"Go to any of my buildings right now," he says. "I guarantee you, you won't find a piece of paper on the floor."
Wilpon pulls away the lid from the large white box. It is an architectural model of a sprawling entertainment complex. The centerpiece is a grass-surface stadium with a retractable dome, to be built within five years near the current Shea Stadium site and financed by state and city bonds. The stadium is surrounded by several pointed pavilions that resemble huge tents. Wilpon explains they are state-of-the-art exhibit halls that he intends to be the permanent home of the World's Fair. That portion of the complex will be privately funded.
Wilpon opens and closes the little retractable dome, which splits open at the center like dual sliding doors. It is a perfectly happy and orderly place. The little plastic trees are always full and green. There is never any traffic on the access roads. It is kept immaculately clean. This is the world Fred Wilpon wants for the Mets. He wants the litter of a live-year decline swept up. He wants not a single piece of paper on the floor.