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126th St. and Roosevelt Ave.
Flushing, NY

Stadium Opened: 2009
Capacity: 45,000
Dimensions: LF- 335 ft.  CF- 408 ft.   RF- 330 ft.
Surface: Natural Grass
Former Names of Ballpark: None

 

First off, let me say that I can't stop referring to Citi Field as Shea Stadium. Not that it resembles Shea Stadium in any way, but it will just be a hard habit to break. When I first arrived at the stadium, I took a walk around the exterior of the park. I took a nice stroll along the "Bullpen Gate" side of the stadium and was fascinated with the number of quality auto shops lining the street. I was actually kind of mad that I didn't bring my car to the game, it would have been the perfect time for a new muffler to be put in while I watched the game. This brings us to my first suggestion......tear down those darn chop shops and put in some souvenir shops and restaurants. What were the Mets thinking, leaving these shops up! I was more fascinated by how the shops managed to fit so many cars in their garages.....than I was by the game. After seeing this, I can't believe anyone would have the nerve to bash the area surrounding Yankee Stadium.

Parking: Parking was $18. It was a little difficult to find where the parking was for non-season ticket holders.

The Rotunda: After my walk around the outside of the stadium, I entered the ballpark at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda entrance. I liked the idea of the rotunda and was impressed with how nice it looked. I was a little disappointed that there really didn't seem to be much inside the rotunda except some staircases and an escalator. I think this area would have been better suited to honor the Mets' history and not the history of someone who never even played for the Mets. Before you tell me that Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, let me just remind you that we aren't in Brooklyn either. Therefore, there is no connection. It's almost like the Mets were thinking, "Hmmm, well I guess we don't have any players from our past that were good enough to have an entire room dedicated to them, so let's just pick someone....hmmm, ok, Jackie Robinson!". Once you reach the top of the escalator, you enter into a dark and dreary section of the concourse. It's sort of creepy looking. Did they forget to install lights?

Can you hear me now?: The centerfield concourse area contains a wide variety of concession stands. There are some high tables out there to stand at and eat. I hope you don't want to have a conversation because this is certainly not the place to talk. The music was blaring so loudly, I couldn't even hear my own voice. I would have loved to have walked around more out there, but I wanted to be able to hear by the time I am 40. There are several good food options throughout the concourse area which are not as noisy. One feature that I really enjoyed was the hot sauerkraut located on the condiments table. That can really change the whole outlook of a hot dog.

Where the heck Am I? After walking around the concourse, I had to glance at my ticket stub again to make sure I was at the Mets' ballpark. Besides a few "Mets" features, the stadium could have just been a stadium for any team. Did the architects build this park without knowing who was going to be playing here? That had to have been the case. There is no other logical reason to explain why the seats are green (rather than blue), the wall is black (rather than blue), the ushers uniforms are green (rather than blue or orange), etc. There were more Mets colors in the bathroom than there was throughout the stadium. At least in the bathroom, there was a blue stripe on the wall. There was one concessions area that I liked that did have a Mets logo in the center. See photo below:

Where in the world is the visiting team's bullpen? This has to be something that has never been done before. The visiting team's bullpen is behind the Mets bullpen. Therefore, it is not visible. Jeez....why didn't they just put the visiting team's bullpen in the parking lot or something! Very odd.

Baseball is always better when viewed through Plexi-glass: Just like they did at PNC Park, the staircases were put in the wrong place. The staircases to the upper deck should be in the back, not out in front of the section of seats so that some fans have to view part of the field through plexi-glass. This is one of my biggest complaints. Otherwise the sightlines are good and the upper deck seems to be steep enough so that fans aren't blocked by other fans' heads.

Fun amusement park, I mean....baseball stadium: My other major complaint is the ridiculous kids activity center in the outfield concourse. Isn't the game exciting enough? Why do me need batting cages, video games, dunk booths, etc. to provide us with entertainment? Was this put in as a precautionary measure by the Mets as a back up plan for fan entertainment when the onfield action bores fans? To me this section says "Ok, we know our team stinks...so why not give the fans something to allow them to have fun while at the park." This is just another way ballparks are catering to society's "ADHD tendencies". Is it really too much to ask for fans to sit and watch the entire game? Imagine that!

 

Expansion Team? Judging by the lack of Mets history throughout the stadium, an inexperienced fan might have thought this was the Mets first year in existence. There were some nice banners and pictures on the exterior of the stadium of former Met greats, but once inside there was very little of Mets history. Update- from what I have heard, yhere have been some updates since I have visited, so hopefully my outlook on this topic will change once I see it firsthand.

What did I like? The park contains a wide variety of concessions (BBQ, Mexican, milkshakes, Nathans, sausage, pizza, stromboli, Subway, etc.) at reasonable prices compared to other Major League parks. I like the outfield concession area, just wish it wasn't so loud out there. Even though red brick is an overused feature on the exterior of stadiums, I still think it looks classy. I really liked the fact that the ushers were not restricting fans from certain areas during batting practice or checking ticket stubs every time you wanted to enter into a section of seats during the game.I also liked the Brooklyn Bridge structure in the outfield concourse area. Lastly, I thought the helmet shaped garbage cans in the centerfield area were great! Citi Field actually has a more finished look to it than the new Yankee Stadium. I'll give them that!

A little overboard: I know that having unique features makes a park memorable, but someone got a little crazy with the oufield wall. The Mets tried to be too cute with the wall, it juts in and out for no reason. Someone got a little carried away, trying to get creative.

The Big Apple: I like that the Mets kept the tradition alive of having a big apple rise up out of a hat in the outfield after a Mets homerun. The apple from Shea Stadium is inside the stadium near the "Bullpen Gate" entrance. It's almost hidden. If you don't specifically look for it, you'll miss it.

The Bases: Markers in the parking lot show where the bases were at Shea Stadium, as well as homeplate and the Pitchers mound.

Despite the fans behind me who felt they needed to yell their conversation throughout most of the game so that the entire section could hear them talk, I enjoyed my visit to Citi Field and would highly recommend it to baseball fans.

Overall Rating: 8

 

Review is based on my visit on: May 9, 2009

Questions? Comments? E-Mail me:amanda@baseballstadiumreviews.com