NEW YORK, NY –With the contracts between the Metropolitan Opera and its unions due to expire at midnight tonight, I urge all sides to stay at the bargaining table until a fair contract can be hammered out through good-faith negotiations, not threats of a lock-out. For over 130 years, the Met has been a fixture of New York City’s cultural life-a place where the world’s greatest performers have inspired millions of people from across the five boroughs and every corner of the globe. Tourism spending in New York City is an important driver of our economy, with more than $36 billion spent in 2012. The Met’s performers, stagehands, technicians, and assistants deserve a fair outcome, as do the scores of restaurants, shops and other vendors that rely on the Opera for their livelihoods. I urge the Met to extend negotiations and not lock-out its union workers.