Shea Stadium Swan Song.

After several years of talk and no action, the New York Mets organization announced recently that they’ll be building a new ballpark for the team.

Tentatively named “Mets Ballpark”, instead of the one-size-fits-all symmetrical stadium meant to host rock stars as well as sports stars, the new field is more intimate (only about 45,000 fans instead of the 55,000-60,000 fans Shea can hold), and has asymmetrical sizing, more befitting a “classic” park, like Brooklyn’s Ebbet’s Field and several of the “new classic” parks like San Diego’s Petco Park. Here’s a comparison of the dimensions for Shea Stadium and Mets Ballpark:

Field Shea Stadium Mets Ballpark
Left 338′ 335′
Left-Center 378′ 379′
Center 410′ 408′
Right-Center 378′ 391′
Right 338′ 330′

Of interest is the short right-field porch: the eight foot difference will be an overhang that sticks out into the field. That should be fun. Kind of like Pac Bell.. I mean SBC… I mean AT&T Park’s right field. (Yes, I’m bitter. And we can expect more of the same with Mets Ballpark, since they’re looking to sell corporate naming rights.)

The Mets have a website describing the park, with a 3D tour and a video of the unveiling.

The new ballpark will be built in the parking lot of Shea, and Shea will be torn down. That will be a sad day for New Yorkers, definitely a sad day for me. If I find out the schedule, perhaps I’ll find myself there on the day they take it down.