Pour some criminally overpriced Bud Lite on the curb tonight for Shea Stadium, which officially ceased to exist earlier this morning.
I’ll miss the dump, don’t get me wrong. I saw my first baseball game there, and saw some incredible games there (both in the good and bad senses of the word), but I am more than ready to see games at Bernie Madoff Field.
My only fear is that the fan experience won’t be enhanced at all. Because the aesthetic deficiencies of Shea were only part of the reason why it was not a great place to watch a game. You judged your game-going experience by how few things went wrong. It was a successful day if your beer wasn’t 90% foam, or if you didn’t watch a vendor sigh and huff because you asked them for a pretzel.
Sure, the new ballpark is supposed to have spiffy restaurants, games for the kiddies, and other neat amenities. But that won’t mean much if said amenities are run by the same incompetent, apathetic morons who ran Shea’s concessions.
It’s not that I need extra bells and whistles to enjoy a game. I’d watch the Mets in the middle of an active volcano if that’s where they played. However, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that, when you pay a lot of money to enter a ballpark, your customer service experience should never be described by words like “insane,” “frustrating,” and “ordeal.”
If you want a glimpse as to how the Mets treat their fans, look no further than Jason of Faith and Fear and Flushing, and the condition of the genuine Shea seats he ordered. That’s how the team treats treasured memorabilia bought by loyal fans at $869 a pop. You can extrapolate from there how they treat folks who spend a mere $15-20 dollars for a hot dog and a beer.