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
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
It's pretty easy to see right into the Twins dugout!
This is amazingly close to completed. It's a short tunnel entrance ramp to 394 underneath the outfield stands.
Target Plaza looking toward the grandstand
Somebody asked how long it would be before the tarp had a sponsor. Well, not very long.
An alternate route into downtown. (Click to get an interactive map.)
Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)
A new restaurant going in at Fifth Street and Second Avenue
The view through a construction "knothole".
The splendid view from the roof of the Minikahda building. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
I was surprised at how close those upper deck seats seem. From the plaza, you feel like you can reach out and touch them. It really adds to the impression of overall compactness.
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Looking across the plaza toward the main ticket area.
Click to enlarge greatly
(Click to enlarge.)
First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right
The Northstar station at night
Concrete molds are being removed!
The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."
Reverse stairway view
I love these upper neighborhoods.
Now from the inside looking at the same area.
Click on this photo to see what it looked like on this spot 101 years ago (I'm not kidding)
Through the windows of the Metropolitan Club you can see one of the displays of Met Stadium memorabilia.
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
A collection of support pillars for the left field pavilion.
They can put a camera just about anywhere. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
Uh oh. Schizophrenia.
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)