When the Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles after the 1957 season, Ebbets Field, one of the most nostalgic ballparks in baseball died. However, the opening of Baltimore’s Camden Yards in 1992 ushered in a new wave of retro ballparks that captured pieces of bygone ballparks including that famed ballpark. Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, captures Ebbets Field’s most signature feature, its iconic homeplate entrance. This is ironic because when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, New York City officials tried to get the team to build a new ballpark where Citi Field is located. For over a half-century the Mets have called New York City home. For 44 seasons the Mets played at Shea Stadium. Opening in 1964 it was a multipurpose stadium that fans both loved and hated. Throughout the mid 1990s and 2000s the Mets sought to have a new ballpark constructed as Shea Stadium lacked the modern amenities found in new ballparks built. In 2006 the club unveiled plans for a new stadium and received approval for $632.1 million in bonds for construction. On November 13, 2006 the Mets officially broke ground for the new ballpark that was built in the parking lot beyond the outfield of Shea Stadium. Citigroup, Inc., a financial service company purchased the naming rights to the new ballpark for $20 million per year over 20 years.
Whether arriving at the ballpark by car or stepping off the 7 Train, some older fans may have flashbacks to more than 60 years ago when the Brooklyn Dodgers played at Ebbets Field. The exterior and facade of Citi Field evokes memories of the former home of the Dodgers with its red brick and limestone facade and arched entrances. The most striking feature at Citi Field is the Jackie Robinson rotunda at the main entrance of the ballpark. Upon entering the rotunda, the view and atmosphere is just as impressive as the outside facade. Nine ideals associated with Jackie Robinson are engraved on the floor and flat panel TVs play highlights of Robinson’s career. Escalators and grand staircases take fans to their seats. Throughout the ballpark, fans continually have views of the ballpark from the open air concourses including from the split level upper deck.
Tenant: New York Mets (MLB)