Citi Field

Citi Field
Address 120–01 Roosevelt Avenue
Location Queens, New York
Coordinates 40°45′25″N 73°50′45″W / 40.75694°N 73.84583°W / 40.75694; -73.84583Coordinates: 40°45′25″N 73°50′45″W / 40.75694°N 73.84583°W / 40.75694; -73.84583
Public transit

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR):

Port Washington Line at Mets – Willets Point
New York City Subway:   trains at Mets – Willets Point
New York City Bus: Q48

Owner New York Mets[1]
Operator New York Mets
Capacity 41,922 (2012–present)[2]
41,800 (2009–2011)
45,000+ (including standing room)
Record attendance 45,186 (2013 All-Star Game)[3]
44,859 (2015 World Series) [4]
44,466 (Regular season)[5]
Field size

Left field
Left center
Deep left center
Center field
Deep right center 
Right center
Right field

335 feet (102 m)
358 feet (109 m)
385 feet (117 m)
408 feet (124 m)
398 feet (121 m)
375 feet (114 m)
330 feet (100 m)

Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
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
($994 million in 2016 dollars[6])
Architect Populous (formerly HOK Sport)
Structural engineer WSP Cantor Seinuk[7]
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[7]
General contractor Hunt/Bovis Lend Lease Alliance II (a Joint Venture)[7]
Main contractors International Concrete Products
New York Mets (MLB) (2009–present)

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 formerly adjacent Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964 next to the site of the 1964–1965 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 subsides,[8] 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.[9][10] The Mets are receiving $20 million annually from Citibank in exchange for naming the stadium Citi Field. The entire public cost is being borne by city and state taxpayers in New York.

The first game at Citi Field was on March 29, 2009, with a college baseball game between St. John's and Georgetown.[11] The Mets played their first two games at the ballpark on April 3 and April 4, 2009 against the Boston Red Sox[12] 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.[13]



Since the 1990s, the Mets had been 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 optimized for baseball, with seating located farther away from the playing field compared to other major league ballparks.[14] 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.[15]

In December 2001, shortly before leaving office, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced "tentative agreements" for both the Mets and 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[17] Business officials criticized the plan as giving too much money to successful teams with little reason to move to a different city.[17]

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.[16][17] 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 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.[18]


Citi Field under construction on September 14, 2007.

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 ahead of Opening Day 2009 in late March.

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.[19] By December 1, 2008, all of the seats and the playing field had been installed.[20]


During the 2010 offseason, 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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24] Changes include 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.[25] The Mets have also created a new seating section located in between the old and new left field walls called the Party City Deck and can accommodate 102 additional fans.[2]

The center and right-center outfield wall were brought in to 380 feet (120 m) for the 2015 season.[26]


Entrance to Citi Field through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, with Shea Stadium's Home Run Apple on the right.

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.[27] 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.[28]

Shea Bridge

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.[27] In the outfield section of the ballpark, there is a pedestrian bridge named Shea Bridge which resembles the Hell Gate Bridge.[22]

Similar to Shea Stadium, Citi Field's field dimensions make it 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.[29]

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-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.[30]

Jackie Robinson Rotunda

The interior of the 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.[28]

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.[27] 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.[31]

Home Run Apples

Citi Field's Home Run Apple located in center field.

Another tradition from Shea Stadium making an appearance in 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 has been 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.[32] Shea's original apple was located inside Citi Field's bullpen entrance gate for the 2009 season. In 2010, the Shea apple was relocated outside the ballpark at Mets Plaza, in between the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and the entrance to the Mets–Willets Point subway station.[33]

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.[34][35]

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).[27][36] 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.[36][37] Citi Field also offers a choice of fresh fruit at several stands around the stadium.[38] 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, 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.[27] Admission into the high-end luxury Acela and Delta clubs, 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 2K Sports FanFest and is open to the public year-round.[39][40]

Mets Hall of Fame & Museum

The original Mr. Met costume is one of the many exhibits on display at the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum.
David Cone's jersey from his 19 strikeout game on October 6, 1991, housed in the Mets Hall of Fame and 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.[41] 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 that guide visitors through various aspects of the franchise's 50-year history, and there are television screens and timelines that help weave all the disparate elements into a cohesive narrative.

Public opinion

The ballpark has also been used for amateur baseball games on TV and in movies.

Business Insider praised the stadium for its aesthetics and named it one of the top 100 venues in sports, while called it "perfect" and especially lauded the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.[42] Reviewers have also praised the many culinary offerings at Citi Field's concession stands.[43][44][45]

Despite the modern amenities, Citi Field has not been without criticism. Most notable have been fan complaints of obstructed views, as well as Mets fans' outrage at overemphasis on the celebration of the Brooklyn Dodgers' legacy over the history of the Mets.[46][47][48] Mets owner Fred Wilpon, a Brooklyn native, had grown up a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and admitted to going overboard; 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.[49]
The control room on the fifth level Concourse.

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.[50] The team also worked on fixing the obstructed views in the Promenade level.[51]

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,[52] 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.[53] 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."[54] During the 2011 season, Citi Field allowed 1.33 home runs per game, the third lowest total out of the 16 National League ballparks.[25] 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."[55]

Access and transportation

Citi Field is serviced by the IRT Flushing Line at the Mets – Willets Point station.

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 mass transit systems such as the New York City Subway via the IRT Flushing Line (7 <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.[56] 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.

Citi Field is near to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the annual US Open grand-slam tennis tournament is held.

Since the construction of Citi Field began, satellite parking lots in Flushing Meadow Park (access from College Point Boulevard) have been opened.

Attendance records


Bold indicates the winner of each game.

Highest attendance at Citi Field
RankAttendance Date Game result Notes
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
3 44,815 October 31, 2015 Mets 3, Royals 5 2015 World Series
4 44,781 October 30, 2015 Mets 9, Royals 3 2015 World Series
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 44,287 October 17, 2015 Mets 4, Cubs 2 2015 NLCS
9 44,276 October 12, 2015 Mets 13, Dodgers 7 2015 NLDS
10 44,183 October 13, 2015 Mets 1, Dodgers 3 2015 NLDS

Regular Season

Bold indicates the winner of each game.

Highest regular season attendance at Citi Field
RankAttendance Date Game result Notes
1 44,466 April 30, 2016 Mets 6, Giants 5
2 44,099 April 8, 2016 Mets 7, Phillies 2 2016 Home Opener
3 43,947 April 13, 2015 Mets 2, Phillies 0 2015 Home Opener
4 43,630 September 19, 2015 Mets 0, Yankees 5
5 43,602 September 18, 2015 Mets 5, Yankees 1
6 43,571 September 20, 2015 Mets 2, Yankees 11
7 43,462 May 27, 2016 Mets 6, Dodgers 5
8 43,255 August 29, 2015 Mets 1, Red Sox 3
9 42,996 August 1, 2015 Mets 3, Nationals 2
10 42,516 July 3, 2012 Mets 11, Phillies 1


Bold indicates the winner of each game.

Progression of attendance records at Citi Field
Regular SeasonMets Overall
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

Naming rights

On November 13, 2006, it was officially 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 area named for a corporate sponsor, (after Continental Airlines Arena (now Izod Center)), but preceding Prudential Center, MetLife Stadium, Red Bull Arena and Barclays Center, officially becoming the first in New York City itself, aside from two minor league ballparks (MCU Park in Brooklyn, and Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island). 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.[57]

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.[58]


Jonathan Lethem at Occupy Wall Street protesting the naming rights given to Citigroup, November 2011

Both Citigroup[59] and the Mets[60] 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." [61] Radio talk show host Brian Lehrer suggested the name "Debits Field" which combines baseball history with public outrage over the Citi bailout.[62] 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."[63][64][65] 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."[66][67] However, Geithner rejected congressional demands to cancel the naming rights deal.[68]

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.[69]

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.[70]

Citi Field firsts

Opening Night at Citi Field on April 13, 2009. The Mets sold out the game.
Statistic Regular season Postseason
Score April 13, 2009
Padres 6, Mets 5
October 12, 2015
Mets 13, Dodgers 7
Ceremonial First Pitch Tom Seaver to Mike Piazza Rusty Staub
First Pitch Mike Pelfrey Matt Harvey
First Batter Jody Gerut (Padres) * Howie Kendrick (Dodgers)
First Home Run Jody Gerut (Padres) * Travis d'Arnaud
First Win Edward Mujica (Padres) Matt Harvey
First Save Heath Bell (Padres) Kenley Jansen (Dodgers) (October 13)
First Loss Brian Stokes Brett Anderson (Dodgers)

* Home run hit in first at bat.

Notable firsts

Statistic Date Player(s)/Team(s)
First Game March 29, 2009 Georgetown Hoyas 6, St. John's Red Storm 4
Ceremonial First Pitch March 29, 2009 John Franco
First Hit March 29, 2009 Tom Elliott (Georgetown)
First Home Run March 29, 2009 Sean Lamont (Georgetown)[71]
First Grand Slam April 27, 2009 Omir Santos
First Inside the Park Home Run August 23, 2009 Ángel Pagán
First No Hitter June 1, 2012 Johan Santana
First Postseason Game October 12, 2015 Mets 13, Dodgers 7
First World Series Game October 30, 2015 Mets 9, Royals 3

Stadium comparison

In its opening season, Citi Field drew over 3.1 million fans with a game average of 92.7% of seats filled, 4th best in baseball.
An eight-foot blue sculpture of a stylized uniform number, 42, set atop a polished interior walkway
Memorial in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda inside Citi Field, dedicated April 15, 2009
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).
Wheelchair seating 174 830
Club seating 4,327[72] 7,800
Luxury suites 45 54
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

Notable events

Other events

Paul McCartney performed a series of three sold-out concerts at Citi Field on July 17, 18 and 21, 2009 as a part of his Summer Live '09 tour, along with The Script. McCartney, as a member of The Beatles, performed in the first concert at Shea Stadium during their 1965 U.S. Tour and The Beatles' 1966 U.S. tour as well as in its final concert in 2008 along with Billy Joel, who came out on McCartney's first night for the Beatles' classic, "I Saw Her Standing There." McCartney's opening show would later be released as Good Evening New York City.

Dave Matthews Band performed two concerts at Citi Field on July 16 and 17, 2010, along with the Zac Brown Band.[80] The second night was later released as Live in New York City.

The documentary film Last Play at Shea, chronicling Billy Joel's final concert at Shea Stadium in 2008, premiered on August 21, 2010, at Citi Field.[81]

On June 7, 2011, Citi Field hosted its first soccer game. The game was a friendly match between the national teams of Ecuador and Greece, who played to a 1–1 tie, before a crowd of 39,656. The success of the game has led the Mets to consider having Citi Field host future soccer games as well as the NHL Winter Classic.[82] Citi Field hosted another soccer match on July 26, 2011, between the Italian team Juventus F.C. and the Mexican Club América as part of the 2011 World Football Challenge. Juventus won the match 1–0, before a crowd of 20,859.[83]

The Ecuadorian national team returned to Citi Field to play against the Chilean national team in a soccer match on August 15, 2012. Ecuador won the match 3–0, before a crowd of 31,901.[84] On June 2, 2013, the national teams of Israel and Honduras faced off in a friendly, with Israel winning 2-0.

The inaugural Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic, 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 plays Navy at noon on Sunday, March 17, 2013, followed by Colgate-Michigan at 3 p.m.[85] Holy Cross defeated Navy 7–5 and Colgate defeated Michigan 10–7, before a crowd of 15,656.[86][87]

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.

Foo Fighters played two concerts at Citi Field on July 15 and 16, 2015 as a part of their Sonic Highways World Tour.[88]

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.

Beyoncé performed at Citi Field on June 7 and 8, 2016, in front of a crowd of 73,486 people, as part of The Formation World Tour.[89]

Citi Field soccer matches

Date Winning Team Result Losing Team Tournament Spectators
June 7, 2011 Ecuador1–1 GreeceFriendly39,656
July 26, 2011Italy Juventus1–0Mexico Club AméricaWorld Football Challenge20,859
August 15, 2012 Ecuador3–0 ChileFriendly31,901
June 2, 2013 Israel2–0 HondurasFriendly26,170

Citi Field was featured in the finale of the third season of Ugly Betty. 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.[90]

See also


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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Citi Field.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Shea Stadium
Home of the
New York Mets

2009 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Kaufmann Stadium
Host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Succeeded by
Target Field
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