Tickets still available for Opening Day

There are still "a few thousand" tickets available for Opening Day at Citi Field, but Mets executives are hopeful that the stadium will be sold out when the Mets host the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

“At this point last year we weren’t sold out (either),” said Dave Howard, Mets executive vice president of business operations. “So it’s part of the process. We’re optimistic. The weather is beautiful, which is a big plus and Johan Santana is starting, which is an enormous positive and I think fans will want to be here and I’m confident they’ll be here.”

Certainly, Santana being named the Opening Day starter will increase fans’ interest, added to the fact that David Wright is healthy after missing two months last season with a stress fracture in his lower back and losing time with an abdominal tear during spring training.

The Mets also finally brought some stability to their financial future when owners reached a settlement last month with victims of the Bernard Madoff scandal. The talent on the field has also been questioned, but at least now it’s time to just play baseball. Of course, filling the seats is a priority.

“We have several projections,” Howard said. “But we’re going to sell as many tickets as we possibly can and we think the team will play well. We think the team will far exceed some of the projections and prognostications. We think that we’ll sell well and we hope to sell more tickets this year than last.”

Much of that will depend on the product on the field.

“The play of the team is always a factor in terms of ticket sales,” Howard said as the team unveiled the new seating above the left field wall, which has been moved in almost 12 feet. “Again we present the beautiful ballpark, the market place for your friends and your family and it’s a great day of entertainment. It’s affordable. Our pricing is comparable to a movie and the play of the team on the field will just make it that much more attractive.”