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09/26/08 2:33 PM ET
Shea Stadium/Citi Field FAQ
Answers to questions about the Mets' current, future homes
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
1. Aside from the final regularly scheduled game on Sunday, are there plans for an offseason celebration to mark the official end? No. The final ceremony, weather permitting, is slated for Sunday. And if the Mets make the playoffs, the last game will be the final event at Shea. 2. When do the Mets expect to formally move into Citi Field? They have been moving in during the past few weeks and, except for personnel essential to the Shea operation in its final days, all Mets employees have already been relocated to their new offices. 3. Is there any concern that the new facility won't be ready on time? No. The Mets say that they are right on their $800 million budget and right on schedule with 85 percent of the construction complete and 80 percent of the seats installed. The lead project coordinator said that all the heavy work had been done and that they are now working on internals: concession stands, restaurants, luxury boxes, etc. 4. What are the plans for tearing down Shea Stadium, and how will that be done? Fifteen days after the last game, the Mets will turn over the stadium keys to the demolition crew, which will immediately begin to tear down the 45-year-old building. Since New York laws now preclude implosion of buildings or the use of a wrecking ball (you've seen all those old pictures of that big ball knocking down the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field), the demolition will be accomplished piece-by-piece, beginning with knocking out all the concrete and then taking down the steel skeleton like a decomposing Erector Set. 5. What will replace the old stadium? A big parking lot and some greenery to help beautify Citi Field. 6. Most clubs that open a new stadium close out their exhibition schedule with a game or two to test everything in the new ballpark. Are plans being made to do that? Whether there will or won't be is still to be determined. 7. What are the plans for moving home plate to the new stadium? That won't happen. When the sod and the field are laid down this offseason, plans are to install a new home plate. The Shea Stadium plates have been changed often and the last one will be part of that ballpark's long list of memorabilia. 8. What are the plans for moving the Big Apple from Shea to the new ballpark? Up in the air. It's in such bad shape that the project manager is having workers survey it to determine whether it would survive the move and can be restored. If so, it will be non-functioning and the Mets are trying to figure out an apt spot to place it in a ballpark that is much tighter and cozier than Shea. But don't despair. Under any circumstances, a new Big Apple will pop out of the top of a concrete slab in dead center field called "The Apple Garage" each time a Met hits a home run. 9. What else from the old stadium will be moved to the new? Aside from some photos lining the hallways of the old yard, not much. As sentimental as some people might be about Shea Stadium, for Mets ownership this is very much the old making way to the new. 10. What is the timeline for sale of seats and other stadium memorabilia on the club's Web site? That's already under way, and during the 15-day period between the last game at Shea and the onset of demolition, every seat, fixture, sign, object and urinal will be removed. Since the City of New York owns the stadium, the park and recreations department has determined that it will salvage items like toilets and bathroom fixtures to be used in the hundreds of facilities that the department oversees in the five boroughs. 11. What's the status of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, the main entranceway that pays homage to the rotunda of Brooklyn's Ebbets Field? It's just about done. Escalators have been put in as well as all the overhead plumbing and workers are about to put in the foundation that will hold the "Terrazzo" faux marble flooring. It's similar to the flooring that millions of Brooklyn fans pounded as they made their way into Ebbets Field before it closed with the last game in 1957. 12. The Mets played their first two seasons (1962-63) in the Polo Grounds. Is there any recognition of that old building and its connection to the New York Giants? Like the Polo Grounds in its dying days, the 42,500 seats at Citi Field are green. The foul poles, which have already been installed, are orange, representing not only one of the Mets' colors, but the colors of the New York Giants, who wore black and orange (and still do in San Francisco). When the Mets expanded into the National League in 1962, they chose Giants orange and Dodgers blue as their colors.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.