A New Home At Citi Field
By Juliet Werner
What’s in a Name
Shea Stadium was named for William A. Shea, a lawyer who was instrumental
in bringing the National League back to New York City in 1962. The Mets’
new stadium, Citi Field, is named for CitiGroup, a global financial
services company that has entered into a fully integrated marketing
and business partnership with the team.
Construction on citi Field will be complete
for the 2009 season.
Citi Field, scheduled to open for the 2009 season, also pays homage
to the Brooklyn Dodgers with its Ebbets Field-inspired design and Jackie
Robinson Rotunda, which will be inscribed with a well-known Robison
quote: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on
The rotunda will also include a Robinson statue and an exhibition on
the history of the ballplayer responsible for integrating professional
Plans for the project and partnership were first announced in November
“Today’s announcement and the ceremonial groundbreaking
for Citi Field represent the latest milestones in the significant progress
and development of the Mets’ new home,” Senior Executive
Vice President and COO, New York Mets Jeff Wilpon said in 2006. “More
than three quarters of the facility’s foundation piles already
are in place and in the very near future – thanks to our new partnership
with Citigroup – Citi Field will begin to rise just beyond our
current outfield fence.”
Shea and Citi Field may be adjacent – David Wright hit a homerun
into the construction site last year – but the two stadiums differ
Citi Field Stats
Whereas Shea was built as a multi-use stadium, Citi Field is designed
only for the Mets’ use. Expected to cost $800 million, Citi
Field will be smaller than Shea with a capacity of 45,000 seats. According
to a recent Mets press release, construction is on time and on budget.
“Approximately 90% of Citi Field’s structural steel frame
is complete, including the Jackie Robinson Rotunda,” the release
read in part. “The pouring of structural concrete on the Promenade
Level is complete, and masonry brick walls for concession stands and
restrooms are under construction on the Field and Club Levels. The
light towers along the first and third base lines are in place.”
The construction effort has employed 600 workers, representing a cross-section
of the City’s population.
“The construction of Citi Field creates a significant opportunity
for the competitive strength of Local, Minority- and Woman-Owned Business
Enterprises,” a spokesperson for the Mets said. “The Mets
have been working with an advisory committee of community leaders
chaired by Borough President Helen Marshall and co-chaired by Councilman
Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) that has ensured the involvement of minority-and
women-owned businesses in Queens and the immediate area.”
Shea was built in the early ‘60s just as the Civil Rights Movement
was emerging. Citi Field, on the other hand, is being pieced together
by a diverse group of Queens-ites for an even more diverse fan base.
A New Logo
On Feb. 25, the Mets and Citi launched a new logo for Citi Field in
Port St. Lucie, Florida. It combines design elements of both corporations.
The font selected adheres to Citi’s official typeface and resembles
lettering used at Ebbets Field.
“With the unveiling
of the Citi Field logo, and the construction of our new home, we are
one step closer to bringing the dream of a new home for Mets fans
to reality,” said Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon.
“This marks the start to the official countdown to our April
2009 opening of Citi Field.”
The new logo represents one of many marketing, advertising and promotional
programs that will arise as a result of the 20-year partnership between
Citi and the Mets.
“Today is a great moment for Citi and the Mets, as we unveil
a key piece of our historic landmark partnership,” Cit Vice
Chairman Lew Kaden said. “The new logo represents our joint
commitment to bringing baseball fans a world-class ballpark in the
financial capital of the world. We are thrilled with our partnership
with the Mets and excited about Citi Field.”
EPA and Mets Team
Up for Environment
Although Shea will be smoke-free in 2008, Citi Field far surpasses
Shea in terms of environmental initiatives intended to reduce the
stadium’s carbon footprint. With the support of Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, the Mets signed an agreement with the Environmental Protection
Agency on March 13.
“The Mets deserve an environmental MVP award for their efforts
to reduce the carbon footprint and the waste stream from the construction
and operation of their new ballpark,” said Alan J. Steinberg,
Regional Administrator, EPA. “This important agreement underscores
innovation and a comprehensive commitment toward sustainable development.
From its use of recycled materials and energy efficient lighting to
its commitment to joining the Energy Star and WasteWise partnership
programs, Citi Field is looking greener every day.”
The Mayor also praised the team’s efforts.
“We are so pleased to see corporate citizens like the Mets step
up and contribute to the goals of PlaNYC – our bold, far-reaching
strategy for making New York a greener, greater city,” Bloomberg
said. “It probably would have been easier to build a new ballpark
without incorporating ‘green’ technology, but the Mets
understand that their responsibility to New Yorkers doesn’t
end with the third out in the bottom of the ninth. They’ve taken
the initiative to be bold, innovative, and environmentally responsible.”
The environmentally sound design of Citi Field includes the use of
use of recycled building materials, energy and water conservation
and efficiency, significant landscaping and mass transit initiatives.
To learn more about EPA partnerships and programs, visit www.epa.gov/Region2.
New York City will lose not one but two stadiums at the close of this
year’s season; Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is also scheduled
“There’s a lot of history in there,” said Mike Heffner,
President of Leland.com, a Web site dedicated to selling stadium memorabilia.
“To me it’s almost as neat because Yankee stadium was
refurbished, but Shea still has most of the original seats there.”
Heffner said collectors have been known to pounce on everything from
lockers to pieces out of club houses, signage, and turnstiles.
“Collectors will collect anything right down to the dirt from
the infield,” Heffner said. “This is all valuable stuff.
It’s mind boggling. Millions and millions worth of materials
in these places. Bricks cost a couple of pennies but to a fan it’s
worth a couple hundred dollars.”
Heffner said it’s still unclear whether the City or the team
will get into the business of selling Shea Stadium’s collectables,
but regardless, everything is fair game.
“Some people say it’s crazy we’re selling urinals,
but at least this stuff is going to be preserved rather than ending
up in a landfill where it’s gonna go to waste. A lot of the
collectors out there that buy this stuff they’re a little loony
but their intentions are good they have to be credited with preserving
history,” he said. “It would be a travesty to just knock
the place down and take it away in trucks out to the landfill. That
would be horrific.”