Looks like my NYC trip could be a complete washout. It started raining this afternoon while I crawled around Shea Stadium getting some pictures, and it hasn't let up yet.
So I sat with about 10,000 fans waiting for about 90 minutes before the game was called. Damn. Santana was scheduled to pitch...
BUT -- and there's always a big but -- do I wish the stadium had a roof? Absolutely not! The whole thing was a blast. Fans chanting. Watching highlights of past World Series glories on the big screen, accompanied by cheers from the crowd as Buckner once again missed that easy roller.
There was lots of food (though not very good), I have a bunch of souvenirs, and I got to see just about every nook and cranny of the place. It even looks like I'll be getting a refund on the ticket price (though not the airfare or hotel, I imagine).
Here's my short review: The nicest thing I can say about Shea Stadium is that it will make a great parking lot for Citi Field. I empathize with the Mets fans, and have to admit that it's actually a worse stadium than the Metrodome, and not by a small amount.
Someone jokingly suggested that I should get a tetanus shot before attending, and now I understand why. One thing it definitely has in common with Met Stadium is rust. Everywhere. Sometimes painted, but usually not.
Dan Gladden says that the outfield also reminds him of Met Stadium, and I can agree with that. The scoreboard is in about the same place, with similar dimensions, and the bullpens are decidedly low-tech.
But this place is worse than the Met too. It's bad, bad, bad.
I got a ton of great photos, but have no way to upload them tonight. They'll come in a longer review when I get back.
As for Citi Field, here's my short review of the exterior: An interesting homage, but sort of schizophrenic. As you walk around, it loses its Ebbets-ness pretty quickly and devolves into an HOK cookie cutter (which reminded me more than anything of the non-HOK Miller Park).
Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, so I suspect that I may return without having seen a single inning of baseball. But hopefully I'll have seen -- and documented -- four ballparks, so I'd have to consider the trip a success.
When the out-state folks start talking about roofs, I'll be able to empathize, but my opinion has not been changed. A roof comes at too high a price. Rain is no big deal. There's lots of fun to be had at the ballpark even in the rain. And you may even get to see a double-header the next day -- weather-permitting of course.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.
Sky through steel.
Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)
Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)
Here's a correction: The LRT platform will actually be able to load outbound trains from both sides.
Some people will go to work here every day.
Special guests in the trees!
(Click to enlarge)
Air conditioning condensation on the floor.
Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
At Comerica Park, some aisles have railings and some do not.
The rough outlines of our urban trench. (North is up.)
A portrait of the 573 Club.
Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)
The electronic sign has been corrected (and never forget that ballpark is one word, not two)
Glare from the IDS never looked this sweet. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
The green is a composite of the topmost seating areas in the new ballpark. The gray is a scale diagram of the Metrodome.
At the corner of the Pro Shop.
This is some of the signage in place for concession stands.
This guy at the Puckett atrium chef stand caught me taking the picture and said I should stop back later because he was "just getting started." I still don't know what he meant.
Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).
The view from the corner of Ford Centre. (Feel free to tie up your boats here.)
The limestone now wraps around onto the HERC side.
Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?
The louvres on Fifth have been completely filled in
The flowers don't have quite the fullness depicted in the original sketches (where they were positively overflowing), but they are quite lovely -- a great, subtle touch. And that's probably a very challenging place to grow anything.