Throughout professional sports, new stadiums and arenas are being built to a higher standard than ever, and materials such as granite and marble are playing an increasing role in this movement. At Shea Stadium in Flushing, NY -- the home of baseball's New York Mets -- management of the team followed this trend by re-designing the owner's box as well as a “prototype suite,” and both projects made extensive use of natural stone.

The prototype suite was conceived as a model for other suite renovations at Shea Stadium -- or perhaps a new stadium for the New York Mets if one is approved. “It gives us an idea of how we would use materials,” explained Eric Saretsky, director of construction for the Mets. All of the stone for the renovation was distributed by ABC Worldwide of Brooklyn, NY, which imported material from a variety of international sources.

The design of the suite utilizes all three colors in the Mets' uniform scheme -- black, orange and blue. The floors are comprised of honed Absolute Black granite tile, and the counters also use Absolute Black in a polished finish. Elements such as ornate serving trays and modern lighting fixtures continue the upscale feel, and the stone was custom cut with features such as circular serving platforms in granite. The stark black color of the granite is offset by the use of ceramic tile on the back wall, where the pattern calls for the New York Mets' original signature colors of blue and orange.

The suite's restroom utilizes the same color scheme, with Absolute Black used for the floor and the vanity top, accented by a border of orange and blue ceramic tiles.

At the owner's box, the intent was not only to bring in premium materials, but also to create a comfortable viewing environment in a relatively tight space. “We needed something to make it an effective place for management to watch the games,” Saretsky explained. The counters of the owner's box were made from Blue Pearl granite, supplied by Adolfo Forti S.p.A. of Italy and fabricated by Union Marble and Granite of Westbury, NY. The counters were carefully specified to be large enough to create an effective work area, but that would also take up a minimum of space. Customized furnishings also added to the comfort level, including chairs that were specially made to fit the confines of the space.

The restroom adjacent to the owner's box was also renovated, and the new design included Blue Pearl countertops as well as Gascone Blue limestone tiles for the walls, supplied by Etma of Portugal. The floor in this space uses natural cleft slate from Pevex of Brazil.

The architects responsible for the renovations were HOK Sport of Kansas City, MO, and Jack Gordon, chief architect for the New York Mets.

End Box

Shea Stadium
Suite Renovations
Flushing, NY

Architects: HOK Sport, Kansas City, MO; Jack Gordon, chief architect for the New York Mets
Stone Distributor: ABC Worldwide, Brooklyn, NY
Stone Fabricator: Union Marble & Granite, Westbury, NY (granite)
Stone Suppliers: Adolfo Forti Marmi S.p.A., Carrara, Italy (Blue Pearl granite); Etma, Portugal (Gascone Blue limestone); Pevex, Brazil (slate)