Photo Essay: The Ballpark Experience
Baseball, Hot Dogs, the Amazin' Mets, and Citi Field
Baseball has unquestionably been the national summer pastime in the United States for close to two centuries, and the first professional game for which admission was charged took place in July 1858 at the Fashion Race Course in Corona, New York, less than a mile from the site of Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets since 2009.
Citi Field is an intimate ballpark built next to the site of Shea Stadium. Fans head to the exterior (modeled after the Ebbets Field façade) from a nearby train stop and enter through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
The entrance and rotunda may pay homage to the Dodgers but the green seats are a tribute to the Polo Grounds, the Mets’ first home where the franchise played for two seasons in 1962 and 1963. Major parts of the stadium are named after players and managers of the Amazin’ Mets, including Gil Hodges, who managed the team to its first World Series Championship; Tom Seaver, the Hall of Fame pitcher more closely identified with the team than perhaps any other player; Casey Stengel, the club’s first manager; and William A. Shea, whose efforts resulted in the team’s creation.
Once you get past the airy concourse – filled with opportunities to purchase unique (at least for a baseball stadium) food and beverage items ranging from beer brewed in New York State to lobster rolls to delicacies from Blue Smoke BBQ, Box Frites, and Shake Shack as well as Nathan’s Famous hot dogs – it becomes clear to the visitor that there isn’t a bad seat in the house, as all Citi Field seats have excellent sightlines.
The combination of these amenities (which include air-conditioned lounges) and a lot of charm mean there’s something in this ballpark for everyone.
Here are 13 images from several Mets games at Citi Field.