From the Wall Street Journal:
The cash-strapped New York Mets have failed to occupy more than 20,000 square feet of retail space as the team begins its third season in its $800 million Citi Field stadium, the primary reason the Queens stadium has failed to receive a final sign-off from the city.
A city official confirmed late Tuesday that the Mets have yet to receive a final certificate of occupancy for the stadium because a significant portion of the facility is empty. "We don't give the final certificate to vacant areas," the official said. "It has to be occupied."
The Mets' cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees, also have failed to receive a final certificate of occupancy for the team's new $1.5 billion stadium in the Bronx, but for entirely different reasons.
In the Yankees' case, officials at City Hall confirmed the team neither sought nor received final approval from the Public Design Commission, a little-known city agency that was established in 1898 and is charged with ensuring that the design of all art, exterior architecture, street furniture and landscaping meet public standards.
But some city officials acknowledge the Bloomberg Administration hasn't been pressing the Yankees to comply with the commission.
An official with the Mets said the team is actively trying to fill the vacant space, which it estimated at closer to 15,000 square feet of the 1.2 million-square-foot facility. A spokeswoman for the Yankees denied that the team flouted city rules and promised to seek final approval "shortly."
Both teams have been getting temporary certificates of occupancy from the Department of Buildings, which means officials believe both facilities are safe to occupy.