Friday, May 29, 2009

Calling all Mets fans - we need your help, again!

Inspired by some posts on where the idea is brought up that we all write letters to the Mets to voice our displeasure with Citi Field, I have my second letter to the New York Mets. I really does hurt that I actually feel I need to write them because they did wrong. But I need to do it. (Since my first published draft, the Mets have added the championship banners to the stadium but tucked them way in the back, almost on 126th street itself.)

My second letter, and the first using all original wording, is about the lack of "Mets" inside Citi Field. I'll post it here, but I don't want to put it in the mail yet. I need a chance to proof-read it to make sure it makes sense (something I do with lot of thing I write), but I also want to see if there's any input from fellow fans on either content or verbal structure or just something that I forgot.
    Dear New York Mets – To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to voice my displeasure with Citi Field, and specifically, the lack of a "Mets" feel as one walks around the ballpark and looks out to the field. It's everything that was advertised, but advertising can be misleading. Needless to say, I was very disappointed and disgusted walking around the ballpark the few times I've been there and feeling that more was done to reflect the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers than the New York Mets, the team that calls that building home.

    Where is the display of Mets team colors around the stadium? Why are the championship "banners" tucked in away in the back? Why do I walk around wondering who's home this really is? I know it takes some time to feel "at home" in a new location, but I've moved in/out of enough college dorms and apartments to know that it feels more at home when your stuff is there. I didn't see any of that "Mets stuff" in the new ballpark. There was nothing walking around the concourses to remind me the history of the New York Mets.

    Where was the legacy of important Mets figures? Where is the legacy of Shea Stadium? Shea had those nice murals of Mets history on the facade inside the seating bowl. All those vinyl banner-type hangings with photos of different moments in Mets history, even the ones with just the Mets logos or the neon figures that identified Shea. Where are all of them? I didn't see anything hanging from the rafters inside Citi Field and I didn't see any of the different Mets logos along any of the infield or outfield walls or on the scoreboards and facades. Why aren't those wall painted in "Mets blue"? I certainly found it disturbing that so many elements of the Mets and their history were put up for sale/auction at the end of last season when the ballpark closed. A lot of those pieces SHOULD have been brought over to Citi Field and used as decorations (the analogy that I like to use is that when you move, you don't sell or toss the kids' pictures, you bring them with you and hang them up).

    I know there's a little bit, like new player picture-banners hanging outside the stadium, the old home run apple, the Shea scoreboard skyline, and the championship banners, but it's a big ballpark and they get lost and feel like token gestures to the fans. Why is there no "Shea club" to go along with the "Ebbets club" and "Sterling club"? Who were Ebbets and Sterling in relation to Mets history? Why is there no "Gil Hodges (bullpen) bridge"? Why isn't the area behind home plate on the Promenade concourse called "Casey Stengel Plaza"? Why change the names from "Loge", "Mezzanine", and "Upper Deck" to "Excelsior" and "Promenade" (realizing that one name would need to be dropped)?

    I ask a lot of questions because there are so many pieces that simply disgust me about the ballpark. I hope from my complaints, you find both an awareness of the mistakes that were made and some solutions.