Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Mets Unveil The Cadilac Club at Payson's (Shhh, It's A Speakeasy)


The Cadillac Club at Payson's. All photos provided by the New York Mets.

The Mets on Tuesday unveiled The Cadillac Club at Payson's, a first of its kind exclusive speakeasy membership club to Citi Field, in honor of the Mets first owner, Joan Whitney Payson.

The Cadillac Club at Payson's will be located inches away from the warning track in right field, and it will be a hideaway club that will provide fans with a trendy, intimate and up-close space for those looking for a unique ballpark experience.

The members-only space will have a private bar with sightlines to the field and elevated dining options. It is a controlled-climate club that also features premium lounge style seating, personal flat screen monitors, in-seat storage, personal beverage coolers, an in-stadium concierge, and unique Cadillac touches and finishes throughout.

It is limited to 25-30 members, and since there are only 100 seats in the club, the exclusive membership to the Cadillac Club at Payson's includes assigned seats for every Mets home game, complimentary parking and complimentary food, soft drinks, beer, and wine. Members can also access a private bar for cocktails.

Mets Owner, Chairman, and CEO Steve Cohen, said in a statement accompanying the announcement, "Alex and I are thrilled to honor the legacy of Joan Payson with The Cadillac Club at Payson's. As the original owner of the Mets and pioneer, Joan has played a significant role in our organization. We're excited to have created this first of its kind club at the ballpark with a brand like Cadillac that embodies and empowers big dreams and bold ambition. The Cadillac Club at Payson's will combine the rich history of the Mets with unique elements  that are reminiscent of classic New York City, providing Mets fans with an experience like no other."

This is the second tribute to Payson by Cohen, as he fulfilled Payson's promise to retire Willie Mays' number 24 when he came to play to the Mets in 1973 with an announcement at last summer's Old Timers Day (click here to read about that from August 2022). 

Payson was the first woman to purchase a majority ownership stake in a major league team, and she was known as a "fan first" and often deflected attention away from herself to celebrate the fans and the team's baseball operations. She was instrumental to the development of the Mets farm system that produced Hall of Famers Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, and Jerry Koosman, who led the Mets to their first World Series championship in 1969.

Wayne Coffey, in an interview with Brooklyn Digest in 2019 for his book on the 1969 Amazin' Mets, They Said It Couldn't Be Done, said this about Joan Payson, who at that time was barely acknowledged in the team's history or at Citi Field, "She was the first woman to ever purchase a team with her own funds, and that makes her pretty important. She grew up rooting for the Giants and she had old family money and prominence. Her family traces its roots literally to the Mayflower, and she was a noted philanthropist, lover of the arts, lover of baseball baseball and thoroughbred horse racing. 

"When the Giants left, it ripped her heart out, just like it did so many others, and that's why they were embraced by the broken-hearted Dodgers fans. To me, that was the core, and in so many ways, still is the core of their fan base, all the people from Brooklyn who had their hearts ripped out."

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