Details Emerge For New Mets Stadium
By JEFF FEINMAN
As pitchers and catchers head to Florida to join the Mets for Spring Training, the Queens Tribune has obtained a detailed report of the expected plans for the brand new stadium that will be home to the New York Mets. The $609 million stadium will hold 44,100 seats (an 11,900-seat reduction from Shea Stadium) and is expected to be ready for opening day 2009 after construction begins this summer.
The new stadium will be situated in the east parking lot of the current stadium, taking up approximately 74.5 acres. The design of the new stadium will emulate the historic Ebbets Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. As baseball fans and visitors flock to Met games, they will note that the stadium’s brick exterior will be lined with steel sculptures representing the many bridges that connect the different boroughs of New York City.
The New York Mets’ front office has not released any design plans or models of the new structure as of yet.
Mets’ VP of Media Relations Jay Horowitz said that he and his staff are withholding comment until a detailed press conference that he said will take place within the next week.
A previous Ebbets Field style ballpark was shown off in 2001, but it had a retractable roof and other different features.
The Empire State Development Corporation, which provided the report, said there would be a public hearing on the proposed stadium Feb. 27 at Flushing Town Hall. “The purpose of our participation in the project is to maintain a world-class sports franchise in Queens and to facilitate the development of a major venue for sporting and other events,” read and ESDC.
Mets fans will be treated to a number of elegant and unique services that are not present in Shea Stadium. The Field Level will have an enclosed concourse called the “Home Plate Club,” consisting of 10 suites, lounges, bars, restrooms, and up-close views of the field. Above that is the Main Concourse, which will have plenty of space for fans to roam. This level will hold the Ebbets Club, similar to the current Diamond Club, and picnic area seating. Outfield seating will have a larger slope to position fans closer to the field.
As stadium visitors file up the escalators and elevators to the upper tiers, the first thing they see will be the suite level, with 35 suites and upgraded concession stands. A Business Center will be directly above a rotunda, offering space for business meetings and functions. It is also believed that a bridge will connect this level to the administration building in right field.
The Club Level, which will accommodate press and media, will have a sit-down restaurant in left field, seating approximately 500 customers. Moving to the Upper Concourse, visitors will have the opportunity for great views of the field, even from the “nose bleed” section. In fact, the Upper Level is both closer to the field and lower in elevation than the current Mezzanine Level of Shea Stadium.
At the completion of the construction, Shea will be demolished and turned into a parking lot. It is expected that the city will lease the stadium site to the Mets for up to 99 years and the Mets will enter a non-relocation agreement. Officials say the new stadium will have an employment total of approximately 700 jobs and the total revenue generated by stadium operations will be an estimated $1.26 billion over 40 years.
Spokesman Dan Andrews said Wednesday that Borough President Helen Marshall “has always supported a new stadium.”
“We feel there’s a great need and great support for a new stadium,” he said.
The public hearing on the stadium plan will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd