After raising over $98,000 from over 1,600 people via a widely publicized Kickstarter campaign, East Williamsburg DIY venue Shea Stadium is calling it quits at its current location. A letter to Kickstarter backers, sent just a couple of days before the campaign expired, explains that the landlords, who had been supportive of the venture during its eight years on a scrappy industrial block of Meadow Street, have now decided to open a nightclub of their own. It looks like last week’s visit to the Macaulay Culkin Show might’ve been our last look inside the endearingly homegrown venue.
The news isn’t all bad. Shea’s operators say they hope to find a new location and use their Kickstarter donation to start fresh there, though they admit “there’s also a chance that space doesn’t exist for us in NYC 2017.”
We’ll have more as this develops. In the meantime, here’s the latest from the folks at Shea.
We wish we had better news to close out what has been such an incredibly successful and heart-warming few weeks. The love you’ve shown Shea has affirmed that there was truly no better way we could have spent the past eight years.
In the time since we last spoke, we’ve been busy assembling our team of professionals to help guide us through the process of reopening. Last week, we were set to file our first paperwork with the city when our landlord, who had supported our cause since day one, revealed he was no longer on board with our plans. Without his signature, it’s impossible for us to move forward with our mission to bring Shea back. After a fantastic near-decade relationship with our landlords and their family this reversal comes as a complete surprise.
So why did they choose to deny us so suddenly? Sadly, their brand new plan for 20 Meadow Street includes a nightclub of their own on the ground floor and no Shea Stadium upstairs. By refusing to sign the paperwork they’re using this moment as an opportunity to force us out of the space and off of the block we’ve called home since 2009. We’ve exhausted our options over the past week, presenting several scenarios in which the two spaces could potentially coexist, but they’ve made clear that their intentions are to move forward with their foray into nightlife without us in the picture.
While we’re disappointed by this ironic turn of events, we consider it a lucky break that we were able to get this news *before* the end of the Kickstarter, and to allow everyone to consider that their donations will be re-purposed to find and lay our roots down in a new space. The work and costs involved with moving to a new location hang on a much larger scale than our previous goals and while we’re cautiously optimistic about our future in another location, we’re faced with a whole new degree of uncertainty. We promise to keep you posted on our progress with full transparency and to refund all pledges if we’re not able to find a new headquarters that does justice to our time on Meadow Street.
This will likely be a long process with less concrete timelines. Finding a new location can take months and we plan to honor the faith you’ve put in us by finding the best home for what you’ve come to know and love from our crew. There’s also a chance that space doesn’t exist for us in NYC 2017, and Shea Stadium becomes part of its history instead, but we won’t know until we get out on the streets and start looking.
We want to thank you all again for your continued support in the past few months. Without you this would have been a certain death blow to Shea, and it’s only because of your help we have the chance to work towards building something greater.
In the meantime, watch this space for updates on the immediate future of 20 Meadow Street and the hunt for… a new stadium?
A N L & The Shea Stadium Family