It's April and for New York Mets' fans, that means it's time for Opening Day at Shea on Monday afternoon, April 9th. There's no better way to "root, root, root for the home team" than by taking mass transit, a New York baseball fan's true home field advantage.
"Loyal Mets' fans have been waiting for the regular season to begin at home and, in the past, many have heeded the advice of the Mets and NYC Transit to 'Take the Train to the Game,'" said MTA Executive Director & CEO Elliot Sander. "We're planning to hit a home run with this year's service plan and promotion while looking forward to another playoff run," added Sander.
This year's "Train to the Game" promotion to encourage fans to utilize mass transit to the games at Shea will include several elements, among them providing fans with $10 off Mets tickets simply by using the promotion codes "METROCARD," "LIRR" or "METRONORTH" when purchasing tickets. Fans can choose from a select group of 20 games, including match-ups against the Braves in April, Barry Bonds and the Giants in May and the Phillies in September. More information about the "Take the Train to the Game" discount offer is available at www.mets.com or by calling 718-507-TIXX.
The promotion kicks off on opening day, when baseball personality Mr. Met joins MTA Executive Director Sander at the Grand Central station's mezzanine of the 4 5 6 7 trains to give away complimentary $2 MetroCards to riders. The give-away will take place between 8:30 and 9:30 A.M.
Fans seem to be taking the 'Take the Train' message to heart. Last year, an average of 6,700 riders took the 7 to regular season games, up from 5,400 in 2005. During last year's playoff run, that number was almost doubled; an average of 13,300 fans took the train, accounting for 25% of all fans cheering on the Amazin's.
NYC Transit not only gets you in cheaper, we get you there and home faster. Before Monday's game, 7 express service from Manhattan to Shea Stadium will start one hour earlier, at about 11:30 a.m. Following the game, regular evening rush hour service to Manhattan means a train every 2.5 minutes.
This year, the Willets Point-Shea Stadium station will feature a new layout on game days. Fans will be able to use all the stairs and ramps to get out of the station. Riders will notice the biggest change once the games are over. "We've reconfigured the mezzanine to allow for a more free-flowing environment for fans heading to the subway, Long Island Rail Road or just walking to remote parking lots," according to Millard L. Seay, Acting President of NYC Transit.
"We've installed turnstiles on the ramps and stairs leading to the platform, instead of as you enter the mezzanine, so customers definitely need to have their MetroCard with their fares in their pockets so when they get to the top of the ramp they can go right through the turnstiles and get right on the trains," added Seay. In addition, station signs have been improved and extra Transit staff will be on hand to provide direction and customer information.
Fans should purchase their MetroCards in advance, either at a station booth or from a MetroCard Vending Machine which accepts both cash and credit/debit cards. Fans can also purchase MetroCards at Shea Stadium by stopping at the Ticket Office.