Lots of stories this week about the state of Citi Field, after the Tuesday press tour.
Most of the bigger media outlets focused their coverage on a) how cool the stadium is and b) the "Citi" name.This Queens Chronicle article is noteworthy
as it actually remembers to quote partial season ticket holders and provides a small Shea Stadium update. And yes, I am still not publishing photos of the Shea dismantling. Lets not upset the children.Like a proud father showing off his newborn child, Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets, displayed pride Tuesday over the nearly completed Citi Field
“It’s great to see it coming together,” Wilpon said. “It’s really exciting. I hope the fans love it.”
Wilpon and other Mets officials spent over an hour on Tuesday afternoon taking the media on a tour of the $600 million baseball field that will replace Shea Stadium next season. Although reporters joked that the new facility should be called Taxpayers Field, after the federal government’s pending bail out of Citigroup, Wilpon and other Mets executives said there are no plans to change the name. Citigroup paid $400 million for naming rights two years ago in a 20-year deal.
Officials indicated that the new stadium is basically done. The main projects left to do are electrical work, bolting down some railings and finishing the dining areas.
Meanwhile, work continues on tearing down the adjacent Shea Stadium to make way for a parking lot. Bulldozers are still in use around the old diamond area. All seats have been removed and deconstructing the facility from the top down is under way.
A few small patches of green turf remain, but the diamond area is quite unrecognizable. Even though officials don’t know how long Shea’s demolition will take, they are confident it will be finished with enough time to level the area for parking.
Over at Citi Field, tour guides stressed that the 45,000-seat stadium, although smaller than Shea by 12,000 sets, offers better sight lines. There will be more legroom and fans will be closer to the field.
But there is a price to pay. Some of the seats have doubled in price. Mets management, however, played that down. Dave Howard, executive vice president, said “there’s something for everybody” and that he’s seen no resistence to the higher-priced tickets.
But some Mets fans are grumbling that their season ticket offerings are not comparable to Shea and that in order to get a 15-game package, they must take five weekday games. “In previous years, when you ordered a Saturday or Sunday package, you weren’t forced to take weekday games,” said a 10-year season ticket holder from Middle Village. “The seats they are offering me now are more expensive than before and the locations and dates are not as good.”
The first pitch at Citi Field will be thrown on April 13.