With the Super Bowl today, I suppose this falls under the category of being a fantasy – much like the Jets playing in February. The Mets play in state-of-the-art Citi Field, but they need company other than the chop shops.
There’s what is, and what could be.
The Islanders are getting kicked out of Brooklyn, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Their fan base is from Long Island, so building a hockey arena near Citi Field seems like a natural thing. Islander fans are used to driving and the expressway is right there. Citi Field is also convenient to Connecticut, where the Islanders have a farm team. Plus, there’s always the 7 Line.
It can’t just be a hockey facility, either. Where is it written all rock concerts and college basketball must be in Madison Square Garden or Newark? Again, it’s easier to drive from the north than take the train into Manhattan.
Also, the Mets have always been linked to the Jets, and the latter playing in New Jersey – in the Giants’ stadium – just seems wrong.
They did right in Philly, with the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers all in the same area. Baltimore, Kansas City, Detroit, Cleveland all have multiple sports facilities within walking distance of each other. Throw in some restaurants, a shopping mall and hotels, and don’t forget the Arthur Ashe Tennis Center, and you could be talking about one of the premier sports and entertainment centers in the country.
The Wilpons made their bones in real estate. They need to get on the phone with the Jets and Islanders and make something special happen.