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New Mets Ballpark Design


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#1 MaurySABR

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 03:57 PM

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

For those interested, the Mets and HOK have provided me with several very high resolution renderings of the New Mets Ballpark design.

Above are a three thumbnail of samplings. The hi-rez images tap out at over 1200 pixels wide.

These images can be accessed from two locations:

The Baseball Journals: Mets Unveil New Ballpark Design has just the Mets renderings.

The Interview with Earl Santee of HOK has these, plus the New Nationals Ballpark, Busch III, and proposed design renderings for the Marlins and Twins.

#2 jacklamabe65


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:04 PM

Back to the future.

Now put it on Bedford Avenue and Sullivan Place.

#3 On the DLowe

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:10 PM

Good to see they're keeping the giant papier-mache apple. Of all the ballparks in the country, I think this Shea is the one that needs to be demolished the most. Thanks for the links!

#4 MaurySABR

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:10 PM

Back to the future. 

Now put it on Bedford Avenue and Sullivan Place.

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Wonder how Brooklyn Dodger fans will take it.

#5 templeUsox


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:13 PM

1. The apple is kitchy in Shea. There is no need to carry it over to the new stadium. It's one of those gimmicks whose popularity is tied to its tackiness.

2. The staggered bleachers in left and the concourse in right looks very nice. Obviously the Ebbets' facade is what it is.

3. The dimensions aren't as hitter-friendly as CBP, but it's definitely going to be a RHH-friendly ballpark.

4. Carlos Beltran will still be on the Mets in 2009?

Edited by templeUsox, 06 April 2006 - 04:13 PM.


#6 Pumpsie


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:55 PM

Wonder how Brooklyn Dodger fans will take it.

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Well, since MOST Met fans WERE Dodger fans, or the next generation removed from Dodger fans, I think they might take it pretty darn well. I think Brooklyn would welcome the Mets with open arms but Queens would be upset.

Jack's right in that The Mets belonged in Brooklyn right from the start. I don't know what genius decided to put that team in freakin' Queens.

That's a pretty cool design, BTW. It has echoes of Ebbets Field AND Lincoln Center (and even Penn Station!). And I agree that of ALL the ballparks in MLB, Shea has to be destroyed more than any of them. What a pit.

Edited by Pumpsie, 06 April 2006 - 05:07 PM.


#7 FungosWithJimy

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 05:05 PM

Jack's right in that The Mets belonged in Brooklyn right from the start. I don't know what genius decided to put that team in freakin' Queens.

It may have had something to do with the fact that the Mets were not only supposed to replace the Dodgers, but the Giants as well. Hence the fact that they wear blue and orange.

Then again, where logic doesn't fit, poilitics usually does. So, who knows?

Edited by FungosWithJimy, 06 April 2006 - 05:06 PM.


#8 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 05:10 PM

The business community, and certainly the owners of the Mets, did not want to be in Brooklyn in 1964, when Shea opened. Queens was where the middle class people were, and where the future was.

#9 Pumpsie


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 05:15 PM

It may have had something to do with the fact that the Mets were not only supposed to replace the Dodgers, but the Giants as well.  Hence the fact that they wear blue and orange. 

Then again, where logic doesn't fit, poilitics usually does.  So, who knows?

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Yeah, but putting the park in Queens because it was supposed to pick up the slack for fans from Brooklyn and upper Manhattan is a compromise solution which has all the faults of a compromise and none of the upside. But I'm certain NY's Bob Moses urban renewal disaster was in full swing at the time and that probably was a big part of the decision-making process. I wouldn't be surprised if Moses flat out TOLD them where they could put their park...or else.

#10 MaurySABR

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 05:41 PM

Posted Image

Interesting to see this cross-section image with Shea overlayed on top of it. By the way... Neil DeMause noticed prior that:

LATE NOTE: Just noticed that another part of the ESDC document claims the new top deck would be "lower in elevation than the third seating level known as the Mezzanine Level at Shea Stadium." So either the new design will have the world's tallest light poles, or one hand at the ESDC doesn't know what the other is talking about.



#11 Tim Lollard

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 07:27 PM

Back to the future. 

Now put it on Bedford Avenue and Sullivan Place.

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That would really be something. The Ebbets site is now a dumpy apartment block. It's a 15 minute walk from my apartment.

It's too bad they'll still be under the flight path, but I guess that's the economic/political reality. Still, considering the money being spent to jam a new stadium into the Bronx against tremendous neighborhood opposition, you'd think they could expend a little effort to get one of those waterfront locations in Red Hook for the Mets. What would you rather have in your neighborhood, an Ikea or a ballpark?

#12 NYCSox


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:02 PM

3.  The dimensions aren't as hitter-friendly as CBP, but it's definitely going to be a RHH-friendly ballpark. 

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Clearly, the must have consulted David Wright when designing the park. :D

#13 LateRally

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 10:02 PM

Yeah, but putting the park in Queens because it was supposed to pick up the slack for fans from Brooklyn and upper Manhattan is a compromise solution which has all the faults of a compromise and none of the upside.

This is true. Queens was a terrible idea. And Shea did nothing to revive the area. Flushing was a dump then, and it's a dump now. So all you're left with is a crappy ballpark in a crappy part of town that's too far from everything and a pain in the ass to get to. But still moving the Mets to Brooklyn now would be a bad idea. It should've been done then, but it wouldn't work now. Over the last 10 years Brooklyn has become overrun with Yankees fans.

#14 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 07 April 2006 - 12:37 AM

Bonger likes the Mets, loves NY baseball history and loves NY (although I've only been there once in the last few years, but I'm a history, news, and maps junkie, so I read anything I can on the place), so here's my stab at this..

Where can you really put a baseball park in Brooklyn? The Atlantic Yards has been a solution forever - Walter O'Malley wanted to put his dome there - but don't Ratner and the Nets have that site? Then again, I heard that like five years ago.

I think the solution is simple business sense. The Flushing Meadows park is land that doesn't need political bullshit out the bum, and the Mets are going to pay for most of the park, so they don't need the extra hassle of clearing out a Brooklyn site. Plus, their most solid support is basically Queens and Long Island, and Flushing Meadows is the most accessible realistic stadium site for Long Island fans to get to.

By the way, the Flushing Meadows site was picked as a potential stadium site by Robert Moses not long after the 1939 World's Fair. He would build a stadium there for anybody that wanted it, and made sure that no where else could be used for a stadium. Horace Stoneham and his Giants passed on it - kind of an odd decision, I think, since I believe the Giants did have a solid Queens fanbase, but then the Giants were a Manhattanite's team. Moses offered it to Walter O'Malley, who passed on it noting that, er, uh, Flushing Meadows isn't in Brooklyn. Moses retaliated by blocking O'Malley's attempts to gain land at the Atlantic IND/BMT railyards, and that was all she wrote. So, since both teams left, the Mets got the scraps, which was Shea.

Well, since MOST Met fans WERE Dodger fans, or the next generation removed from Dodger fans, I think they might take it pretty darn well.  I think Brooklyn would welcome the Mets with open arms but Queens would be upset.

That's a pretty cool design, BTW.  It has echoes of Ebbets Field AND Lincoln Center (and even Penn Station!).  And I agree that of ALL the ballparks in MLB, Shea has to be destroyed more than any of them.  What a pit.

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Were most Met fans Dodger fans? I'm rather annoyed at this. It's revisionist - it's like the New York Giants never existed to the wailing masses of old people who have never gotten over the Dodgers leaving. The Giants had just as many fans as the Dodgers, and drew just as many people.

I suspect the difference is two-fold.

1) It was just too difficult to build a stadium in Manhattan by 1955, and once Stoneham saw the enormous profits the Braves were making in Milwaukee, soon looked to go West. He first looked at the Twin Cities, where Bloomington had built the Metropolitan Stadium, and then to San Francisco when George Christopher and the Board of Supes came in with a sweetheart deal at Candlestick at the last second.

In short, Stoneham's first idea was to leave, not stay.

2) Brooklyn, the team, the park, the fans are a lot easier to romanticize. The Giants fans were Manhattanites - the center of the world, but hardly the social cachet that Brooklyn has, plus the Giants had a lot more wealthy, socialite fans. Think of two famous Giant fans..Roger Angell and George Plimpton. Both from wealthy socialite families. That's not to say that they had no working fans - I think it's fair to characterize Manhattan as more hospitable to working people than today, and they were Giants fans too. The Giants were not nearly as good nor lovable, with the same folks back year after year. They hadn't experienced as much success. The Polo Grounds was a pretty shitty place to watch baseball, and Giants fans were characterized as too cool for school compared to the loud, yelling Brooklynite.

That said, I think it was far easier to become a Met fan having been a Giant fan than becoming a Met fan after being a Dodger fan. The Mets adopted the Giants NY emblem and were owned by Joan Payson, a former minority shareholder of the Giants. The chairman was M. Donald Grant, the lone vote opposing relocation on the Giants board. Their original home was the Polo Grounds. Strong stuff.

I also wonder whether the lack of a Brooklyn to Flushing subway line hurt the Mets' efforts in Brooklyn. I'm sure those Dodger fans who got over it became Met fans since they sure weren't being Yankee fans, but did their children have the same loyalties? Edit: I visited the Ebbets Field site last year, and I took the same train that goes to Yankee Stadium in the other direction (the 2). That has to help.

Plus, there's the dirty little secret that a lot more NY fans switch than they tell you. Isn't it amazing how the Mets owned the town in the 80s?

Edited by Spacemans Bong, 07 April 2006 - 12:49 AM.


#15 PseuFighter


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Posted 07 April 2006 - 01:11 AM

Robert Moses had the biggest hard-on for the automobile in the history of New York City. Thus, his biggest public works projects would either directly involve the automobile (see: Triborough Bridge, Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, 624362345 Parkways), or be built with easy off-road access (see: World's Fair).

After Walter O'Malley sold the Ebbets Field to Marvin Kratter, the team wished for a larger, domed stadium at the Atlantic BMT/IND terminal, which as Bonger pointed out is now under Ratner's development for a future New Jersey Nets home. Half a century ago, Moses wanted nothing to do with a Brooklyn project that would cost between $20 and $30 million, most of which would come straight from the taxpayers. Having already lost the Giants, Robert Wagner stepped in to save the franchise. He convinced Moses to offer the not yet developed land in Flushing which would eventually become Shea Stadium / Flushing Meadow Park for the Mets within a decade of O'Malley packing up for Los Angeles. Of course, the area was never to actually be developed. The plan was to have patrons from Long Island drive into Flushing for baseball games (and perhaps time on the fairgrounds), park at Shea Stadium, and ride home upon the game's completion. That's how the Mets became Long Island's team. Other than salvaging National League baseball, I really think there's little evidence to support the Mets as Brooklyn's franchise.

#16 SawxSince67

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:29 AM

Queens was a terrible idea.  And Shea did nothing to revive the area.  Flushing was a dump then, and it's a dump now. 

Jeff Wilpon, during last night's telecast, indicated that the city would aid in the revival of the area--no details.

Otherwise, they’ll need to build the place with bars, restaurants integrated into the structure. It would be an island in the midst of desolation -- while still under major airport traffic.

Junkyards and bus depots and airplanes, oh my…

The MTA should also replace that freakin clickety-clack 7 line…

#17 FungosWithJimy

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 10:53 AM

This is really an interesting conversation. Too bad it got banished from the main forum. I've enjoyed reading the posts here. NY baseball has such a fascinating history.

The fact that the area around Shea has never been developed was always a mystery to me. No bars. No restaurants. No other sources of entertainment, save for a tennis facility that is used once a year. Just desolation amidst thundering airplane traffic and awful road signage that leaves the average driver creeping along a bad section of Queens trying to find the entrance to a highway they can actually see from the stadium. Seems like much more could have been done with that area.

Bonger brings up an interesting point regarding the forgotten nature of Giants fans. So many books have been written about the history of baseball in Brooklyn (including the recent Praying for Gil Hodges, which was excellent, by the way). But I wonder how many have been written about Giants fans. Anyone know of any? Because I sure can't think of one.

#18 PseuFighter


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Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:18 AM

The National Tennis Center is a public facility for something like 50 weeks a year, so it certainly gets used, but probably no more than a public skating rink or rec center.

The Giants, like the Dodgers, wanted a larger facility, and the conditions of the area surrounding the Polo Groups were rapidly deteriorating. At, at one point, Manhattan proposed a 110,000 seat (!) stadium on the upper west side, but the $75 million price tag was just too steep. The only move left was out of the city. Keep in mind that the two teams moved at the same time (and I think the vote was announced on the same day; O'Malley convincing Stoneham to leave), so obviously both became too fed up with city politics and instead chose to exploit baseball out west. It's difficult to ignore the decades of Yankee success as having at least some impact on both decisions, but I'd put my money on a lack of funding being the greatest contributor to both moves.

#19 PseuFighter


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Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:31 AM

Jeff Wilpon, during last night's telecast, indicated that the city would aid in the revival of the area--no details.

Otherwise, they’ll need to build the place with bars, restaurants integrated into the structure. It would be an island in the midst of desolation -- while still under major airport traffic.

Junkyards and bus depots and airplanes, oh my…

The MTA should also replace that freakin clickety-clack 7 line…

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I saw some of that, and I just have a hard time trusting anything that comes out of the mouth of a Wilpon. That being said, I would still argue that Flushing Meadows was never meant to be developed, in the same way that Prospect Park, Greenwood Cemetary, or Central Park were to be left as places of nature. Shea was arguably the final piece of the Robert Moses legacy, let alone the World's Fair. However, the biggest difference between Flushing and the city's other grand parklands would be its complete deterioration after the final World's Fair. Willets Point reminds me a lot of the Philadelphia Sports Complex and the Meadowlands -- public areas removed from urban districts yet politically part of specified towns and cities, serving single-use purposes. And while the area immediately surrounding Shea may seem desolate, going a few blocks in any direction tells of a much different story.

Posted Image

If that blueprint holds, I think the junkyards (and other auto shops) will be gone.

And what the heck's wrong with the (7) IRT? The damn line's sprawled some of the most diverse areas in all of the city since the mid 60s. Even the Willets Point station was built with the sole intent of one day supporting a ballpark.

#20 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 07 April 2006 - 12:47 PM

This is really an interesting conversation.  Too bad it got banished from the main forum.  I've enjoyed reading the posts here.  NY baseball has such a fascinating history. 

The fact that the area around Shea has never been developed was always a mystery to me.  No bars.  No restaurants.  No other sources of entertainment, save for a tennis facility that is used once a year.  Just desolation amidst thundering airplane traffic and awful road signage that leaves the average driver creeping along a bad section of Queens trying to find the entrance to a highway they can actually see from the stadium.  Seems like much more could have been done with that area.

Bonger brings up an interesting point regarding the forgotten nature of Giants fans.  So many books have been written about the history of baseball in Brooklyn (including the recent Praying for Gil Hodges, which was excellent, by the way).  But I wonder how many have been written about Giants fans.  Anyone know of any?  Because I sure can't think of one.

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There are a couple, and most of them are good. That said, Brooklyn Dodger books outnumber them by about a ratio of 10:1.

#21 DourDoerr

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 01:25 PM

This is true.  Queens was a terrible idea.  And Shea did nothing to revive the area.  Flushing was a dump then, and it's a dump now.  So all you're left with is a crappy ballpark in a crappy part of town that's too far from everything and a pain in the ass to get to.  But still moving the Mets to Brooklyn now would be a bad idea.  It should've been done then, but it wouldn't work now.  Over the last 10 years Brooklyn has become overrun with Yankees fans.

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And Brooklyn has its own minor league team now. Queens isn't really a bad place to put a ballpark - it's better than New Jersey for a New York team - but the flight path issue is the most unfortunate part of the current location. Maybe I missed the ack-ack guns in the blueprints?

I also agree w/ a poster that it'd be a mistake to include the kitschy giant apple in the new design. Put it under the grandstands as an exhibit and rope it off.

The Mets should also see if they could get Metropolitan Life Insurance interested in naming rights for the field - Metropolitan Field? - although that might create too much confusion for the insurance suits...

#22 SawxSince67

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 01:41 PM

And what the heck's wrong with the (7) IRT? The damn line's sprawled some of the most diverse areas in all of the city since the mid 60s.


You’ve really made me think that I need to stop and smell the roses…I’ve been away from NYC for 4.5 years and these truths escape me. Without question, the rail cuts through a divergent swath of NYC. In particular, it passes through Jackson Heights and ends up in Chinatown “Northeast” (now the "real" Chinatown, I gather?). Those are the only two NON-SHEA places I’ve visited in Queens. OK, Astoria, too...

That said, if you need to get to your Mets game on a Saturday, it’s about a 50 minute trip from Grand Central (certainly less than 10 miles), as only the Local runs on weekends if I recall (my last game was v. STL in 03?).

And it is an older train mostly on an EL, so the 7 is slower in comparison to its more modern, subterranean brethren.

And thank you for reminding me of Shea’s role as a component in the Flushing Meadows park. (NOT sarcasm!) :)

Edited by SawxSince67, 07 April 2006 - 01:43 PM.


#23 NYCSox


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Posted 07 April 2006 - 02:02 PM

That said, if you need to get to your Mets game on a Saturday, it’s about a 50 minute trip from Grand Central (certainly less than 10 miles), as only the Local runs on weekends if I recall (my last game was v. STL in 03?).

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15 minutes (20 max) if you take the LIRR from Penn Station. Of course, it's $5.50 instead of $2, but well worth it.

#24 Joe D Reid

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 02:13 PM

My impression is that most older Brooklynites didn't so much start rooting for the Mets as much they continued to root against the Yankees. And as the old guard has died out, the younger native Brooklynites became Yankees fans. It's actually easier to get to Yankee Stadium than it is to get to Shea from large parts of Brooklyn, because the 4 runs all the way through Brooklyn.

Frankly, I think most of the Mets fanbase is sui generis. The Yankees conquered Manhattan pretty quickly once the Giants left. The Mets base came from the growth in Queens and the huge growth in western Long Island--the Mets are largely serving a population that didn't exist in the 40's/early 50's heyday of the Dodgers.

Edited by Joe D Reid, 07 April 2006 - 02:14 PM.