Somehow I forgot to blog about the Mets game I saw this past Sunday at their brand new stadium, Citi Field. I never really understood all the hate for Shea Stadium, the previous ballpark -- sure, it was gray and dirty, but so's the rest of the city. And the sightlines at Shea were good, the seating area relatively comfortable, the concourses wide, lots of bathrooms... I enjoyed watching a game there, I didn't really think it was so terrible, even compared with the newer places like Citizens Bank in Philadelphia and Camden Yards in Baltimore. Citi Field is definitely cleaner, at least right now, in week one of its existence. And the entrance is pretty cool -- the Jackie Robinson rotunda, with a bunch of displays about Robinson and pictures on the walls. It feels almost like a museum entrance, instead of a stadium. Even though it seats about twelve thousand fewer people, the place actually felt a lot bigger than Shea. I think the concourses were wider, and also because the ramps have been replaced with staircases it feels like more of a hike to get between levels. And because the seats go all the way around the outfield, there's farther to walk to get to the good food areas than there used to be. Overall an improvement over Shea for sure, but I don't know if it's worth the hike in ticket prices.
There's a Shake Shack in the stadium, but the line was longer than the Shake Shack in Manhattan, so it didn't seem even remotely worth the wait. Also a big line for the "Box Frites" french fries stand and the Blue Smoke barbeque stand. The tacos looked good, but I ended up with a fried flounder sandwich and cup of clam and corn chowder from the "Catch of the Day" stand run by David Pasternack of the restaurant Esca. The sandwich was good -- fish seemed fresh, and the breading was crisp, not too greasy at all. It was $8.50, I think. Slightly high for what it was, but not unreasonable at all, and in a ballpark context, a much better value than the $5.75 Nathan's hot dog. The soup was $4.75 and actually really delicious. I think for the portion size, it was a dollar too expensive, but still not crazy like a lot of ballpark food can be, and, really, I'd order that in a restaurant and be pretty happy with it.
The upper deck seats we had were surprisingly good -- much closer to the field than the ones at Shea, good vantage point onto the field, could see everything pretty clearly. I was in section 508, 4th row. Would happily sit around there again, and wouldn't feel like I was sacrificing for price at all.
Game would have been better if the Mets won, but overall no complaints about the stadium, and had a really nice time. Hopefully later in the year I'll get a chance to compare it to the new Yankee Stadium, although I imagine I'll be lucky if I can find $30 seats as good as what I had for the Mets game.