Initial note: I'm getting behind No Mas's I'm Calling It Shea campaign. Citi may have given the Wilpons a bunch of money to get their logo all over the place (and it is all over the place - when you were at Shea it didn't say "Shea Stadium" a ton of different places, because the Mets had no contractual obligation to do so, but there are ubiquitous Citi logos around New Shea and the terrible Domino's Pizza logo has worked its way in as well, in particular in the scoreboard graphics I noticed), but they didn't give me any of that money so I have no obligation to drop their name.
I guess I'll do this chronologically, as best I can:
- Parking, like everything else, is more expensive - $18, up from (IIRC) $12 last year. Also, a couple of lots closer to the stadium are reserved for suites/club seats, and also for prepaid parking, so if you're just driving up and paying to park, you're paying more to park further away. My father and I decided that from now on, unless we're really in a hurry to get out, we're parking on a side street off Roosevelt Avenue and walking an extra ten minutes.
- Tangentially related, after a quick browse through the Mets website, it isn't immediately apparent how you would buy prepaid parking, if you were so inclined.
- The walk to the stadium from the subway platform is nice. Landscaping and bricks with fan messages on them and all that.
- Going in through the Rotunda isn't so bad if you're there early, but the lines get bad closer to game time.
- They should have signs saying which lines are for people with bags and which lines are for people without.
- They should have more people working at the security lines.
- There's a learning curve for fans with regard to the self-service ticket scanners mounted to the turnstiles, and we're not to the top of that curve yet.
- Too much black (the outfield wall, say), not enough blue.
- I like the optimism indicated by the fact that there are four currently-unoccupied flagpoles out where the championship flags are flying.
- As has been noted many times, there really do need to be more references to the Mets and their history. I don't think the Dodgers stuff is overwhelming (and I think it's mainly Jackie Robinson stuff rather than non-Jackie Robinson Dodgers stuff), but there needs to be more orange and blue and Doc and Ed Kranepool and Fonzie and all the rest.
Food (yes, I know everyone else has already talked about food, but I'm going to anyway):
- The Box Frites are very good, only a little more expensive than regular fries, and the lines there are short and quick. Definitely worth a try.
- On the other hand, as much as I like Shake Shack, the lines are pretty long. Unless I have lucky timing and catch them at a lull, I think I'll just take a book to Madison Square Park and satisfy my Shack Burger craving there.
- I thought the tacos were pretty good, and while $9.75 for three isn't cheap, after browsing on menupages, it's not really significantly more than what I'd pay at places near my apartment (save for FresCo, and that's obviously a big step down).
- I had my first Mama's of Corona experience yesterday, and that is a very tasty Italian hero. Loved the mix of hot and roasted peppers and mushrooms. (Hated the fact that the woman put it into the box upside down for some reason.)
- I know it's a silly thing to get excited about, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the little Fixins Bar (or whatever it's actually called) that they have by all the regular concession stands. One thing that annoyed me about Old Shea was that there were zero hot dog vendors on the upper deck where you could get sauerkraut; now you have that plus red onions (over a burner to stay hot, even), raw onions, relish and hot peppers everywhere you can buy a hot dog.
- I didn't eat them myself, but heard from friends that the wings and ribs at Blue Smoke were tasty, but the pulled pork was a little dry.
- The out-of-town scoreboard is nice, in my opinion (everything it had at Old Shea, plus an outs indicator and late in yesterday's game it looked like they were starting to use the men-on-base lights as well; I'll post a picture of that later), but it's ridiculous that probably 1/3 of the stadium can't see it.
- Likewise, the video lineup board is nice, but it's frustrating that it's a multipurpose video bard rather than a dedicated board, so you can't see the lineup until right before game time.
- More leg room, wider seats, wider concourses = WIN.
- Fewer mens rooms (come on, it's a baseball stadium, not a club) and no dividers between urinals = FAIL.
How it plays:
- If these two games are any indication, you're going to have to work hard to have something scored an error rather than a hit; there were at least three plays (Wright's bobble, Reyes' triple and also his infield single) that I thought could've been scored errors instead.
- It may just be that Corey Hart is a bad fielder, but I think we had our first indication yesterday that RF might be a bad sun field, in addition to the possibility of weird caroms off that wall.
- Speaking of that wall, I hate contrived quirks like that. Old stadiums had things like that because they had to. New stadiums that try to look like old stadiums have things like that just for the sake of having things like that.
- Any home run to right center is going to be earned; it's a long way out there. On the other hand, a line drive in that gap is a good bet to be a triple (as Omir Santos demonstrated yesterday).
-Ending it with a question: if a ball hits the facade of the Pepsi Porch, is it a home run or is it in play?