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A Pair of Promising Rookies

New York hasn’t unveiled a new major-league stadium since 1964. This month, we’ll get two in four days. Where to catch homers, eat burgers, score autographs, and upgrade your sight lines at Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium.


Map by Remie Geoffroi  

Citi Field
Opening Day: April 13 vs. San Diego
Capacity: 42,000
Median Ticket Price: $95

1. About that burger place.
Never mind the game, where’s Shake Shack? The insanely popular burger stand is next to another Danny Meyer restaurant, Blue Smoke, behind the scoreboard. Of course the lines will be long, but the Shack’s prepared: The menu is smaller, the kitchen bigger, and there are seven registers here compared with three at the Madison Square Park original.

2. No (hot) dogs allowed.
A lot fancier than most ballpark menus, the Acela Club, run by Drew Nieporent, sells heritage-pork porchetta and grilled skirt steaks.

3. Nicotine Alley.
The only place inside the stadium where smoking is permitted is in a gated-in space next to the left-field entrance.

4. Obstruction zones.
Watch out for the first few rows of the upper Promenade, which are blocked by staircases and handrails; the back rows of the Promenade in left field, obscured by the out-of-town scoreboard; and the first row of Promenade box seats, marred by a ribbon board.

5. Bring your glove, part I.
Compared to Shea, the second deck at Citi Field is much closer to the field, particularly at the back of the infield. Expect occasional foul balls.

6. More, and better, bathrooms.
The single most exciting improvement over Shea: There’s now one toilet for every 70 fans—a 31 percent increase! The men’s urinals also come with some eco-cred: They operate without water.

7. Get your taters here.
There are several thousand more seats in the outfield than there were at Shea, dramatically improving someone’s odds of catching a home-run ball. Warning: Lower-level seats in right field ($30 to $98) don’t have a view of either scoreboard.

8. Weird name, good seats.
The oddly named Excelsior level is one of three seating areas that require a specific ticket to enter. The biggest perk: access to the Caesar’s Club—a climate-controlled lounge that is a great place to have a snack and wait out a rain delay.

9. Enter here.
No more walking halfway around the park to get to your gate. The 7 train now sets fans down right in front of the stadium’s main entrance, the impressively grand Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

10. Caution: Cattle crossing.
The bricks in front of the rotunda are inscribed with fans’ paid messages, so expect slow, head-down walkers approaching the ballpark.

11. Free-range fans.
Unlike at Shea, where you needed to show a ticket to access the field-level concourse, anyone can roam here. You will, however, need a proper ticket to enter the seating bowl itself.

12. Ballpoints ready.
The best place outside of the ballpark to try for autographs is alongside the players’ parking lot on 126th Street, between 38th and 39th Avenues.

13. Mama’s in the house.
Hankering for one of those Italian heros from Mama’s of Corona? They’re still here, in the far right-field corner, inside the World’s Fare Grill marketplace.

14. Stand and deliver.
The most practical spot to stretch your legs and watch the game is behind the seating bowl in the Excelsior level. There’s even a ledge for putting down your hot dog during the “Everybody Clap Your Hands” song.

15. Best seats for your buck.
Tickets for the Pepsi Porch ($24 to $84) are roughly half the price of the nearby Excelsior seats. Plus, you’re literally on top of the action—the sections hang directly over the right-field wall and warning track.

16. Table service.
Set up like a sports bar, but with a live game happening in front of you, the Bridge Terrace section ($27 to $63) consists of eighteen semi-circular tables, each seating four and oriented toward the field.

17. The big apple gets demoted.
The old home-run apple from Shea now resides behind the visitor’s bull pen. Give it a good-luck rub. And while you’re there, you could heckle the other team’s pitchers (good-naturedly, of course). All that separates fans from the players are two chain-link fences and about twenty feet.

18. A laboratory for future Mets.
When the kids get squirrelly around the fourth inning, send them to the 2K Sports FanFest, a play area with batting cages, a Wiffle-ball field, and a dunk tank for soaking Mets staffers wearing the opposing team’s jersey.

See's full Citi Field Coverage


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