Opening Day: April 13 vs. San Diego
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 NYMag.com’s full Citi Field Coverage
Opening Day: April 16 vs. Cleveland
Median Ticket Price: $107.50
1. Take that, Boston.
The Yankees’ attempt to replicate the seats on top of Fenway Park’s Green Monster: the Bleachers Café, two rows (80 seats total) directly above the batter’s eye. The view is unique, but the price, $125 per seat, is hefty (by contrast, regular bleacher tickets beside the café are just $5 to $14).
2. Quickest route to the upper deck.
If you’re late for the first pitch and sitting on the upper level, don’t enter through Gates 2 or 8—there are no escalators here. Go through Gates 4 or 6 instead.
3. The suite life.
If you want the luxuries of the suite level without shelling out for your own box, buy individual tickets to the left-field Audi Yankees Club, which allows access to a dessert station and full cocktail service.
4. Bring your glove, part II.
The bleachers in right field aren’t the home-run magnet they used to be—there’s field-level seating in front of them. Much better (albeit more expensive) are the sections inside either foul pole, 106–107 in right field and 132–133 in left field.
5. Baseball locavorism.
The Yankees’ local-food options, like the Mike’s Deli on the first concourse, aren’t quite as sexy as what the Mets are offering (Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, Dave Pasternack’s Catch of the Day fish shack). That is, unless you can afford one of the premium seating areas: The Legends Suite Club will tap guest chefs like Masaharu Morimoto and April Bloomfield to prepare dishes at some home games.
6. An old-timey touch.
As part of the Yankees’ youth program, kids will be operating the manual scoreboards next to each bull pen.
7. Bring your glove, part III.
There’s no netting above the box seats behind home plate, which makes them newly foul-ball-accessible.
8. New stop on the Hudson Line.
Yankee Stadium’s very own taxpayer-funded MetroNorth station— expected to be used by 10,000 fans each game—won’t be open until May 23.
9. Stand where you like.
The Yankees will eventually sell standing-room tickets, but for now, you can watch freely behind the seating bowl wherever you want—even right behind home plate.
10. Get your autographs here.
The players’ parking lot (once prime ground for signature hunters) is now in an inaccessible garage. However, the stadium gates will open three hours before first pitch—an hour earlier than last year. Post up along the first-base line.
11. Rain-delay strategy.
The upper concourse is covered, but it’s not enclosed—meaning that fans might need to seek shelter on a lower level during rain delays. This would be a good time to visit the Yankees Museum in right field.
12. Best seats for your buck.
The fourteen rows of Grandstand seating between the bases ($29) are worth the extra $7 not to be stuck down the lines, and you won’t catch a nosebleed like you did in the old Tier Reserved sections.
13. Enter here.
From the B, D, and 4 trains, you can glide straight into the Great Hall, an indoor plaza running from Gate 4, behind home plate, to Gate 6, on 161st Street and River Avenue. Even though the Yankees anticipate 60 to 70 percent of fans will enter here, there shouldn’t be a bottleneck: They’ve installed 26 turnstiles in this area alone.
14. The line for the shrine.
Though Monument Park has moved from left center to center field, the policies remain the same: It closes 45 minutes before game time, and only a few dozen fans will be let in at a time.
15. Parking maneuvers.
Expect the largest lots closest to the ball park to have maddening exit times. A smaller one, like the 90-space lot on the north side of 151st Street, is farther away, but will clear out more quickly.
16. What ball game?
If you prefer a good steak to a good pitching matchup, NYY Steak has 100 bottles on its wine list but zero views of the field.
17. Where A-Rod meets Madonna.
A Hard Rock Café filled with articles used by celebrity fans like Billy Joel and Paul Simon is open year-round, and you don’t need a ticket to enter, even on game days.
18. For the nostalgics.
A new Yankees Museum holds, among other things, Thurman Munson’s locker, which had remained empty in the team’s clubhouse since his death in 1979. Unlike Monument Park, the museum stays open during the game, closing at the start of the eighth inning.
19. Bleacher Creatures, rejoice!
Unlike at the old stadium, bleacher-seat holders are no longer cordoned off from the rest of the stadium, and—at least for now—they can drink alcohol in the stands.
20. Obstruction zones.
Some bleacher seats in sections 201 and 239 are heavily obstructed by the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, which is why they only cost $5.
21. So that’s what’s under there.
The Yankees have hidden the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar inside the batter’s eye in center field, with a glass wall overlooking the field. Access is limited to members and fans who buy a single-game ticket ($125) to sit inside.