Citi Field: Shack Burgers & Funny Mets Fans
It’s not as famous as its city mate, and it doesn’t yet have the epic memories of its predecessor, but is it a better fan experience than both?
That’s the short answer. The longer, more descriptive answer is that Citi Field is currently in the top half of all Major League Baseball parks and arguably in the top ten when taking inventory of all that it offers.
If you are a Mets fan over the age of twenty, then all of your childhood memories of your team happened in Shea Stadium. And I know there were some legendary ones. But Citi Field is the better ballpark.
Aura/Mystique/Feel: Citi Field doesn’t yet have as rich a memory bank as Shea, but it has already hosted World Series games and an All-Star Game. Those count for something. Let’s revisit this one after a few years.
Food/Concessions: All you need to know is that there is a Shake Shack on the outfield concourse. There will probably be lines but it’s worth getting to the stadium early for (or missing an inning). If for some reason you don’t get Shake Shack, there are several other satisfying food options in the park. Good beer selection if that appeals to you.
Imagery: Citi Field has a clean, retro-modern look and the outfield skyline is a cluttered but good one.
Neutral Fan Test: Did I mention Shake Shack? But if you argue that you can eat Shake Shack without buying a ticket to a baseball game, I don’t have a rebuttal. So I’ll focus on other draws. It’s a pretty ballpark, a mostly friendly atmosphere, and a great weekend activity. A day at Citi Field can either make you a Mets fan or, if you’re already a fan, swear off the team for good.
Ancillary: The Staff is great every time I’ve been; the fans are knowledgeable, self-deprecatingly funny, and will typically engage in conversation even if you’re wearing a different cap; not much of a surrounding neighborhood and traffic is bad; more affordable than going to a Yankees game.
Citi Field may not have the hype of Yankee Stadium, but if you are an impartial fan, it is the better ballpark. So if you are in New York City and looking to catch a baseball game, consider going over to Queens.
I give it 4/5 Chicago Dogs (and it could improve with age).