In the July 2006 issue of Fast Company, Paul Lukas writes,
In 1962, as the New York Mets played their first season in the old Polo Grounds, their yearbook touted the new ballpark that would be ready in 1963. “New design concepts will make this stadium the most convenient, comfortable, and attractive public arena on the eastern seaboard,” it gushed. “It will have a seating capacity of 55,000, which will eventually be raised to 85,000. At the time of the installation of the additional 30,000 seats, the stadium will be domed in, so rain checks will be a thing of the past.”
In fact, Shea was the first of a now-scorned generation of circular, characterless complexes designed for both baseball and football. That legacy is being purged by HOK Sport, an architecture firm that has designed seven of the past eight Major League Baseball stadiums and several new National Football League facilities, all with a focus on organic, community- integrated design.
The new HOK-designed ballpark is slated to replace Shea in 2009–not a moment too soon, in the view of team COO Jeff Wilpon. “Shea was already an old dog when our family got involved in the ’80s,” he says. “Our new stadium’s seats will be angled toward home plate, and the concourses will be much wider, with clear views of the field.” The challenge for Shea, and for other new stadiums such as Baltimore’s Camden Yards and Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, will be to last longer than their predecessors, most of which were used for only 30 to 40 years. “We’re building this one for a much longer life,” says Wilpon. “We expect it to be around for a long time.”
The full story can be found here.