Good article in yesterday’s NY Daily News about the single-game ticket sales at Shea Stadium last weekend.
Fans lined up for the last time ever to get tickets for the season. Very bittersweet tale.
Anthony D'Alessio fell in love with the Mets in 1981 and has since called the wilting Shea Stadium a second home.
Twice he pulled off the ultradedicated feat of attending all 81 home games, and Sunday he sealed the deal on the hat trick - snagging $5 and $10 ducats as single season tickets went on sale for Shea's final act.
"Oh, yes," D'Alessio said, holding the stack. "To me, baseball is life."
The 44-year-old dry cleaner who grew up in Flushing was one of a handful of Amazin' faithful who braved chilly, whipping winds to stand in line for the 9a.m. box office opening.
"It's a tradition for die-hards to come here," said D'Alessio, dressed in a heavy parka and a Mets ski hat that looked like it dated back to when the team last won the World Series in 1986.
That tradition seems to have lost out to modern technology as tickets went on sale simultaneously by phone and Internet.
The most coveted seats for the home opener, the Subway Series and the final regular season game at Shea sold out weeks ago in a lottery system that most fans panned.
"It's a disgrace," said Pete Poshka, 51, who was disappointed he and his son Eric, 12, were only able to get tickets to midseason games against the Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies.
Barely 80 fans had bought tickets by 9:30 a.m., and only a few more trickled in as the morning progressed.
"It's not like the old days where lines wrapped around the stadium," said a security guard who didn't have much to do.
The anemic numbers contrasted greatly with the scene at Yankee Stadium last week where hundreds of fans camped out overnight for a chance to buy tickets and say goodbye to the legendary park.
With rising, state-of-the-art, 45,000-seat Citi Field casting a shadow on Shea, fans spoke fondly of the old-school arena and their need to bid farewell.
"I'm going to miss this place," said Poshka, who used to pedal his old Sting-Ray bike from his childhood home in Jackson Heights to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park just to hear the crowd roar.
"I know the new stadium is going to be so much better," said Poshka, a bank technology manager who now lives in Roslyn, L.I. "But I've got so many memories in this place."