Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fixing Citi Field

A few tweets that showed up in my timeline and a trip to Nationals Park in Washington, DC, have gotten me thinking again about what's wrong with Citi Field, or at least what can be done to make it better. I'm leaving out the parts about the team on the field and the owners in the owner's suite. Those aren't part of this debate. I'm talking about the ballpark itself as a Mets ballpark.

In no particular order...

The green seats need to go. They really don't look good, and green is not a Mets color. For nearly 30 years at Shea, we had an influx of color with the orange, blue, (lighter) green, and red seats, the blue walls, and the blue facades and exteriors. I don't think Citi Field could handle a blue makeover given that it's a brick color, but I would love to see some Mets colors in the seating bowl (considering that more often than not, any given seat is empty during a game). Blue seats make the most sense. Or that mixture of blue and orange on different levels, similar to Shea. When I was at Nationals Park over the weekend, I noticed that their seats are dark blue, which is a secondary color for the Nationals. And it looked a whole lot better on the stadium than the darker green colored seats at Citi Field.

The outfield wall, and all padded walls on the playing surface, need to be Mets blue. They the fans what we were asking for before the 2012 season (when black was removed from the Mets color scheme and blue was making a return) by making the portions of the wall in fair territory blue, and it looks really really good, especially with the orange HR line. But I think the entire thing should be blue. That's what I had assumed it would be, but the Mets went for the minimum effort. It needs to be fixed.

A larger gathering spot to watch the game. This one I took from Nationals Park, where they have an area in the second deck in RF going towards CF which is similar to the Shea Bridge and that big CF area behind the scoreboard at Citi Field. And then they have the rooftop bar in CF on the 2nd deck and standing room in left-center on the first deck. Sounds similar to Citi Field, but I like how it's 2 levels of standing room area in the OF to watch the game. And they don't have the big scoreboard blocking anything. Citi Field put that thing in view for the advertising and it completely blocks off the view from that plaza area behind it.

Bring back the name "Casey Stengel Plaza". If you don't remember the street map at Shea Stadium, one of the entrance ways from Roosevelt Ave into the ballpark was signed as "Casey Stengel Plaza", of course named after the first manager of the Mets. I don't think we need a street named for Stengel. I'd actually rather see the big plaza outside of the ballpark which contains the fan walk, the Shea HR Apple, and the different vinyl banners of past Met greats get named in honor of the Ol' Perfesser.

Or at the very least, name it after Gil Hodges or Joan Payson and use the name "Casey Stengel Plaza" for the area above the rotunda on the Upper Deck that's open to the elements behind home plate with the food tables and team store. And name the area behind the big CF scoreboard after Joan Payson. Or any permutation is fine. Those 3 areas should be officially named parts of the ballpark.

The Rotunda should be there to honor National League and Negro League Baseball in New York. Nothing wrong with Jackie Robinson, nor is there with carrying on his legacy in New York, where he played for the Dodgers, but the rest of the Dodgers history, plus the Giants and the Negro Leagues shouldn't be forgotten.

The vinyl banners should ALSO be inside the ballpark. Sometimes I forget who plays there. I know there are some large black and white photos (with a sponsor's logo), and the large baseball card lineup of classic Mets (I have no idea what makes that lineup), but there should be more. After adding more, ask if it's enough. The answer is, there should be more. There should ALWAYS be more Mets inside the ballpark. I've seen it at plenty of other parks to know that it's a good idea. I think Shea had some of that. Just sayin'.

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