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Queens to make millions from Subway Series

City Comptroller Alan Hevesi said the Subway Series may bring as much as $54.2 million into the Queens economy.

"It is great for the city's economy. It once again showcases New York City to the world," Hevesi said.

Mets revenues for games played at Shea Stadium are expected to be about $12 million per game, and the total economic benefit to Queens to be $18.1 million per game, according to estimates released by Hevesi's office.

The series would have to go at least five games in order to reach the $54 million mark, said Hevesi. He said a seven-game serious would add as much as $233.7 million to the city's economy.

Joseph Farber, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said the economic impact of the subway series would be greater than what the U.S. Open at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park brings into the city every year.

He said that the U.S. Open brings in tourists, but a Subway Series involves Queens and other city residents more than any other sporting event in recent memory.

The last time two New York teams met in the World Series was 1956, when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games.

"Exact figures for the borough are hard to figure," cautioned Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Borough President Claire Shulman.

"The Subway Series effects restaurants, retail and hotels," said Andrews. "Especially in the neighborhoods around the stadium there has been a flurry of activity."

One hotel which is clearly embracing the series is the Marriott Courtyard Hotel at LaGuardia. The front lobby is decorated with orange and blue balloons, the colors of Queens' own New York Mets, who have not appeared in a World Series since 1986.

A huge banner hangs over the front desk: "Welcome to the Subway Series 2000!"

The hotel's 487 rooms have been sold out for more than a week, said Laura Altimari, director of sales for the hotel. She said 70 rooms were blocked off for families of Mets players, who were flown into town for the series and are staying at the hotel because it is near LaGuardia Airport and Shea Stadium.

She said many of the players also are staying with their families at the hotel after the games.

The Subway Series has kept the employees at Leo's Lattcini Mama's deli in Corona really busy, but nobody is complaining.

"We are always busy with Shea, we serve a lot of food in the clubhouse," said the deli's manager Maria Debenedittis.

She said the Subway Series has impacted many businesses in Corona, especially many of the distributors which supply the deli.

"We're pulling for the Mets," she said. "We love everyone, from the grounds crew up to the main office. They are like our family."

There has also been speculation that the Mets' appearance in the World Series will spark renewed interest in the construction of a new stadium for the team.

"There is an increased focus on baseball," said Andrews. "Mets have enthusiasm for a new stadium."

Andrews said there has been talk of a proposal in which the city, state and Mets organization would split the funding to build a state-of-the-art baseball stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

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