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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
At lower left are the seats I'm not going to use any time soon.
In addition to the Pro Shop facade, you can see more gravel being laid before the final plaza surface is poured.
The canopy as viewed through the outfield stands. The lighting approach, despite what you may have heard, is actually very traditional.
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
World Series trophies on display at left
Bruce Lambrecht on the roof of the Minikahda building.
Looking back toward downtown from the end of the balcony
This looks like a Twins Pub, but is actually the scoreboard operations.
Looking for some detail
The media all turned out!
Those two empty seats in the front row are where we started the game.
A beautiful, glowing sunset after the rain.
Ready for action.
Click to see the full-size image.
Looking back toward First Avenue
An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)
Let's be honest and say that this promenade, which will face the HERC plant, won't be the most exciting part of the streetscape. It has to be provided for circulation reasons, but there won't be much to see unless vendors and other attractions take root here.
(Click to enlarge greatly)
Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)
Section 101, Row 34
I think this promenade over the railroad tracks needs a name. How about the Halsey Hall Promenade? (Please do not throw cigar butts onto the tracks!)
iew of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.