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Friday, June 01, 2007

How I Got Kicked Out of Shea Stadium

How I Got Kicked Out Of Shea Stadium

I didn't cause trouble, start a fight, have any alcohol, berate Barry Bonds, a Yankee fan, or anybody at all. I didn't interrupt the game, distract anyone or make a nuisance, yet when me and my friend moved our seats in the 8th inning of Thursday night's Met game we were kicked out, and not just of the seats, or the level, but of the whole stadium. Now I'm not saying that I belonged there, or I had any right to be where I was, but the idea that me and my friend sitting down in a seat was in any way a security concern that necessitating escorting us out of the building.

Only ticketed fans are allowed in the field level seats, but everyone is allowed in for batting practice. Since the majority of ticket holders in the field level are often corporate boxes and owned by businesses rather than fans, there are always a ton of extra seats, more so then any other sold out section. We're not alone in doing this, I routinely hear and see other people who have stayed in the level from batting practice and fill one of these empty seats. Sure it's a little unfair that we paid $9 for the seat and the people legitimately buying those seats paid $60+, but we're not taking away anything from them. I'm not exactly rolling in money at the moment, but the Mets are one of those luxury's that I'm willing to spend money on. Between me and friend we probably spend $2000 last year on the Mets, which is a lot of money for us, even if it's nothing to the Mets. We're mini-season plan holders this year, we support the team, good and bad. We're not trying to put one over on the Mets, we're just trying to enjoy the game.

We sat out in the outfield where we were hanging out for batting practice, hoping to catch a foul ball that sliced into the seats, or a ball tossed from the Mets in right field. Later on we moved to some seats near middle of the level, behind the Mets dugout. In the 8th inning, a lot of people got up to leave, so we walked down to one of these sections, 6 rows from the field, figuring it's not often you can even buy these seats if you wanted to, it's a nice view. We sat down and a security guard came over and sat across from me, and asked for my ticket. I responded that we'd just leave. I was thinking “Busted, oh well, no big deal, I'll wander away and watch the game from somewhere else.” He continued to ignore everything I said and kept asking for my ticket, so I finally caved and gave it to him, thinking maybe he just wanted to make sure I didn't sneak into the stadium or something. Eventually he asks us to get up and come with him, so we get up and go with him, escorted by 10 other security guys at the end of the aisle and they keep pointed and telling us to walk that way, instead of leading us anywhere. They're rude and nasty the whole time as my friend tries to ask them what the big deal is and what they want from us. They walk us to Gate D, and push us out, telling the guy posted there not to let us back in, keeping my ticket in the process.

What bothers me most is that we obviously weren't causing trouble, and once the game was over we'd have been allowed there anyway to try to get autographs behind the dugout. Although I have noticed a security guard standing on the dugout after a game be really nasty to a bunch of 12 year old kids hoping to find a Met walking out of the dugout after the game for an autograph. Then there was the clincher last year, when me and my friend waited in the crowd to try to buy a shirt after the game. It was slow, and the place was mobbed. As it ebbed, the security guards repeatedly tried to get people to leave get out. It's understandable that they just wanted people out so they could finish up and go home, but at the time they were doing this was when the Mets were coming back on the field to celebrate with the fans that were on the field level and had stuck around. So a couple of fans up on the mezzanine weren't what was keeping them from locking up the stadium.

Obviously this isn't going to change anything for me, they don't know who I am and I doubt they'll really recognize me when I walk back into the stadium Saturday. It's just a souring experience for the first time I've ever left a Met game before it was over, and what I take away from the experience is sad. I'll remember next time not to respect the security guys, I'll just walk away from him immediately and head back to my seat, or watch the game from a different location. This situation will be moot in 2009 anyway, when standing room only seats and the layout of the stadium won't have a designated area where we're not allowed.


Anonymous said...

Disgraceful behavior -- theirs, not yours. Funny how those tough guys with an employee badge never seem to be around when there are actual problems in the stands.

Here's hoping the whole lot of them are fired before CF opens. Nice customer relations.

Anonymous said...

one time after a game against the marlins (5/1/07)

i spent the first three innings puking in the bathroom, lost my keys, and got puke on my new fitted....i went outside to wait for my spare set of keys to arrive, and i had been jabbering at the security guard at gate C, and i proceeded to walk toward the bridge to the the time i got to gate e, i had to piss so bad, and i tried to gain re-access to the stadium, and i explained to them, i had lost my keys and i even showed my ticket, yet the guy still wouldn't let me in...then i saw the guard i was speaking with earlier so i flagged him down and told him that this bastard wouldnt let me back in and he was like "sorry, he's just following prodecure" wtf is thattttt...anyway, i went over near the subway thing near that thing they had the kids area on fri and sat and i pissed but whatever

-dave c

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's awful. And uncalled for. Even the ballparks which have language about "protecting the investment of the seat-holders" don't throw people out, they just make it clear the official policy is: don't seat-surf.

Unlike Greg, I do not have much optimism that these guys will get fired. The union is freaking ridiculous.

Where were they last night when the seats in front of us were hijacked by a bunch of rude punks who spent the game spitting on the floor? No, seriously. Every three seconds, spitting.

Ceetar said...

geeze, mg, that sounds terrible. Apparently the only way to get in trouble is to have the focus place on you, either by screaming and fighting and throwing beers, or by security happening to be watching you.

thecookster said...

I was at Shea with a group of about 30 people. I walked a friend to the bathroom and I had a beer in my hand. I was alone waiting for her to come out of the bathroom when a security guard approached and asked to see my identification. I explained that I had left my pocketbook with all my identification at the seats with my sister-in-law and asked him to come with me to get my license. I am a 21 year old female. The security guard said "That's not good enough." He escorted me to an elevator and threw me out of Shea Stadium. So I stood outside Shea with no money and no identification. I was truly afraid. It took a few innings for my family and friends to find me. It ruined the day. I cannot ever go back. Something is really wrong with Shea Stadium security.

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