Access To The New Mets Ballpark

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Minutes from Meeting with Disability Community at Shea Stadium – June 13, 2006

Opening remarks – Dominic Marinelli, United Spinal
Terry Moakley, United Spinal
Matt Sapolin, MOPD

Comments from the audience on their experiences at Shea
  • Wheelchair seating locations in area with concession stands is often crowded by other fans trying to see the field.
  • Subway (7 Train) and Long Island Railroad stations are not accessible – want the Mets to advocate for access improvements at the stations (including elevator or ramp access).
  • Netting in front of some of the wheelchair locations blocks view to field especially the poles for the netting.
  • Parking – other vehicles are often parked in the accessible spaces including police cars and press vehicles. Also, there is not enough accessible parking available especially in sold out games.
  • Members of the audience suggested that if buy an accessible seating location a ticket for parking in an accessible space is included with it.
  • Requested that some accessible seating locations are under the overhang to protect individuals from the sun.
  • Asked about the impact of construction on parking availability.
  • Accessible docks for ferry access.
  • Elevators in current stadium are slow and often used by vendors.
  • Need an identified Paratransit drop off and pick up point.
  • Exterior routes need to be identified
  • Include outlets at accessible seating locations in new stadium.

Visual presentation on the new Mets Ballpark-
Mike Sabatini, of HOK Sport



The new Ball Park will be located east and north of Shea. The following are some of the highlights of the site:

Orientation: The ball park is orientated to the NW with right field parrellel to 126th Street.
Vehicular Access: Working with a traffic consultant on improving the flow of traffic coming and going from the parking areas. Access from the existing vehicular entries will be maintained.
Parking: Landscaped side walks will lead to a 70 foot wide plaza before entering the stadium. The parking will be re-stripped so more organized, efficient use of space can be achieved. Team parking off of Roosevelt Avenue. Accessible parking will be at each entrance point to plaza.

Pedestrian entry: There are four main entry points; Rotunda Entrance – designed to provide old time ballpark feel with modern amenities; First and third base; and along 126th Street within the retail/office building.


Ball Park

There were four important design concepts that must be incorporated in the new Ballpark: Intimacy, 360 degree visibility, provide a turn of the century experience with 21st century amenities and reflect the bridges that connect the boroughs to Manhattan.

  • Intimacy – seats as close to the action as possible, redirected seats
  • 360 degree- open concourse, so fans can see the field
  • Experience and amenities- baseball pastime with current standards for comfort

Highlights include:

Typical first and third base seating bowl section indicates three levels of seating with a private suite level between two decks.

The home plate section is complicated with extra levels sandwiched between the typical seating bowl. These additional spaces are for additional private lounges and suites.

The first level, Plaza, is at grade and is primarily serving the team functions. Above this level, just between the dugouts is a private level, Sterling, with 10 suites, a lounge and access to 1600 seats.

Next is the Concourse which is the first public concourse. This concourse is continuous around the entire ball park.
Additional highlights include a wiffle ball field, picnic areas, the Ebbets Club, Owner suites, and fan amenities around the perimeter. Access to this level will be by elevators, a ramp, and stairs.

A private suite level, Empire, is directly above the Concourse. There are 40 suites, 5 party suites and a business center at this level. All these levels are connected by the Rotunda.

The Club level is above the suites with access to 6,000 seats, the press facilities a 300 seat restaurant in left field with four tiers – front and rear tiers accessible, a porch in right field which overhangs the field, and a left porch.

The final public concourse is the Promenade level, this level serves a split deck with great sight lines. There is also a General Admission club behind home plate underneath the seating bowl.
All levels will be accessible.


Wheelchair seating locations:

1. 430 locations, plus 430 companion locations (1%)
2. Distributed around the park and at all levels.
3. Courtesy rails behind the locations so other fans can not crowd in.
4. Wheelchair seating locations are permanent.
5. There are 3 wheelchair seating locations on field behind home plate and also locations on field in left and right fields.
6. Have not determined type of companion seating to be used.

Treads are wider so there will be more room at all of the seats.

There will be equal distribution of amenities including men’s and women’s toilet rooms, unisex toilet rooms, and concessions on all levels.


Verticall circluation:

1. 3rd base side entrance ramp
2. 4 towers with two elevators each on 3rd and first base side
3. 1 elevators in Rotunda
4. 2 freight elevators
5. 1 private elevator for Mets
6. 2 VIP elevators for VIP spectators
7. 2 elevators at 126th Street entry
8. 1 elevator at retail/office building
Total public elevators = 12

There is wheelchair seating in picnic area and accessible route to picnic area.

The rotunda escalators go to the Main level then have escalators from the main level serving the empire level and then empire level to concourse level, etc.

Other Topics of discussion:
Terry Moakley suggested that we ask the MTA to look at the “new freedom initiative” (federal legislation) to fund accessibility modifications at the 7 train.

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