Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stadium Report Cards: Citi Field

The second of Nick's 3 reviews. This is the Mets' new stadium.

Team: Citi Field
Location: Queens, New York, NY
League: Major League Baseball(NL Eaast)
Built: 2009
Capacity: 41,000
My event: Regular Season game, San Diego Padres

1. Outdoor Design

The stadium itself is a tribute to Ebbets Field so the exterior looks like Ebbets. The brick design with the arch windows and entrances are very beautiful. The old home run apple from Shea is located right out front by the home plate gate and the exact spots of where the home plate, pitching rubber, and bases from Shea are marked as a tribute.

2. Indoor Design

The Jackie Robinson rotunda at the home plate entrance was very well done. Again I love the brick layout and how the words Excellence, Commitment, etc circle around the rotunda. You will also find the Hall of Fame and Museum where the best moments in Met history are honored from the greatest players in franchise history to the two World Series titles, rings, and even the infamous ball from game 6 are enshrined. Yes the ball that went through Buckner’s legs is there. The ballpark itself has a nice look. The classic orange foul poles were brought over but the red and orange seats were not. Also the fence is very tall and oddly shaped. It looks kind of like a broken glass bottle. The look of the interior does not scream Mets like Shea did but you have more leg room with the seats and guests with disabilities can be better accommodated. There is a new Home Run Apple in dead center field that looks nice too. Some seats though are best to be avoided. The infield seats are excellent but the outfield seats aren’t. Particularly if you sit in the upper left field section or in the lower right and center field sections. The levels above are so sharply angled that your view becomes obstructed. In the left field upper level, the view is obstructed by the out of town scoreboards. They put TV’s in all of the obstructed view areas but if I’m going to have to pay to watch the game on TV I’ll stay home and do it for free. Overall though the park is beautiful.

3. Prices
The prices were better than I expected. Our seats in the promenade club on the 3rd base line were only 28 dollars a ticket and the view was nice.

4. Food
The food variety is amazing. Taste of the City, located behind the center field scoreboard, has so many choices. The most popular choice is the Shake Shack. Best burger, fries, and shake I have ever had. Worth the long wait, which is common at Shake Shack. Want Tacos, Belgian fries, Italian, Seafood, Barbecue, Sushi, you can have it. There is also many different beers you can try, Subway also has stands, Sausage and Peppers, and of course Carvel for desert. Prices are average for a ball game but it’s worth it. Many choices available on all levels.

5. Staff
Staff was very helpful in guiding fans to their seats. A very happy and welcoming staff. Very stiff in making sure you were in the section your ticket assigns you but that is expected; You had to show your ticket in order to advance but they were nice about it. I couldn’t find mine when we came back from getting food but they let me through anyway.

6. Cleanliness
Extremely clean compared to Shea. The bathrooms were clean, did not smell of piss and vomit, and even had a unique floor design consisting of the team colors. So nice to actually go into the bathroom and use it when I needed to. The Mets take care of this park. Little trash could be found on the floors.

7. Parking
Parking was okay. A bit of a walk from our spot to the park but no difficulty getting out. Getting in was a pain but we were arriving close to the first pitch.

8. Atmosphere
It was a pitcher’s duel between Clayton Richard for the Padres and Mike Pelfrey for the Mets. Although the game did not sell out the stadium was ¾ full and the fans were really into the game. In the bottom of inning 7 Jose Reyes hit a ball that was ruled a double and the fans went crazy cause it left the park even though it barely cleared the fence. It was reviewed and then ruled a home run and the crowd was excited. I’m sure it depends on the opponent and how the team is doing but when I went it was a very electrified atmosphere.

9. Playing Surface
The grass surface looks great and the players didn’t seem to have an issue with it.

10. Scoreboard

The main scoreboard in center field is nice. Below the Citi Field logo it says the famous “Let’s go Mets” with Mets written just like it is on the team Jerseys. It is smaller than the one at Shea but the screen, made by Sharp, is of better quality and it adds uniqueness to the park.

Another one down, that's 80/100. I never noticed how awesome the interior of the stadium really is.

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