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Though "Big Shea" served as the home of the New York Mets from 1964-2008, Citi Field is a state-of-the-art venue to take in a ballgame. Many die-hard Mets fans admit that they miss Shea Stadium, but the Mets finally got the new ballpark they deserved.
Citi Field opened in 2009, with fan-favorite David Wright recording the first hit and first home run in the ballpark.
The stadium has a very open feel, and there's really not a bad seat in the house. In fact, the highest seat at the new 45,000 capacity ballpark is lower than the front row of the upper deck at Shea.
Citi Field has many quirks, both baseball and fan-related, that add to the overall experience. Not too many experiences rival a plane from the adjacent LaGuardia airport soaring overhead as the Mets are in a rally (the latter of which is usually a rare occasion, and I'm a Mets fan).
Once the Mets can bring consistently winning baseball back to Queens, Citi Field will start to have the feel of old Shea Stadium.
But regardless of the team, this ballpark is a must visit for any baseball fan.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The food and drinks at Citi Field would be an automatic "5" if it wasn't for the expensive price. But I guess that's the case in many ballparks these days.
The area beyond the scoreboard at the stadium has a delicious variety of great foods.
The Shake Shack's burgers and Blue Smoke's pulled pork sandwiches are necessary to experience all this ballpark has to offer.
El Verano Taqueria (Mexican) is also a must, but it might take three visits to the ballpark to hit all these spots, simply based on price.
Just like Shea, Citi Field is known for its fully-loaded Premio Italian sausage heroes.
A wide variety of concessions adds to the Citi Field experience.
The ballpark has the feel of the famed Ebbets Field - home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yet, Citi Field has several distinct features.
A brand new "Home Run Apple" pops up every time a Met hits a home run. The old apple is located outside the stadium and is a popular photo spot.
Watching the game from the Pepsi Porch is a unique experience since fans overhang the field.
Shea Bridge is a nice feature as well and allows fans to watch the game in a more laid back atmosphere.
The area beyond the scoreboard has all the amenities for families. In addition to the great food, there is a wiffle ball stadium shaped like a miniature Citi Field and dunking booth.
This area is great for kids who may need a break from the game action.
Other than LaGuardia, there isn't much in the surrounding area except scrap metal depots and car repair shops.
Citi Field is located right next to the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium in the heart of Flushing-Corona Park.
Even though the immediate area doesn't provide much, the stadium is basically in the backyard of New York City.
The stadium does a fine job in highlighting New York's prominent features, like showing the Statue of Liberty on the scoreboard during opening introductions.
While the Mets fans that attend games are very passionate, the attendance numbers have dwindled the past few seasons since the team has been inconsistent at best.
Attendance is down over most of Major League Baseball, but Citi Field has taken a severe hit due to the state of the Mets financial problems.
Mets fans have been through a great deal of suffering in the team's almost 50-year history, but they stand by their team rather than convert to the Dark Side (the Yankees).
Just like all roads lead to Rome, basically all roads lead to Citi Field.
The stadium is surrounded by highways, and all the local public transportation systems stop at the ballpark. Just like many new ballparks, it offers a non-stop view of the field.
Taking the "7" train to the game from New York City is a popular pastime and gives fans the complete feel of the city before entering the ballpark.
Citi Field is very well labeled and the staff is more than willing to help, especially first time visitors.
Despite the less than average attendance, ticket prices remain high as the team attempts to escape the stigma of being marred in the Bernie Madoff scandal.
But it's still more affordable than the stadium in the Bronx.
With all the fan amenities and great food, visiting fans can soak in the entire experience for the price of admission rather than just the game.
True baseball fans that never witnessed the legendary Ebbets Field should make a point to see Citi Field.
The Mets set up a tribute to Brooklyn Dodgers great and baseball ambassador Jackie Robinson. The aptly named Jackie Robinson Rotunda gives fans a historic look back at Jackie's legacy.
While this is a great tribute to a deserving candidate, it's quite odd that the Mets chose him to honor. Robinson was not a Met nor did the Dodgers play in Queens.
Originally, there was more Brooklyn Dodgers memorabilia in the stadium than Mets posters and pictures, but that has since changed.
The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is definitely a nice touch to the stadium, however.
The Citi Field Fan Walk is also a nice feature. Fans can purchase engraved bricks to be part of the stadium forever.
Overall, Citi Field provides a revolutionary experience at a ballpark in New York.
The New York Mets moved to Citi Field this past March and it is a dramatic upgrade over Shea Stadium, which had been their home since 1964.
During Citi Field's construction, you could sit and watch the progress from your seats at Shea Stadium as Citi Field was built behind Shea Stadium.
It is quite ironic that David Wright was the first Met to hit a home run at Citi Field, as he also hit a ball out of Shea Stadium that landed in Citi Field while it was under construction.
Shea Stadium was demolished for parking for Citi Field last winter, but the most famous feature of Shea Stadium, the Home Run Apple, was brought to Citi Field for display, and a brand new home run apple is located over the center field wall.
When the Mets management was working on the design of Citi Field, they wanted it to resemble Ebbets Field where the Brooklyn Dodgers played before their move to Los Angeles. Fans enter into the stadium up the escalator through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda where there are gift shops and video tributes in auditoriums, along with pictures and quotes from Robinson.
A unique feature of Citi Field is the Fan Walk, which is located just outside the Rotunda where fans who have purchased and still can purchase bricks in memory of loved ones who were fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers and also fans of the Mets.
Many of the bricks contain fans names that the bricks were purchased in memory of loved ones, and also if fans were present at a significant game or event, that is stated as well, whether it be a clinching game or one of the many post season games.
My husband and myself were at Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, where we saw Endy Chavez make a spectacular leaping grab and he threw the ball into 1st base to get the double play, and several mentions of "the catch of NLCS Game 7" appear on Fan Walk.
This place is great! Check out the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, stroll the concourses and drink! Citi Field is amazing, much like PNC in Pittsburgh. The Mets made it more Mets like prior to the 2010 season after many complaints from the Citi Field Faithful. More Mets colors and banners featuring former players now decorate the stadium.
First impressions upon seeing Citi Field is that stunning exterior. It's best seen when fans exit the train or subway station and climb down the stairs to the ballpark. The V shaped exterior and Jackie Robinson Rotunda are certainly amazing and it blew me away...however, I can totally see how Mets fans would be justifiably irritated by the exact resemblance to Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. A ballpark that played host to a team with no ties to the Mets. I do applaud management though for listening to fans and critics as they made steps to improve the stadium with the addition of the Mets Hall of Fame and more player/team tributes inside and out.
The inside design is nice and I like how they built up the outfield so you don't have to see the eyesore junkyards just beyond the stadium. Though some more views of Flushing Bay would have been nice. Fans are much closer to the field than at Shea...but be prepared that there are several seats where overhangs obstruct your view. The Centerfield area is probably the most enjoyable section in terms of making the ballpark more "Mets-ish" with the Shea Bridge and the Shake Shack. The Shake Shack has the best burger that I've tasted so far at a ballpark. Also, beer fans: there are 28 different brews available at a few of the stands!
Best food at a ballpark, only thing that is a negative is the street on the first base side behind ballpark.
Great parking, awsome atmosphere, A++
What amazes me is that they chose to build the new field at the same location as Shea. That neighborhood is absolutely surreal, as you walk through the blocks of auto mechanics and other auto shops in the neighborhood...
My take on Citi Field is that I miss Shea Stadium. If I was made of money my opinion may be different. It's a pretty ballpark on the outside but rather ugly on the inside. Don't be mislead. There are many bad seats or "blind spot" if you will. This is especially true for the ones located on the aisles where steps, a metal bar or a glass partition obstructs your view. The food selection there is excellent. Blue Smoke has a tremendous pulled pork sandwich. They added a stand on top of the rotunda on the promenade level right behind home plate where I sit. My location in section 516 row 3 is a bargain considering the prices in the ballpark as a whole. The view is great too unlike the majority of the seats regardless of what level you're on. As a everyday fan, my view may be a little warped but I'm going to see the game not the Shake Shack out in centerfield where I see people standing on line forever it seems. The ballpark has elevators but they're very small and they don't run often enough. For a so called first class facility, they did a poor job with them. Come to Citi Field and see for yourself. Everybody has a different need or want when it comes to the ballpark experience. Please be sure to pay Royalty a visit so we can enhance your experience in our own unique way. Thank you for reading my point of view. Yours truly, Gary Herman
Great job on the Stadium. Modernized but still has the hometown feel that the Mets bring. Food was good, left field seats had a great view.
Decided to spend Memorial Weekend in New York City and catch a game at Citi Field on Memorial Day. While we rode the subway in Manhattan, I wanted to visit Jackie Robinson's grave so we drove to the stadium. Had no trouble getting there and parking was plentiful and not too expensive. There is also a subway station at the park so, if you are comfortable getting around by subway, you can beat this park for accessibility. The food was very good. I had ribs from Blue Smoke and tried Garlic Frites too. It is very pricey ($6 for a regular dog) but this isn't too surprising since we're talking about New York. The stadium itself was OK but not great. One of the nicest features of newer stadiums is the ability to see the field while walking the main concourse or waiting in line at the food stands. For the most part, Citi Field offers these views. The exception is from behind home plate. While walking around the lower level, there is no view here. The fans were great! I wore a Phillies shirt and got some friendly ribbing from the folks around me. The crowd seemed very knowledgeable and passionate. They love their Mets! I didn't see too much of the neighborhood. We did search the internet for interesting local activities and came up empty. Instead, we visited Jackie Robinson's grave which is only a few miles away. Still, this isn't like visiting Detroit where you have to fear for your life. Overall, this is a very good place to watch a game. I'd rank the stadium behind Detroit, Baltimore, Philly and Boston but ahead of Cleveland and Yankee Stadium. As far as the overall experience, I'd says it is most similar to Philadelphia (a little remote and expensive, good food, easy access and passionate fans). Next time, I'll take the subway and, yes, there will be a next time.
I had a great time here. I loved the look and atmosphere of the ballpark, the food was good and the fans were better than I expected. The fans would actually lecture you if you got up during play which is good to see that they are that passionate. The ballpark was easy to get to from the train as well. All in all a very nice ballpark.
I was there for a game against the Tigers in the Summer of 2010. I'm not a baseball fan and went to my first game ever just for the experience while visiting New York. Although it didn't get me hooked on the game itself I really liked the stadium and the atmosphere. It was an everyday game of a season with a million games so the fact that the fans weren't exactly crazy there is easy to understand, but they were still great and I had a lot of fun.
The location is not great. It's not that hard to get there with the subway but it was extremely crowded, particularly on the way from the arena. The neighborhood around the stadium was dull to say the least.
I've enjoyed visiting Citi Field and think the stadium has much more character than the New Yankee Stadium. I especially like the Jackie Robinson Rotonda and the Pepsi Porch. The neighborhood sucks though. Not that it's unsafe, it's just non-exsistent.
CitiField is an amazing place to watch a ball game. There really isn't a bad place in the stadium to sit. There are some obstructed views into the right and left field corners depending on where you sit but they are overshadowed by the overall experience. The very best part of the place is the food! You can easily go to 10 games and not eat the same food twice! Also the pre and post game parties at McFaddens are exceptional!
Grand Central Parkway
Queens, NY 11368