Stadium 9: Citi Field in New York City

Home Run On Wheels

Though the New York Mets did not enter Major League Baseball until 1962, they have a storied history that includes the 1969 Miracle Mets and the dominant 1986 team that won the franchise’s second World Series title.

Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry

The Mets added National League pennants in 2000 and 2015, but that 1986 team with Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry remains the franchise’s last championship team.

But the Mets remain one of baseball’s most prominent franchises and it’s for two reasons — they’re in New York and have a passionate fan base that views the Yankees as New York’s “city” team and the Mets as the lovable franchise of the boroughs.

ACCESSIBILITY:

Patti says  (2 RVs)

If you read our review of Yankee Stadium, you already know we advise against driving in New York. The same applies for getting to Citi Field. Traffic is congested and parking is not cheap. Furthermore, there’s no reason to get there early. Take the subway and plan ahead for a crowded ride.

Ron says

Do not drive to Citi Field, unless maybe you know someone in Queens. Even then, there is nothing around the stadium — aside from Flushing Meadows across the freeway and some chopshops beyond the right-field parking lot.

Parking at Citi Field is not cheap. The subway is nice — The 7 Line, of course — but also very crowded on gameday. The 7 Line is about the only way to get to Citi Field and leaving Queens on the subway following a night game can be an adventure because of tracks that are closed for construction or maintenance.

ATMOSPHERE:

Patti says

If you know me, you may already know that my least favorite airport is LaGuardia. Well, add another reason for my distaste. If you like hearing and seeing airplanes go over frequently, Citi Field is the place. Seriously, it is quite distracting when trying to watch a baseball game.

Ralph Macchio (aka, Daniel LaRusso, left) and William Zabka (aka, Johnny Lawrence)

The entrance to the stadium is a grand one, with escalators taking you up and the day’s lineup displayed on oversized Topps cards. We had a very good view from our seats and Mets fans definitely love their team.

I really enjoyed the hype reel they played for pitcher Noah Syndergaard. (Unfortunately it was not his best game.)

My favorite part was the first pitch thrown by Ralph Macchio to William Zabka — drumming up some publicity for their new Netflix series “Cobra Kai.” That, and meeting up with some friends there, reminding me again of how I love that baseball brings people together.

Ron says

Only the passion of Mets fans saves this from being a basement One-RV rating. While the stadium does a good job of paying respect to the old Shea Stadium, it just does not create a very enjoyable venue to watch a baseball game.

The Shea Bridge at Citi Field

Between the jets taking off every minute at nearby LaGuardia Airport and the overall blandness of the stadium, this was one of my least favorite stadiums so far on the trip.

One thing that didn’t help was that, after sight-seeing around New York before the game, my phone died shortly after we arrived at the stadium. We searched for a charging station — something which other venues have in multiple locations (even ancient Fenway Park) — and found just one such location at Citi Field. It was in a restricted access area on the 300 level next to the Effen Vodka Bar. Fortunately for us, our tickets allowed us access to that area, but when a team announces promotions on the MLB Ballpark app and social media, it just doesn’t make much sense to not have easily accessible charging stations around the stadium.

One other aspect of other stadiums that Citi Field lacks is a spot on the concourse to eat some food while still watching the game. Other stadiums have tables or counters dispersed throughout the concourse. Citi Field has none of that, and only cupholders being behind the field-level sections. When you have a tray of food, sometimes you just want to set that down and eat the food before returning to your seat. Unfortunately, that is not an option at Citi Field.

I really wanted to like Citi Field, but I was absolutely not a fan.

FOOD:

Patti and Ron both say

These neon signs used to adorn the scoreboard at Shea Stadium

Citi Field has an amazing variety of concessions and you’re bound to find something you like. We had a food voucher included with our ticket, so we got a couple of Nathan’s hot dogs and a box of popcorn, along with a couple of sodas.

Alcoholic beverage prices are expensive, but the food options are excellent.

You’ll find the traditional ballpark fare at Citi Field, as well as a few local favorites — like Shake Shack and Sweet Chick.

VALUE: 

Patti and Ron both say: 

As long as you take the subway, you should be OK financially at Citi Field.

Ticket prices are reasonable and come with the occasional deal — like we had with a $30 ticket down the left field line that included a hot dog, popcorn and soda. The concessions prices otherwise aren’t cheap, but are also not overly expensive.

Parking around the stadium is between $20 and $50, but a subway ride is cheap and simple.

MISCELLANEOUS / EXTRAS: 

The Mets, brought to you by Topps

There is not much to see here. The entrance to Citi Field is pretty neat, with a tribute to former Brooklyn Dodger great Jackie Robinson and a Topps-themed lineup display, but the stadium itself is nothing unique.

Citi Field is a lovely venue, but doesn’t offer much else. There is really nothing else around it to enjoy pregame activity and it just doesn’t have the same amenities that make other stadiums stand out.

NEW YORK CITY: 

The Met before the Mets

As we said in our Yankee Stadium review, New York City has so much to offer.

Before we saw the Braves beat the Mets at Citi Field, we had visited the Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art — so the Met before the Mets.

Hear more about our adventure and a parking “hack” on the RV tolls are taxing podcast episode.

New York City is definitely an expensive place — both to live and visit — but there is certainly a lot to do in the country’s most famous metropolis.

Home Run On Wheels, Home Run On Wheels

Follow Ron and Patti as they travel in their RV to all 30 MLB stadiums in 2018. Along the way, they will write stadium reviews, talk about food, baseball and life in an RV, and how you can help a child in need.
There will also be features with MLB players and other sports figures along the way.

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