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Mets to Open Shea Stadium April 17

Nov. 21, 1963 - Barring unforeseen developments, the New York Mets will play their first game of baseball at Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadow on April 17. On that afternoon, the club announced today, Casey Stengel and his band will open their National League home season against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates also launched the Mets’ first season at the Polo Grounds in 1962. “I’m delighted,” Bill Shea, the man who made both the ballclub and ballpark a reality, said today. “Construction is progressing favorably. This is what we expected — a completed ballpark, and only three years after we unveiled the scale model in April 1961 at Mayor Wagner’s office. Parks Commission Newbold Morris has assured me that except for the sodding of the field, all major blocks to construction have been overcome. They’re installing the seats right now, and in fact they’ve begun to grade the field prior to putting in the sod. We’re in fine shape.” Ground was broken Oct. 28, 1961, and despite two severe winters, construction and labor problems, the stadium will be ready for April occupancy. The Mets will play their first game of the 1964 season on April 14 against the Phillies in Philadelphia. The Mets will play a total of 29 night games under Shea Stadium’s mercury vapor lights, said to be the finest method of illumination yet devised for nocturnal sports events. Doubtless manager Stengel is hopeful that the lights will make his Mets look a lot better than they did the past two years in the Polo Grounds. The first night game will be on May 6 against the Reds. In all, ten doubleheaders have been scheduled, nine of them on Sundays, the other on Labor Day. Season ticket prices for all 81 home games are $215 per box seat, $177.50 per reserved seat. A combination plan, calling for 44 dates, costs $154 per box seat, $110 per reserved seat. There is a night plan, including all 29 night games and the opening game, for $105 per box seat, $75 per reserved seat.  The Mets have made non changes in their starting times. Afternoon contests will begin at 2 p.m. Ditto for Sunday doubleheaders. Night games will start at 8 p.m., while the Labor Day twin with Houston is slated for 1:30 p.m.


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