Citi Field is a stadium located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens. Completed in 2009, it is the home baseball park of Major League Baseball's New York Mets. Citi Field was built as a replacement for the adjacent Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964 next to the site of the 1964-1965 World's Fair. Citi Field was designed by Populous (formerly HOK Sport), and is named after Citigroup, a New York financial services company which purchased the naming rights. The $850 million baseball park was funded by the sale of New York City municipal bonds which are to be repaid by the Mets plus interest. The payments will offset property taxes for the lifetime of the park.
The first game at Citi Field was on March 29, 2009, with a college baseball game between St. John's and Georgetown. The Mets played their first two games at the ballpark on April 3 and April 4, 2009 against the Boston Red Sox as charity exhibition games. The first regular season home game was played on April 13, 2009, against the San Diego Padres. Citi Field hosted the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. This marked the second time the Mets have hosted the game, the first being 1964, the inaugural season of Shea Stadium.
Citi Field has a capacity of 41,922. It has over 15,000 fewer seats than Shea Stadium. All the seats in the park are green - in an homage to the Polo Grounds, longtime home of the baseball Giants and the original home of the Mets - as opposed to Shea's orange, blue, red and green assortment. The exterior facade is reminiscent of Ebbets Field (which was long sought by Mets owner Fred Wilpon, a Brooklyn native).
Citi Field's interior design is primarily influenced by PNC Park, which was the favorite ballpark of Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. Other influences include Great American Ball Park, Coors Field and Citizens Bank Park. Shea Stadium was the only ballpark in the Major Leagues to feature orange foul poles instead of the standard yellow, a unique characteristic that made its way into Citi Field.
Citi Field features an overarching bridge motif in its architecture, as New York City is linked by 2,027 bridges and is reflected in the Mets logo, as the team is the symbolic bridge to past National League teams like the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the outfield section of the ballpark, there is a pedestrian bridge named Shea Bridge which resembles the Hell Gate Bridge.
Jackie Robinson Rotunda:
The front entrance of Citi Field features a rotunda named after Brooklyn Dodgers legend Jackie Robinson and honors his life and accomplishments. Engraved into the rotunda’s 160-foot-diameter (49 m) floor and etched into the archways are words and larger-than-life images that defined Robinson’s nine values: Courage, Excellence, Persistence, Justice, Teamwork, Commitment, Citizenship, Determination and Integrity.
Amenities and Facilities:
Behind the center field scoreboard is the 2K Sports FanFest area, an expanded family entertainment area that includes a miniature wiffleball field replica of Citi Field called Mr. Met's Kiddie Field, a batting cage, a dunk tank, video game kiosks and other attractions.
Mets Hall of Fame & Museum:
The Mets Hall of Fame & Museum is located adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda on the first base side and opened on April 5, 2010. The museum includes plaques honoring the inductees of the New York Mets Hall of Fame, the team's World Series trophies from 1969 and 1986, as well as artifacts on loan from noted collectors, former players and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The museum boasts several displays including autographed memorabilia, original scouting reports on players such as Daryl Strawberry, and handwritten notes from the team's first manager Casey Stengel.