Make the Trip to Queens for Shea’s Curtain Call


Published: April 3, 2008

As the construction of Citi Field draws closer to completion, New York Mets fanatics around the nation know that the days of Shea Stadium are numbered. After a 40-plus year history, this pitcher’s park will start its final season this spring.

Throughout the years, Shea Stadium has long been in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, not only because the Yankees were perennial winners, but also because the 1960-style construction of Shea had long been considered unattractive in comparison.

Nevertheless, the shared experience of a ballgame at Shea  has drawn fans from all areas of New York to the ballpark.

So what is it about the Shea experience that makes it special?

It’s certainly not the food. A replica helmet cup of ice cream sells for over four bucks alone. If you want something a little cheaper, the hotdog vender across the street is your best bet. Main Street in Flushing, Queens also has an array of Chinese restaurants for those who don’t mind a walk.

Though the cuisine found outside of Shea leaves much to be desired, the area around the park includes Arthur Ashe Stadium, home of the U.S. Open, and Flushing Meadow-Corona Park.

Family entertainment abounds at the Mets Fan Fest, a baseball-themed carnival open two and a half hours before every Friday, Saturday and Sunday home game. Attractions include obstacle courses and interactive booths where fans can try their hand at adding their own broadcasts to Mets highlights.

The home of the Mets offers a wide array of ticket-pricing options for fans on all types of budgets. Games are ranked on five cost levels  based on the opposing team (Platinum for Yankees games) and special events like Opening Day. Value tickets, such as the April series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, can cost as little as $5 for Upper Reserved level seats.  If $5 seats are still too pricey, fans hoping to get a free peek at the action can snag a partial view of the field from the platform leading up to the 7 train subway stop.

When Citi Field opens up, it will include more restaurants and luxury suites for fans, including a large jumbo screen in center field. But the question remains whether this new stadium will ever live up to the memories molded during the days of Shea.

Being one of the oldest ballparks in the National League, Shea Stadium has endured much history, including two World Series Championships and Beatles concerts.