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MCU Park (formerly KeySpan Park) is a minor league baseball stadium in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York City, USA. The home team is the New York Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York–Penn League. The NYU Violets Baseball team began playing at MCU Park in 2015, and the New York Cosmos Soccer Club of the NASL moved in for the 2017 NASL season. Official seating capacity is 7,000, though the Cyclones will sell up to 2,500 more standing room tickets. Prior to 2016, the capacity was 7,500 plus 2,500 standing room.

MCU Park
My alt text
Кони-Айленд MCU парк.jpg
MCU Park in 2012; the statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese is at the right
Former namesKeySpan Park (2001–2009)
Location1904 Surf Avenue
Brooklyn, NYC, New York 11224
Coordinates40°34′28.37″N 73°59′3.67″W / 40.5745472°N 73.9843528°W / 40.5745472; -73.9843528Coordinates: 40°34′28.37″N 73°59′3.67″W / 40.5745472°N 73.9843528°W / 40.5745472; -73.9843528
Public transit"D" train "F" train "N" train "Q" train at Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue
OwnerCity of New York[1]
OperatorNew York Mets
Capacity7,000
Field sizeLeft Field – 315 feet (96 m)
Center Field – 412 feet (126 m)
Right Field – 325 feet (99 m)
SurfaceArtificial Turf (2013–present)
Grass (2001–2012)
Construction
Broke groundAugust 22, 2000[2]
OpenedJune 25, 2001[5]
Construction cost$55 million
($74.9 million in 2018 dollars[3])
ArchitectJack L. Gordon Architects PC, AIA
Structural engineerYsrael A. Seinuk, P.C.[4]
Services engineerKeyspan Energy Management[4]
General contractorTurner Construction[1]
Tenants
Brooklyn Cyclones (NYPL) (2001–present)
Brooklyn Bolts (FXFL) (2014–2015)
NYU Violets (NCAA) (2015–present)
New York Cosmos (NASL) (2017)
Rugby United New York (MLR) (2019–present)

Features include a concourse with free-standing concession buildings and overhanging fluorescent lamps in different colors, evoking an amusement park atmosphere. In addition, the park overlooks the Atlantic Ocean as well as the famous Parachute Jump in right field, and the landmarks Wonder Wheel and Coney Island Cyclone in left field.

MCU Park is accessible via New York City Subway at the Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue subway station, served by the D​, F​, N​, and Q trains.

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
The stadium as KeySpan Park in 2001

MCU Park stands on the old site of Steeplechase Park, an old-time Coney Island amusement park that closed in 1964 amid crime and general deterioration of Coney Island and of the subway routes that run to the area. Part of a general reinvestment in the Coney Island neighborhood, the park opened in 2001 with a capacity of 6,500. The opening of the park, and the Cyclones' permanent move there from their prior temporary home in Queens, marked the return of professional baseball to Brooklyn—albeit on a minor-league level—for the first time since MLB's Brooklyn Dodgers had played their last game at Ebbets Field in 1957 before moving to California the following season. Demand for Cyclones tickets was so great that the team added 1,000 seats in a right-field bleacher pavilion within three weeks after the park opened. MCU Park prohibits fans from bringing outside food into the stadium, a policy in every minor league stadium, but not in effect at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium.

MCU Park and the Staten Island Yankees' Richmond County Bank Ballpark were paid for with public money, part of a deal that involved both the Mets and Yankees. The Yankees had to approve the arrival of the Cyclones, and the Mets had to approve a Yankee farm team in Staten Island. The two teams share MLB territorial rights to the New York City market, and have veto power over each other (and any other MLB organization).

The park originally opened as KeySpan Park under a naming rights deal with KeySpan Energy, a utility company whose primary holding is the former Brooklyn Union Gas, until 2020. However, in 2007, KeySpan was acquired by United Kingdom-based National Grid plc, who retired the KeySpan name. On January 29, 2010, the Cyclones announced that they had ended the deal with National Grid, because the KeySpan name no longer existed. On February 4, 2010, it was announced that the Municipal Credit Union, the city's largest credit union, signed an agreement for the ballpark to be called MCU Park in an eleven-year naming rights deal.[6][7]

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit Brooklyn and caused extensive damage to the ballpark, including the front office, clubhouses & team store. The entire playing surface, previously a natural grass field, had to be replaced with synthetic FieldTurf before the 2013 season.

The 2014 season saw MCU Park host the New York - Penn League All Star Game.

 
The park hosting the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in 2016, after it was resurfaced with artificial turf

In early 2015, the New York University Violets moved in and made MCU Park their home stadium. In the process, they forced the St. Joseph's College Bears to move out. Baruch College plays a few games at MCU Park, as do a few high school teams.

Following the 2015 season, a set of bleachers were removed, removing 500 seats from the ballpark. The area which housed the bleachers was turned into a picnic area.

MCU Park hosted a qualifying round for the 2017 World Baseball Classic in September 2016.[8] Israel won the Qualifier over Great Britain, Brazil & Pakistan.

Other usesEdit

SoccerEdit

In February 2017, the New York Cosmos officially announced they would host their home games at MCU Park for the 2017 NASL season.[9] The Cosmos had previously used MCU Park as a home field: once for a regular season match against the Ottawa Fury[10] and once for a post season match against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers,[11] both in 2015. The NASL cancelled its 2018 season, and the Cosmos later announced they will move to Mitchel Athletic Complex in Nassau County for their 2019 home games.

FootballEdit

The Brooklyn Bolts played their home games at MCU Park during the 2014 and 2015 Fall Experimental Football League seasons before folding. The football field was positioned in the outfield.

ConcertsEdit

  • In 2003, Björk performed two shows at MCU park: on August 22[12] and August 23.[13] Portions of these concerts appear in the Icelandic music documentary Screaming Masterpiece.
  • In summer 2004, the jam band Phish began what was billed as its last tour with a two-night stand at MCU Park, with a guest appearance by rapper Jay-Z, a native of Brooklyn, on the second evening. The first concert was simulcast in movie theaters and in 2006, released (along with selected songs from the second night) as a concert album and DVD under the name Phish: Live in Brooklyn. In 2005, the stadium hosted the Across the Narrows Festival along with Richmond County Bank Ballpark. In the same year, The White Stripes performed one of their recent tours following the release of their album Get Behind Me Satan.
  • In summer 2005, Def Leppard and Bryan Adams performed at MCU Park on July 9 as a part of their efforts to bring major league rock 'n' roll to America's Minor League Baseball parks during their 2005 cross-country "Rock 'N Roll Double-Header" tour.
  • On August 9, 2007, the French electronic music duo Daft Punk performed in MCU Park during their Alive 2007 Tour.
  • On July 16, 2008, 311 and Snoop Dogg played a show together.
  • On July 13, 2009, Wilco performed with "very special guests" Yo La Tengo.
  • On June 26 and 27, 2010, Furthur, featuring Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, performed at the park; they returned to perform again on July 13 and 14, 2012.

WrestlingEdit

On July 2, 2010, MCU Park hosted a live Total Nonstop Action Wrestling house show which also broke the TNA attendance record and became the most attended live TNA house show in the United States to date with a crowd of just under 5,550 fans.

On August 15, 2014, Ring of Honor Wrestling debuted at MCU Park with Field of Honor.

On August 22, 2015, Ring of Honor Wrestling returned to MCU Park for the second time with the second edition of Field of Honor.

RugbyEdit

On August 7, 2018, Rugby United New York announced that it will be playing its inaugural Major League Rugby season in 2019 at MCU Park.[14] The pitch is predominantly laid out across left and center field, with part of the left side of the infield included.

ReferencesEdit

Notes

  1. ^ a b Rope, John (April 9, 2001). "Lexington, Others Continue Building Boom for Minors". SportsBusiness Daily. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. (August 23, 2000). "Opposition Precedes Arrival of Teams at New Coney Island Stadium". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "KeySpan Park". Architectural Record. 2002. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  5. ^ Vecsey, George (June 26, 2001). "Summer Rite Returns To Borough of Churches". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Brown, Stephen (January 29, 2010). "Lights Out at Keyspan Park as Naming Rights Deal Ends". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  7. ^ Epstein, Victor; Yaniv, Oren (February 4, 2010). "Brooklyn Cyclones' KeySpan Park Renamed MCU Park". Daily News. New York. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  8. ^ "2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers are set". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  9. ^ "New York Cosmos Moving to MCU Park in Brooklyn". New York Cosmos. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  10. ^ "Match Center - NASL". www.nasl.com. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "Cosmos to host NASL playoff match at MCU Park". Empire of Soccer. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  12. ^ August 22, 2003
  13. ^ August 23, 2003
  14. ^ Rugby United NY (November 7, 2018), Rugby United New York's Stadium Announcement, retrieved November 8, 2018

External linksEdit