I might be in the minority here but I wasn't...I wasn't...
I wasn't 100% in love with our new stadium.
But I think it might have been a combination of things. One is: CitiField is DEFINITELY a work in progress. This is what I've been telling myself and even Zoe, who had been a tour earlier, said they made even MORE progress from when she was there less than a month ago or so.
The second thing is: the visual masturbation to Ebbets Field. I'm sorry. I really am but no one can convince me that Fred Wilpon didn't have the Ebbets design in his head as a means to recapture his youth. Well I guess that's what rich dudes can do - they want to build a lifesize replica of a place he had fond childhood memories, more power to him. I ran into Dana Brand over at Shake Shack yesterday and he was a little sad about Shea being gone - and we were both kind of bowled over by the lack of Mets history. Plenty of Dodger history. I heard somewhere that the seats are a "nod" to the Polo Grounds (they had plain green seats). But Mets stuff? We've been around 50 years, folks. Dodgers and Giants haven't played in NY since the 50s. Deal with it.
Other things like the pennants, retired numbers are supposed to come in due time (ideally before opening day)...and we do have the old Home Run Apple which is pretty neat to see. Plus the old skyline from the old scoreboard above the Shake Shack/Blue Smoke stand.
I guess what I said last year is this is a new place for us to make new memories. Kind of tough right now, especially since the season hasn't started yet. And hey, even Shea took a while to make its own magic. So again, a work in progress both visually AND historically.
The third thing is: this was a college baseball game. Metal bats and all. I think I might have a DIFFERENT opinion / vibe once my team is there. Boom.
The fourth: there are still some Shea inefficiencies lingering over, like slow concessionaires, and not enough direction. But then, most of the staff was MORE than happy to help you when you needed it. Again, this could be different once the season actually starts.
Fifth and final(I think): doing the walk around the stadium is nice, it's like strolling a piazza (no pun intended). But not so pretty when the Beirut Iron Triangle is staring at you. Someone please claim Eminent Domain and put some nice bars around the stadium. Make it more fan friendly.
That's not to say that the place isn't nice. It is. When I visit the newer stadiums, there is a feeling of openness that Shea and even Yankee Stadium did not have, when you had to leave your seats. Here you never feel like you are missing a part of the game. I think Zoe and I sat in our seats for a half an inning total. But I feel like I knew what was going on the whole time. You don't have that claustrophobic feel like the old stadium.
There are a few things to recommend though. Metsgrrl suggests to go in through side gates (left field, right field) in her piece today - ANYPLACE but the rotunda. I completely agree, as I decided to not go through that clusterfuck of an entrance and go in through the "VIP" access (which, for those who participate on Coopslist, is not part of my season plan unfortunately, but you can still get in from the side gates).
I was a little disappointed that I couldn't do the initial walk through the front but I guess that will come in due time. The crowd in front of the stadium reminded me of the crowd that would linger outside Gate E at old Shea. You know those people - they get off the train and think they're going to fall off the face of the earth if they go to the other side of the stadium. Since the train drops you off RIGHT in front of the main entrance, for the first few weeks at least, everyone is going to go in there. So unless you are only going to one game this year, definitely take the walk getting in.
The concessions are also a plus but then again, anything after Shea's crapola is better!! But I saw signs for clam chowder (yum!), tacos, nachos (although it will probably have that gross EZ-cheez as it normally does), multitude of burgers, pizzas, and Zoe even pointed out the fact that she can get relish from the hot dog stands instead of smuggling her own in! Oh and of course Shake Shack and Blue Smoke and beer ($6.25 for a "large" draft - suh-weet)!!!! See her column here with pricing and menu options. Yum-o!
What else can I tell ya? Visit Brooklyn Met Fan for another perspective and Metsblog had some good coverage on it today too. I'll come around. I know I will. Especially since I've been screaming for a new stadium since 1994. Well, maybe since 1986 and I had to use their Chernobyl-es que bathrooms.
In the meantime, enjoy the view from the Coopseats. There is a pretty sweet food court up in that area and all in all it's already won me over. Mr. E and I are in the Promenade for the next season at the very least. Enjoy!