Seasons of Shea
As soon as the stadium was built, there were fans to fill it. The team was still young - only two years old when Shea first opened its doors in 1964 - but the Mets had already attracted an avid following. “Dodger blue” and “Giant orange” on the team uniforms and the deserter teams’ former fans met in the stands.
From its very inception, Shea was a stadium for those baseball lovers willing to adapt. It’s a legacy that seems fitting for the team of Queens, the most diverse county in the world, a home base for millions adjusting to a new way of life.
The stadium that has housed four professional sports teams, presented dozens of concerts and hosted a visit from the pope will close in September. Construction on a new stadium, Citi Field, is well underway. Come 2009, New Yorkers will have the chance to walk through the grand Jackie Robinson Rotunda and get swept up in yet another season.
It's Outta Here!
Shea is the quintessential multi-use stadium. Baseball shared space with football; where the Beatles played, the Rolling Stones played as well. The sports arena has served as a unifying force in our borough for over four decades.
Queensites will surely miss its bright blue exterior and we’ll probably still look for the neon ball players decorating the stadium walls as we drive past. When Citi Field opens in 2009, we’ll rise for the national anthem, reach for the peanuts and take our 7th inning stretch just as we always have. Thanks for the memories, Shea. They’re safe.
Photos by Tania Betancourt