Located on the grounds of the New York World's Fair in Queens, Shea Stadium is large,
bulky, gaudy and a throwback to a different era in baseball. Located nearby is the U.S.
Tennis Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium which serves as the home to the US Tennis Open.  
Opened in 1964, this stadium has been the  host to four World Series most notably  the
"Amazing Mets" miracle win in 1969.

Getting to the stadium is easy ...if traffic is light, parking is abundant and the 7 train runs
from Manhattan right past the stadium if you are into public transportation.

The stadium is multi tiered into four distinct decks - field level, loge, mezzanine and upper
deck, all accessible via lengthy ramps. The upper deck concourses are somewhat narrow,
although at field level there is ample space to maneuver. There is no single main entrance,
but rather numerous entrances at each corner of the stadium. One cool thing on the
outside of the building is a number of cool neon sculptures adorning the building.. look
really cool lit up at night.

Inside Shea Stadium
All four decks end just beyond the foul pole, so isn't much bleacher seating save for the
picnic area beyond the left field fence. Looking out onto Long Island there really is not that
much of a view and the most noise you hear out of the park comes from airplanes coming
in and out of LaGuardia Airport nearby. At right center is a humongous dot matrix
information board sporting all sorts of scores, stats, and out of town scores. In left center
is a jumbotron video board. When the Mets send one outta the park a huge apple with a
Mets logo pops up behind the center field fence.

We were treated to a really great pitching matchup on this day... Atlanta's John Smoltz up
against the Mets (and former Bison) Rick Reed. Reed pitched well, but Atlanta won this one
on a three hit shutout.
The Mets never got a runner to third base all game long.

Banners/Retired numbers
In addition to the two World Series Championships and divisional/league titles, the Mets
have retired the numbers of Tom Seaver, Casey Stengel, and Gil Hodges. While each big
league team has the number 42 reitred to honor Jackie Robinson, here it seems a bit more
special since New York is where he played.(We can hear the screaming in Los Angeles and
Montreal over this statement)

Extra Points
We sat by a group of fans from Caracas, Venezuela the hometown of Braves slugger
Andres Galaaraga. Andres homered in this game and sent these fans home very happy.

Summary
What is it about these New York venues that old and classic seem to be the norm? For a
time there was a plan in place to build an Ebbets Field style stadium with a retractable roof
but that project is on hold for now. This place is far away from being the ultimate baseball
experience, because it is too big, plain and simple. Still for Peter who grew up cheering his
beloved Mets just a few miles down the road in Lynbrook, going to Shea is still at the top of
his list!

SCORING:
Architecture 5
Food and team store 3
Scoreboard and electronics 5
Ushers 3
Fan support 6
Location and neighborhood 6
Banners and history 8
In game entertainment 7
Concourses/fan comfort 2
Bonus: Peter's, Gary's and The Kings's Beloved Mets 2; Jewish Heritage Day 1; the centerfield apple 1

Total: 49
Shea Stadium
#3   




Shea
Stadium   




New York,
NY   




September 6,
1998




Atlanta
Braves
at
New York
Mets




Return visit:
July 28,
2002




Cincinnati
Reds at New
York Mets