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Citi Field
Home of the
New York Mets
(2009- )

Citi Field

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full view soccer hockey 2009 2012 2015 second deck lower deck Shea Stadium Yankee Stadium II
Key to diagrams

Vital statistics:
Lifetime Seating capacity Seating rows
Overhang / shade % Territory
(1,000 sq. ft.)
Fence height  CF
orien- tation
Back-stop Outfield dimensions The Clem Criteria:
Built Status Lower deck Mezz. Upper deck Lower deck Upper deck Fair Foul LF CF RF Left
Left-center Center field Right-center Right field Field
asym- metry
prox- imity
Loc- ation Aesth- etics Over- all
2009 NEW 41,922 38 12 17+6 20% 30% 109.6 20.7 8 8 8 NNE 46 335 (362) 408 375 330 6 8 6 5 8 6.6

NOTE: Figure in parentheses is an estimate of the actual power alley dimension.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: I paid a visit on October 2, 2008, during the final phase of construction. On September 4, 2016, I saw the Nationals play the Mets, who won the game, 5-1.

ALL-STAR GAME: 2013 WORLD SERIES: 2015 (lost)

It was in February 2006 that the Mets announced plans to build a new stadium on the east side of Shea Stadium, and after some legal challenges to the project's tax-exempt status, public funding was approved during the summer. At first there was a proposal to have retractable roof, but that idea was abandoned as too costly. Construction began in November 2006, as the name of the ballpark was announced. Under the terms of a 20-year naming rights contract, Citibank will pay over $20 million per year. (In spite of criticism, the recent bailout of CitiGroup by the federal government will not void this contract.) The new stadium was completed on time, and the Mets played their first game in it on Monday April 13, 2009, losing to the San Diego Padres, 6-5. Attendance was 41,007.

thumbnail The new home of the New York Mets has a lot going for it, but one gets the sense that the architects went a bit too far in trying to be all things to all people. The design is unique, with several interesting features, and follows a logical scheme, but is not arbitrary, or a case of "contrived asymmetry." The overall trapezoidal shape, with a large rotunda in the apex behind home plate (below the bottom edge of the diagram), borrows heavily from Ebbets Field, quite obviously. The brick exterior and arched windows are patterned after it as well.

Some design features are rather unusual, if not downright radical. The second-deck overhang in right field (essentially eliminated after 2011) pays homage to the Polo Grounds, but it actually bears more resemblance to Tiger Stadium. It is almost the same situation in deep left field, where the second deck extends to directly above the outfield wall, like the right field upper decks in Coors Field. Upper deck fans out there will miss some of the outfield action, but will have good views of the infield -- just like at RFK Stadium. The grandstand upper deck is "split-level," as at most other newer ballparks; I consider it to be a single deck. Between the dugouts is a small deck of seats that extends forward from the elite club suites, and I don't think any other ballparks have such a seating configuration. The rear dozen or so rows of the lower deck are pitched slightly more steeply in the sections near the infield, and extending out for 75-100 feet past the bends at the extremities of the dugouts. Beyond that, the rear sections are pitched at a constant slope, causing a diagonal discontinuity visible in the lower deck diagram above. Another unique feature is the shape of foul territory, which is fairly small and with an angled backstop, not curved. The backstop distance is very short, about 46-48 feet. Other than Citizens Bank Park, this is the only Neoclassical ballpark like that.

Compared to the Mets' previous home, Shea Stadium, most of the seats at Citi Field are closer to the diamond. As originally built, it had a slightly larger outfield, especially in right field. After the first three years, it was decided that it favors pitchers over batters, way too much. The main exterior wall is only ten or twenty feet behind the black screen in center field of Shea Stadium. One drawback is that the main scoreboard / video screen is significantly farther away than the old one at Shea Stadium, and is angled away from folks on the first base side.

Various modifications were made to Citi Field in the years following its opening. In 2010, the bullpens which used to be parallel to the right-center fence were reoriented becoming diagonal. In the original configuration, visiting team pitchers could hardly see the field from where they sat. Also, the fence in center field was lowered from eleven feet to eight feet. On June 7, 2011, a soccer match between Ecuador and Greece was played at Citi Field. After the end of the 2011 season, several changes in the outfield fences were announced, aimed at reducing the size of the outfield. There is a new "Party Deck" behind left field, with one or two rows of seats with tables for food and drinks; the new shorter fence in front of that section is 10-15 feet closer to home plate than the original "Great Wall of Flushing." That raised capacity (originally 41,800) by 122 seats. In addition, a new inner fence was erected in the deepest corner to the right of center field, and the ground-level "Mo's Zone" section in right field was expanded, reducing the overhang. The fence height was made uniform 8 feet across the outfield. The original wall had varied in height from 12 feet at the left field foul pole, rising to 15 feet (dubbed "the Great Wall of Flushing"), then dropping to 11 feet in center field and 8 feet in right field. The Mets did better than expected during the first half of the 2012 season, but the shorter outfield distances apparently helped the visiting teams more than it helped the Mets, according to figures they compiled. In 2015, they reached the postseason for the first time since 2006...

After the 2014 season, the fence in right-center field was moved in for a second time, in hopes of giving the Mets more of a home field advantage. (David Wright often hits toward right field.) The orientation of the bullpens is essentially unchanged. During the 2015 season, the Mets fought a back-and-forth campaign against the NL East division rivals Washington Nationals, pulling ahead in August and finishing the season with a seven-game lead. They went on to edge the Dodgers and sweep the Cubs in the 2015 postseason, winning their first National League pennant since 2000. In spite of superb pitching from Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard, they could not contain the Kansas City Royals, and lost the World Series in five games.

On New Years Day 2018, the NHL Winter Classic was held in Citi Field, and the home team New York Rangers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in overtime.

SOURCES: Lowry (2006); Baseball Fever, Zack Hample

FAN TIPS: John Crozier, Brian Hughes, George (?), Mike Zurawski, Terry Wallace, Harry Heller, Trepye, Glenn Simpkins

Citi Field

Click on the camera icon (camera) links to see the photos, one by one. Photos #1 - #21 were taken Sept. 4, 2016, as were panoramas #P-3 - #P-7 below hand point down.

camera #1 Grand view from behind home plate, upper deck.

camera #2 From the lower deck, third base side.

camera #3 Rear of lower deck and concourse, left field corner.

camera #4 Grandstand from left field upper deck.

camera #5 Left field foul pole and center field, from upper deck.

camera #6 Back side of center field scoreboard.

camera #7 camera #8 Tables behind bullpens; Shea Bridge above.

camera #9 Grandstand & home plate, from right field corner.

camera #10 From the lower deck, first base side.

camera #11 camera #12 Rotunda entrance; concession area above.

camera #13 camera #14 Center field scoreboards; bullpens closeup.

camera #15 camera #16 Upper deck on third base side; and closeup.

camera #17 camera #18 Left-center field (Big Apple!); and closeup.

camera #19 camera #20 Right field from upper deck; and closeup.

camera #21 Grand view from upper deck, at night.

Photos #22 - #24 were taken Oct. 2, 2008, during construction.

camera #22 From southeast corner; Shea Stadium in background.

camera #23 East side, beyond right field bleachers.

camera #24 Bullpen gate on the east side, showing arched bridge.

camera #25 Grand view from upper deck behind home plate, April 2009. (Courtesy of John Crozier.)

Citi Field panorama

camera #P-1 Panoramic (stitched-together) interior view during the latter phase of construction. (Courtesy of William R Kooney.) (Go back up. hand point up)

camera #P-2 Panorama from the south, during final phase of construction. (Oct. 2, 2008)

camera #P-3 Panorama from the southwest (day), behind home plate. camera #P-4 Similar view, at night. (Sept. 4, 2016)

camera #P-5 Panorama from the northwest. (Sept. 4, 2016)

camera #P-6 Panorama of grandstand from left field upper deck. (Sept. 4, 2016)

camera #P-7 Panorama of field from lower level, third base side. (Sept. 4, 2016)

Citi Field:
Chronology of diagram updates


NOTE: The diagram thumbnails have been continually replaced since 2008, so the images seen in the older blog posts do not reflect how the full-size diagrams looked at that time. Roll your mouse over the adjacent thumbnail to see a pre-2008 version.

Citi Field
09 Jun 2008 02 Dec 2008 13 Apr 2009 04 Dec 2010 07 Nov 2011 17 Apr 2012 08 Aug 2013 30 Oct 2015 07 Oct 2016

Vox populi: Fans' impressions

Have you been to this stadium? If so, feel free to share your impressions of it with other fans! (Registration is required.) Also, I welcome submissions of original stadium photos that fans have taken, and will make sure they get properly credited. Just send me an e-mail message via the Contact page.

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