Sunday, April 26, 2009

My take on seeing a game at Citi Field

I'm going to break this up into a couple posts. First, I'd like to get some of the bad out of the way, starting with a few things that were (mostly) uncontrollable circumstances.
  • It was hot. On the ride home, my car showed an outdoor temperature of 92 degrees. The angles of the April sun and where my seats were in the Upper Box in RF made for a nice combo for sunburn, but from behind and mainly on my left side. There was a little sunscreen left in my bag from my Spring Training trip (where I managed to NOT get burned), but it was too late when I went looking for it. I bring this up mostly because the stadium is angeled differently than Shea, so learning the sun patterns (as outfields know already) will take some time.
  • This was a day game after a night game, so it was no surprise that the Mets did NOT take batting practice, so I can't really tell you how hard it is to get autographs when everyone is moving in and out (though without access to the dugout, I could only imagine). More on BP in a little bit later. The extra time, however, did allow me to get into different Field Level seats (down the lines and in the OF) to take pictures.

And now to the just plain bad... I am not going to mention some of the other points like ticket pricing-box office scams, lack of respect for Mets fans or their history, or the fact that the exit onto the BQE from the Grand Central going home clogs up the entire roadway from before the airport. Other blogs have done a fine job with these things, as well as the obstructions, and I contribute my opinions when I can.

The view from my seat. These are season ticket "box" seats. No offense to mini-plan holders or individual ticket holders, but these should be better than the others. The view would have been great if not for the LED ribbons that sit along the very small facade of the Upper Deck. For the couple games that I have from this season ticket holder, I'm right on the place where the seating angle changes in RF, and the LED ribbons follow.

    A note on the photos - the camera angle and height seemed to be a bit higher than my actual eye level. You can see more of the field closest to me from the photos than I could actually see sitting in my seat.
As you can see, there was no view of the RF corner from the bullpen entrance/exit, to the corner, and down the line almost back to the infield dirt, and everything from the coaches box back to the dugout and seats was also obstructed. When you look on the Mets tickets page at the view from the seats, those photos are very misleading. I wonder if the view looks better in row 4 instead of row 2. When people came to sit in row 1 in front of me, the view got worse because THEY blocked the views of home plate, the pitcher's mound, and 1B. I had row 2 seats in the Mezz box from this same ticket holder at Shea, and there was never a problem seeing with or without people in front. If I were on the aisle, there was a plexiglass window at the bottom of the steps that may or may not further obstruct the view.

I'm trying to find a good photo to help illustrate this last point. I noticed a gap in the stands between the front row of seats and the field itself along the RF line (the Mets side) that I didn't notice on the LF (visitors) side. Walking around during BP, I saw a few Nationals players coming over to sign out in LF. It looked like they could reach or even step right into the stands. On the Mets side, there was that gap creating distance between players and fans. I hate to say it, but I think that was done on purpose. But it did not stop Bobby Parnell from coming over, and after a few minutes of reaching, coming into that gap (which leads into some tunnel under the RF seats) and signing autographs for a lot of people for a pretty long time. This was later in BP when only the Mets pitchers were out in the RF corner working, and even when that was done. In a related note, I saw Brian Stokes signing closer to the dugout (but in the "fans" area) but didn't get close enough to see if there was any structure in his way. I would like to see what this is all like when the Mets are actually taking BP as a team.

part 1 | part 2 | summing it up