August 1, 2018, Queens, NY-- Two years ago, the LGBT Network and the New York Mets made history hosting the first-ever Pride Night held in a New York major league ballpark. On Saturday August 4th, thousands will celebrate the Third Annual Pride Night at Citi Field in an action-packed night when the New York Mets take on the Atlanta Braves at 7:10pm at Citi Field.
Pride Night festivities begin at 5:45pm with a "Pride in the Plaza" celebration in Met’s Plaza outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The "Broadway Meets Baseball" pregame concert will feature performances by Broadway’s brightest stars from Jersey Boys, Rent, Avenue Q, Rock of Ages and more who will join Billboard artists Emily Perry and Blake G to provide thousands of fans with free entertainment before they enter the ballpark. Free rainbow flags will be handed out to all fans in the plaza.
A special pre-game ceremony will take place with American Idol and television star Kimberly Locke performing the National Anthem while 50 LGBT youth and their parents unfurl the largest rainbow flag to be displayed on any ballpark field. First responders will be recognized with the Nassau County Police Department’s LGBTQ Society proudly serving as color guard.
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. 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 have taken the lead in promoting inclusivity in the ballpark and are the champions 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."