The Great Debate: Citi vs Shea

By / February 25, 2010 / Uncategorized

Home is where the heart is.

That is what they say. That is what thousands of people have hanging in their homes. Well, Mets fans and players have no real home. Our hearts stayed with Shea Stadium.

I have a friend on FB, Marie, who is also a CFoD reader. At least I think and hope she is.

I got the impression she was feeling a bit nostalgic and angry this morning.

She had this as her status:

Shea Stadium brings tears to my eyes, it was such a magical place with its own personality, so many awesome memories ,I miss it…

Afraid to go to Citifield b/c I hate new stadiums, I’m even gonna to admit missing the Vet!!!

These New stadiums are cookie cutters, with so much going on in the park…At least the old ones…… served one purpose..to watch a ballgame, that is it!!!!

To add to her point, she placed a video of the Beatles singing “Help”, which is a great song, when they were at Shea Stadium.

She continued her rant with this:

If I wanted to be entertained, I will go to an amusement park or bar!!! Bring the Old Stadiums back from the ashes!!!!!!!

I Love baseball and come to the park to see a game being played!

I have to say I miss the old ballpark as well. Do not get me wrong! Citi Field is a beautiful ballpark. Yet you do get the feeling it might be a little too much for the die-hard baseball fans.

There are bars and restaurants there. Shea never had that. Just concession stands. Actually Shea did have a high scale restaurant and a not-so high class.

But why have bars and restaurants in a ballpark? You go there to watch a game. If you want to eat at a restaurant, go to a restaurant. You’ll definitely spend less money outside of Citi.

I have to complain about their FanFest at the new park. It is nothing like the one that was Shea. I always felt there was more going on and more interaction at Shea’s FanFest.

The new park just does not shake like Shea used to.

Another CFoD reader, Joey, always used to talk about how Shea would shake underneath you if you sat in the upper deck. I think I only experienced that once.

Here’s how Joey describes Shea:

Shea Stadium is like your grandmother: Frumpy, old, but you love being with her, being in her presence. She is not going to look like your wife or your girlfriend, but you love her.

I would describe Citi Field as a supermodel. Gorgeous on the outside, but no real substance to it. No offense to the models out there.

Shea Stadium is like Meryl Streep or Glenn Close. Might not be beautiful, but there is so much history there. So much wisdom. So much passion

Here is what I think. You can have historical things happen at Citi, like the Mets winning another Championship. But it will never be Shea. It will never be home.

Yes, it is a new place that we reside in. But is it really “home?” Are we really comfortable there?

Ownership can continue to make changes to make it feel like home. You, the fans, can gripe all you want about Citi Field. But deep down you know that no matter what is done to Citi, it will not be home.

It will be years before we can really call Citi Field “home sweet home”. That is if we even can.

I would ask what do you think. But I have a feeling I already know the answer.

Marie, we all shed a tear when we see footage of Shea Stadium or even just hear the name. We all miss her.

Here’s to Shea Stadium. We still miss her and always will. She will never be raised from the ashes, but her spirit will always be there because we the fans will always be here to talk about her.

About Author

Tanya

14 Comments

The Coop

Hmmmmm…I agree and disagree with some points on this. Trust me, I miss Shea just as much as the next person…like Mr E (Pop Coop) said after the Shea Goodbye ceremony, it was where I grew up. I spent most of last season in mourning, especially since I never fully felt we finished our “business” there (2007 and 2008 anyone?). Last season was a wash. it was hard to get attached to our new home for several reasons. The Mets did a terrible job in estimating what the fans’ level of nostalgia was surrounding the Mets not to mention the passion, and what do they do? Build a shrine to the Dodgers, a team that left town over 50 years ago (I know it’s Jackie Robinson, whom I love and totally respect but he was NEVER A MET!!). Then the team itself was hard to endear itself to b/c well, they all dropped like flies by June. But nostalgia is interesting — Shea was a crappy stadium but it was our crappy stadium filled with memories, passion and love. We can do that for Citifield. As an example, I call the bridge in RF the “Fernando Martinez Bridge” since the night he made his debut I spent out there just watching the game with a bunch of people who just felt like hanging out there. The Fernando Tatis grand slam game was also a fond memory. Shea was great and our home for a while, but I think I’m ready to make Citifield our home. How about you all?!???? I think some Phils fans might miss the attachment to the Vet but judging from their recent memories at CBP, I’m sure they are willing to overlook that it’s no longer there. (sorry this was so long, wish I could talk about it with ya LOL)

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The Coop

Hmmmmm…I agree and disagree with some points on this. Trust me, I miss Shea just as much as the next person…like Mr E (Pop Coop) said after the Shea Goodbye ceremony, it was where I grew up. I spent most of last season in mourning, especially since I never fully felt we finished our “business” there (2007 and 2008 anyone?). Last season was a wash. it was hard to get attached to our new home for several reasons. The Mets did a terrible job in estimating what the fans’ level of nostalgia was surrounding the Mets not to mention the passion, and what do they do? Build a shrine to the Dodgers, a team that left town over 50 years ago (I know it’s Jackie Robinson, whom I love and totally respect but he was NEVER A MET!!). Then the team itself was hard to endear itself to b/c well, they all dropped like flies by June. But nostalgia is interesting — Shea was a crappy stadium but it was our crappy stadium filled with memories, passion and love. We can do that for Citifield. As an example, I call the bridge in RF the “Fernando Martinez Bridge” since the night he made his debut I spent out there just watching the game with a bunch of people who just felt like hanging out there. The Fernando Tatis grand slam game was also a fond memory. Shea was great and our home for a while, but I think I’m ready to make Citifield our home. How about you all?!???? I think some Phils fans might miss the attachment to the Vet but judging from their recent memories at CBP, I’m sure they are willing to overlook that it’s no longer there. (sorry this was so long, wish I could talk about it with ya LOL)

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Dana Brand

Missing Shea takes up a lot of my life, time, and work. I agree with just about everything Tanya has written and I agree with Coop that Citi Field will someday be home. But it has quite a ways to go and it has a lot working against it. It’s too small, and too much of it is off limits to ordinary people and too expensive. Except for the bricks at Citi Walk, it doesn’t feel like us. It smells like money and it looks like a beautiful supermodel who has ruined her beauty by taping big poster ads for rental equipment, gold, and Fox News to herself. I really don’t like it. But I can’t live without my Mets and they’re not going to tear Citi Field down and build me what I want.

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Frank

I have to weigh in on this. Citi Field will NEVER be home. I say that because Shea was far too distinctive. No other stadium, old or new was painted in the team colors. The Vet was crap, (I live close by Philly), but when you saw a game there, like our beloved Shea, you were into the game. The ambiance (I hope I spelled that right), the passion and the overall experience of the sport that is on display. You can’t find that anymore, especially in these cookie cutter stadiums of today. I like Citi Field, but I don’t love Citi Field. It is more like an apartment after you’ve been foreclosed on in your house. It’s still home but, you always think back and miss where you were. The team may have good years and many great memories (let’s all hope for that), but in the back of our collective minds, we will think of how much better that moment would have been in Shea. I love the supermodel comment, because it’s true. No substance, airy. That is totally Citi Field. I will surely visit and feel some warmth among friends, but I will surely not be comfortable.

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dyhrdmet

Tanya, it sounds like your friend Marie who tears up at the thought of Shea should probably read my blog and become a fan of it on FB if she doesn’t already. It’s called “Remembering Shea” mostly because of how we all had fond memories and favorite pieces of Shea (both literal and physical). She might also want to pick up a few of the books written about Shea if she hasn’t already.

I agree with a lot of these opinions shared here today. Shea was home and now I’m looking for a new home. I have a few pieces of Shea (signs, banners, seats) at my home. Citi Field doesn’t feel like home. It has a lot of the things that I don’t like about a ballpark (music, choices of food, obstructed views, high price of admission, lack of mixed up colors, exclusive clubs, exclusive clubs named for things not Mets-related). Shea worked in most of those respects. There were gross mis-estimations on what the fans wanted and didn’t want at Citi Field. Most of it can be fixed, and some of it can even be fixed properly (not like adding a video screen added to fix obstructed Upper Level seats).

And CBP in Philly is a great example of what Citi Field could have been and hopefully could be (I wrote about that after my first visit there last September). I never knew the Vet to have any attachment to it, but I recently wrote about how Shea was better than the “cookie cutters” of the ’60s and ’70s. Hearing “cookie cutter” used for the new stadiums is an interesting thought.

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Bear Man

There are many things about Shea that I miss that Citi Field will never have. For example, there is nothing distinctive about the seats at Citi Field. I miss the red of the Upper Deck and the green of my Mezzanine Seats from my Sunday Plan. At Citi Field, I will spend some of my time in Section 518 for two of my plans and some of my time in Section 138 for my “Consortium” plan. The seats all look the same.

Shea was great if you wanted to actually see the game. Citi Field has so many distractions that sometimes you end up walking around, standing in line for food, etc., and by the time you look up, it’s already the bottom of the fifth inning with the Mets down by five runs because Oliver Perez walked in a few runs. At Shea, no one walked around unless they wanted food or needed to use the loo. People at Shea paid more attention to the game, as opposed to people at Citi Field. It made for a better fan experience.

Shea was also the birthplace of my blogging colleague. For that, it will always be special to me. When the players give me something memorable on the field, then perhaps Citi Field will grow on me. Until then, it’ll always be about Shea to me.

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Nilvio

I loved Shea and I love Citi. I am convinced that some people would have hated Shea when it was built in 1963-64. Think of it. The mets were not the only tenants of Shea. It was actually designed to be a multi-purpose stadium. That is the reason it was made like a bowl. Go back to Philly, Cinny, Pittsburgh, and other stadiums that served both football and baseball. So, we would have complained that the Mets had to “share” their stadium with the Jets. Also, the Jets colors were in the stadium! We would have complained that it was too big, remember how high the upper deck was? We would have complained that we had natural grass, the trend was to have astro-turf. (There were no studies about how astro turf can ruin a players legs and cause more fatigue.) Shea is home because it’s where many of us grew up. We grew up watching ugly uniforms (remember those Phillies uniforms, expos, padres?), we grew up with one scoreboard, scoring the game, reading the player bios, eating a hot dog and an ice cream in a met cup (the world’s greates invention), and slapping high fives with the passion fans in our section.

But you know what…. We will do the same thing at Citi. The next generation will call Citifield home. I have done so already. The mets will create new memories and so will we. I went to a game on my birthday. A nice victory over the Marlines. Pagan got hurt in that game. My wife had my name on the scoreboard and my family and friends surprised me by coming to the game. The row was taken by my family. I spent a great afternoon with the people I love and watched the team I love win a ball game. Now, that’s my foundest memory of Citi-field.

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Denise Winter

As you said, Citi is beautiful. Its new and shiny and clean. (Okay, maybe not so clean anymore LOL) But nothing will ever compare to Shea. Even the smell of the hot dogs is different at Citi. I am serious!! Great blog T! Brings back so many good memories!!

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Denise Winter

As you said, Citi is beautiful. Its new and shiny and clean. (Okay, maybe not so clean anymore LOL) But nothing will ever compare to Shea. Even the smell of the hot dogs is different at Citi. I am serious!! Great blog T! Brings back so many good memories!!

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Topaz Wong

Woke up the other day, feeling the dread of the trek to the 63rd Drive train station without climbing gear (apparently sanitation has a landscaping license when snow hits) I decided to get back into the swing of enduring another upcoming season of mystery of my Mets. Geared up with home black right down to the black, i started my day with my brethren of weary eyed workers. Grab the news and proceeded to the sports pages peeled past the Yankee cheer squad and hoped for another morning of some inspiring commentary from the writers about this year’s team turning it around. Fat chance…

Went about my day as usual and decided to stop into Best Buy to see what kind of nonsense i can pick up before I head back. A gentlemen by the name of Jose approaches me my ensemble and we get into it about the state of this team and also about the new stadium vs. Shea. Nice new toy we got in Citifield but the Wilpons are having a tough time affording it. Would have preferred to see Shea stay a little longer. Had it’s own charisma that not many folks understand and yes even the hot dogs are better at Shea but I digress.

Jose was hyping me up for the season to come and put a lot of things in perspective that these NY sportswriters can’t seem top provide for me. I was a bummed like a lot of people about the lack of activity this off season but you know they were predicted to do a lot of damage last season not to themselves. Jesus, how does any team recover from the amount of injuries they sustained in one time?

It will be an interesting year. Jose at Best Buy I thank you and hope to see you at the games and future shopping excursions ahead! This is a great site. Oh yeah, Shea better than Citifield. Hands down! Need the place to shake when the crowd gets rowdy…guess we should start providing the noise…

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Mets Guy in Michigan

Great blog. Just discovered it.

I used to live in a nice house. Lots of great memories. We moved to a new one, and I like it, too.

I feel the same way about Shea and Citi. Both great ballparks, proud to call them my baseball homes.

I do wish the Mets had left something of Shea standing, though it’s great to see the Home Run Apple and other reminders of the great ballpark.

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Tanya Mercado

Thanks Mets Guy. Happy you like it. Welcome to the site. Glad to have you aboard. Nobody really talked about having something left standing of Shea. I think you’re right in that it would have been nice to have. Not just where the bases were.

Welcome Topaz. lol We really were bummed out after last year. Maybe not so much bummed as enraged. But the team can recover. As long as the players work hard and do not let team doctors touch them. lol

Thanks Denise. Not so sure about the hot dogs odor though. lol I’m more of a burgers girl. I’m hoping there will be pickles this year at Citi. I filed a complaint. LOL

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dyhrdmet

that’s an interesting thought of what of Shea could have been left standing. That might get in the way. The worst thing the Mets could have done was leave a chalk outline of Shea. They did bring the Home Run Apple and the top of the Shea scoreboard over to the new park.

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