Inside Shea Stadium – Arty 84 Baseball Park Reviews #2
By Arty 84
Stadium Name: Shea Stadium
Team: New York Mets
League: MLB – National League East
First Date Visited: 2004
Opposing Team: LA Dodgers
Date Opened: 1964
Date Closed: 2008
Overall Rating: (1-10) 4
Notable Award: Closes seats to heaven. So high in the air you can see faces in the planes windows
The Shea known for the Beatles concert on their last US tour and stadium in the middle of nowhere. Went to this stadium even before I had a plan to see all the stadiums in the MLB. An ex girl friend of mine live in Southern Conn, and I had always liked the Mets as a National League team, so one saturday in July we decided to go check out a game. Now this was my first time going to a stadium that wasnt my home town team so it was a little interesting.First off, it takes a good 45 mins on a crowded 7 train to get there, and if its the summer you better hope its a newer 7 train, because I have been on some that had no AC and the people were packed in like cattle going to the slaughter house. One you get there, everyone funneled off the train and if there was a tennis match going on at Art Ash, which there was, the crowd goes from 30K to about 50K.Shea was a conceptional stadium that many teams adopted in the 60s. It was the idea of the concrete donut stadium that would be multi purposed. Cities such as St. Louis, Oakland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh all developed these ideas. These were usually round shaped stadiums all concrete with very little architectural design to them. They were plain, boring and had no characteristics like the old ball parks did. They were cold feeling BUT very loud since the sound bounced so good off the walls.When Shea was first designed, it was to be a 80K to 100K person stadium and was going to be a complete donut of seats all around. At some point during design and construction they felt it may be to big and decided to stop the stands at the foul poles and throw some bleacher seats out in center field to fill in the space.
For years before moving to New Jersey, the NY Jets used Shea as their home field. Jets got their name from the low flying planes going to Laguardia Airport. The Yankees even played at Shea in the mid 70s while two year renovation of Yankee Stadium was being done. Dont get me wrong, their is a lot of history at this place. Buckners game 6 ball under the legs, the miracle mets of 69. The Mets won 3 world series at Shea and I have to say I was a little sad when I went back years later and discovered that its now a parking lot.There was no pre or post game stuff to do around there. They has a little fan fest thing before you walked in but thats it. I miss taking the 10 story escalator ride to near heaven and checking out the view of long island and the burrows of NYC from the last row of the Orange seats. I once waved to a family who was looking out of the window of an airplane and was able to read the mothers lips as she mouthed me her number, memories.The food was average there, nothing to special. Hot dogs, chicken fingers and ice cream all over priced. The beer was average priced. It always made me wonder why they trusted us with aluminum bottles. Those could of been used as a weapon. And Ill remember how steep the stands were and the more you drank, the more you felt like you were going to fall over. I remember going down on my hands and crawling up the stands. They had to be at a 45 degree angle.Now Shea is gone, and just as well, it was a terrible baseball park. It was suitable for what it needed to be used for, and Im sure hardcore Mets fans miss it, but Citi Field is a much better baseball park. Now all Queens has to do is build some bars and restaurants around the stadium and we could really make Mets games an all day event!
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