Citi Field cost $800 million to build. In contrast, New York’s transit authority is facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit. So when the MTA asked the Mets to chip in to help with the $40 million in renovations to the train stations that bring fans and their wallets to the stadium, it seems logical that the Mets might throw in a little cash. Especially in New York, where everyone takes the subway to the game. But if that were the case, we wouldn’t have a story here.
The MTA is in dire straits, financially. We’re two weeks away from $103 monthly passes if they don’t come up with some more money quickly. So if they’re spending some of what little money they have to fix up the stations by Citi Field (including replacing the signs that say Shea Stadium), you’d think the Mets would be grateful. You obviously haven’t read enough articles about how greedy teams are.
The hope initially was that Citigroup would spring to change the signage, but now that they’re receiving federal bailout money, that’s out of the question.
So on Tuesday, transit officials informed the Mets that when the subway station (currently named after the team’s former home, the now-demolished Shea Stadium) was rechristened, it would not actually use the name of the new ballpark.
Instead, the station, on the No. 7 line, will be called simply Mets/Willets Point. New signs will go up soon replacing the old signs, which say Willets Point/Shea Stadium. The nearby Long Island Rail Road station will be renamed in the same way.
“We’re willing, as we have said, to entertain corporate names on stations, but only for a fee,” said Jeremy Soffin, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Of course the Mets, who willingly took taxpayer funds to build their new stadium and refused to offer anything to refurbish the stations, still get their name on the signs. So when the MTA raises fares and cuts service soon, it’ll be just another case of the fan getting screwed and the team not giving a sh*t.