A 2010 night game at Citi Field
|Address||41 Seaver Way|
|Location||Flushing, Queens, New York|
|Public transit|| Long Island Rail Road (LIRR): Mets–Willets Point|
New York City Subway: trains at Mets–Willets Point
New York City Bus: Q48
|Owner||Government of New York City|
|Operator||New York Mets|
45,000+ (including standing room)
|Record attendance||45,186 (2013 All-Star Game)|
44,859 (2015 World Series)
44,466 (Regular season)
|Broke ground||November 13, 2006|
|Opened||March 29, 2009 (college game)|
April 3, 2009 (exhibition game)
April 13, 2009 (regular season)
|Construction cost||US$900 million|
($1.05 billion in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Populous (formerly HOK Sport)|
|Structural engineer||WSP Cantor Seinuk|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||Hunt/Bovis Lend Lease Alliance II (a joint venture)|
|Main contractors||International Concrete Products|
|New York Mets (MLB) (2009–present)|
Citi Field is a baseball park located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in New York City. Completed in 2009, it is the home field of the New York Mets of the National League division of Major League Baseball. The stadium was built as a replacement for the adjacent Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964 next to the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Citi Field was designed by Populous (then 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 with $615 million in public subsidies, including 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 Mets are receiving $20 million annually from Citibank in exchange for naming the stadium Citi Field.
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 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).
- 1 History
- 2 Features
- 3 Public opinion
- 4 Access and transportation
- 5 Attendance records
- 6 Naming rights
- 7 Stadium comparison
- 8 Notable events
- 9 Other events
- 10 In popular culture
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Since the 1990s, the Mets were looking to replace Shea Stadium. It had originally been built as a multi-purpose stadium in 1964. 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 $1.6 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 which 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. By December 1, 2008, all of the seats and the playing field had been installed.
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. 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 feet (4.9 m) to 8 feet (2.4 m) 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. Changes included building an 8 feet (2.4 m) wall in front of the high 16 feet (4.9 m) 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 feet (126 m) from home plate to 390 feet (120 m). 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 feet (120 m) for the 2015 season.
On March 21, 2019, the Mets announced on Twitter that Citi Field's permanent address will 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 1969 World Series Champion Mets.
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 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. Shea Stadium was the only ballpark in the Major League Baseball to feature orange foul poles instead of the standard yellow, a unique characteristic that 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 which 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. 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.
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-square-foot (2,090 m2) 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-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.
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-foot (2.4 m) sculpture of Robinson's number 42. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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 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. 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 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 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.
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. Reviewers have also praised the many culinary offerings at Citi Field's concession stands.
Despite the modern amenities, Citi Field has not been without criticism. Fans have complained of obstructed views, and overemphasis on the celebration of the Brooklyn Dodgers' legacy over the history of the Mets. 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,
|“||When Citi Field opened, the Brooklyn focus drew some criticism. After all, the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957, and Ebbets Field was demolished shortly thereafter. Only the very oldest fans have any first-hand memory of the place. The Mets, who had been in existence for almost a half century, were virtually ignored in their own home. 'All the Dodger stuff—that was an error of judgment on my part,' Wilpon told me.||”|
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. The team also worked on fixing the obstructed views in the Promenade level.
During its first three seasons in existence, Citi Field was known to play as a "pitcher's park", and has been 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 at least 30 in the previous two seasons, while Bay had the worst offensive production of his career in his first season with the Mets in 2010, only hitting 6 home runs, 47 RBIs, and OBP of just .347, and a slugging percentage of a career-low .402. 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 more neutral ballpark. Wright's 2012 offensive numbers have 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-foot flyout, you're 1-for-1 and feeling good about yourself."
Access and transportation
|Attractions and Geographical Features of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park|
Attractions and geographical features of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park:
Flushing Meadows Carousel
Flushing Meadows Natatorium
Flushing River and Creek
Mets–Willets Point (LIRR and subway stations)
National Tennis Center
New York Hall of Science
New York State Pavilion, Queens Theatre and Queens Zoo
Queens Botanical Garden
World's Fair station (demolished)
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. 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 (7 and <7> trains) 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. 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 0.25 miles (0.40 km) 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.
Since the construction of Citi Field began, satellite parking lots in Flushing Meadow Park (access from College Point Boulevard) have been opened.
Bold indicates the winner of each game.
|Highest attendance at Citi Field|
|1||45,186||July 16, 2013||National League 0, American League 3||2013 MLB All Star Game|
|2||44,859||November 1, 2015||Mets 2, Royals 7 (12 innings)||2015 World Series (Game 5)|
|3||44,815||October 31, 2015||Mets 3, Royals 5||2015 World Series (Game 4)|
|4||44,781||October 30, 2015||Mets 9, Royals 3||2015 World Series (Game 3)|
|5||44,747||October 5, 2016||Mets 0, Giants 3||2016 National League Wild Card Game|
|6||44,502||October 18, 2015||Mets 4, Cubs 1||2015 NLCS|
|7||44,466||April 30, 2016||Mets 6, Giants 5||Regular season record|
|8||44,384||April 3, 2017||Mets 6, Braves 0||2017 Opening Day|
|9||44,287||October 17, 2015||Mets 4, Cubs 2||2015 NLCS|
|10||44,276||October 12, 2015||Mets 13, Dodgers 7||2015 NLDS|
|11||44,189||March 29, 2018||Mets 9, Cardinals 4||2018 Opening Day|
|12||44,183||October 13, 2015||Mets 1, Dodgers 3||2015 NLDS|
Bold indicates the winner of each game.
|Highest regular season attendance at Citi Field|
|1||44,466||April 30, 2016||Mets 6, Giants 5|
|2||44,424||April 4, 2019||Mets 0, Nationals 4||2019 Home Opener|
|3||44,384||April 3, 2017||Mets 6, Braves 0||2017 Home Opener|
|4||44,189||March 29, 2018||Mets 9, Cardinals 4||2018 Home Opener|
|5||44,099||April 8, 2016||Mets 7, Phillies 2||2016 Home Opener|
|6||43,947||April 13, 2015||Mets 2, Phillies 0||2015 Home Opener|
|7||43,875||August 10, 2019||Mets 4, Nationals 3|
|8||43,630||September 19, 2015||Mets 0, Yankees 5|
|9||43,602||September 18, 2015||Mets 5, Yankees 1|
|10||43,571||September 20, 2015||Mets 2, Yankees 11|
|11||43,462||May 27, 2016||Mets 6, Dodgers 5|
|12||43,323||July 3, 2019||Mets 1, Yankees 5|
|13||43,255||August 29, 2015||Mets 1, Red Sox 3|
|14||42,996||August 1, 2015||Mets 3, Nationals 2|
|15||42,516||July 3, 2012||Mets 11, Phillies 1|
Bold indicates the winner of each game.
|Progression of attendance records at Citi Field|
|41,007 – April 13, 2009|
Mets 5, Padres 6
|41,103 – May 25, 2009|
Mets 5, Nationals 2
|41,221 – June 25, 2009|
Mets 3, Cardinals 2
|41,278 – June 26, 2009|
Mets 1, Yankees 9
|41,302 – June 27, 2009|
Mets 0, Yankees 5
|41,315 – June 28, 2009|
Mets 2, Yankees 5
|41,382 – May 21, 2010|
Mets 1, Yankees 2
|41,422 – May 23, 2010|
Mets 6, Yankees 4
|42,020 – July 1, 2011|
Mets 1, Yankees 5
|42,042 – July 2, 2011|
Mets 2, Yankees 5
|42,080 – April 5, 2012|
Mets 1, Braves 0
|42,122 – June 23, 2012|
Mets 3, Yankees 4
|42,364 – June 24, 2012|
Mets 5, Yankees 6
|42,516 – July 3, 2012|
Mets 11, Phillies 1
|42,516 – July 3, 2012
Mets 11, Phillies 1
|45,186 – July 16, 2013|
N.L. 0, A.L. 3
2013 All Star Game
|43,947 – April 13, 2015|
Mets 2, Phillies 0
|43,947 – April 13, 2015
Mets 2, Phillies 0
|44,276 – October 12, 2015|
Mets 13, Dodgers 7
2015 NLDS Game 3
|44,287 – October 17, 2015|
Mets 4, Cubs 1
2015 NLCS Game 1
|44,502 – October 18, 2015|
Mets 4, Cubs 1
2015 NLCS Game 2
|44,781 – October 30, 2015|
Mets 9, Royals 3
2015 World Series Game 3
|44,781 – October 31, 2015|
Mets 3, Royals 5
2015 World Series Game 4
|44,859 – November 1, 2015|
Mets 2, Royals 7 (12 innings)
2015 World Series Game 5
|44,099 – April 8, 2016
Mets 7, Phillies 2
|44,859 – November 1, 2015|
Mets 2, Royals 7 (12 innings)
2015 World Series Game 5
|44,466 – April 30, 2016|
Mets 6, Giants 5
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. 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, and Barclays Center in Brooklyn 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. On February 24, 2008, the Mets and Citigroup unveiled the new Citi Field logo.
Both Citigroup and the Mets maintain that the naming rights deal is secure, despite Citigroup's economic troubles. This deal has been criticized in light of the late-2000s financial crisis and the $45 billion of taxpayer funds allocated to Citigroup by the U.S. federal government in two separate rescue packages, prompting New York City Council members Vincent Ignizio and James Oddo to suggest that the new ballpark be called "Citi/Taxpayer Field." Radio talk show host Brian Lehrer suggested the name "Debits Field" which combines baseball history with public outrage over the Citi bailout. Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who serves 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." On January 29, 2009, congressmen Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Ted Poe of Texas sent a letter to United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner urging him to scrap Citigroup's $400 million naming rights deal. "We request that you intervene and demand that Citigroup dissolve the agreement they have with the New York Mets," reads the letter. "Absent this outcome, we feel strongly that you should compel Citigroup to return immediately all federal monies received to date, as well as cancel all loan guarantees." However, Geithner rejected congressional demands to cancel the naming rights deal.
The Wall Street Journal reported on February 3, 2009, that Citigroup considered breaking the naming rights deal. Citi has stated that no government TARP funds would be used in the sponsorship deal.
The naming rights controversy reemerged when details about owner Fred Wilpon's involvement in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme came to light when a lawsuit was filed on behalf of victims of Madoff's investment scandal in 2011.
|Stadium Name||Shea Stadium||Citi Field|
|Opening Day||April 17, 1964||April 13, 2009|
|Capacity||57,405||41,922 (45,000 with standing room)|
|Seat width||19" to 20", 19" average||19" to 24", 21" average|
|Legroom||32"||33" to 39"|
|Average concourse width||21 ft (6.4 m).||43 ft (13 m).|
|Restaurants (total capacity)||2 (528)||4 (3,334)|
|Team store||2,600 sq ft (240 m2).||7,201 sq ft (669.0 m2).|
|Public concourse toilets||568 (217W/345M/6F)||646 (305W/327M/14F)|
|Attendee per toilet ratio||101||70|
|Public elevators||4 (Otis Traction)||11 (9 Otis Gen2, and 2 Otis Hydraulic)|
|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 – 338
|Left field line – 335|
Left field (2009–2011) – 371
Left Field – 358
Left center (2009–2011) – 384
Left center – 385
Center field – 408
Right center (2009–2011) – 415
Right center – 390
Right field (2009–2011) – 378
Right field – 375
Right field line – 330
- 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. 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, ending a 50-year drought, the longest in Major League Baseball.
- 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 Reinhardt, 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. 
- 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.
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. The stage was set up in the grassy part of the field just beyond second base.
June 14, 2013 – Foreigner (following game v. Chicago Cubs)
July 19, 2013 – Nas (following game v. Philadelphia)
8/2/2013 – O.A.R. (following game v. Kansas City)
August 23, 2013 – Third Eye Blind (following game v. Detroit)
June 14, 2014 – 50 Cent (following game v. San Diego)
7/12/2014 – Huey Lewis and the News (following game v. Miami)
August 16, 2014 – Boys II Men (following game v. Chicago Cubs)
September 27, 2014 – Austin Mahone (following game v. Houston)
Citi Field soccer matches
|Date||Winning Team||Result||Losing Team||Tournament||Spectators|
|June 7, 2011||Ecuador||1–1||Greece||Friendly||39,656|
|July 26, 2011||Juventus||1–0||Club América||World Football Challenge||20,859|
|August 15, 2012||Ecuador||3–0||Chile||Friendly||31,901|
|June 2, 2013||Israel||2–0||Honduras||26,170|
|October 22, 2017||NYCFC||2-2||Columbus Crew||Major League Soccer||20,113|
Other sports events
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. 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.
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 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 3-2 in overtime. 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. Following the Winter Classic, Citi Field, with the help of Recycle Track Systems, the waste, recycling, and sustainability partner of the New York Mets, was able to recycle the hockey rink that was used during the game.
In popular culture
- Citi Field was also featured as a location in the film Sharknado 2: The Second One, in which a tornado filled with sharks hits the ballpark.
- Shea Stadium, the home of the Mets from 1964 to 2008
- Yankee Stadium, a baseball stadium in The Bronx for the New York Yankees, which opened in April 2009
- Prudential Center, an arena in Newark, New Jersey for the New Jersey Devils, which opened in October 2007
- Barclays Center, an arena in Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders, which opened in September 2012
- MetLife Stadium, a football stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey for the New York Giants and New York Jets, which opened in April 2010
- Red Bull Arena, a soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey for the New York Red Bulls, which opened in March 2010
- The Mets lease the ballpark through a sub-company known as Queens Ballpark Company LLC (see Queens Ballpark Company financial report). That's because the land the ballpark was built on is owned by New York City and is leased to the Mets. The company is in charge of managing the lease and making sure it is paid on time each year.
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@CitiField is getting a permanent address change! We will be officially renaming 126th Street to honor #TomSeaver. More info to come at a later date. #Mets
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Citi Field’s permanent address will become 41 Seaver Way for the jersey number Tom Terrific wore, the sources said.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Citi Field.|
- Stadium site on Mets.com
- Mets Ballparks from Mets Media Guide
- Belson, Ken & Sandomir, Richard. "Mets' New Home Is the 'Anti-Shea'," The New York Times, March 5, 2009.
|Events and tenants|
| Home of the
New York Mets
2009 – present
| Host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game
| Host of the
NHL Winter Classic
Notre Dame Stadium