Bethpage Park a bargain, fans say

In the midst of a recession that is damaging Major League Baseball teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Long Island Ducks have managed to keep on quacking.

”The Ducks are stable,” said a Doug Cohen, the Senior VP of sales for the minor league team.

Ducks fans call the $11 admission price fair. / Photo by Stephanie Maldonado

For $11, a fan can watch the action from the stands. For one dollar extra, he or she can nearly touch the field. Fifteen dollars will buy them box seats and $65 can buy a season’s worth of entertainment.

“These prices are fair, and families can actually come and enjoy things,” said one season ticket holder, Diane Barbeisch.

“It’s low cost,” said fellow fan Nancy Mattson.

Others in the stands concurred.  “Major League Baseball is too expensive to bring your family,” said Tricia Carbone, who attended the game with friend Michele Rossomangno.

Not everyone, however, agreed. “I can honestly say that they’re really terrible here,” food vendor Brian Melton, 17, of Central Islip, regarding food prices. “I wouldn’t mind paying these prices at Yankee Stadium or Giant stadium because you’re there. Over here, it’s local. I don’t get why you have to pay stupid prices for this.”

A loyal fan base helps the Ducks do so well.  According to Ducks Media Relations Coordinator Mike Polak, there are more than 1,000 season ticket holders, and the team website reveals that 80 percent of these fans renew each year.

Fans attending post-season games this year will also get a break on ticket prices. For the past two years, the joy of post-season play has come with a $2 hike in ticket fares. But this year, prices will remain at $11 during the playoffs.

“We are excited about the team’s chances and we want our fans to feel like they are part of it,” said Senior Vice President of Sales Doug Cohen over email. “We are looking to reward our loyal fans.”

With seating for only 6,002 people, Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip can often become filled with an average 6,047 fans, and this can largely be accredited to their ticket prices.  For some fans, the home team is the driving force behind their attendance.

“I am not a baseball fan,” said Diane Barbeisch.  “I am a Ducks fan.”