NEW YORK -- One of Salmaan Khan's earliest memories is of sitting in the back seat of his parents' car, driving along the Long Island Expressway and seeing a number of odd structures in the distance. He didn't know it at the time, but he was staring at the remains of the New York State Pavilion, a group of buildings that were constructed for the 1964-65 World's Fair in Flushing but have mostly fallen into disrepair since.
Eventually, Khan did his research.
"I realized how valuable and important it was -- and still is," Khan, 28, said.
Now he's trying to save it. Khan and Matthew Silva co-founded "People for the Pavilion," an advocacy group looking to preserve and develop the local landmark, and the Mets thought highly enough of the group's endeavor to reach out and help. The club will donate $5 for every ticket sold through mets.com/pavilion for Friday night's game against the Giants to the PFP. Ticket buyers will also receive a blue-and-orange shirt featuring a silhouette of the Pavilion.
"As partners in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, donating a portion of ticket sales from sales at Mets.com/Pavilion is a very worthy cause and also a privilege to be a part of an effort to preserve an iconic piece of the 1964 World's Fair," the Mets said in a statement.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park neighbors Citi Field -- and used to neighbor Shea Stadium -- so the partnership is a natural one, especially this year, the 50th anniversary of the start of the World's Fair and the opening of Shea. That Khan, who was born in Queens and grew up on Long Island, is a Mets fan made it particularly exciting.
"[Working with the Mets is] a great opportunity for us to get the initiative that we're doing out in the open," Khan said. "It's a pretty good stage for us to spread the word."
PFP's aim is to turn the Pavilion into a usable public space, which, according to Khan, was its original purpose. The Pavilion includes three parts: the trio of "Astro-View Towers" -- of "Men In Black" fame -- the "Tent of Tomorrow" and "Theaterama."
"I saw an opportunity with what I do [urban planning] to do something about this. There have been efforts before, but we wanted to try something new," Khan said. "It was always intended to be used by the public by those who built it, and it's unfortunate it's been closed off to the public for so long.
"We see this as an opportunity to turn it into something that's really useful and functional."
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.