Citi Field
Flushing, New York
Year Opened
2009

Current Team
New York Mets

Affiliate
N/A

League
National League

Capacity
45,000

My Grades
Stadium B+ Atmosphere B+ Concessions A-

Photos taken in 2012 & 2009
Whoever designed Citi Field certainly was not a Mets fan and apparently was not paid by the Mets either. When you are inside the park, there is very little to give you a clue as to who the home team is. There is no disputing that Citi Field is a vast improvement over its predecessor, Shea Stadium. But then again, it would be hard not to improve on a cookie cutter ballpark from the 1960's. Located right next to where Shea was, but pushed closer to the lovely chop shops of Flushing, the exterior of Citi Field is supposed to be reminiscent of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. This is most evident by the large rotunda, which the Mets have strangely named in honor of Jackie Robinson – someone who never even played in Flushing. The rotunda is the main entrance to the ballpark, but seems a bit empty. Couldn't the Mets have spruced it up more with some Mets history ? Inside, the ballpark is similar to most other new ones with its three decks of seating (field level, suite/club level, and upper deck). The seats are all green in color, another peculiar decision considering that is not one of the Mets colors. Views from the upper deck are definitely better here than at Shea simply because the seats are not nearly as high. The only minor complaint I have about some of the views is that they are blocked by glass at the top of the staircases, which were built on the front side rather than the backside of the seating. I've heard some complaints about the outfield upper deck seats having an obstructed view of the fence, but that's going to be the case at any park. Most of the concourses overlook the field, but oddly there is a large dark area behind home plate on the main level which is not in view of the field. Unfortunately, this is the first thing you'll see if you enter via the rotunda. The center field concourse seems to be one of the most popular areas as it's where all the kiddie games are as well as many of the unique concessions. There's a small whiffle ball field, batting cages, video games, and even a dunk tank. Some of the best concessions are in center field as well, including Mexican, BBQ, and the Shake Shack. Too bad you can't hear yourself talk because of music they have blaring at a ridiculous volume. Other food options at Citi Field include seafood, Subway, pizza, strombolis, and Nathan's. Prices are about what you'd expect at a major league park and the quality is much improved over Shea. One other great thing about the concessions are the condiment carts which contain both hot sauerkraut and onions – a very nice touch. For a new park, the atmosphere actually seems pretty laid back. Ushers weren't hounding fans for their tickets like they are at some new parks. When the park opened in 2009, there wasn't enough here to remind you that this is the Mets home. Other than the orange foul poles, the orange line atop the black fence, and the three retired numbers, there was very little at Citi Field that screams “Mets”. Fortunately, by 2012 the team did add some touches to make Citi Field feel a bit more like the Mets home. Included was adding some murals along the concourse, painting the outfield fence blue, and adding a Mets Hall of Fame. Still, the fact that all the seats are green contradicts the Mets colors. Outside the park, the Mets have actually done a better job of celebrating their history as there are numerous banners flying and some of their great moments are etched in the sidewalks. Also, the apple that used to be at Shea Stadium was placed out front. Fortunately they did create a new apple that appears whenever a Mets player hits a home run. There is no doubt that Citi Field is a much better place to see a game than Shea ever was. And maybe eventually it will feel more like the Mets home park.
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All Photos Copyright Brian Merzbach
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