LGBT Network and New York Mets Announce First LGBT Pride Night
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, US Congressman Steve Israel, NYC Councilman Danny Dromm, Long Island and NYC Officials and LGBT Network CEO David Kilmnick, joined Major League Baseball and New York Mets Team Officials in announcing the first-ever official Pride Night hosted by one of New York's four Major League sports teams. Tickets are on sale now at mets.com/pride. The announcement took place at Queens Borough Hall and is the first time in New York's history that a team from the four major professional sports leagues will host an official LGBT Pride event.
More than 5,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) baseball fans will fill Citi Field at this historic event. Thousands of fans will wear commemorative Pride Night shirts with a portion of each ticket sale going to support the LGBT Network’s anti-bullying programs in Long Island and New York City schools. Pre-game festivities will include a Pride in the Plaza show just outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The New York tri-state area is home to an estimated 2 million LGBT residents and families who have long felt left out and not safe in major league ballparks and arenas.
David Kilmnick, LGBT Network CEO, said "Bullying is still a major league problem for LGBT youth. Over 82 percent report being verbally and physically harassed in the past year. It’s not only the school hallways where our young people report feeling unsafe, but also on the ball field. We are grateful and thankful to Major League Baseball for taking the lead in professional sports including the LGBT community in its diversity priorities and initiatives. As a life-long Mets fan, I am proud that the New York Mets are not only the defending National League Champions, but the champion of the New York sports world in making sure that everyone is welcomed and celebrated at Citi Field."
In a statement, Mets Executive Vice President/Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli said, "New York is the most diverse and inclusive city in the world, and the Mets welcome all fans throughout the season. We are particularly proud to welcome the LGBT community on Pride Night at Citi Field.”
Billy Bean VP, Social Responsibility & Inclusion, MLB's Office of the Commissioner, said, "Congratulations to the New York Mets and the LGBT Network of Long Island/Queens for working together to create this special event at Citi Field. Mets fans encompass every demographic that make up the great city of New York. It makes me very proud to see their organization display such a powerful example of inclusion, and a message of acceptance for anyone who loves the game of baseball.”
"Respect, dignity and fairness are the hallmarks of good sportsmanship, and they will be the marquee message at the very first LGBT Pride Night at Citi Field here in Queens. Thank you to the LGBT Network for launching this initiative and for the great work they continue to do on behalf of the community. Deep appreciation to Major League Baseball for elevating the message of inclusion to the home field for the benefit of anti-bullying programs in our schools. On LGBT Pride Night, Citi Field will certainly be rooting for both our home team and for Pride," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
And, U.S. Congressman Steve Israel, who represents the Third Congressional District, said, “I have been a huge Mets fan for my entire life, but today I am especially proud to be a Mets fan with the news that Citi Field will host the first Major League Pride Night in New York. New Yorkers always lead the way for equality and our entire state should be proud of that. I want to commend the Mets for their leadership and The LGBT Network for their years of brave advocacy on behalf of the Long Island and Queens LGBT community.”
Pride Night at Citi Field will offer seating in all areas of the ballpark, including suites, with tickets beginning at only $35. Proceeds from each ticket purchased at mets.com/pride will benefit the LGBT Network, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and its Safe Schools Initiative working to stop bullying in Long Island and Queens.