SBD/14/Facilities Venues


     While talk of a new West Side Yankee Stadium has dominated
attention recently, the Mets are "quietly" completing plans for a
$457M, 40,000-seat facility designed to "evoke historic Ebbets
Field," according to Charles Bagli of the N.Y. OBSERVER.  The
proposed ballpark would be built on a city-owned parking lot
within 100 feet of Shea Stadium, which would be torn down.  It
would include a "state-of-the-art" retractable roof, an "ocean"
of parking, and be designed to allow passers-by a "visual link"
to the field through a low right field wall opening onto a
pedestrian concourse along the street.  Consultants planning the
stadium include architect Jack Gordon, who devised the $35M
renovation of Shea Stadium in '88, and K.C.-based firm HOK.  A
joint city-Mets study on the ballpark's viability will be
completed in July (N.Y. OBSERVER, 6/17).
     RACE FOR CASH:  Thus far, in "sharp contrast" to the
possible Yankees' move, the Mets' stadium plans have been
"embraced" by local political leaders -- who note the park would
cost less than half of what the Yankees are asking.  Queens
Borough President Claire Shulman, on Mets President Fred Wilpon:
"We're happy to have him.  He is a straightforward, low-key
gentleman.  He doesn't have the theatrics and personality of
[Yankees Owner George] Steinbrenner, which invites all kinds of
negative feelings."  But Bagli notes that both Wilpon and
Steinbrenner are "inextricably linked" to each other in what may
be a "zero-sum game" to obtain taxpayer dollars -- because at a
combined cost of $1.5B, the city cannot afford two new stadiums.
Bagli:  "The first one to get any funding may get it all" (N.Y.
OBSERVER, 6/17).
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