Get Back, Get Back, Get Back To Where You Once Belonged!
Police Officer Eduardo Cornejo, one day last May, decided to take in a Mets game on his day off. So he went to Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, and bought a ticket to an upper deck seat, among the nose-bleed seats, as they are called. He settled in to watch his team, the Mets, play the visiting Cincinnati Reds.
But he noticed during an inning break that most of the seats in the lower deck, the Party City Deck, were vacant, so he decided to move himself down there, closer to the field and he sat in one of the thousands of empty seats.
But a Mets attendant spotted him, demanded to look at his ticket, and asked him to get up and move back to where he belonged, in the cheap seats. (The purchaser of the ticket for the seat Cornejo had occupied had chosen not to come to the game.) Cornejo gave the attendant the logical argument that since no one else was using the seat, what difference did it make? The attendant, not a philosopher, apparently, called the police (on-duty) and had Cornejo arrested.
The case came up in a Queens courtroom on August 6, Cornejo pled guilty and the judge gave him a three-pronged sentence: three days of community service, a $120 fine, and a one year banishment from Citi Field. No, the charges were not dropped by the Mets. Yes, they could have been.
So that’s just terrific. The baseball club that cannot manage to get a single to right with men on second and third and no outs, and that let go possibly the best player they have ever had in Jose Reyes, have made clear what their priorities are.
If you don’t have the money to sit in the expensive seats, then don’t sit in the expensive seats or we’ll call the cops!
And to make it crystal clear what we think of you, you’re banned from the stadium for a year. One year! No soup for you! -- metaphorically speaking, of course.
Rest easy, Soup Nazi, wherever you are. You work is being carried on here at Citi Field by the New York Mets.
Don’t they teach customer relations at Queensboro Community College?
Rodney Dangerfield, the great comedian, used to tell the story of performing his stand up act at a night club that had a rotating bar in front of the stage. There was a Marine sitting at the bar who had downed a few drinks and was glaring at Rodney. As the bar slowly rotated, and the Marine came closer to Rodney, the glaring intensified. When the Marine got right in front of Rodney, he hauled off and punched Rodney in the mouth.
In the ensuing hubbub, the owner of the nightclub took the Marine aside and bought him a drink. Now there was a businessman who knew something about customer relations.
But getting back to Citi Field, why are there so many empty seats in the stadium each game? It’s because at the prices the Mets are charging, only very wealthy people or big business corporations can afford the tickets. A lot of these tickets are season tickets, and you know wealthy people didn’t get that way going to ball games. Nor did business CEO’s. So they sometimes give the tickets to friends, but quite often they just let the seats go empty.
If you watch a Mets game on TV, you can see the empty seats behind the batters. Good seats, right behind the third base dugout. And how many kids, beside Officer Cornejo, would love to sit in those empty seats, but they can’t afford it?
My mother used to call this situation the dog in the manger. The dog can’t eat the hay, but he sits in the manger so no other animal can eat the hay. The corporate CEO can’t get in to watch the game, but he holds on to the ticket so that no one else can watch the game from his seat.
Would it kill the Mets, or their corporate customers, to call up corporate box holders each came, to find out if there are ticket holders who have no plans to come to the game, and then give those unused seats over to kids for a nominal fee, say, five bucks?
I bet you would have a lot of kids willing to wait in a holding area for the possibility of seeing a major league game for a few bucks. The five dollar bills would pay the salary of the caller. The otherwise empty seats would be filled with cheering fans and the hot dog vendor would make a dollar or two. Everybody wins.
And to honor our police officer whose insistence on common sense started the whole thing, we could call these twice-sold seats the “Cornejo Seats.”Just a thought.