NEW YORK -- Not only did the Mets clinch the NL East Division pennant Monday night, they set a single-season home attendance mark in the process.
With seven home dates remaining, the number will continue to grow. The Mets to date have sold 3,483,933 tickets for the season. Through Monday, there have been eight sellouts at Shea and 11 crowds in excess of 50,000.
The attendance record has not gone unnoticed by Mets players. After their initial locker room celebration Monday, many of the team members headed back out to the Shea playing field to interact and salute those fans who remained long after the final out.
"They've contributed all year," catcher Paul Lo Duca said of the crowd support. "And they pretty much participated in this one [victory]. So why not have them participate in the celebration, too?"
Added first baseman Carlos Delgado, who will be playing in the postseason for the first time in his career: "This is great, this is great. I'm hoping we can go on to win the whole thing, but this is just great to be able to do this. And to do it in front of our fans. It's unbelievable."
"We've always spent money to improve the team, but, in the last few years, we've been able to spend money wisely," said Dave Howard, executive vice president for business operations. "It all starts with ownership. They made the changes on the baseball side to help improve the club, which the fans have come out to support. The team we've assembled resembles the make-up of the community, with an ethnically diverse mix of players and both young and veteran players."