wappinger Falls, N.Y. “When the Korean Baseball [Organization] started, I think they were the ones that had placards of fans in the seats, and I was hoping the Mets would do something similar to that.”
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Teran chuckled at the $8.60 ticket fee he was charged.
“It’s not a real ticket,” he said.
A lifelong Mets fan, the 42-year-old Ammirabile goes back to the 1980s with the Mets. His favorite memories are predictably from the 1986 World Series. He’s also gone to Mets Fantasy Camp the last four years. When the placards option arose, Ammirabile didn’t think twice about it, especially since the money goes to charity.
“Some people I know don’t like it. Some people think it’s kind of cheesy. They’re like, ‘Why spend the money to do that?’ Whatever, it’s something fun,” Ammirabile said. “My son [Santino] loves it. He thinks it’s hysterical.”
Mets players have gotten a kick out of it as well. In fact, J.D. Davis said he, Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith had joked about buying some cutouts and using embarrassing photos of each other in the stands, possibly playing a “Where’s Waldo game around the seats.”
“It’s definitely weird and definitely a cool thing, too, for the fans just to be a part of it, and just to have their support and have a picture of them,” Davis said via Zoom at Citi Field on Friday. “It’s for sure not the same, just to have a cutout of a person. But I think it’s pretty cool, to have faces out there in the stands instead of just regular empty seats.”
Even cooler, Teran said, would be getting to keep the placards as a souvenir after the season.
“That would be awesome,” he said. “If they figure out a way to be able to get it to us somehow, that would be a nice keepsake.”