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I never realized this until both teams played home series on 9-10 June 2015 (and continuing on 11 June 2015, for the Mets), but apparently when the Yankees play at home the Mets play away, and vice-versa. What's the reason for this? And has it always been this way? What about when the Dodgers and Giants were located here?

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    In football, teams from the same cities tend to have opposite home/away schedules as well. This has to do with spreading police deployment, separating away fan streams and safety issues regarding hooliganism. – Braamstruik Jun 11 '15 at 13:19
  • @Braamstruik That sounds like an answer to me :-) – Philip Kendall Jun 11 '15 at 13:35
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    TV schedule is also important. – MFornari Jun 11 '15 at 14:11
  • I find that interesting. In Chicago it is definitely not the case; Cubs and White Sox are very mixed in terms of their schedules (at least for the next month and a half, and in my past memory). – Joe Jun 11 '15 at 16:00
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    @Braamstruik when you say football you mean what Americans would call soccer, right? – psychometriko Jun 12 '15 at 13:48
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I can find little official as to why they play opposite. Many possible reasons exist; the most logical seems simply to make it so the maximum total games can be attended by those who are fans of both teams (I'm sure there are a few), and in particular businesspeople who take out visitors or clients to games are most likely to have a game available to take their clients to.

I'm not sure that the other reasons givem by @Braamstruik in the comments really apply to baseball; Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium are not particularly close, and police presence at baseball games is fairly minimal at most times (compared to the size of the total NYPD force, anyway), though perhaps it is a consideration. Chicago does not have this concept of home and away alternation with its two teams; the Cubs and White Sox regularly play at home on the same day, though they do usually have home openers on different days than each other.

The only real discussion I've found online of this topic is articles about the 2013 Home Opener which was for the first time since the 1950s held on the same day for both teams. Reasons for that occurence were that with the 15 team league and interleague play, it was more difficult to keep that aspect of scheduling.

As far as the other part of the question; during the period of 1903-1957, there were three teams in New York (the Yankees, the Dodgers, and the Giants), and so they certainly could not have had consistently played a similar schedule, though I imagine they didn't very often have all three playing home dates on the same day (just by coincidence if not by intent).

  • What you say about the police force makes sense to me. I didn't really think that had anything to do with it. Still, if it has to do with maximizing the availability of home games, it's strange that Chicago doesn't follow suit with New York. I wonder how much influence each city's leaders have over their teams' schedules (if any) -- you'd think that the same people who make the schedules for both cities' teams would use the same reasoning in both cities and be consistent! – psychometriko Jun 12 '15 at 13:47
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    The major difference in Chicago vs NY is that the Cubs and White Sox have 100+ year history in the same town, occasionally with a third team. Mets were a new team in the 1960s. Perhaps there was some part of the agreement to form the Mets that they would not play at the same time, which didn't occur in the early eras? – Joe Jun 12 '15 at 14:16
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    Chicago appears to counter-schedule as much as any other city/region with multiple teams. 2015 shared only 8 home games (5th lowest of any pair of teams). 2016 shared only 8 home games (lowest of any pair of teams). – BowlOfRed Oct 3 '16 at 8:43

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