NEW YORK -- The bright lights of Manhattan will take on a little different color scheme this weekend as the famous Empire State Building will be lit to salute the Interleague Play series between the Mets and Yankees for the first time.
The two New York-based teams will be playing their Subway Series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Shea Stadium in Queens. Starting on Friday, the north and south sides of the building will be lit in Yankees blue and white, while its east and west sides will be lit in Mets blue and orange.
To the victor will go the spoils. The team that wins the series will have its colors displayed on all four sides of the tower on Monday.
"For the first time in its history, the Empire State Building will split its tower lights -- half for the Yankees and half for the Mets -- in celebration of New York's biggest sports rivalry," said James Connors, the building's general manager. "When baseball fans look at the city skyline, they'll be able to root for their favorite team. And, it gives the players an extra boost -- at the end of the Subway Series, the winning team claims the entire crown of New York City's greatest building."
Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is considered one of the world's most recognizable structures. It recently was named America's favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects.
Brief history of Empire State Building lighting:
- In 1932, a searchlight beacon alerting people for 50 miles that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected president of the United States was the first light to shine on top of the Empire State Building.
- In 1976, colored lighting was first introduced and the tower was lit in red, white and blue to celebrate the American Bicentennial.
- In 1977, a lighting system permitting a wider range of colors was inaugurated and blue and white lights flashed to announce that the Yankees had won the World Series.
Paul Bodi is an executive editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.