Welcome to the Amazin' Avenue Citi Fieldguide, a one-stop spot for all the info you'll need before heading to Queens to take in a Metropolitans game. My aim is to make this a living document that will be updated and improved as required. Feel free use the comments to add suggestions, opinions, likes, and dislikes based on your experiences there.
To see a game at Citi Field, the first thing one needs is a ticket. Contrary to what the ballclub had in mind at the beginning of the 2009 season, you can still purchase tickets for many games directly from the . Go to Mets.com, or better yet, call (718) 507-TIXX and talk to a real person. If you're looking for a bargain (or if you really want to pay a premium for a sold-out game), head to StubHub, where you can get many for less than face value (or for multiples of face value, if that floats your boat). Craigslist also is a great resource, but as they say, caveat emptor.
Where to sit
Much has been made of the "obstructed views" that can be found throughout the ballpark. Personally, I think the term is a little harsh -- unless your seats are in left field behind the out-of-town scoreboard, it would be hard to call most of the views at Citi "obstructed." It is true that as you head down the foul lines you start to lose sight of the outfield corner of the side you're on, and that if you sit anywhere in the outfield, you won't be able to see the plays closest to the wall. Obviously, the seats that will afford you the best view of most of or all of the field are the ones anywhere behind the plate. Still, the park offers many unique perspectives, and there really is something for everyone. And if you're not happy with your seats, there is plenty of standing room around the park on all levels. Wander around a little and you should be able to find a decent standing-room vantage point.
If want to sit with the real fans, opt for the Promenade (upper deck). It is this area where chants of "Let's go Mets!" will emerge organically, without prompting from the scoreboard. Sections 508 to 520 offer the best views of all of the field. If you have a little money to spend, the 400 section (Promenade Club) is a real upgrade in terms of how close you feel to the field. Look at a map of the park to see what section numbers are best. You can't go wrong with anything inside the infield dirt.
Some other vantage points to check out:
- The right-field porch (either in the seats or standing behind the rail at the top, where you have your own concession stand and bathroom)
- The seats or standing room on the bridge in right field
- The areas in the corners right down the line behind the foul pole
I also like the standing-room view in fair territory in left field on the upper tier, on the concourse between the 400 and 500 levels.
The best way to Citi Field is the #7 train. A #7 local will always get you there, but on weekday nights you can opt for an express. The train often will be crowded, but it's a real New York experience. After all night and weekend games there is a "super express" from the ballpark that stops only at 61st Street/Woodside, Queensboro Plaza, Court Square, Grand Cental, Fifth Avenue, and Times Square. That's a great train if you are headed to any of those stops, so catch it if you can.
Another mass-transit option is the Long Island Railroad. The LIRR experience is a little more refined than that of the #7 subway, and if you are coming from Midtown Manhattan, the few extra dollars for your train ticket might be well worth it, because you are allowed to drink beer on the train.
If you want to drive, stadium parking will run you $18. If you don't get to Citi Field early enough, you might have to park in a "satellite lot" that's a little ways from the park. The most comprehensive info on driving and parking can be found on Mets.com. The one thing they won't tell you there is that if you know where to look, you can park for free on the street near the Hall of Science. From there it's about a 10- or 15-minute walk to the park.
If you out to the ballpark early enough, take a few minutes to walk around on the Citi Field Fanwalk, where you can see bricks engraved with mesages from Mets fans of all generations. Enter through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and take a few minutes there to enjoy it -- it's an impressive entrance. I usually prefer to walk up the stairs on either side instead of taking the escalator.
If you're running late and you want to get in to see the game, or if there is a long line at the front entrance, head down to the Left Field Gate if your seats are on the third-base side, or the Bullpen Gate if you are in right field. It often is quicker and easier to get into the park at either entrance.
Mets.com offers this terrific map of Citi Field's innards, with eateries, restrooms, etc. all clearly labeled.
If you want to eat at the Shake Shack or Blue Smoke, and you don't want to miss any baseball, get to the park early -- maybe even an hour before the game starts. Head directly to the field-level concourse behind centerfield and get on line. Once your food is secured, you can enjoy it out there or you can head to your seats. With luck, you'll get to see every pitch.
Two other food stands in the same area are El Varano Taqueria and Box Frites, serving tacos and French fries, respectively. Both are well worth checking out. There also are pizza and seafood stands nearby.
Another worthwhile eatery is the World's Fare Market, located in the right-field corner. There you can find quesadillas, sushi, and sandwiches, among other things. Finally, there are Nathan's counters throughout the park, where you can find hot dogs, knishes, and other delicacies.
The best beer in the park can be found at the four stands on the centerfield concourse: Blue Smoke, the Taqueria, Box Frites, and the Shake Shack. At each location you can find specialty Brooklyn Brewery beers on draft. Especially enjoyable is the Brooklyn Sabroso, which you can get at the Taqueria. Another Brooklyn Brewery offering, Blue Smoke Ale, is available at Blue Smoke. Nearby is a stand called Big Apple Brews, which offers a wide selection of beer.
Elsewhere, the beer selection leaves something to be desired. Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Heineken can be found pretty much anywhere, and it's not too hard to get your hands on a can of Brooklyn Lager, which is my minimum standard. But I have to say, as a beer snob, I am very disappointed in the diversity and accessibility of good beer at Citi Field -- specifically the lack of good beer on draft at locations other than the centerfield concourse.
The only club I have visited at Citi Field is the Delta/Ebbets Club behind home plate. It should go without saying that it's pretty awesome down there if you're looking for a place to hang out. There are a number of bars, there are TVs all over the place, and there are food options in which I did not partake. To get in, you need to have seats behind the plate, but if you don't have seats on that level, you can try to sneak in. The one drawback to the field-level club is that you cannot see the field from the club unless you are in a suite. Of course, if I had tickets there I would be in my seats for the whole game, but that's just me.
If I visit any of the other clubs around the park I will add some commentary here. Likewise, if you have been to any, feel free to leave your opinion in the comments.
The Mets Clubhouse Shop is located in the lower level of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, to the left of the staircase. Depending on when you go there might be a few minute wait to get into the store. Alternatively, the Majestic shop is located on the field level just to the right of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. This shop contains only Majestic merchandise, but is a decent alternative to the Clubhouse Shop.
What I might have left out
A lot, I'm sure. There's a lot to take in a Citi Field, and although I've been to a good number of games, I don't think I've seen it all. Like I said, I plan to update this guide as necessary, so if there's something you think should be covered here, put it in the comments.