SBD/June 15, 2012/Facilities

After Hosting Autistic Children At Citi Field, Mets Consider Designating "Quiet Zone" At The Ballpark

Mets Exec VP/Business Operations Dave Howard said Thursday that club officials "began thinking about designating a quiet section after hosting autistic children and their families at Citi Field on May 6, the Mets’ 10th annual Autism Awareness Day," according to Michael O'Keefee of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. A report that "mocked the Mets" for considering designating a quiet section "was sparked by a questionnaire sent this week to about a thousand Mets fans about music, the scoreboard and other parts of the Citi Field experience." The questionnaire asked, “The Mets are considering adding a designated ‘quiet’ seating section with lower-volume PA announcements and no music or cheerleading. How likely would you be to purchase tickets in that section?” Howard said that the team figured if "families with autistic children were interested in the quiet section, others who are turned off by loud music and announcements, including senior citizens and people who require hearing aids, might be, too" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/15).

GETTING A FACELIFT: On Long Island, Anthony DeStefano notes an ambitious $3B project "would transform Willets Point -- a sprawling warren of auto body shops, dilapidated buildings, rutted roads and the occasional junkyard dog -- into a modern retail and entertainment complex around Citi Field." N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg Thursday announced that the project, which will "involve the owners of the New York Mets, is expected to provide 12,000 construction jobs and 7,100 permanent jobs, plus hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue in an area where the ground is believed to be permeated with oils and other toxic wastes." The first "redevelopment phase, an area east of Citi Field, calls for construction of retail, hotel and commercial space" (NEWSDAY, 6/15). In N.Y., Irving DeJohn notes Sterling Equities and Related Cos. are working together on the $3B project and will be "responsible for 5 million square feet of new development" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/15). Also in N.Y., David Seifman notes cleaning the "contaminated land probably couldn't start before 2014," which would mean "construction on the project would begin sometime"  in '15. The Mets' parking area on the west side of Citi Field "would be moved temporarily to prepare for construction" (N.Y. POST, 6/15).
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