Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Even Off the Field Mets Outclass Yankees" Norwood News, Oct. 19 - Nov. 1, 2006

Even Off the Field Mets Outclass Yankees

We’ve learned there’s another difference between the Mets and the Yankees that has nothing to do with payroll or their relative performances in the post-season.

While both teams succeeded in wrangling deals for new stadiums, only the Mets seem to have recognized that, along with some public financing, comes a degree of community responsibility.

During the playoffs, which the Mets are still participating in by the way, the evidence is on the giant TV screen at Shea where fans can see star players Carlos Delgado and Tom Glavine promote, of all things, the Mets’ home borough of Queens!

The spots include plugs for area parks and attractions, Flushing restaurants, and the borough president’s Discover Queens campaign.

And in stark contrast to their Bronx rivals, the Amazins strongly encourage their fans to take the subway to the games. The Yankees on the other hand, with the city as their accomplice, are taking public parkland to create more parking spaces even though they’re offering fewer seats and higher ticket prices in the new stadium!

It’s unclear whether the Mets came up with their creative promotional campaign (the spots also run on their new cable network SNY) to alleviate some initial political opposition to their construction plans. Mets Marketing executive David Newman told us there was no connection. The timing is probably a little too coincidental for that to be totally true.

Regardless, the point is that the Bombers are not running a similar campaign to promote Bronx neighborhoods and attractions and have no plans to. The contrast also illustrates how totally uncreative Bronx politicians were in exacting concessions from the Yankees.

How easy it would have been to capitalize on the Yankees’ need for a city signoff to finally make them pay a little attention to the borough they’ve maligned and threatened to leave for decades.

Now with the hands all dealt, the wealthiest franchise in sports history has gotten a free pass to ignore the Bronx — at least until they want another new stadium in another 80 years.

What a shame.


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