WHY CITI WAS BUILT

24 Apr

Earlier this week, I went to Citi Field and saw the Mets and the Cubs square off. Although I went to Citi Field about 20 times last summer, and twice in 2010, this third visit was very different.

I sat in the VIP seating, located behind home plate, a part of the Delta Acela club. Unlike my experiences at Shea Stadium, I felt like a stranger in my own home, unaware that such a place even existed.

As I entered the park, I used the Seaver VIP entrance. No lines and a quick run up the staircase and I entered what can only be compared as a Willie Wonka  Chocolate Factory for Mets fans. From a food court to a fully stacked bar, leather seats and plasma televisons in every corner, this dining experience catered to a cliental that Shea simply couldn’t satisfy.

I checked out the restrooms and it was as clean of a restroom as I have ever seen. Resembling what you would find in a top star hotel or restaurant in midtown, this was a far cry from the concrete rooms of Mets games past.

I eventually found my way to my seats, 18 rows behind home plate. The suite behind me offered heat from an outdoor warmer while the view was amazing. To see Citi Field from this angle was simply a gift.

As I finally sat down, never before has my bottom felt so comfortable. The leather seats did everything but lounge back, and you can see fans gitty with excitement as they sat down for the first time.

Of course there is no need to leave this luxury as servers arrive within minutes to deliver your food or drink. While 40,000 plus fans need to wait on long lines for a Shake Shack burger beyond center field, in this section, it’s delivered within minutes.

I am watching my waist line so I checked out the food court, only to find a whole section offering pastries and cookies. The Mets managed to tempt even the best of the health conscious to find room for  a few minutes of gluttony. I compromised and went with the cracker jacks, once again disappointed by the prize:  a Ben Franklin sticker. Really?

Several times I left the seats to take in this unique experience. Each time I returned, I was moved by the electricity of the stadium and the game. The acoustics were impressive, considering the park was half filled.

As I looked around the stadium, I could see my seats from Opening Day, four levels higher and $120 cheaper (although these tickets were a lovely gift from a friend). I could also see the different in-game experiences that the Mets can offer business men and women, politicians and people who come to the game for the comfort as much as the team on the field.

When a Yankee fan walked by us, only my group greeted him with jeers. It felt like we were breaking a code of conduct, as those around us stayed pretty quiet for most of the game, only standing when the Mets needed one strike to end the game.

Citi Field was built for this experience, serving people who can spend tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the year. In the seats, deals are taking place, handshakes shared and drinks cheered. Baseball games are not just for kids anymore.

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2 Responses to “WHY CITI WAS BUILT”

  1. Rob A from FBD April 24, 2010 at 6:22 PM #

    I had a chance to sit in these seats last season and it is a truly amazing experience like you said. I was very impressed and the view of the entire ball park from those seats is epic.

    The only thing though, like you said, people are quite in these sections. I am NOT a fan of that. At times I felt awkward even cheering. I would never turn down a chance to sit there again, but it makes me feel better when I sit in the upperdeck.

  2. keithosaunders April 25, 2010 at 11:15 AM #

    Excellent post. This is why I was not excited when I heard that the Mets were getting a new stadium, and why, after having been there twice last year, I feel no desire to visit it again.

    More and more I find myself content to listen to games on the radio. I’ll always have my memories of growing up in the bleachers of Dodger Stadium, ($3) and later on, in the 8os, feeling at home in Shea Stadium. Certainly it was not the prettiest place in the world, but it had more soul than any of the modern desginer ballparks.

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