Shea Stadium was a mixed-purpose facility located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a neighborhood in Queens, New York City. The facility has been the home of the Mets, NYC’s iconic MLB team, for 45 seasons, starting from 1964 down to the final season at the Shea in 2008. The stadium has also been the home of the New York Jets football team as well, from the early 60s to the early 80s
As the Brooklyn Dodgers and the NY Giants relocated to the West Coast in 1958, the Big Apple found itself without a national league baseball team for about four years. After some issues concerning management and ownership details, the stadium was eventually built and opened in the early 60s. At first, baseball purists didn’t take to the venue too kindly, especially when it was retrofit to be a baseball-only stadium after the Jets left. Some people also did not like the fact that the stadium was meant to be a fully enclosed venue, meaning that there weren’t a lot of great outdoor seats. The Shea stadium had a larger foul territory, and this was actually quite common at the time since many stadiums built during the 60s were the multi-purpose venue, which needed to accommodate other sports such as football, as well as other events. The stadium played an important role in the 9/11 attacks, as it was used as a support area for rescuers, also featuring makeshift shelters for relief workers. The stadium was employed in this capacity for over a week, returning to hosting sporting events about ten days later in the aftermath of the tragic attacks.
The stadium was eventually demolished by disassembly and dismantling in the year 2008. A new venue Citi Field effectively replaced Shea Stadium. The grounds where the stadium once stood are part of the parking lot of the new venue.
One of the most iconic and famous events at the Shea Stadium is probably the Beatles’ NYC show in 1965. The Fab Four hit the venue during their tour of the United States, ushering in the craze for the British invasion in the US music scene, as well as fanning the flame of the Beatlemania in the states and elsewhere. The show held a record attendance of 55.600 people. Reportedly, the crowd noise was so loud that security guards couldn’t cope with the volume, and many of them are seen covering their ears due to the deafening noise of the crowd. In addition to that, the members of the band could not even really hear anything at all due to the overwhelming noise of the crowd. Most notably, this concert made history because it was the first time ever a band performed at a major stadium. This particular concert served as a proof of concept for the live music industry. Many promoters were quite skeptical at the idea of having bands play stadiums, but the record-breaking attendance actually proved that this format was incredibly viable. Many historians say that this could be pinpointed as the beginning of large-scale outdoor concerts.
In addition to that, many other artists performed concerts at the Shea Stadium, including Janis Joplin, as well as Paul Simon, Creedence Clearwater Revival, as well as Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, and so many more. The final concert at the Shea Stadium, which became a historically important music venue, was “Last Play at Shea,” featuring Billy Joel, as well as a plethora of special guests, including Paul McCartney, Don Henley, John Mellencamp, and Steven Tyler of the band Aerosmith, among others.