Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shea Stadium Gets Farewell from Billy Joel, But Yankee Stadium Gets the Pope

Last year it was announced that New Yorker Billy Joel would perform at the Mets' Shea Stadium, becoming the last performer to play a concert there before it is retired and torn down. The Mets will begin play in 2009 (I think) at their new ballpark, called CitiField, which is right across from Shea.

The Yankees, not to be outdone, have snagged an even bigger celebrity for a non-sporting appearance: Pope Benedict, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany. The Pope's appearance (which may or may not be considered a "performance," depending on how you view such things), will come in April during Pope Benedict's tour of the U.S.

So much for the old stadiums, what about the new baseball homes in New York City? Well, the new Yankee Stadium (which will also be nearby the Yanks' current home) will open in 2009 and will cost $1.3 billion, it's been revealed today, up from the original $1 billion estimate. It will include a conference center, a concierge, a martini bar, 51 luxury suites, and eight "party suites." And it will still be called Yankee Stadium.

The Mets' CitiField will also open in 2009, and will be a bargain compared to the new Yankee Stadium: it's still on budget at $800 million.

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