Another Wasted Opportunity for the MTA

March 13, 2009

seven-train

The New York Times ran an interesting piece in the New York Section of their paper yesterday regarding the pending name change of the Willets Point/Shea Stadium train station which runs along the number 7 line. The Times reported that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the organization which operates the New York transit system, has announced it will drop the Shea Stadium portion of its station name and replace it with simply, Mets. Why not Willets Point/Citi Field? Reason being, the MTA never solidified a naming rights deal with Citigroup, the financial services company that currently owns the most visible lettering atop the new Mets stadium.

Not only is the timing all wrong for another mega-million dollar deal, but the transit authority is going through a crisis of its own. It has been reported that the MTA has been petitioning the state of New York to send them some of the proposed bailout money. A main factor of why the transit authority has fallen into panic mode lately is because of the sharp decrease in their advertising revenue. With the information we have that shows how haphazardly the MTA goes about managing its finances, they’re probably be better off without the large down-payment.

Here is what I propose. Why not call the station Willets Point/Arthur Ashe Stadium? It’s got a nice ring to it. Using the name Arthur Ashe could allow the recently unpopular transit authority to acquire some much-needed restitution. If one is so inclined to adhere to the word Mets then why not give some credit to a world-renowned sports arena? Right next door to Citi Field is the home of one of the country’s most popular tennis events, the US Open. Plus, the iconic tennis pro happens to be considered a very recognizable figure. He was not only revered for his tenacity on the tennis court, but he also had his share of adversity in his personal life.

As the MTA finds itself unable to capitalize on one of its assets, the unveiling of a Willets Point/Arthur Ashe Stadium stop on the #7 train could give fans and fellow straphangers the respect they deserve.

For further reading, check out The Times article, Stadium Is Citi Field, but the Subway Stop Has Other Ideas.

If you have any suggestions regarding a new name for the Willets Point/Shea Stadium stop, chime in.

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2 Responses to “Another Wasted Opportunity for the MTA”

  1. Caryn Says:

    The point of using “Mets” is as an easy identifier for the average rider who is getting off at that stop. Arthur Ashe Stadium is used for two weeks of the year. The baseball stadium is used far more than that. It makes absolutely zero sense to create signage for such uncommon usage.

    I don’t see how putting the US Open on the subway signs gives straphangers anything, certainly not respect. A little confused on how that gives the daily train rider anything. Arthur Ashe isn’t from New York, isn’t identified with New York, and has no connection to New York, except when he played tennis here. His connection to tennis is, of course, not in dispute, which is why his name is on that stadium. But he has no place on a New York City subway sign.

  2. tatsy74 Says:

    But the Mets are in town more than the visiting tennis pros—in other words, I’m guessing that Arthur Ashe stadium is only open part-time, or not as often as the new Mets stadium in any case. I think the stop should reflect its biggest draw (the Mets) somehow!


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