The Mets, as part of their 2nd year summer post-game concert series, recently had rapper 50 Cent perform after a Saturday late afternoon game. I was in attendance for the game and the show, with a friend who wanted to see the show (she's a hardcore Mets fan, so she was an ideal customer for the day). Let me preface this all by saying that I have absolutely zero interest in rap. Never had, and never will. I've also led a life, by choice, that hasn't involved any drugs or large quantities of alcohol. I never had an interest in it or a taste for it. I never associated with those crowds when I was in school. Let's say that I was there to observe what was going on since I had no interest in the concert and was really only there for my friend. I should also note that neither my friend nor I took part in any of the activities that I mention below (aside from her enjoying the show, which I think she did).
The game on Saturday might have been a low point for the 2014 Mets, nearly getting no-hit (and they probably deserved it). Even if the Mets had thrown a no hitter on Saturday, the day would have marked a clear low point at Citi Field (a ballpark which I despise, but we'll leave that out). Now don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking the rap-loving crowd. That's your choice in music, but not mine. We're all entitled to those choices. But the type of crowd that Citi Field attracted on Saturday night isn't what the Mets should be aiming for...at least not for an event that's basically part of a Mets game.
If the Mets want to have a concert at the ballpark as a way to generate additional revenue, well, more power to them. They have a few more this season. All different varieties of performers throughout the season. Saturday night, it seemed to work. About 39,000 fans instead of what might have been between 22,000 and 30,000 (based on recent weekday attendance and a large Father's Day crowd). But the mixing of the two crowds and the general behavior of this concert crowd wasn't...um...ideal. I'm trying to think of another way to put it.
The baseball-only crowd probably started heading out in the 8th when the Mets were still getting 1-hit by the Padres (who have never had a no-hitter), and the concert-only crowd was starting to arrive around that same time. I'm not suggesting that the two crowds physically clashed in the Rotunda. I could definitely see the concert crowd moving into my area (section 516) as the game was ending. I am really going to try to stay away from making generalizations about the fans who came to the concert. I'm only going to comment on what I saw (and what I smelled).
I saw many people entering with cans of beer. I saw many puffs of smoke. And I could smell them more than I could see them. Beer aside (I heard that alcohol sales continued later than normal or restarted after the game...not entirely sure, but I don't think that many cans of beer were illegal in the ballpark), there were various levels of illegal smoking going on. And nothing being done to crack down on it (I wasn't going to be "that guy" to call people out). I'm not saying the smoking bothered me. It may have bothered some people. I don't know. It wasn't like being in a bar years ago when you couldn't breathe without being in a cloud of cigarette smoke. But it did bother me that there was no stadium security visible to keep an eye on things.
It did bother me that someone a few rows back, either drunk, high, and/or clumsy, fell down over a couple rows of seats only to have his fall broken by a guy in the row behind us and a few seats over. There was no reason why that guy, or someone else, couldn't have fallen onto me and/or my friend. I think everyone was okay. Maybe the influence which they were all under kept them out of pain (a luxury my friend and I didn't have if it had been us breaking that guy's fall). And nothing from security.
Even when we left (at least 30 minutes later) to move closer to the ballpark exit, I don't remember seeing any security in the Promenade concourse in that area behind home plate. Downstairs on the field level concourse, people seemed to be more well behaved. At least in terms of breaking smoking laws. I honestly don't know if it was just a better group down there, or if there were security guards keeping an eye on things (and it was pretty crowded in there since the OF areas were basically closed off), but I really didn't notice any security.
What I didn't see, and judging by the daylight, it was early in the show, was this fight in the stands.
The camera's view was narrow, but I didn't see security in the video. They can tell you that you can't enter that field level section during a Mets game, but they're nowhere to be found during a fight that takes place during a post-game concert? #CitiFieldFail
Smoking, drugs, somewhat violent fighting. That can't be the image that Citi Field and the Mets want to project. Not all concerts will be like this. Draw your own conclusions.
Quite a few times during the concert, I was thinking that Fred Wilpon has to be out there somewhere thinking "get off my lawn".
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