Tag Archives: Citi Field

All-Star Game makes millions for city, benefits borough

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The 2013 MLB All-Star Game and weekend events were a home run for businesses in and around Citi Field.

The major sports event pumped $191.1 million into the city, according to Rob Mackay, director of marketing, events and tourism for the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

“In general it’s good for the city,” Mackay said. “so if it’s good for the city, it’s good for Queens. The entire event was very good for hotels and quite good for taxis.”

Mackay added that the All-Star Game introduced Queens to fans around the country and the world, which could lead to increased tourism.

“It put Queens in everyone’s living room,” Mackay said. “It was very good for our image.”

The All-Star weekend kicked off on July 12 with Fanfest in Manhattan. It was followed by the Celebrity and Legends Softball Game, the All-Star Futures Game, the State Farm Home Run Derby and the main event on July 16.

Hotels around the borough and near Citi Field were at or near capacity during the events. Corona Hotel, which is located a block away from Citi Field, was at 80 percent capacity. The hotel is normally around 60 percent at this time of the year, according to manager Chatn Patel.

As an official sponsor and MLB All-Star retailer, Modell’s Sporting Goods was allowed to set up shop right in front Citi Field to sell merchandise. The tent-like store sold baseball equipment, New Era fitted caps and Majestic All-Star players’ jerseys, among other items. The pop-up store sold so well that employees had to go to local Modell’s locations and pull more items.

“The fans of the city have really embraced everything that is going on here,” said Kelly Harvey, senior manager of brand and event marketing. “MLB has been great getting fans to come here. We’ve done better than we expected to do.”

Restaurants inside Citi Field, some of which had experienced lower sales this year due to low attendance at Mets games, saw an explosion in sales during the All-Star festivities.

Union Square Events, which manages Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites in Citi Field, said the eateries had the highest volume of sales since opening in 2009. The game itself had 26 percent higher sales than any game over the last three years.

“Union Square Events feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in such a momentous event,” said Ron Parker, Union Square Events managing partner. “Citi Field was in all its glory and the Mets really showed everyone what New York hospitality is all about.



Teen who ran onto field at All-Star Game faces year in jail

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via YouTube/rurbanlegend1·

The truth is that this dare landed him in hot water.

The teenager who ran onto the field during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Citi Field as part of a Twitter dare may pay big for that error in judgment.

District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that Dylan McCue-Masone, 18, has been arraigned on charges of interfering with a professional sporting event and third-degree criminal trespass, and faces up to a year in jail and $5,000 in penalties.

“The defendant is accused of interfering with a nationally televised sporting event and the enjoyment of the viewing public,” Brown said. “What is particularly disturbing in this case is that the incident occurred while the game was in progress and the players were on the field.”

McCue-Masone allegedly created the dare to run on the field after receiving 1,000 twitter responses, according to the district attorney.

Brown acknowledged that McCue-Masone was an excited young sports fan but said “There is no such thing as being too careful,” citing the 1993 incident when a spectator stabbed professional tennis player Monica Seles during a match in Germany.

Brown added, “Which is why my office and the operators of the various sports arenas in Queens County have zero tolerance for spectators who fail to conduct themselves responsibly at sporting events.”

The city council passed the Interference with a Professional Sporting Event Law in 2003 after fashion designer Calvin Klein stepped out onto the basketball court at Madison Square Garden in 2003 to speak with Knicks guard Latrell Sprewell during a game.

New Jersey resident John McCarthy, 38, was the first person charged under the law when he ran onto the field during a Mets game at Shea Stadium on May 4, 2004, carrying a sign that read “Howard Stern: Here’s Johnny.”

McCarthy pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight weekends in jail, fined $2,000 and ordered to serve three years’ probation, while being banned from Shea.


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Tuesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 97. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Clear. Low of 79. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: SummerStage –  Meli’sa Morgan/Fonda Rae/Alicia Myers/Marley Marl

SummerStage, New York’s largest free performing arts festival, runs in Queens thru August 11. On Tuesday, July 16, check out a concert with Meli’sa Morgan/Fonda Rae/Alicia Myers/Marley Marl, part of the “This is __Hip-Hop” Series, at Queensbridge Park at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Longball fans strike out as track fire on No. 7 line leaves them stranded

Longball fans trying to leave Citi Field following the Home Run Derby Monday night struck out on the No. 7 line — a track fire led to a frustrating service outage. Read more: New York Daily News 

Spitzer, Weiner lead NYC races in poll

If Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner are turning the city’s elections into a turnoff, someone might want to tell the voters. Read more: AP

David Petraeus will take $1 salary for CUNY teaching post

Former CIA director David Petraeus has taken a pay cut — instead of earning $150,000 to lecture three hours a week at CUNY, he’ll receive $1. Read more: New York Daily News

Gas prices spike in tri-state area, experts say, due to unrest  in Egypt

If it seems like you’re shelling out more for gas in the past few days that’s because you are. Read more: CBS New York

 Zimmerman juror speaks out: I think Trayvon was the aggressor

One of the jurors from the George Zimmerman trial has broken her silence. Read more: CBS New York

Baseball meets art at All-Star FanFest

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence Cullen

It was a bright day at Citi Field, Mr. Met on the JumboTron and traffic on all surrounding parkways was bumper-to-bumper.

Then the sky fell dark as artist Charles Fazzone took a paintbrush to the heavens and made it a midnight blue. A group of people gathered around his work station and marveled as Fazzone painted the 3-D portrait of the ballpark.

His goal was to have the portrait, intended to portray a night game, finished in time for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16.

“They’d like me to finish it by Tuesday so I’m kind of rushing and so forth,” he said on Saturday, July 13. “I started at the studio—the drawing part of it—the painting part of it I’ve been working for quite a few days.”

Fazzone and his art were one of many attractions at the T-Mobile FanFest last weekend as the baseball world gathered in New York for the Mid-Summer Classic. He has done the cover art for every All-Star Game program since 2003, with the exception of the 2006 match-up in Pittsburgh.

Along with Fazzone’s exhibit, FanFest included pieces of history, games and some of baseball’s legends. Mets alumni John Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo and Mookie Wilson served as ambassadors, with team captain and third baseman David Wright as its spokesperson.

Fazzone said his paintings for the game are auctioned off by MLB, will all proceeds going to Stand Up 2 Cancer, which helps fund cancer research. Fazzone said the painting he worked on at Fan Fest could go for anywhere between $18,000 to $35,000.

The New Rochelle-based artist, who considers himself a “New York fan” when it comes to baseball, said he was glad this year’s game was in the city, where he has a large group of collectors.

“It’s very special to me because this is my largest collector base of fans,” he said. “It’s really nice to be to be here in New York because all the FanFests have been in different cities for so long. And I know the city so well and people familiarize my artwork with being New York artwork.”



Former MLB players, celebrities compete in All-Star softball game at Citi Field

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Former Major League greats mixed with A-list celebrities for the annual All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday, July 14 at Citi Field.

Many local recognizable stars participated in the game, while the Mets had four former franchise players on the field including Mike Piazza, Dwight Gooden, John Franco and Darryl Strawberry.

The legends and super stars split into a National and American League, representing the two Major League Baseball divisions.


Native New Yorker Kevin James, who starred in the TV sitcom “The King of Queens,” led the National League team to win the game along with Franco and Piazza. James was the MVP of the game for his outstanding energy; face-first sliding into second base for a double and making an amazing play at third base to rob radio host Craig Carton of a single.

Former New York Jets quarterback and radio host Boomer Esiason, comedian George Lopez, Yankees legend Bernie Williams and USA softball 2004 Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch were among players that participated in the game.



Queens expects money boost from All-Star Game

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MLB

With the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Queens this year, local businesses are expecting a boost from the fans who will attend the game on July 16 at Citi Field, as well as the many events in the days before.

“The All-Star Game brings in more people than just the 45,000 people for the game itself,” said Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “They [fans] use hotel rooms, they use restaurants. And the beauty about the All-Star Game is that it’s not just one game, it’s a whole weekend.”

The Queens Chamber of Commerce created the “This is Queens” app to showcase the restaurants, hotels, sites and events in the borough after receiving $100,000 in state funding. Using the app tourist and fans can search for things to do and places to go in the borough and stay in Queens longer instead of traveling to Manhattan.

“The whole reason we got the money to build the app was because of the All-Star Game and the U.S. Open,” said Friedman. “We wanted to be sure that people coming in from the All-Star Game would find things to do.”
Restaurants around Citi Field are preparing for the influx of customers and hotels are already filled for the All-Star Weekend.

“The Z NYC Hotel is 71 percent filled this Friday [July 12] and 85 percent this Saturday [July 13],” said Lisa Gneo, director of sales and marketing of Z NYC Hotel. “The occupancy at the hotel has been consistent all summer long and as we approach the weekend, we could see an increase in bookings due to the All-Star Weekend.”

Some feel that the economic effects of the All-Star Game will extend beyond the country and have an international impact. With all the media attention the game will get, Queens will be talked about on television sets nation-wide and because of the Internet, around the world.

“In the long run it will be very positive for us,” said Rob Mackay, director of public relations for the Queens Economic Development Corporation. “Everybody loves Queens.”



Mrs. Met returns to Citi Field

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of New York Mets

Behind every great Mr. Met there is a Mrs. Met and she’s back.

Gone for a few years, the better half of the iconic Mr. Met appeared at Citi Field recently, surprising fans, many of which may have never even known she existed.

Mrs. Met was apparently on sabbatical from the team, but will make regular appearances at the field, joining her husband to root the team on through a turbulent season.

“Mrs. Met has been busy taking care of her family at home in Flushing, Queens and working part-time as an event planner,” said team representatives.

Mrs. Met was first introduced in the 1970s and made a brief appearance in 2005. Old photos and even an ESPN commercial show the couple together with their three kids; two children and an infant.





Borough President Marshall OKs Willets West

| mchan@queenscourier.com

File rendering

Borough President Helen Marshall approved a special permit that would pave the way for a mega mall near Citi Field.

Marshall gave developers Sterling Equities and Related Companies the thumbs up on July 2 to move parking for Citi Field to Willets Point. The joint venture ultimately needed the permit to construct a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping center west of the baseball stadium.

Community Board 7 gave its green light in May, but both the board and borough president had conditions for their endorsements.

They said the joint venture must keep surrounding communities and leaders informed of the project’s progress and traffic problems that arise.

The city and the facility’s developer must also fulfill written commitments they made, which include funding traffic mitigation measures, building a 1,000-seat K-8 public school, giving $1.87 million to the Willets Point

Infrastructure and Traffic Mitigation Fund and hiring locally.

Marshall said the $3 billion project would provide 7,100 permanent jobs and generate more than $310 million in tax revenue.

Among the speakers at Marshall’s June 6 public hearing, 20 people opposed the project and two others were in favor of it.

Community Board 3 voted 31-1 against the application on May 13.

The project awaits the Department of City Planning, which held a public hearing July 10 but did not make a recommendation as of press time.

The City Council is expected to meet August 21 to give the final vote.



Mets’ Captain David Wright to start in All-Star Game at Citi Field

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo Stock

The ballots are counted and it appears fans around the country made the Wright choice.

Mets third baseman  David Wright will be starting for the National League team in the MLB All-Star game, which will be played at Citi Field on July 16.

The Amazing’s captain outpaced San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval, who bested Wright for the starting spot last year. Wright, who fans dubbed “Captain America” during the World Baseball Classic, is currently batting .305, with 13 homeruns. This will be his seventh All-Star game appearance.

All-Star voting ended on July 4 at 11:59 p.m. and the results were announced on July 6 at 6:30 p.m. on a Fox special All-Star game show. The show also revealed that Mets phenom Matt Harvey will make his first appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic. As one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 baseball season, Harvey (7-2, 2.27, 141 strikeouts) is expected to be the starting pitcher for the All-Star game.

The last time the Mets hosted the All-Star game was in 1964, the first season for Shea Stadium. Ron Hunt was the only Met to start that game.

As for Yankees fans, second baseman Robinson Cano will start for the American League and closer Mariano Rivera was also selected to the All-Star team for his final season.



PHOTOS: Queens Taste 2013

| photographers@queenscourier.com


Queens Taste 2013 took place at the Caesars Club at Citi Field on Tuesday, May 14.  Close to 50 food and drink purveyors offered samples of their products for free in a festive atmosphere full of Queens residents and business people.

Click here to see more photos from the event


Queens Taste 2013

| photographers@queenscourier.com


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Tuesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 63. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 52. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Taste 2013

Queens Taste 2013 will take place at the Caesars Club at Citi Field Tuesday at 6 p.m.. Close to 50 food and drink purveyors will offer samples of their products for free in a festive atmosphere full of Queens residents and business people. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

FDNY rescues cop stuck in tree trying to rescue cat 

Firefighters had to rescue an NYPD officer stuck in a tree after the cop climbed up to try and save a cat Monday in Queens. Read more: NBC New York

Leroy Comrie wants more ‘hit-and-run’ info

The city will have to collect more data on hit-and-run incidents under legislation being introduced by City Councilman Leroy Comrie. Read more: New York Daily News

Magazine lauds Astoria’s Bohemian Hall as one of nation’s top outdoor watering spots

New Yorkers have been enjoying this old-school Astoria pint pusher for about a century, and now the rest of the country is being let in on the secret. Read more: New York Daily News 

Obama attends Democratic fundraisers in New York City

President Barack Obama was in New York City on Monday to raise campaign cash for Democrats. Read more: CBS New York

Top IRS official didn’t reveal tea party targeting

Congress was not told tea party groups were being inappropriately targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, even after acting agency Chief Steven Miller had been briefed on the matter. Read more: AP

Popular psychologist, broadcaster, native New Yorker Dr. Joyce Brothers dies

Joyce Brothers, the pop psychologist who pioneered the television advice show in the 1950s and enjoyed a long and prolific career as a syndicated columnist, author, and television and film personality, has died. Read more: Fox New York

Boston Marathon bombing has races rethinking security

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Now that surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev has been captured and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, some of the motivations behind the attack are becoming clearer.

Other questions about security and how to prevent future attacks at similar events are under heated debate.

“Thinking about the football season starting or baseball, I don’t think [security is] going to change dramatically,” said David Kearn, an assistant professor in government and politics at St. John’s University.

Sporting venues such as Citi Field and the National Tennis Center are contained locations, he added.

“If you have to go through doors, you can have metal detectors, you can have people doing pat downs, you can have different types of devices to make sure that people aren’t bringing in things that you don’t want them bringing in,” Kearn said.

But he added that an event like the Boston Marathon has large areas that are “virtually unprotected.”

Security measure that Kearn said officials could use in areas where people congregate include mandatory check points.

The JFK 5k Runway Run, an annual race at John F. Kennedy International Airport, already uses similar security measures.

Runners and spectators must pass through security in accordance with the airport’s standards, said Rudy Auslander of the JFK Rotary Club, the event’s sponsor.

He said while they do not have to remove their shoes, all entrants are screened. Buses take runners out to the runway, and spectators are kept in an area near the line where the race both starts and finishes.

Other races in the city are designed differently, with spectators throughout the route, making similar security measures difficult.

The New York Road Runners (NYRR), who organize races including the ING NYC Marathon throughout the year, implemented enhanced baggage security following the Boston attack.

Runners who want to check their bags at one of the races must place them in a clear plastic bag and leave them in a designated zone that participants cannot enter. NYRR also has the right to search any bag in or outside the baggage area at any time, and an unattended bag can be confiscated.

“The safety and security of all New York Road Runners’ races is and will always be our top priority,” the group said in a statement. “A number of significant measures have been put in place in recent years, and we will work closely with the NYPD over the coming days and weeks to further evaluate security at races. We will continue to work hand in hand with the City of New York and the NYPD as we plan for all upcoming events.”

Kearn said these security measures would “draw more resources and more man power. You might be able to have volunteers do some of that stuff in terms of just checking bags, but you will have to have more folks checking and looking around in the future.”









City unveils MLB All-Star week festivities

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor's Office's Flickr

The 2013 MLB All-Star Game, at Citi Field on July 16, will feature a slew of events throughout the city in the week leading up and will be spread throughout the borough.

Citi Field was cited as a potential venue for the mid-summer classic since opening in 2009, with the rumor becoming official last May. This marks the second All-Star Game the city’s hosted in the last five years.

All venues attached to the game are expected to have a $191 million economic impact for the city this July, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Although the game and tournaments, like the Home Run Derby, will be held in Flushing, a significant amount of All-Star fanfare will be in Manhattan – much like when the Yankees hosted the game in 2008.

Chevrolet’s Red Carpet Parade will again go through 42nd Street, with MLB Executive Vice President Tim Brosnan calling it one of the marquee events for fans. Baseball lovers, from New York or afar, will get to come within 10 feet of the game’s premier players.

Met alumns like 1986 World Series champ Mookie Wilson and late 90s legends Eduardo Alfonzo and John Franco are team ambassadors for the All-Star Game. Wilson, known for his bloop single through Bill Buckner’s legs in Game 6 of the World Series, said while he never played in an All-Star game he’s excited to represent the team during the festivities

“I’ve always enjoyed the festivities that go into it,” Wilson said. “I’m not a native New Yorker, but I feel as if I am. I can’t wait to get this All-Star game started.”

Managers this year will be San Francisco Giants Skipper Bruce Bochy and Detroit Tigers’ Jim Leyland.

The game’s logo was revealed last August, mainly resembling the traditional Mets logo and is worn on the team’s sleeve throughout this season.

Bloomberg said the city has become “the sports capital of the world,” and proceeded to list all the major events, past and future, the city has hosted.

On security, the mayor has no worries the NYPD will be successful in keeping the city safe as fans worldwide pour into the five boroughs for the game.

Ballots for the American League and National League were also released:

For Met fans:

  • First base: Ike Davis
  • Second base: Daniel Murphy
  • Shortstop: Rueben Tejada
  • Third base: David Wright
  • Catcher: John Buck
  • Outfielders: Mike Baxter, Lucad Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis

For Yankee fans:

  • First base: Mark Teixeira
  • Second base: Robinson Cano
  • Shortstop: Derek Jeter
  • Third Base: Kevin Youkilis
  • Catcher: Chris Stewart
  • Outfielders: Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki