Sunday, April 5, 2009

Citi Field a welcome addition to the city landscape

So, I showed up at Shea - oops, I mean Citi Field, yesterday. Squawker Jon didn't want me to wear any Yankee gear because I would be surrounded not only by Met fans, but Red Sox fans as well. Because he made such a big deal over this issue - he's always worried somebody is going to start a fight with me for being a Yankee fan or something - I made sure to wear three New York Yankees items, just to tick him off.

I wore a dark blue hat, shirt, and pants, all with the Yankee logo. But I did leave my Yankee coat, which has a huge interlocking NY on the back, home. Nor did I wear my Snuggie, even though the commercial clearly shows fans rocking the blanket with sleeves at a sporting event!

After all my agony over which team to root for - the Mets or the Red Sox - I had decided to cheer for the Mets. Then there turned out to be not a whole lot to root for, given that the game was over in the first inning. It was shades of Tom Glavine blowing the last game of the 2007 season. Yes, I went there!

I couldn't see the Jed Lowrie grand slam from where I was standing in the food line, but I could hear the Met fans booing Ollie Perez off the mound. Never heard such vitriol in an exhibition game before! Not to mention that it's dopey and counterproductive to boo your own players. Just saying.

But on a more positive note, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked Citi Field. There's been all sorts of talk about how the new stadium evokes old-time ballparks like Ebbets Field, while containing modern amenities of the newer stadium. But Citi Field also reminded me of Walt Disney World, although I have my doubts as to whether fans will one day be calling the Mets' new field The Happiest Place on Earth. Certainly not if Oliver Perez has another outing like he did yesterday!

Like Disney, the smiling workers at Citi Field are friendly and customer-service oriented (and that's even more impressive, given that I was wearing all that Yankee gear!) Like Disney, there are personalized bricks with fans' messages on them on the ground outside the stadium. Like Disney, many workers (like the security) have nametags featuring their hometown. Like Disney, there is now a character greeting place (for Mr. Met, of course, although I'm still holding out hope that Lady Met - aka Mrs. Met - will become a regular. Dare to dream!)

Jon and I talked to a lot of fans at the game. One of the few fans wearing Yankee gear came up to me and gave me a hug. Also, there were a ton of Red Sox Nation members at the game, including one fan who altered his old Damon 18 Sox jersey to read "Damon Sucks."

As Squawker Jon noted, the food at Citi Field is very good. So good, in fact, that if we were to eat there at a regular basis, Jon and I would be ready for the TLC Channel. Instead of Half-Ton Dad or Half-Ton Teen, we'd be the Half-Ton Squawkers!

Citi Field has a rotunda, but we'll be rotundas ourselves if we eat as much as we did yesterday! I'm still remembering those tasty Blue Smoke ribs, though. Mmmmm.

Speaking of that Citi rotunda, the Jackie Robinson stuff was well-done, but it brings me to my one quibble with the ballpark. The Mets have been in existence longer than Ebbets Field was open, and the team did win two World Series, but you wouldn't know it from the breathtaking lack of Mets history in the ballpark. Yes, the old apple and the Shea skyline are there, but unless I missed it, that's all I really saw of the Mets' history.

All in all, though, this Yankee fan has to give Citi Field a big thumbs-up, even though it was so blustery yesterday that the wind whipped my drink out of my hands, and onto my coat!

Jon and I will be at Yankee Stadium on April 20, and Jon is threatening to wear Mets gear. I'd rather he wore a Snuggie.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!

2 comments: said...

I'd love to post a Snuggie Sighting from the new Stadium on

Uncle Mike said...

If the Mets are in residence, it can't be the happiest place in New York City, let alone on Earth.

Maybe the reason they don't want to talk about the Mets' history is because most of it has been embarrassing. There have been four big moments: The 1969 World Series, the 1986 World Series, the Midnight Massacre of 1977, and the Midnight Dance on the Shea field in 2000. Ahhhh, now there is something in which ya gotta believe.

But it's GOT to be an improvement on Shea.

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