Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The first event at United States Taxpayer (Citi) Field in Flushing - college baseball?

As we are all aware of by now, the Yankees are hosting the Chicago Cubs for two exhibition games in their new Stadium in early April. I have already made my feelings known on the issue; I think those games are going to make the actual season opener anticlimactic. Now that my season ticket plan doesn't include opening day, I'm fine with the exhibition games - I'll get first dibs on the exhibition games at a cheap price as a season ticket holder, and I'll enjoy the new surroundings before the official opening on April 16.

The Mets have a different plan in mind for their new park. Apparently, the first event held at Citi Field will be a college baseball game between the St. Johns Redstorm and the Georgetown Hoyas. Word is that tickets will be $5 for students and they will have the chance to purchase the tickets before Mets season ticket holders. Mets fans will likely lament the fact that they plunked down thousands of dollars for season tickets and won't even get the first crack at tickets for the first baseball game ever played at the new stadium. After all, everyone loves the "new car" smell.

Unfortunately, the Mets have made the same mistake as the Yankees and plan to cheapen their actual home opener even more than the Yankees. While the Yankees have the lovable loser Chicago Cubs in town for a couple of meaningless games, the Mets have invited everyone's favorite bandwagon - the Boston Red Sox.

I would love an explanation of what benefits come with inviting marquee teams for meaningless exhibition games when opening a new stadium. Years from now when memories fade, I would wager that Mets fans remember the Red Sox exhibition games as the true opening of their new stadium and Yankee fans remember the Cubs exhibition games for the same reason. Apparently I'm not the only one with these feelings - Steve from WasWatching.com voiced similar concerns this past August.

Talk about it in the Stadium Insider Forums!


Mickey B said...

I don't see a problem with the Yankees hosting pre-season games at the new Stadium.

It's commonly done> It gives the organization a good "shake-down" of the building, from players to team personnel. And yes, revenue is involved.

I have no problem with it at all. Mickey Mantle hit the first home run at the Houston Astrodome. I don't see people getting bent out of shape about that.

Ross said...

I agree that it is completely revenue driven. That being said, why not bring in a crappy team for the game? The Mets AND Yankees made sure to bring in MARQUEE teams that will overshadow the real opening day.

Anonymous said...

That's not true at all about the exhibition games making things anti-climatic on the real Opening Day. I am a Giants fan, and we "opened" our new ballpark in 2002 with an exhibition against the Yankees. I had the same concerns as you at first, but trust me, you will definitely remember the official Opening Day as the real Opening Day.

Also - it would be a logistical nightmare to try everything out for the first time on April 16th. You have to trial run these things.

Anonymous said...

*I meant to say we opened in 2000, not 2002.

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