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.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"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
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Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The Carew lounge was all ready for some corporate event.
Finished product (Field Terrace)
Above the Carew gate
The lot within the lot.
Polo Grounds facade, obscured
At one point, we thought these windows might represent one of the so-called knotholes. But nope. Nothing to see here. (Nearest I can tell, there will be no view of the playing field whatsoever from the Seventh Street sidewalk.)
Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)
I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.
Here's a correction: The LRT platform will actually be able to load outbound trains from both sides.
Look beyond the gigantic hand (a hounds tooth jacket? really?) and you'll get a glimpse of the main grandstand configuration. The two (or is it three?) levels of suites are visible, as is the design of the so-called "split upper deck," and the extensive use of limestone for decorative accents. Let's hope these little touches don't get cut as costs increase, because they make a nice tie-in from the outside of the park to the inside. Of most interest to me is the way that the very best seats are physically separated from all the rest of the seats by that limestone. There will be virtually no way to sneak into these seats. On one level, that's a somewhat sad design feature...
Another B ramp glimpse (don't loiter here!)
Here's a rack of lights being prepared for lifting into the canopy.
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
Walkway construction is progressing
Wind veil install from across Seventh
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
The Northstar station.
In the top of the 9th, the sun hit our backs and summer took one last long look.
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
From the B ramp, 6th level elevator lobby window
Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)
Photo by Jeff Ewer
"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.
An alternate route into downtown. (Click to get an interactive map.)
Met Stadium seat colors (click for the complete image)