I should begin this post by mentioning that I never went to architectural school and I don’t know the difference between a column, a pillar, a colonnade, or a buttress. Frank Lloyd Wright, I am not.
But, that being said … I’m enjoying my first look at Citi Field. The Mets new ballpark cost a bunch; $800 million is the figure that they mention. That’s a lot of girders and beams. But in between there are some really cool touches.
I made it to the ballpark early today so I could walk around the park. And there’s a lot to see.
The Mets have always tried to keep in touch with the New York baseball teams that have moved away. The Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants (their Blue and Orange color scheme is a nod to Dodger Blue and the burnt orange worn by the Giants). The Mets are keeping up with the tradition at Citi Field.
The exterior of Citi is supposed to be similar to Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Our TV Producer Brad Zager dug up a picture of Ebbets for the broadcast Wednesday and they really did match things up pretty well. Lots of brick, limestone and granite … with huge arched windows all the way around the outside. A big difference between the two parks though is the location. Ebbets was formed by the city streets that surrounded it in a crowded Brooklyn neighborhood. Citi Field is surrounded by a parking lot, with the Arthur Ashe Tennis Center a couple of forehands away.
When you first walk into Citi Field there is an entry-way behind home-plate that is called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The area is a shrine to Jackie with photos, quotes, and his career timeline. The rotunda is supposed to be similar to the rotunda at Ebbets. (I’ve never used the word ‘rotunda’ before). There are dangling lights just like at Ebbets and an escalator to get people to the main level of the ballpark. It’s a different type of entrance to a ballpark.
Unusual … but good.
The grandstand seats are dark green similar to the color of the seats at the old Polo Grounds where the Giants used to play. The left field wall is 16 feet high in certain areas and is painted black with an orange trim … like the outfield wall at the Polo Grounds.
There are massive bridges and archways that are painted black that add to the character of the ball park.
Talking with a couple of people here at the park, the only real beef I heard was that there is very little that links the park to the Mets and their time at Shea Stadium. But for me? Who cares? This place is a looker. And, where else can you watch a ballgame and get a knish as well?
I guess my only real complaint is that after spending $800 million they should’ve ponied up an extra $50 bucks and created a map to hand out to visitors. Over the last three days I explored a large part of the ballpark unintentionally in my quest to find my way back to the press box.
Besides that … I’m a fan.
Gotta go. I just saw Dodger Head Trainer Stan Conte throwing a football around with injured first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. What’s that all about?