Citi Field

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Citi Field is a ballpark located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York City, United States. It opened in 2009 and is the home field of Major League Baseball's New York Mets. The stadium was built as a replacement for the adjacent Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964.

Citi Field was designed by Populous. The $850 million baseball park was funded with $615 million in public subsidies, including the sale of New York City municipal bonds that are to be repaid by the Mets with interest. +more 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. +more John's and Georgetown. The Mets played their first two games at the ballpark on April 3 and 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, marking the second time the Mets have hosted the event (the first being in 1964, the inaugural season of Shea Stadium).

The naming rights were purchased by Citigroup, a New York financial services company, for $20 million annually.

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History

Planning

Since the 1990s, the Mets were looking to replace Shea Stadium. It had originally been built as a multi-purpose stadium in 1964. +more While it had been retrofitted as a baseball-only stadium after the NFL's New York Jets left for Giants Stadium after the 1983 season, it was still not optimal for baseball, with seating located farther away from the playing field compared to other major league ballparks. The team unveiled a preliminary model of the ballpark in 1998; it featured a retractable roof and a movable grass field, which would have allowed it to host events including conventions and college basketball. The Mets also considered moving to Mitchel Field or Belmont Park in Nassau County, Long Island; Sunnyside Yard in Queens, or the West Side Yard in Manhattan.

In December 2001, shortly before leaving office, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced "tentative agreements" for both the Mets and the New York Yankees to build new stadiums. Of the $1. +more6 billion sought for the stadiums, city and state taxpayers would pick up half the tab for construction, $800 million, along with $390 million on extra transportation. The plan also said that the teams would be allowed to keep all parking revenues, which state officials had already said they wanted to keep to compensate the state for building new garages for the teams. The teams would keep 96% of ticket revenues and 100% of all other revenues, not pay sales tax or property tax on the stadium, and would get low-cost electricity from New York state. Business officials criticized the plan as giving too much money to successful teams with little reason to move to a different city.

Michael Bloomberg, who succeeded Giuliani as mayor, exercised the escape clause in the agreements to back out of both deals, saying that the city could not afford to build new stadiums for the Mets and Yankees. Bloomberg said that, unbeknownst to him, Giuliani had inserted a clause in this deal that loosened the teams' leases with the city and would allow the Mets and Yankees to leave the city on 60 days notice to find a new home elsewhere if the city backed out of the agreement. +more At the time, Bloomberg said that publicly funded stadiums were a poor investment. Under Bloomberg, the New York City government would only offer public financing for infrastructure improvements; the teams would have to pay for the stadiums themselves. Bloomberg called the former mayor's agreements "corporate welfare. " Giuliani had already been instrumental in the construction of taxpayer-funded minor league baseball facilities MCU Park for the Mets' minor league Brooklyn Cyclones and Richmond County Bank Ballpark for the Staten Island Yankees.

The final plans for what is now Citi Field were created as part of the unsuccessful New York City 2012 Olympic bid. After plans for a West Side Stadium fell through, New York looked for an alternate stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field. +more The Olympic Stadium project on the West Side was estimated to cost $2. 2 billion, with $300 million provided by New York City and an additional $300 million from New York State. If New York had won the bid, Citi Field would have been expanded to Olympic events while the Mets would have played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx for the 2012 season. By then, however, the failure of the West Side Stadium proposal had effectively ended New York's chances of winning the 2012 games.

Construction

The projected cost of the new ballpark and other infrastructure improvements is $610 million, with the Mets picking up $420 million of that amount. The agreement includes a 40-year lease that will keep the Mets in New York until 2049. +more The Mets own the stadium through a wholly owned subsidiary, Queens Ballpark Company.

On March 18, 2006, the New York Mets unveiled the official model for the new ballpark. By July 2006, initial construction of the new park was underway in the parking lot beyond Shea Stadium's left-field, with a projected finish of late March ahead of Opening Day 2009.

By April 13, 2008, all of the structure for the Jackie Robinson Rotunda was in place with the arched windows receiving their paneling and glass. By September 2008, most of the Citi Field signage had been installed. +more By December 1, 2008, all of the seats and the playing field had been installed.

Modifications

During the 2010 off-season, the bullpen area in right-center field underwent a complete renovation. When the edifice opened in time for the start of the 2009 MLB season, the Mets' bullpen was in front of the visiting bullpen, leading to an obstructed view of the field from the visiting bullpen, which the San Diego Padres complained about during the Mets' first regular-season home series. +more The bullpens were turned 90°, with pitchers throwing toward the field instead of parallel to it. More Mets team colors, player banners and logos were also added throughout the ballpark, including revamping the "Let's Go Mets" slogan on the Citi Vision board so that the word "Mets" appears in its traditional script instead of the same font as the rest of the slogan. Additionally, the height of the home run boundary line directly in front of the Home Run Apple in center field was reduced from 16 ft to 8 ft in an attempt to produce more home runs.

During its first three seasons, the large field dimensions caused Citi Field to play as an extreme "pitcher's park", and home-runs at the stadium were among the fewest in the Major Leagues. Mets' general manager Sandy Alderson changed Citi Field's dimensions in time for the 2012 MLB season in order to make it more friendly to hitters. +more Changes included building an 8 ft wall in front of the high 16 ft wall in left field that many had dubbed the "Great Wall of Flushing", removing the nook in the "Mo's Zone" in right field, and reducing the distance in right center field from 415 ft from home plate to 390 ft. The new walls are colored blue in order to address fan complaints that the old black walls with orange trims did not reflect the colors of the Mets. The Mets have also created a new seating section located in between the old and new left field walls called the Party City Party Deck, renamed the M&M's Sweet Seats in 2016 after change of sponsorship, and can accommodate 102 additional fans.

The center and right-center outfield wall were brought in to 380 ft for the 2015 season.

On March 21, 2019, the Mets announced on Twitter that Citi Field's permanent address would be changed to 41 Seaver Way, in honor of former Mets Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver whose number was 41. The ceremony was held on June 27, 2019 and was part of the weekend set aside for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 World Series Champion Mets.

Features

Citi Field has a capacity of 41,922. It has over 15,000 fewer seats than Shea Stadium. +more 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 then-Mets owner Fred Wilpon, a Brooklyn native).

Citi Field's interior design is primarily influenced by the Pittsburgh Pirates' 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. +more Citi Field is the only ballpark in Major League Baseball to feature orange foul poles instead of the standard yellow, a unique characteristic that was carried over from Shea Stadium.

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 the city's past National League teams, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the outfield section of the ballpark, there is a pedestrian bridge named Shea Bridge that resembles the Hell Gate Bridge.

Similar to Shea Stadium, Citi Field's field dimensions ensure it is a pitcher-friendly park. The Coca-Cola Corner, originally known as the Pepsi Porch, hangs over the field in right field, extending far beyond the indentation of the Clubhouse and is inspired by Tiger Stadium's right field porch. +more The Pepsi sign that sat atop the area (2009-2015) was modeled after the one alongside the East River in Gantry Plaza State Park; it was replaced by Coca-Cola's logo in 2016 upon assuming the role of a Mets sponsor.

In 2012, the Mets added the Party City Party Deck in left field because they moved the fences in. The Party Deck is very similar to The Royals' Pepsi Party Porch.

Delta Air Lines signed a multiyear deal on September 15, 2008, to sponsor an exclusive section in Citi Field. The Delta Sky360 Club is a 22,500 sqft restaurant-cafe-bar-lounge complex that also houses 1,600 premium seats behind home plate stretching from dugout to dugout.

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 ft 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.

Robinson's famous quote: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" is engraved into the upper ring of the rotunda. There is also an 8 ft sculpture of Robinson's number 42. +more The formal dedication of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda was held as part of Major League Baseball's official celebration of Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2009.

Home Run Apple

Another tradition from Shea Stadium carried over into Citi Field is the Home Run Apple. When a Mets player hits a home run, a giant apple, which has a Mets logo on the front that lights up, rises from its housing in the center field batter's eye. +more The new apple that was constructed for Citi Field is more than four times the size of the previous one and was designed by Minneapolis-based engineering firm Uni-Systems.

During the 2009 season, the original Shea apple was located in Bullpen Plaza, just inside the Bullpen Gate entrance. In 2010, it was relocated outside the ballpark in Mets Plaza to the area between the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and the entrance to the Mets-Willets Point subway station.

Statue

On April 15, 2022, at their season home opener, the Mets unveiled a statue of Tom Seaver created by sculptor William Behrends and located behind the original Home Run Apple outside of Citi Field.

Amenities and facilities

Behind the center field scoreboard is the FanFest area, an expanded family entertainment area that includes a miniature wiffleball field replica of Citi Field called Mr. +more Met's Kiddie Field, a batting cage, a dunk tank, video game kiosks and other attractions.

Citi Field offers a wide choice of eateries. Taste of the City is a food court located in the center field section of the ballpark. +more It features food from restaurateur Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group and includes a variety of stands, including Shake Shack (burgers, fries, shakes), Blue Smoke (barbecue), El Verano Taqueria (Mexican cuisine), Catch of the Day (featuring seafood from chef Dave Pasternack of Esca), and Box Frites (Belgian French fries); the Shake Shack stand also has the New York skyline replica that topped the old scoreboard at Shea Stadium above it. The World's Fare Market is located on the field level in right field and features sushi from Daruma of Tokyo, sandwiches and pastries from Mama's of Corona, Chinese cuisine from Tai Pan Bakery and Korean food from Café Hanover. Citi Field also offers a choice of fresh fruit at several stands around the stadium.

In 2010 Citi Field upgraded the food choices on the Promenade Level behind home plate. Blue Smoke BBQ and Box Frites both open a second location.

Restaurants and clubs are also available in every level of the ballpark. The 350-seat Acela Club (now Porsche Grill) located in left field on the Excelsior Level, is the dining highlight of the new park and features a full view of the playing field as well as food from Drew Nieporent's Myriad Restaurant Group, renowned for Nobu and Tribeca Grill. +more Admission into the high-end luxury Porsche Grill and Delta Sky360 Club, and including the other semi-luxury clubs are exclusive to high-end ticket holders only, and some restaurants enforce that reservations be made. A McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon opened at Citi Field in 2010. It is located directly under the Good Humor FanFest and is open to the public year-round.

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 and , as well as artifacts on loan from noted collectors, former players and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. +more The museum boasts several displays including autographed memorabilia, original scouting reports on players such as Darryl Strawberry, and handwritten notes from the team's first manager Casey Stengel. In addition to this the team has installed interactive touchscreens, television screens, and timelines that guide visitors through various aspects of the franchise's history.

Public opinion

Business Insider praised the stadium for its aesthetics and named it one of the top 100 venues in sports, while BaseballParks. com called it "perfect" and especially lauded the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. +more Reviewers also praised the many culinary offerings at Citi Field's concession stands.

Despite the modern amenities, the new Citi Field was not without criticism. Fans complained of obstructed views and an overemphasis on the celebration of the Brooklyn Dodgers' legacy over the history of the Mets. +more Mets owner Fred Wilpon, a Brooklyn native, had grown up a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and admitted to going overboard. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote in The New Yorker, [wiki_quote=223b5417].

In response to these criticisms, the team installed photographic imagery of famous players and historic moments in Mets history on the Field and Promenade levels as well as the display of team championship banners on the left-field wall during the 2009 season. They also constructed a Mets Hall of Fame and Museum prior to the 2010 season, located adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, and changed the color of the outfield wall from black to Mets blue prior to the 2012 season, which many Mets fans had campaigned for. +more The team also worked on fixing the obstructed views in the Promenade level.

During its first three seasons in existence, Citi Field played as an extreme "pitcher's park", and was cited as the cause of the decreased offensive production of David Wright and Jason Bay. Wright hit only 10 home runs in 2009 after hitting 30 or more in each of the previous two seasons, while Bay had the worst offensive production of his career in his first season with the Mets in 2010, hitting only 6 home runs, with an on-base percentage of just . +more347, and a career low . 402 slugging percentage. Jeff Francoeur, who played with the Mets during their first two years at Citi Field, criticized the ballpark's dimensions, calling it "a damn joke. " During the 2011 season, Citi Field allowed 1. 33 home runs per game, the third lowest total out of the 16 National League ballparks. The team responded by altering the ballpark dimensions for the 2012 season, creating a much more neutral ballpark. Wright's 2012 offensive numbers improved due to the alterations. "It's a huge difference", Wright said. "It allows you to relax and know you don't have to try to hit the ball a mile to see results. And at the same time, if you do hit the ball well and you see results, instead of a 400 ft flyout, you're 1-for-1 and feeling good about yourself. ".

Access and transportation

Citi Field is located in the borough of Queens, adjacent to the neighborhoods of Corona, which lies to its west, and Willets Point and Flushing to the east. Flushing Bay is to the north, and the rest of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is to the south. +more Because it lies within the Flushing postal zone, and because of its location in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Citi Field is frequently referred to as being in Flushing proper.

Citi Field is accessible via the New York City Subway via the IRT Flushing Line at the Mets-Willets Point station, and the Long Island Rail Road station on the Port Washington Branch also called Mets-Willets Point. New York Water Taxi operates a free ferry to the stadium from Pier 11/Wall Street and the East 34th Street Ferry Landing before every game. +more For selected games, SeaStreak provides ferry service between Highlands, New Jersey and the stadium. Both ferry services use the slips at the World's Fair Marina, located approximately 0 mi north of Citi Field. The park is also close to several major thoroughfares, including the Grand Central Parkway, the Whitestone and Van Wyck Expressways, the Long Island Expressway, Roosevelt Avenue, Northern Boulevard and Astoria Boulevard.

Park and rides

Since the construction of Citi Field began, satellite parking lots in Flushing Meadow Park (access from College Point Boulevard) have been opened. Some of these have been designated as park and rides, used by commuters connecting to the trains and the bus. +more In 2020, Columbia Transportation started a commuter service, the to the Southfield Parking Lot, mainly for commuters from Queens to go to before boarding the bus to Columbia. This service was discontinued in December 2021.

Attendance records

Overall

Bold indicates the winner of each game.

Highest attendance at Citi Field
AttendanceAbout";|Notes
145,186July 16, 2013National League 0, American League 32013 MLB All Star Game
244,859November 1, 2015Mets 2, Royals 7 (12 innings)2015 World Series (Game 5)
344,815October 31, 2015Mets 3, Royals 52015 World Series (Game 4)
444,781October 30, 2015Mets 9, Royals 32015 World Series (Game 3)
544,747October 5, 2016Mets 0, Giants 32016 National League Wild Card Game
644,502October 18, 2015Mets 4, Cubs 12015 NLCS (Game 2)
744,466April 30, 2016Mets 6, Giants 5Regular season record
844,384April 3, 2017Mets 6, Braves 02017 Opening Day
944,287October 17, 2015Mets 4, Cubs 22015 NLCS (Game 1)
1044,276October 12, 2015Mets 13, Dodgers 72015 NLDS Game 3
1144,189March 29, 2018Mets 9, Cardinals 42018 Opening Day
1244,183October 13, 2015Mets 1, Dodgers 32015 NLDS Game 4

Regular season

Bold indicates the winner of each game.

Highest regular season attendance at Citi Field
AttendanceGame result";|Notes
144,466April 30, 2016Mets 6, Giants 5
244,424April 4, 2019Mets 0, Nationals 42019 Home Opener
344,384April 3, 2017Mets 6, Braves 02017 Home Opener
444,189March 29, 2018Mets 9, Cardinals 42018 Home Opener
544,099April 8, 2016Mets 7, Phillies 22016 Home Opener
643,947April 13, 2015Mets 2, Phillies 02015 Home Opener743,928September 29, 2018Mets 1, Marlines 0David Wrights Last Game
843,875August 10, 2019Mets 4, Nationals 3
943,857August 13, 2022Mets 1, Phillies 0
1043,820April 15, 2022Mets 10, Diamondbacks 32022 Home Opener
1143,630September 19, 2015Mets 0, Yankees 5
1243,602September 18, 2015Mets 5, Yankees 1
1343,571September 20, 2015Mets 2, Yankees 11
1443,462May 27, 2016Mets 6, Dodgers 5
1543,336July 9, 2022Mets 5, Marlins 4Keith Hernandez Number Retirement
1643,323July 3, 2019Mets 1, Yankees 5
1743,255August 29, 2015Mets 1, Red Sox 3
1843,144September 11, 2021Mets 7, Yankees 820th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
1942,996August 1, 2015Mets 3, Nationals 2

Progression

Bold indicates the winner of each game.

Progression of attendance records at Citi Field
Mets";|Overall
41,007 - April 13, 2009 Mets 5, Padres 641,007 - April 13, 2009 Mets 5, Padres 641,007 - April 13, 2009 Mets 5, Padres 6
41,103 - May 25, 2009 Mets 5, Nationals 241,103 - May 25, 2009 Mets 5, Nationals 241,103 - May 25, 2009 Mets 5, Nationals 2
41,221 - June 25, 2009 Mets 3, Cardinals 241,221 - June 25, 2009 Mets 3, Cardinals 241,221 - June 25, 2009 Mets 3, Cardinals 2
41,278 - June 26, 2009 Mets 1, Yankees 941,278 - June 26, 2009 Mets 1, Yankees 941,278 - June 26, 2009 Mets 1, Yankees 9
41,302 - June 27, 2009 Mets 0, Yankees 541,302 - June 27, 2009 Mets 0, Yankees 541,302 - June 27, 2009 Mets 0, Yankees 5
41,315 - June 28, 2009 Mets 2, Yankees 541,315 - June 28, 2009 Mets 2, Yankees 541,315 - June 28, 2009 Mets 2, Yankees 5
41,382 - May 21, 2010 Mets 1, Yankees 241,382 - May 21, 2010 Mets 1, Yankees 241,382 - May 21, 2010 Mets 1, Yankees 2
41,422 - May 23, 2010 Mets 6, Yankees 441,422 - May 23, 2010 Mets 6, Yankees 441,422 - May 23, 2010 Mets 6, Yankees 4
42,020 - July 1, 2011 Mets 1, Yankees 542,020 - July 1, 2011 Mets 1, Yankees 542,020 - July 1, 2011 Mets 1, Yankees 5
42,042 - July 2, 2011 Mets 2, Yankees 542,042 - July 2, 2011 Mets 2, Yankees 542,042 - July 2, 2011 Mets 2, Yankees 5
42,080 - April 5, 2012 Mets 1, Braves 042,080 - April 5, 2012 Mets 1, Braves 042,080 - April 5, 2012 Mets 1, Braves 0
42,122 - June 23, 2012 Mets 3, Yankees 442,122 - June 23, 2012 Mets 3, Yankees 442,122 - June 23, 2012 Mets 3, Yankees 4
42,364 - June 24, 2012 Mets 5, Yankees 642,364 - June 24, 2012 Mets 5, Yankees 642,364 - June 24, 2012 Mets 5, Yankees 6
42,516 - July 3, 2012 Mets 11, Phillies 142,516 - July 3, 2012 Mets 11, Phillies 142,516 - July 3, 2012 Mets 11, Phillies 1
42,516 - July 3, 2012 Mets 11, Phillies 142,516 - July 3, 2012 Mets 11, Phillies 145,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. +more 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
43,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 043,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 045,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
43,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 044,276 - October 12, 2015 Mets 13, Dodgers 7 2015 NLDS Game 345,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
43,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 044,287 - October 17, 2015 Mets 4, Cubs 1 2015 NLCS Game 145,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
43,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 044,502 - October 18, 2015 Mets 4, Cubs 1 2015 NLCS Game 245,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
43,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 044,781 - October 30, 2015 Mets 9, Royals 3 2015 World Series Game 345,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
43,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 044,781 - October 31, 2015 Mets 3, Royals 5 2015 World Series Game 445,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
43,947 - April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 044,859 - November 1, 2015 Mets 2, Royals 7 (12 innings) 2015 World Series Game 545,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
44,099 - April 8, 2016 Mets 7, Phillies 244,859 - November 1, 2015 Mets 2, Royals 7 (12 innings) 2015 World Series Game 545,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
44,466 - April 30, 2016 Mets 6, Giants 544,859 - November 1, 2015 Mets 2, Royals 7 (12 innings) 2015 World Series Game 545,186 - July 16, 2013 N. L. 0, A. L. 3 2013 All Star Game
.

Naming rights

On November 13, 2006, it was announced that the ballpark would be called Citi Field, named for Citigroup Inc. Citigroup will be paying $20 million a year for the naming rights to the park over the next 20 years. +more This made Citi Field the second major league sports venue in the New York metropolitan area and the first in the city itself to be named for a corporate sponsor. At the time, the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey's Meadowlands Sports Complex had carried the Continental Airlines name; since then Prudential Center in Newark, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and UBS Arena in Elmont have all opened under corporate sponsorship. The deal includes an option on both sides to extend the contract to 40 years, and is the most expensive sports-stadium naming rights agreement ever, subsequently equaled by MetLife Stadium's $400 million deal.

At the groundbreaking for Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, possibly due to campaigns to forgo naming rights revenue and name the ballpark after Robinson. The Mets are spending more than $600 million for the new ballpark, which New York City and New York state are also supporting with a total of $165 million for such costs as infrastructure and site preparation. +more On February 24, 2008, the Mets and Citigroup unveiled the new Citi Field logo.

Controversy

The Citigroup naming rights deal, the most lucrative in history to that point, was criticized during the late-2000s financial crisis amid $45 billion of taxpayer funds loaned to Citigroup by the U. S. +more federal government in two rescue packages. Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who served on the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, stated in regards to the Citi Field naming rights deal, "This type of spending is indefensible and unacceptable to Citigroup's new partner and largest investor: the American taxpayer. I strongly urge Citigroup to find a way out of this contract and instead spend that $400 million on retaining its employees and restoring confidence in its operations. " The Wall Street Journal reported on February 3, 2009, that Citigroup considered breaking the naming rights deal. Instead, Citi stated that no government TARP funds would be used in the sponsorship deal. The naming rights controversy reemerged in a New York Times opinion piece when details about owner Fred Wilpon's involvement in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme came to light and a lawsuit was filed on behalf of victims of Madoff's investment scandal in 2011. Citigroup paid back the loan in full, with interest, by 2014.

Stadium comparison

Shea StadiumOpening DayApril 17, 1964April 13, 2009
Seat width19" to 20", 19" average19" to 24", 21" average
33" to 39"
Wheelchair seating174830
Luxury suites4554
Team store2,600 sqft. 7,201 sqft. +more
Attendee per toilet ratio10170
Field dimensions (feet)Left field line - 338 Left field 1 - 358 Left Field 2 - 371 Left center - 396 Center field - 410 Right center - 396 Right field 2 - 371 Right field 1 - 358 Right field line - 338Left field line - 335 Left field (2009-2011) - 371 Left Field - 358 Left center (2009-2011) - 384 Left center - 370 Center field - 408 Right center (2009-2011) - 415 Right center - 380 Right field (2009-2011) - 378 Right field - 375 Right field line - 330
.

Notable events

April 13, 2009 - In the first Mets game ever played at Citi Field, Jody Gerut of the San Diego Padres hit a home run off Mike Pelfrey as the first batter of the game, becoming the first player in Major League Baseball history to open a ballpark with a leadoff home run. * April 17, 2009 - Gary Sheffield hit his 500th home run against the Milwaukee Brewers, becoming the first player to reach this milestone as a pinch hitter. +more It was Sheffield's first home run as a Met, which made Sheffield the first player to hit number 500 as his first home run with a new team. * June 28, 2009 - Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees recorded his 500th career save, becoming only the second relief pitcher to reach this milestone. The Mets gave Rivera the pitching rubber from Citi Field used in the game in honor of his achievement. (Rivera's only RBI, on a bases-loaded walk, also occurred in the game. ) * July 17, 18 and 21, 2009 - Paul McCartney plays the first concert ever held at Citi Field. McCartney was part of a historic concert at Shea in 1965 as one of The Beatles, and had also been a guest at Billy Joel's farewell event for the stadium. The performances, whose 180,000 tickets sold out within hours of the announcement, and also had Joel as a guest, were registered on the live album Good Evening New York City. * August 23, 2009 - Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Eric Bruntlett executed an unassisted triple play to finish off a 9-7 win over the Mets. This is just the second game-ending unassisted triple play in Major League Baseball history. * September 11, 2011 - Citi Field hosted a nationally televised game against the Chicago Cubs to mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks of that day in 2001. The pregame ceremonies featured members of the 2001 team who played at Shea Stadium on September 21, 2001, the first major sporting event held in New York City since the attacks. * June 1, 2012 - Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history in an 8-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. * July 16, 2013 - Citi Field hosted the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, with the American League defeating the National League 3-0. The attendance of 45,186 was the largest in Citi Field's history. * June 9, 2015 - Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants threw a no-hitter in a 5-0 victory over the Mets. * October 3, 2015 - Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals threw a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory over the Mets, becoming the fifth pitcher in major league history to throw two no hitters in a season. * October 12, 2015 - Citi Field hosted its first playoff game, with the Mets defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-7 in Game 3 of the 2015 NLDS. * October 30, 2015 - Citi Field hosted its first World Series game, with the Mets defeating the Kansas City Royals 9-3 in Game 3 of the 2015 World Series. * November 1, 2015 - The Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series, their first World Series championship since the 1985 World Series with a 7-2 Game 5 victory over the Mets in 12 innings. * July 30, 2016 - In a pre-game ceremony before a 7-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, Mike Piazza's #31 was retired, only the second time in club history that the Mets retired a player's number. * October 5, 2016 - The San Francisco Giants defeated the Mets 3-0 in the 2016 National League Wild Card Game. * September 11-13, 2017 - A three-game series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays was moved from Tropicana Field to Citi Field due to Hurricane Irma. The Rays were the "home" team for this series because the games were supposed to be played in Tropicana Field. These were the first Major League Baseball games to be played at Citi Field that did not involve the New York Mets. Additionally, these were the first games played in Flushing under AL rules (excluding the 2013 All-Star Game) since April 1998, when the Yankees played a "home" game at Shea Stadium, after a beam caused structural damage at the original Yankee Stadium, and during the 1974 and 1975 seasons, while Yankee Stadium was being renovated. * January 1, 2018 - The 10th edition of the NHL Winter Classic was held at Citi Field between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers defeated the Sabres 3-2 in Overtime. Paul Carey, Michael Grabner, and J. T. Miller scored for the Rangers, while Sam Reinhart, and Rasmus Ristolainen scored for the Sabres. * October 6, 2018 - South Korean Boy Band BTS performed at Citi Field as a stop of their Love Yourself world tour, being the first South Korean act to ever sell out a stadium in the United States. As a part of their successful world tour, they also completed 12 other stops in North America, including Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, Oakland, California, Fort Worth, Texas, Newark, New Jersey, and Hamilton, Ontario. * June 23, 2019 - Dead & Company performed at the stadium for their Summer Tour 2019. * September 28, 2019 - Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso broke the record for most home runs in a season by a rookie set by Aaron Judge in 2017. * October 12-13, 2019, October 28-30, 2021 & September 23-25, 2022 - Large hip-hop music festival Rolling Loud was held at the stadium. 2019 headliners included Travis Scott, Meek Mill, Wu-Tang Clan, ASAP Rocky, and Lil Uzi Vert. 2021 headliners included 50 Cent, J. Cole, and Travis Scott. 2022 headliners included Nicki Minaj, ASAP Rocky, and Future. * September 23, 2020 - The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League East with a 8-5 win over the Mets. * June 25, 2021 - In a 2-1 loss to the Mets, Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies struck out 10 Mets batters in a row, tying Tom Seaver's record set in 1970. * August 4, 2021 - Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer continued their Hella Mega Tour to a sold-out crowd. * August 28, 2021 - In a pre-game ceremony before a 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals, Jerry Koosman's #36 was retired, only the third time in club history that the Mets retired a player's number. * September 11, 2021 - In a pre-game ceremony before an 8-7 loss to the Yankees, the Mets and Yankees remembered the September 11 attacks on the 20th anniversary of the attacks. The Mets and rival Yankees lined up on the foul lines together for the national anthem and a moment of silence for the victims of the attacks. Both teams wore NYPD and FDNY hats, and the game was nationally televised on Fox. * April 29, 2022 - Five Mets pitchers combined to throw the second no-hitter (and first combined no-hitter) in Mets franchise history in a 3-0 Mets victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. * June 24, 2022 - Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe performed to a sold-out crowd at Citi Field during their The Stadium Tour with Poison and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts as their special guests. * September 24-26, 2021 & June 10-12, 2022 - The Governors Ball Music Festival was held at the stadium. 2021 headliners included Billie Eilish, ASAP Rocky, J Balvin, and Post Malone. 2022 headliners included Kid Cudi, Halsey, and J. Cole.

Other events

Mets Concert Series post-game concerts (2012-2016)

Between 2012 and 2016, the Mets had a post-game concert series entitled "Mets Concert Series" after selected games. Unlike the concerts where the performance was the sole attraction of the evening, "Mets Concert Series" events were considered promotional dates, and admission to the concert was included in the price of the game ticket. +more The stage was set up in shallow center field.

Soccer matches

DateWinning TeamResultLosing TeamTournamentSpectators
June 7, 20111-1Friendly39,656
July 26, 2011+more'>Juventus1-0Club AméricaWorld Football Challenge20,859
August 15, 20123-0Friendly31,901
June 2, 20132-0Friendly26,170
October 22, 2017New York City FC2-2Columbus CrewMajor League Soccer20,113
October 23, 2019Toronto FC2-1New York City FCMajor League Soccer19,829
October 17, 2022New York City FC3-0Inter MiamiMajor League Soccer18,066
.

Hockey

On January 1, 2018, Citi Field hosted the 2018 NHL Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers won the game in overtime, 3-2. +more The Sabres were the designated home team for the game, as the Rangers' home arena of Madison Square Garden would lose its property tax exemption from the City of New York if any Rangers home games are not played there.

Lacrosse

The inaugural Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic was played at Citi Field on March 17, 2013, only the second time a major-league baseball stadium has staged college lacrosse, according to the Mets. In 1971, Navy played Johns Hopkins at the Houston Astrodome. +more Holy Cross played Navy at noon, followed by Colgate-Michigan at 3 p. m. Holy Cross defeated Navy 7-5 and Colgate defeated Michigan 10-7, before a crowd of 15,656.

Other sports events

On June 7, 2015, the first "Legends of Wrestling" event took place at Citi Field. It was a professional wrestling event, featuring veteran wrestlers such as Rob Van Dam, Lita, The Nasty Boys, Scott Steiner, and many more independent professional wrestlers, in up to six matches taking place; the event was headlined by Ric Flair, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, and Bill Goldberg.

On November 7, 2015, Citi Field hosted the first game of the Cricket All-Stars Series 2015, featuring many retired cricket players from around the world and led by great cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. Warne's Warriors defeated Sachin's Blasters by 6 wickets.

On November 16, 2019, Citi Field hosted the New York Hurling Classic-a one-day hurling tournament featuring Limerick, Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Wexford for the Players Champions Cup-which was won by Kilkenny.

COVID-19 pandemic

On January 12, 2021, the Mets and the Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that Citi Field would become a mass vaccination center during the COVID-19 pandemic beginning on January 25. Run by the city's public hospital system, the site administered over 200,000 vaccinations.

Outdoor ice hockey venues in the United States

2009 establishments in New York City

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