— Days Without Shea —

nydailynews_logo.gifAs Opening Day gets closer, there has been alot of talk again about the last seasons of Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium. Actually, there's been more talk about the former than the latter.
But in today's Daily news, columnist Gary Myers writes a touching remembrance about Shea Stadium. Absolutely a must-read.

Gary was at Shea before it opened. His dad drove him to the construction site and they stood on the unfinished center field. Gary also worked as a beer vendor and (dream job alert) as the guy who escorted players to the Kiner's Corner set. Nice!

At the end of the piece, Gary writes:

It makes me wonder why all the nostalgia and romance surrounding this final year of Shea and Yankee Stadiums have to be exclusive to the Bronx? Even with Shea's smelly bathrooms, bad food, narrow corridors, outdated amenities and impossible-to-escape parking lots, it is less a dump than a joint with character and atmosphere.

What other stadium has been host to the Mets, Jets, Yankees, Giants, Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Pope John Paul II and four World Series? The place is a classic.

Do they really have to tear down a place like that?

Maybe for all of Shea's underappreciated glory and charm, it is simply time to say good-bye to an old friend and hello to a new one.

We'll be saying goodbye to Shea Stadium all season long here in Loge13.com. If the Mets would let us keep our partial season plans, we'd also be saying hello to the new stadium. But alas, we can't have it all.

But that's besides the point. Well done, Gary!

[March 26, 2008 2:32 PM]  |  link  |  reply
G-Fafif said

Loge13 and Gary Myers are my heroes of the day. Great, great column. Thanks for the link!

[March 26, 2008 4:50 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Good stuff! As I always tell people who trash Shea, it may be a dump, but it's our dump, and we like it fine.

[March 27, 2008 8:22 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Metsie said

Kingman--I really like your site (you're in my blogroll on my fledgling blog) but you have to stop with this "woe is me" attitude about supposedly not getting a partial plan at Citi Field.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the Mets will be offering partail plans to people (at the very, least they may go down the list based on seniority and cut it off at some point).

There aren't THAT many season ticket holders, all you need to do is look at an April 2007 midweek game against a crap team to see, since attendance is counted by tickets sold.

Of course, the Mets are going to encourage people to buy season tickets, they are a business after all. But they have never said they won't be offering partial plans. Each seat in CitiField represents the chance to seat 4 different types (Mini, Tues-Fri, Sat, Sun) of plan holders.

Do you really think they will piss off all their loyal customers who have partial plans? They may not offer new plans to the public but common sense dictates that they will offer their preexisting plans.

I think you are letting your emotions get the best of you or you are just playing up the melodrama for the sake of your blog.

[March 27, 2008 9:11 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Metsie I hope you're right but I've been speaking to a very senior Mets VP and he says, and has been saying for the last eleven months, that the Mets have NO plans to offer partial ticket plans. He's not ruling it out, but unlike the other sports teams in NYC, he's been with others, the Mets stated goal is to sell out the whole stadium with season ticket holders. This includes conversations with Jeff Wilpon.

[March 27, 2008 5:45 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Metsie replied to Ron Hunt


I think the person you are talking to is blowing smoke up your you know what. I wouldn't put it past Lil' Jeffie Wilpon but someone with the Mets must have some business sense and tell him otherwise.

First of all, they will not be able to sell 42,500 season tickets. No way, no how.

Second, you want to have a certain amount of people NOT on full season ticket plans. How do you cultivate new fans and make your existing fans happy otherwise?

Third, The Yanks, Cubs, and Red Sox all have a good number of seats sold game-by-game and as noted, the Yanks have partial plans too. Why wouldn't the Mets?

That said, I don't blame them for putting a scare into everyone who has a partial plan. Its smart business. Some people will undoubtedly upgrade to full season plans. Anyone who doesn't is probably worried/angry right now but I suspect they will be taken care of in the end. Not even the Mets are that stupid.

I did not take that chance. I upgraded from a Sat plan last season that I started in 2006. Since I went to a bunch of games besides Saturdays (approx 20 total in 2006) anyway, it made sense to split a full season with a friend. In turn, we sell off about 1/3 of the season on Craigslist (I now have a "client list" of 3 guys who basically buy everything I have left) for face value.

I am happy that I don't have to scramble for tickets, the guys who buy from me get better tickets than what they could have gotten on their own--everybody wins.

I know investing in a full season plan is a large pile of cash upfront but it is basically a no risk investment (the only game I anticipate getting stuck with is the upcoming midweek April afternoon vs Pittsburgh). I think if going to games is that important to you and you can deal with the finances of laying all that money out upfront (splitting with friends is definitely the way to go), full season is a no brainer.

[March 27, 2008 7:28 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Bobster said

Metsie, I'm not sure I agree with all your reasoning. I remember shortly after the Jets moved to the Meadowlands, I sent in a request for season tickets. Giants Stadium had many more seats for football than Shea did, but I got a letter back saying I was 7,000 or so on the waiting list. I moved away from New York before I got any tickets.

Many football teams (and basketball and hockey too) do very nicely selling out to season ticket holders. There's no need to cultivate fans. Giants fans pass on their season tickets to the children, generation to generation. When tickets become available, there's no problem finding a new season ticket holder.

In the Mets case, they are significantly reducing the number of seats, from 55,000 at Shea to just over 40,000 at Citi Field. Basic supply/demand calculations play here - if you make something scarcer, you can charge more for it. So ticket prices at CitiField will probably cost much more than Shea after a year or two goes by.

The Mets may set aside a small number of less desirable seats for day-of-game sales, but the days when you could decide at the last moment to go to the ballpark and catch a game are fast coming to an end. It will be just like the NFL. If the Mets can sell every seat to a season ticket holder, they will.

[March 27, 2008 9:27 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Metsie replied to Bobster


Football has 10x less games per season than baseball does. Its a lot cleaner and simpler for a football team to go the all season tickets route.

If the the Yankees with all theiir corporate and bandwagon fans have plenty of seats to sell every game, so will the Mets. (The Yankees draw 4 million and still have all sorts of discounted tickets available)

The Cubs & Red Sox have lesser capacities and larger fan bases...and they sell tickets to the public. Certainly the Mets will have their fair share available to the public (and partial plans).

Unless the average ticket price at Citi Field is $10, the Mets WILL NOT be season ticket exculsive.

[March 27, 2008 9:17 PM]  |  link  |  reply
kingman said

Metsie, thanks for the notes. I try to avoid slipping into self-pity mode but sometimes it eeks out. As Ron Hunt says, we have heard directly from the front office that partial season plan holders are out of luck in 2009, end of story. Of course, that story can change and this could all be a business strategy...and we hope it is. Whether or not it's a good business strategy is up for discussion. However, the plan for Loge13.com is to spend little time worrying about the seats and spend the rest of Shea's time on earth celebrating the good times Shea brought us. Life's too short to operate any other way. Send along some details on your fledgling blog.

[September 16, 2008 7:16 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Tommy said

Its sad to say goodbye to Shea. There are not many true baseball parks left, just corporate castles. Why couldnt Mets officials keep the name...again, another sellout!

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