|Artist's Rendering Of New Shea Stadium|
As you know the Mets moved into CitiField in 2009 and no one expected that the team would need a another new park for at least several decades.
In making the announcement Mr. Wilpon conceded that CitiField has not worked out exactly as planned. Here's part of his statement:
"We realize now that we put too much emphasis on the old Brooklyn Dodgers when we built our park. The Ebbets Field front combined with the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. It's all too much. We erred there. And the field is just so big. We wanted a field that favors the pitcher but we just went overboard in that department. There are some obstructed seats. Let's face it - CitiField is OK but we can and must do better."
A Mets executive who prefers to remain anonymous for obvious reasons revealed to us the real reason for the move. "The only way in this baseball business to make money is putting fannies in the seats. The tried and true method to do this is by putting together an exciting winning team that makes the playoffs regularly. This takes a productive farm system combined with a sharp GM who acquires just the right mix of players and an astute manager that can put it all together. Look, we don't have any of that stuff so the only other way is to open a new ballpark. Fans come to that no matter how lifeless a team you put out there."
The new Mets ballpark has the working name of NEW SHEA STADIUM and will be built in the CitiField parking lot right on the site of the original Shea Stadium. This is particularly advantageous since the outline of the stadium can be seen in the parking lot and many of the architectural plans can be recycled.
Mr. Wilpon also opined that, "we feel that baseball is being overemphasized at some of these new ballparks so we will work hard to find other things to make the visit to NEW SHEA enjoyable." To that end there will be a strip mall, petting zoo, and pool hall in the lower rotunda area.
Thinking proactively the Wilpons believe the day of the dedicated ballparks is waning. So they hope to entice an NFL back to Flushing and will make entreaties to the New York Jets.
But going further they also hope to attract an NBA and/or NHL franchise to the ballpark. When it was pointed out that the new stadium is an open air one Jeff Wilpon responded that the Nets are owned by a Russian billionaire and, "if he wants to put a roof on the place who am I to stop him?"
And as for the Islanders Wilpon noted how successful the NHL has been when it has aired its one outdoor game each year. So wouldn't a team be even more successful if it played ALL of its games outdoors? How can one argue against this logic?
Wilpon denied that he plans to charge PSL (personal seat license fees) at the new park. Fans just hate that gratuitous money grab. But he did not rule out possibly instituting PFL's which are personal food licenses that allow patrons to then buy food at the many vendors stands in the stadium.
The plan is for the Mets to stay at CitiField for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons - just long enough to get the All Star Game there and then move in to NEW SHEA in 2014.
All articles featured on The Apple are fictitious. No Mets were harmed in the writing of this story. Today's story by Larry Smith. You can follow Larry Smith on twitter @dr4sight