Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Yankee fan looks at Citi Field - and likes it

It's true! It's true! I jinxed the Mets! As Squawker Jon noted, his team's seven-game winning streak - with ace Johan Santana on the mound, yet - was no match for a sassy Squawker in a Yankee A-Rod t-shirt. Oopsie!

You would think I would be pleased at this turn of events, and I was. But I'm also ticked off at something - how much Citi Field has gotten right that the new Yankee Stadium has gotten wrong. I was on the Baseball Honeymoon podcast last week talking about this subject, and I have more to add after my second visit to Kiti, err, Citi, Field (sadly, no cats interrupted the game by running onto the field):

* The food: It's really no contest. Citi's fare is so much better - and cheaper! Not only are there so many different types of food at CitiField, from Shake Shack to Subway to seafood, but unlike Yankee Stadium, they actually have a ton of variety of food in the upper deck. As Squawker Jon noted, we didn't love everything - the shrimp po'boy would have better with more shrimp and less mustardy slaw. But give the Mets credit for trying - and the fried flounder sandwich was fantastic, as were those delicious tacos and specialty corn on the cob.

I understand the food is good at Yankee Stadium in the luxury suites and clubs; too bad that, with the exception of the $15 steak sandwich and the $9.75 sushi rolls, we plebes don't get many tasty options. And even the basics aren't done well; - it ticked me off at the last game I went to that the Yanks couldn't even cook the hot dogs and Italian sausages decently. Sheesh.

* The adult beverages: In the beer department, the Mets have at least one specialty variety - Brooklyn Beer, Blue Point, etc. at pretty much every concession stand selling food. They also have a Beers of the World stand, with the biggest selection I've ever seen at a ballpark. And the prices are reasonable for a ballpark beer - $6.50 to $7.50, depending on the size of the beer. Compare and contrast with Yankee Stadium, where Bud et al will cost you $10, and something that tastes semi-decent costs $11.

* The seating: The $20 seat at Citi Field (which actually cost $14 on StubHub), had a much, much better view than the $50 terrace (cost me $25.50) and $60 main outfield (cost me $12) seats I had at the new Yankee Stadium. And even though the Mets tix were at the highest level, I didn't feel like I was going to pass out after climbing the stairs, the way I did with all of Yankee Stadium's endless ramps.

Granted, Citi Field isn't perfect - the lack of Mets memorabilia is glaring - but they have a real ballpark in Queens. On the other hand, the Yanks have a real mess on their hands. How nobody seems to have lost their job over it is beyond me. The sad thing is that the new Yankee Stadium could be fixed, but nobody seems to have the will to do so.

Squawker reader Bob from Kiev reminded me the other day about Yankee COO Lonn Trost's infamous quote about how the Yanks "tried to reflect a five-star hotel and put a ballfield in the middle." That they have. Too bad, with all the Yankee front office's champagne tastes, they forgot that most fans are on a beer budget!

What do you think of the two new stadiums? Leave us a comment!


NAM said...

Lisa, I am always disappointed when I go to ANY stadium and the pathetic manner in which the food is prepared. It is never hot enough! For the price, it should be perfect. I was at a Bowling Alley last weekend for a 5 year old's birthday party. The hotdogs were 2 for $2. Now, that's a bargain. I think Peggy has it right by bringing in her own!

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Nice work, Lisa. I haven't been to either yet, but from everything I have read, I have gotta agree with you.

Said me, a few weeks back over at my place:
Randy Levine, this is on you. This is your legacy, a ballpark for the rich, while utterly dismissing your loyal fan base. Your pomposity, your utter disdain for anyone and anything that doesn't agree with you, your bullheadedness in not doing something about this when it became obvious to everyone that there was going to be a problem."source: http://itsaboutthemoney.blogspot.com/2009/04/embarrassment-of-rich.html

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Sorry to clutter but I just posted this, via Pete Abe:

"On the issue of allowing regular fans and kids to watch batting practice from the field level, here is what Trost had to say: “If you purchased a suite, do you want people in your suite. If you purchased a house, do you want people in your house?”Wow. That’s pretty much all the evidence you need about the caste system at the new Stadium. There is a Stadium for the wealthy and there is a Stadium for everybody else.

You know what is really sad about the whole thing? None of those people even watch BP. The entire area is largely empty before the game."

Screw Trost AND Levine.

Anonymous said...

Lisa ..why didn't you use one of the many elevators at Yankee Stadium? After the game I'm out of the Stadium in less than 2 minutes and I sit in the Grandstand.

I took my cousin the Met fan with me and he liked the Stadium. I reserve judgement till I see Citi when I go with him to the Yankees/Mets (only time I go to Shea..errrr ..Citi). My daughter went to Citi and didn't care for it at all...I guess to each his own. She thought it was blah and couldn't believe the Dodger worship. She also said the burger at the shake shake was good but tiny ...no wonder it was less money. Her shake too...

As far as food...for the most part I bring my own in from the Deli on 161st as I go to about 40 games a season. Less then ten bucks gets me a hero, snack & drink but the first few games I tried the Stadium food. We had the Lobel steak sandwiches which were delicious. I've had some of the other stuff ..Nathan's, Boar's head Deli, Johnny Rocket's, Carl's Cheesestake sandwiches. I'm not into sushi so didn't try that but I found the food good but pricey. I love Nathan's fries ..my favorite. Any food I had was cooked correctly so I guess I hit the right vendors unlike Lisa. I LOVE the nachos..not those hard chips but a nice crispy chip. I can't believe you didn't think there were enough food choices Lisa? There's so many and the upper deck has Johnny Rocket's & the Mexican place. There's Carl's Cheesestakes, a kosher stand with Knishes, pizza, nathan's. It's not that big a deal to go to the food court on the lower level..just hop on the elevator and takes you right to your seat to enjoy the food hot. You don't have to walk up ramps ..that's your choosing. I LOVE the elevators ..in and out so fast ..maybe my most favorite thing in the place .. :o).

Also ...people keep complaining about the ticket prices but my two partial plans were $20.00 seats and a beautiful view of the field in the Grandstand seats. My seats are actually $5.00 cheaper than last year. I understand the uproar over the lower seat pricing for the Rich & Famous seats but the majority of seats in the Stadium are $100 and less. I think it's the lifestyle of this generation to complain about everything and anything. I choose not too...makes for a much happier life.

I loved the old Stadium and wish we still played in it but I also love all the comforts of the new Stadium. No complaints from me except for Monument Cave and the Gestapo treatment if you dare try to sit in a seat on a lower level.
I LOVE the Museum too.

I'll be at the game on Friday to see the return of Alex. Hoping AJ can do us proud tonight against his old teammate and team. GOOOOOOO
AJ..GOOOOOO Yankees !!!


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

WOW ..that's the longest comment I ever posted ...sorry about that ..HAHAHAHA


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

I do agree about the caste system and batting practice ...I wrote a long letter to a connection I have in the Yankee organization. She will pass it on to the proper party not that it will do any good..unfortunately.

I don't care how close I am to batting practice but I know if my daughter was younger I would. It's terrible how they are keeping the real fans from the field especially when hardly any of the Rich & Famous attend the batting practice sessions anyway.

I love the team and the Stadium but management has a lot to be desired. Say what you want about George Steinbrenner but he always had the fans at heart and did his best to make them happy. He only wanted to win for which I was grateful and why I was happy he was our owner.
We never realized how much we would miss you George...

Hopefully some things will get fixed ...which things ...who knows?
I will say this tho'...all my experiences at the new place have been for the most part positive. I even took the tour on Saturday and ate at the Hard Rock. That clubhouse is HUGE ....it was a fun day.

I guess I'm a go with the flow type of gal but I'm happy I am because I enjoy a lot more of life than many others..


Go Yankees 2009!!

Anonymous said...

You know...after writing those two long comments people would think I was Uncle Mike ...except I signed my name ...lol. I've noticed Uncle Mike sure does love to type ...

Ok ..this is the last from me today ..I'll wear out my welcome ..


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Paul from Boston said...

Uh oh Peggy, you're starting to rival Uncle Mike's posts ;)

Thinking I might try and get in on the secondary market thing while its still kinda cheap and do a weekend in NY to check out both places. One thing I will say about YS just from seeing it on TV - the bland concrete looks cold and institutional. Sure, its all about the game, but still for $1.5B I would hope the place didn't feel like an unfinished basement. But as I said - that's from a TV viewer standpoint.


Paul from Boston said...

Ha! Peggy - looks like we were thinking and typing the same thing at the same time.

Have a great day!

Subway Squawkers said...

There is a good reason I didn't go on the Yankee Stadium elevators - they wouldn't let me on! One time it was when I was carrying food, and they said I couldn't bring the food on the elevator, second was because I didn't have the right seat location. No joke.

Subway Squawkers said...

Jason, Levine and Trost are quite the gruesome twosome. The fact that both of them still draw paychecks from the Yankees after making the cathedral of baseball into a national laughingstock astounds me. I wish we had the old George Steinbrenner around - you know, the one who'd actually fire people who didn't perform.

Uncle Mike said...

Oh, well, there you go, Lisa: It wasn't YOU who jinxed the Mets, it was your A-ROID JERSEY! That'll jinx anything!

I haven't yet been to Piti Field, but some observations can be made.

The Food: Shea always had better food than Yankee Stadium. Pardon the choice of words, but... Fat lot of good it did Met fans! Still, for $15, I don't want a steak sandwich, I want a STEAK. And you can get a very good one for that much at Outback. In New Jersey, anyway. I know, I know, it's New York, but at least a dozen times I've gone to Pat's Steaks in South Philly and gotten heaven on a bun (and, on one embarrassing occasion, a giant ketchup stain on my shirt) for half that before heading back to the Broad Street Line to catch the Phils at the Vet or the Bank.

The Seating: I didn't like the ramps at the new Stadium, but the seat I got in the upper deck was fine. That same seat in the old Stadium would've had me filming a Hitchcock movie. Whether "The 39 Steps," "The Birds," or "Vertigo," I'm not sure. (As opposed to the Yankees so far this season: "Notorious.") But I was allowed on the elevator, though I should point out that I wasn't carrying anything, messy or otherwise.

The Adult Beverages: Glad to see you admit Budweiser doesn't even reach the threshhold of "semi-decent." I'm still offended by those $10 cans of "retro beer" -- and not even Rheingold!

And, of course, the Yankee brass has redefined the words "beer budget"!

Peggy: Yes, the Stadium has Johnny Rocket's. But, A, Johnny Rocket's is as inconsistent as A-Rod, offering home-run food in some malls and pop-up food in others (and I don't mean toast or Pop Tarts); and B, the one at the Stadium costs twice as much as the one at the mall. At least it's cleaner than the one on the Atlantic City Boardwalk! (If you've never been there, trust me, you're better off not knowing.)

And... You call that a long comment? Amateur! (LOL)

Paul: Considering how Fenway fans act, I wouldn't use the word "institutional" if I were you. ("Athens of America," my foot.)

Paul from "Athens of America" said...

Well Mike, although you perceive us Red Sox fans as animals, I at least agree with you (and Lisa) that Bud doesn't even rate as semi-decent. Proud beer snob here!

Yiamas to you Uncle Mike!

Anonymous said...


I don't know what Stadium you were in ..haha. I've been on the elevator plenty of times with food as well as other fans along with me.

I have no idea what you mean by seat location. It stops at each level...you get on ask for 200 or 300 level..nothing to do with location. I love the elevators...

I've been to 7 games already and never once had any problems...maybe they just don't like your blog...(wink) !!!

Let's get a win tonight ...it will be tough tho' against the Doc !!!


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea about the beers...I don't drink. I'm a disgrace to my Irish heritage because I've never been drunk in my life..BUT...I have a natural high so who needs it...


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

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