Citi Field Finally Has a Home-Field Advantage for the New York Mets
After three years of hosting mediocre baseball, Citi Field is finally enjoying a winning season. Maybe it's because Citi Field finally feels like home.
From the 1960s into the 2000s, Shea Stadium defined the Mets. It was scrappy, it was far inferior to Yankee Stadium, but it was colorful and it united the fans into a 40,000-person family.
In 2009 when the Mets moved across the parking lot to Citi Field, they were spiraling down into a nose dive that no one could stop. And the spacious, expensive stadium they constructed with a black wall and green seats was only making things worse.
Sure it was beautiful architecture and had amazing lounges and clubs, but that has never been the Mets. The best thing Citi Field had was its compact feel and lack of extracurricular activity. Everyone was in their seats for all nine innings, cheering on the team that they were practically sitting on top of.
In all honesty, Citi Field made sense for a team like the Yankees. It had all the amenities a business man would love, but the Mets needed to realize that they're a blue-collar franchise that is rooted for by the working man and the minority and the lover of the underdog.
And when they renovated the stadium this summer, it's no surprised the on-field result has improved. The blue walls make the ballpark feel a little like Shea again. The shortened dimensions mean that home runs will actually be hit and fans will have something to cheer about. The ditching of the black in the uniforms for their traditional royal blue and orange just seems more Mets.
So while R.A. Dickey is having the season of his life and Johan's return has been a tremendous help, this is practically the same squad the Mets had last year (minus Jose Reyes, their best player).
When the Mets stopped trying to be corporate and realized their audience, results improved and Citi Field became a place fans actually wanted to go. A stadium can't have a home-field advantage until it feels like a home. And as crazy as it sounds, when the walls got brighter, so did the times.
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