Heavy NYPD presence at National Tennis Center will impact Mets fans watching Wild Card chase

QUEENS — Mets fans are gearing up for a showdown with the Atlanta Braves this weekend, as the Amazins seek a wild-card slot in the Major League Baseball playoffs. But they’ll have to contend with heavy traffic and security at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that’s located next door.

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is happening at the tennis center this Saturday, which happens to be the second day of a three day Mets series at Citi Field against the Braves, with game times of 7:10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1:10 pm on Sunday.

Mets officials are already telling fans it’s best to arrive early.

“Due to the events surrounding the US Open, we strongly encourage you to take public transportation or Uber and arrive early to Citi Field to avoid traffic in the ballpark vicinity and LaGuardia Airport,” the team wrote to fans in an e-mail from mets.com, adding that on Saturday “we strongly encourage fans… to use mass transit, or rideshare services such as Uber.

“As a reminder, the new Citi Field Bag Policy is in effect. For a complete list of permitted bags, please visit mets.com/BagPolicy.”

The Mets are supposed to feature a fireworks show Saturday night.

PIX11 visited the Flushing Meadows park area Thursday and found security amazingly tight.

Concrete barriers blocked vehicle access to many parts of the National Tennis Center, which includes Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadiums, along with the Grandstand and many other courts.

It seemed like the security perimeter was even wider this year. Bomb sniffing dogs were also spotted.

PIX11 also saw numerous police officers armed with heavy weapons standing near the site where tennis lovers were waiting in security lines to participate in “Fan Week”, an opportunity to watch elite tennis players take part in qualifying matches at no cost.

NYPD barricades extended to Grand Central Parkway, enveloping the nearby New York Hall of Science.

The two-week US Open officially starts this Monday, August 26.

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