Although this is a game the Mets should have won and I will save my on the field issues for when I am on the air, I just want to share my overall views about the new stadium...
- First and foremost, getting in at 4:45 after the train gave my friend and I a ton of time to walk around the place several times and soak it all in. Let me tell you something, it took me about a nano second after I swiped in my ticket to fall in love with the place. It is night and day compared to Shea (I'm sure you do not need to hear that from me)
- I love the Jackie Robinson tribute when you first walk in. They got the big blue "42" in the front where you can take pictures. A lot of banners and words hanging up on the wall describing or about JR. Shea was a lost thought by that time...
- Loved the outside. Everything is redone and cleaned up. The bricks outside the stadium look awesome with each person donning a certain memento if you will. However, I failed in my quest to find my uncle's brick.
- The design of the stadium is great. Even though it's 13,000 seats smaller, it definitely has the "Ebbets Field" type of look. It also reminds me a lot of other stadiums. The big, spacious outfield reminds me of Detroit, the out of town scoreboard reminds me of Philly and the outside area where people walk around and look on kind of had an Arizona type of feel.
- Any seat is a good seat, really. I went to just about every angle and even I sat in the upper deck for the game (Section 527) and had no complaints about seating.
- Food is a HUGE upgrade. Whether you want a Blazin or Drive Thru Burger, a variety of chicken sandwiches, buffalo wings, taco platters, sweet and spicy chicken tenders, nachos with steak or chicken...Citi Field has delicious choices that Shea could never offer. Not to mention, they are not outrageously priced either.
- Cupholders, more leg room, wider seats...Check, Check, Check
- There's a Caesar's Club in the middle of the stadium. My friend and I were walking around and all of a sudden we found ourselves in the middle of this club with a DJ, "VIP Like" seating, a bar....complete insanity...I thought I was at a baseball game!
- Was a big fan of the pre-game ceremony. I was not looking for a gigantic intro with everyone coming back again. Seaver and Piazza did their reppin' and the American Flag which took up literally the entire outfield was fantastic.
I have been to quite a few stadiums throughout my years, (8 I believe) and Citi Field definitely ranks at the top at number one. The feel and atmosphere is spectacular and am definitely looking forward to returning for me of the action. Even though I had been going to Shea for about 15 years and saw a lot of great games and tons of memories, it had to go. Even if you are not a Mets fan, I definitely recommend making the trip to Flushing to see a game and check out the stadium. Now all we need are a few Dubya's.
- Matt Soldano