SNY Says Goodbye to Shea Stadium

By Andrew Lippe
SportsNet New York, hometown broadcaster of the New York Mets, offered an expanded production for Sunday’s game at Shea Stadium as the stadium’s 44-year history came to an end. Thomson Grass Valley cameras and production services by NEP and Metrovision keyed the coverage of a closing ceremony that involved Mets past and present.
“We had camera locations everywhere,” says Curt Gowdy Jr., SVP of production for SportsNet NY and executive producer of the production, which required 65 staffers. “Our guys came through flawlessly.”
The crew for the final game included technical manager Ed Ryan, VP of operations Bill Clarke, producer Gregg Picker, and manager of remote operations Jean Palmer. “We were extremely proud of the effort, not only the execution of the entire day but also under some adverse conditions,” says Gowdy, noting that weather was a factor all weekend long.
The post-game ceremony was a bittersweet affair for Mets fans, who had hoped the team would win and extend the season at least one more game. The closing ceremony centered on former Met greats’ touching home plate for a final time. SNY captured the ceremony from a camera located behind the home-plate umpire position.
“The sendoff shot with Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza waving goodbye and the great shot that [director] Bill Webb got from behind both of them was a poignant moment,” says Gowdy. As a young producer, he worked at the stadium during the 1988 National League Championship Series between the Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Although sentimentality was the order of the day, Gowdy is already looking forward to working in the new ballpark next season: “We are going to have everything we want certainly and need to deliver first-rate baseball coverage.”

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