If you’re a Mets fan and live anywhere near Citi Field, you probably attend at least a couple of games per season. Whether you only see a handful of games or have season tickets, you could benefit from reading up on some tips to enhance your experience at the ballpark. Enter Kurt Smith’s Ballpark E-Guides: Citi Field, Home of the New York Mets, a pdf guide to Citi Field which you can purchase for $5 on the Ballpark E-Guides website.
The meat of the content in the guide is in the Tickets and Seating, Getting There and Food and Drink categories, and there’s also a crash course on Citi Field’s opening at the beginning and some extras and useful information at the end.
On its digital surface, the presentation of the guide is a bit on the rough side. Images are kind of thrown about in the document, making the lines of text a little more difficult on the eyes than they should be. The information in the guide is certainly far more important, and I wouldn’t normally critique the visual aspects of something else on the web, but since you’re paying five bucks for the file, it’d be nice if its appearance were a little more streamlined.
Each section of this guide contains plenty of information. The basics can, for the most part, be found on the Mets website, but there’s plenty of information here that the Mets aren’t going to provide. Smith provides the basics, translates them from Mets-speak into something you can understand and then gives "Tightwad Tips" to those who want an affordable experience at a game.
When it comes to purchasing tickets, the guide only focuses on buying tickets from the Mets, ignoring entirely the secondary market. Tickets to low demand games can typically be found for fantastic prices on Stubhub or eBay. That might be common sense, but it’s worth mentioning that the tickets from the Mets are often the most expensive option available. The guide also leaves out the money-saving option of buying the cheapest seat in the park and using the standing room areas behind the field level sections which include rails to lean on with cup-holders. Standing up for an entire baseball game isn’t for everyone, but you can get an outstanding view from these areas while spending very little on tickets.
The Getting There section includes a lot of information in the guide that’s pretty easily available elsewhere, but there are some tips for whatever method of travel you choose to get to the park. The majority of the information is about public transportation. The tips for saving money in this section are solid, though, including where to park for free and a good strategy for avoiding tolls if you’re driving from certain parts of New Jersey. Since this guide should help all Mets fans, it’d be an improvement to see some specifics about driving from other places included.
The Food and Drink section of the guide is very strong. Most of the information here seems up to date, though there’s no mention of the amazing garlic-Parmesan fries from Box Frites. If you’re going to indulge in extremely overpriced french fries, I recommend checking those out. Everything else in the guide is great, including the details about the Big Apple Brews stands in the park not really featuring any brews that are from the Big Apple. Last but not least, though it was mentioned earlier in the guide, I’m pretty certain they don’t give out complimentary hot dogs in the Delta Club, so if you do buy the guide, don’t get your hopes up about that.
Overall, unless you are borderline-insane like me and attend 30-plus games per season, there’s probably something you will learn by reading Kurt Smith’s guide. As a one-time purchase at the same price as a program, the guide is worthwhile if you’ve rarely or never been to Citi Field and don’t think trial-and-error is the best method to figure things out once you arrive at the park.