Average Cost of Concessions and Souvenirs: $106.00
How expensive is stadium parking? FREE: 4% $5-$10: 9% $10-$15: 66% $15-$20: 12% More than $20: 4%
Is public transportation a viable option? Never: 4% Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 20% A good option to avoid rush hour: 20% Pretty easy if you know the system well: 34% The only way to go: 22%
How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game? To the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 20% Slow, but usually steady: 35% Moves well outside of rush hour: 27% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 12% A smooth ride at all times: 2%
From the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 31% Slow, but usually steady: 42% Moves well outside of rush hour: 11% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 11% A smooth ride at all times: 1%
How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women? Bring a map: 2% It depends on your section: 25% Never more than a short walk away: 29% A satisfactory amount: 23% Plenty: 5%
How long is the wait to use a bathroom? Always available: 27% 1-5 minutes: 63% 5-10 minutes: 7% More than 10 minutes: 1%
How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options?
Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 17% Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 25% A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 33% A nice variety but locations are spread out: 16% You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 5%
How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you? $5-$10: 4% $10-$20: 57% $20-$30: 28% $30-$40: 5% More than $40: 3%
How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game? Nonexistent: 15% So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 4% Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 53% Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 7% A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 19%
"Picture the dilapidated stadium in North Africa in which Russell Crowe's character first fights in 'Gladiator' -- now paint it orange," commented one fan. With Shea soon being "sent to the lions" in lieu of an Ebbets Field-like new park, fans have come to embrace the oft-maligned park with a nostalgia one feels for a bad job or class after a few too many drinks. "Shea is a dump," wrote another. "The bathrooms can stink, and if you are in the loge or mezzanine levels and you are sitting under the overhang, you can't see pop-ups but can see wires hanging down. BUT when the Mets are doing something great and the crowd gets into it, the stadium shakes, which is a pretty cool feeling." See what we mean? Most seats are "irritatingly far from the field," while concourses are "dark and narrow," a situation made worse by a "plethora of temporary food stands." Still, the place is unique, courtesy of a pair of World Series titles that lend it an air of history and the constant roar of airplanes above from nearby LaGuardia Airport that lend it an air of ... "character" -- in a city-of-eight-million-people kind of way. And, yes, Mr. Met and the home-run apple are "hokey," but they are "universally beloved." That can't be said for the rather pedestrian food options, save for the sausage-and-peppers sandwich and Carvel ice cream. As the wrecking ball draws ever nearer for this "concrete dungeon," we expect that a lot of the more depressing elements will benefit from the sheen of memory, which is probably how this park should best be remembered.
Who says New Yorkers aren't a glass-half full sort? Sure, Shea Stadium may be located blocks away from Flushing and its hit-or-miss Chinese restaurants and the general grime that coats the place. Yes, Shea may be next to the National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open in September but desolate during games. And of course, there isn't much scenery in the area but parking lot and auto body shops. But at least "the chop shops across the street offer a good place to get rid of the car you stole to drive to the game, which saves on parking." See, told you New Yorkers can see the bright side of things.
2006 record: 88-54 (all statistics through Sept. 10) Players worth the price of admission: David Wright (.311 Avg., 24 HRs, 109 RBIs), Carlos Delgado (.264 Avg., 37 HRs, 101 RBIs), Carlos Beltran (.284 Avg., 39 HRs, 113 RBIs)
How we wish this could be a feel-good story of a team whose stadium finished near the bottom of last year's FVI only to rebound this year with a World Series-contending team and bright hopes courtesy of plans for a new ballpark soon. But wouldn't you know, the Mets would stub their toe and jack concession prices almost 20 percent on average. Then again, where else can you get a park with regular airplane traffic overhead, a street bursting with car-repair shops a few blocks away and dreadfully bland food in one of the world's culinary capitals?