William A. Shea Stadium is a baseball stadium in Flushing, New
York and the longtime home of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium's first game
on April 17, 1964 was the culmination of a project that cost $28.5 million
and took 29 months to build.
Field - 341 ft (64-78) 338 ft (1979-)
Medium Left-Center - 358 ft
Left-Center - 371 ft (64-91) 378 (92-)
Left-Center (deep) - 396 ft
Medium Left-Center - 410 ft
Right-Center (deep) - 396 ft
Right-Center - 371 ft (64-91) 378
Medium Right-Center - 358 ft
Right Field - 338 ft
Backstop - 80 ft
Foul Territory: Very large
It was originally to be called Flushing Meadow Park – similar to the
name of the public park that's south of Shea – but a movement was
launched to name it in honor of William A. Shea, the man who brought
National League baseball back to New York. It was also the first stadium
capable of being converted from baseball to football and back using two
motor-operated stands that moved on underground tracks.
Shea has been the home of the Mets since its opening in 1964. The New
York Yankees played their home games in Shea Stadium during the 1974 and
1975 seasons while Yankee Stadium was
being renovated. The Yankees also played one "home" game at Shea
in 1998 after a beam collapsed at Yankee Stadium, destroying several rows
The NFL team, New York Jets, played at Shea from 1964 to 1983.
Quarterback Joe Namath passed for a record 4,007 yards here in 1967, and
in 1968 led the Jets, then a member of the American Football League before
its final merger with the NFL, to the AFL championship and later an upset
victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami, Florida. The
New York Giants played at Shea in 1975.
to Shea Stadium!
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The stadium, which cost $25.5 million, was intended to be expandable to
90,000 seats by extending the middle and upper decks around the outfield
and building a dome above the stands. During the 1960s, there was a move
to accomplish this, but the idea was dropped after structural studies
concluded that the stands would be unable to support the weight of the
dome after all.
The stadium is generally regarded as one of the loudest in the Major
Leagues, not necessarily because of the crowd noise, but because of its
proximity to LaGuardia Airport.
A red Big Apple representing the City of New York emerges from the Mets
Magic Top Hat, a giant upside-down black top hat, and flashes whenever a
Mets player hits a home run. Located beyond the center field wall, just to
the right of the 410 foot mark, the apple features the Mets logo and the
words home run in big letters. Prior to 1984, the hat featured the
words "Mets Magic" in honor of the phrase used through the early
parts of the decade that "The Magic Is Back".
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
For 40 years, the Mets' theme song, Meet the Mets, has been
played at Shea before every home game. As of the home game played on the
night of June 10th, 2005, the Mets have played more games at Shea Stadium
than the Brooklyn Dodgers did at the legendary Ebbets
Stadium rock was born here in August 1965, when The Beatles opened
their 1965 North American tour at Shea Stadium to a record audience of
56,000. Shea Stadium can be reached via the New York City Subway using the
The Future: New Mets Stadium
On June 12, 2005 a plan for a New Mets Stadium in Willetts Point,
Queens in the parking lot of Shea Stadium was announced. If approved it is
to be completed for the 2009 baseball season. The plan was to use the
stadium for the 2012 Olympics while the Mets would play at the new Yankee
Stadium in The Bronx for the 2012 season. This would have put the Mets in
much the same situation as the Yankees were in 1974-1975 when they played
in Shea Stadium while Yankee Stadium was renovated. Despite New York's
loss of the 2012 Olympics to London, the Mets still plan to build their
new stadium in time for the 2009 season.
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