A Thousand Words

New Mets Ballpark.jpg
Can you find the 1,000 new permanent jobs?

The new Mets stadium from the team’s website.

Today’s press release after the jump.

-Matthew Schuerman

GOVERNOR PATAKI, MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND NEW YORK METS UNVEIL DESIGN PLANS FOR NEW BALLPARK
Project to Create More than 6,000 Construction and Nearly 1,000 Permanent Jobs

Governor George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the New
York Mets today unveiled the architectural and design plans for a new Mets
Ballpark. The Mets will begin construction on the innovative,
state-of-the-art facility later this year in the outfield parking lot
between Shea Stadium and 126th Street. The Mets expect to complete
construction by Opening Day 2009, which will usher in a new era of
unprecedented sightlines, amenities, and comfort for Mets fans, sports
fans, and visitors to the New York metropolitan area.

“Today marks a new era in Mets baseball, as we unveil plans for a
brand new state-of-the-art ballpark–one that will dramatically enhance
the experience of fans, provide the team with even better facilities, and
stimulate the regional economy,” Governor Pataki said. “This great project
will solidify the Amazins’ future in New York by providing a world-class
entertainment and sports facility that will create thousands of jobs,
hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue and spur further investment
and opportunity right here in Queens. I want to thank the Wilpons and Saul
Katz for believing in New York, investing in New York, and giving another
generation of New Yorkers the chance to feel the unique excitement and
pride that is Mets baseball.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “The Mets new ballpark, which will be
built in the parking lot to the east of Shea, will merge the intimate feel
of the old, classic ballparks like Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field with the
amenities of today’s modern sports facilities, and further enhance our
efforts to redevelop neighboring Willets Point and Flushing. Our
breakthrough agreement with the Mets helped to create the foundation for a
beautiful new home for the team while at the same time relieving the City
of its obligation to maintain Shea Stadium, thereby saving taxpayers
hundreds of millions of dollars. We thank the Mets for taking on the
financial responsibility of building, operating, and maintaining a new
ballpark that will serve baseball fans throughout the City, and that will
create more than 6,000 construction jobs and preserve the 1,000 full-time
jobs currently at Shea while also generating tens of millions of dollars in
incremental fiscal revenue for the City and State over the life of the new
lease.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “The ‘new millenium’ Mets will
have a new and improved facility to call home. While New Yorkers look
forward to this sparkling venue as a home for their beloved Mets, they also
see it as a catalyst to spark development from here to Willets Point.
Speaking for the New York State Assembly and especially for the members of
our Queens Assembly Delegation, I join all New Yorkers in saying, ‘Let’s Go
Mets!’”

Queens Borough President Marshall said, “The new Mets Ballpark is a
spectacular showcase for the Borough of Queens that creates new jobs for
Queens’ residents and opportunities for minority- and women-owned
businesses in our community. The Mets have been a Queens treasure since the
club moved to Flushing in 1964 and the new ballpark continues our efforts
in making Flushing Meadows Corona Park a premier venue for spectator and
participatory sports.”

Fred Wilpon, Chairman of the Board & CEO, New York Mets said, “Our
new ballpark is the realization of a dream– to create a world-class
environment and enduring experience for everyone, especially for the best
fans in all of sports. This new ballpark will become the home our fans have
long deserved, one created for shared celebrations among future generations
of Mets fans.”

Jeff Wilpon, COO, New York Mets said, “The new Mets Ballpark will
become a destination attraction for enjoyment of fans in the Borough of
Queens, residents of the tri-state area, and those visiting New York City.
It will be one of the finest sports and entertainment facilities in the
world. We thank the Borough, City, and State for their financial commitment
and support of our private financing for this ambitious project.”

The Mets will construct the new ballpark at their own expense, and
have requested approval from the New York City Industrial Development
Agency (NYCIDA) for the issuance of $632 million in tax-exempt and taxable
bonds. The tax-exempt bonds will be supported by payments in lieu of taxes
(PILOTs) from an affiliate of the Mets, subject to the approval of the City
Council, and the taxable bonds will be supported by payments of stadium
rent from the same affiliate. The bonds will be repaid solely from these
payments and will not ultimately be obligations of the City or the NYCIDA.
The State will contribute approximately $75 million to infrastructure
relating to the project, while the City will contribute approximately $90
million to infrastructure improvements. The Mets will enter into a lease
for the new stadium with an expected term of at least 35 years, together
with a non-relocation agreement covering this entire term.

The new stadium is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars
in incremental fiscal revenue for the City and State over the next 37
years. Construction of the stadium is expected to create more than 6,000
temporary, full-time equivalent jobs, while ongoing stadium operations are
expected to result in nearly 1,000 permanent full-time equivalent jobs.

The State and City have also been working with the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority (MTA) on both short term and long term options to
make additional transit service available for Mets fans and to encourage
the taking of public transportation to games. There will be additional
service on MTA New York City Transit’s number 7 subway line, with as many
as 14 additional trains available on weeknights and up to 12 additional
trains available on weekends and after matinee games. MTA Long Island Rail
Road service has also been expanded on the Port Washington branch line.
The MTA is also working on additional marketing and promotional efforts
with the Mets that will encourage the expanded use of public
transportation.

ESDC Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The public investment through
this new partnership with the Mets will deliver a very favorable return
over the span of the agreement. We salute the Mets for their vision and
dedication toward bringing this landmark development for the Borough, City,
and State to fruition.”

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said, “The new Mets Ballpark will play
an integral role in the revitalization of the entire Flushing area and the
redevelopment of Willets Point. The project brings thousands of jobs and
hundreds of millions in private investment to an area of the City that
needs both.”

The new ballpark was designed by the internationally renowned HOK
Sport, which has designed and renovated thirteen of the thirty Major League
ballparks in use today, and seven of the last eight to open in Major League
Baseball. Hunt-Bovis, a joint venture of Hunt Construction Group and Bovis
Lend Lease, will provide construction management.

The open-air Mets Ballpark will feature natural grass and capacity
for approximately 45,000 fans within the 1.26 million square foot facility.
A contoured seating configuration will bring spectators closer to the field
on all levels to provide optimal sightlines for a more intimate and
entertaining experience throughout the park. The stadium will maintain
existing parking capacity.

The stadium design pays tribute to Brooklyn’s former Ebbets Field
with brick and limestone arches with keystones and arched mullions in the
glass. The exterior façade will be punctuated by granite and limestone
pilasters topped with capitals. Wide pedestrian walkways will facilitate
circulation and lead fans to the main entry rotunda behind home plate. A
structural steel “bridge” motif throughout the new ballpark will reinforce
the Mets’ connection to New York’s five boroughs while also symbolically
linking the team’s storied tradition to its future. The ballpark’s classic
architecture will become a central part of the cultural landscape of the
Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

A landscaped plaza around the ballpark will welcome fans and improve
access. At home plate and at the first and third base sides, the plaza
will extend out up to 100 feet, creating a landscaped buffer to the parking
area to create space for pre- and post-game activities, vendors, and other
amenities. Trees and banners will line the footpaths, which also will
depict highlights of club history to enhance the overall experience of the
game and its ambient environment for the fans. A three-story, 100,000
square foot building, along 126th Street, will house the Mets executive
offices, as well as retail space and other amenities.

The new ballpark will have many additional fan enhancements and
amenities, including superior sightlines throughout the stadium, vastly
improved access and circulation, wider seats with more legroom, more
elevators, concession areas and restrooms, new restaurants, suites and
clubs and additional family-friendly attractions, such as an expanded Fan
Fest family entertainment area, multiple party deck areas and an
interactive Mets museum with club memorabilia and Hall of Fame displays.

A 3-D virtual video tour as well as renderings and a comprehensive
overview of the new Mets Ballpark are available at http://www.mets.com.

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