The team had not seen a new ball park in over four decades and with the creation of SNY, the Wilpons felt it would be an opportune time to modernize the team’s home.
Ground broke on the $632 million new stadium in November of 2006. Also, during that month the Mets announced that the stadium would be sponsored by Citigroup, who would hold the naming rights for the next two decades.
The focal point of the stadium is the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, which pays homage to late Jackie Robinson.
The rotunda, which clearly takes from the design of Ebbets Field, will serve as the main entrance to the stadium and will feature a statue of Robinson.
Citi Field will house 12,000 less seats than its predecessor, Shea Stadium, did.
However, on the plus side, since there is no real upper deck, all seats should have adequate viewing of the playing field. Also, the new seats at Citi Field are two inches wider than those at Shea, which will provide a more comfortable experience.
One of the main criticisms at Shea Stadium was the lack of quality food options. Management hopes to change this at the new Citi Field. There will be food for every budget, including the traditional hot dogs all the way up to pulled-pork sandwiches.
The parking situation will also be much better this year than it has been for the past couple of years due to the fact that Shea Stadium was demolished.
Lastly, and perhaps the most important addition to the new stadium, will be an increased number of restrooms around the stadium. In the days of Shea Stadium, the wait to use the restrooms resembled the time it took Steve Trachsel to get through an inning on the mound.
All in all, the stadium looks great, and should be a great place to catch a Met game for many years to come.