It’s only taken me a week but I took the CitiField “behind the scenes” tour last weekend. Unlike other stadiums, CitiField has restrictions on when they conduct them. Like, every single day they have restrictions. When I go to any other stadium, I can guarantee that I can get in at least twice a day, every day (unless it’s a game day). CitiField is either feast or famine. There are like ten on one day, then none for like three weeks.
That’s what happened to me. In fact, this post could have easily been a “Fuck the Mets and their mothers” post, but it’s not. In fact, my season ticket sales rep rocks and gets nothing but love in this.
A few weeks ago, I asked my sports gal partner-in-crime Metscellaneous Dee if she was interested in doing a tour. When she said “YES” before I was even done asking the question (I probably finished with “tour of the bathroom” to be a wise ass), I figured it was a good idea. The bonus is that when you’re a season ticket holder you get four passes complimentary. In the past, I’ve never had a problem getting the tour I wanted. Plus my husband was dying to see the progress on the new walls. See, he and I have done the tour twice — once before there were restrictions on taking photos in the Mets clubhouses , then once after. I had asked a friend if she also wanted to go, who was not as big a baseball fan as any of us (but she does root for the Mets when she does, simply because she knows I’ll kick her ass if she doesn’t), so we were set.
Till the booking people screwed up my reservation.
I looked on the website, and it looked as though the only weekend available was the second weekend in March, when we decided to go. Fear not, I thought, because I never had a problem getting into the tours. However, I noticed in literally a blink of an eye, none of the tours were available. I was trying to see if I could book it online, which was my first mistake. I should have just called. So when I called the office, they were the blind leading the blind. This is what happens when you let go of like 50% of your ticket staff and hire college students who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.
So I call my rep, who once again comes through in the clutch (when a last minute trip was canceled last year for me, and I had sold my tickets to the weekend’s games, he gave me complimentary tickets. Like I said – clutch), and he says that because of the demand he can only get two people in. When I explained that I had not only tried to call but book the appointment online, he said that because of this understaffing, the tours were not updated accordingly. So basically, I was lucky to get those two spots.
More luck I guess on my side. Then again, I’m a Mets, Jets and Rangers fan, so there goes that philosophy. My friend graciously bowed out but wanted to do the tour again in the future, and my husband said, “Well, hey, just bring Dee because I can go anytime.” So it was just us girls.
That’s cool because girls have more fun.
I do have to say that of the tours I’ve done, this one by far one of the best. Billy from Oakland, NJ, was our tour guide. He rocked. It didn’t feel overly rehearsed or mimed. The tour is supposed to be an hour but this was well over that one hour mark.
We were there Saturday, March 10th. Typically this time of the year is chilly, especially in Flushing, but again with luck on our side, we had good weather. The tours were obviously jam packed but my rep did mention that. I guess because the Mets refuse to have more than TWO TOURS in the month before the season opens, that’s a problem. I suppose the reason could be of the construction that happened, but the tour goes nowhere near it. In fact, I was at Camden Yards in the fall for their tour, and we walked right through a construction zone. Methinks the Mets are just cutting costs and creating a demand.
But if you ask me, one of the few things creating demand is the tour these days.
Moving right along, about those walls…there were no walls to speak of! Señor Coop wanted to get pics of the walls, so he would have been in for a huge disappointment. There were corners of the new blue walls. It looked like the construction was nowhere near completion. I did hear this week that there was a lot of headway made there (see The 7 Line‘s photos and videos of it – none of that stuff was up when we were there). Good, I was getting worried that Habitat for Humanity would have to come in to finish up with some donated Home Depot supplies.
I would post more pics, but I have to admit I’m a bit jaded. I’ve been to CitiField so many times since it’s opened, but I’ve also done the tour. If there was some great revelation that occurred by me going on this tour maybe.
Oh! I remember. The Empire Suites level features a large baseball card of a prominent player of each year of the Mets. In 2010, the player at the start of the season was Jeff Francoeur, but since he was traded late in the season, it became Mike Pelfrey (his last good year, IMO).
More irony: Ike Davis was the 2011 candidate. Who barely played! Oy.
So here are the obligatory photos of us on the field, and me in the dugout. If you want to see Dee’s take on it, visit her post.
During the tour you see each Mets yearbook since their birth in 1962, and we were able to see the 2012 yearbook cover. Plus any self-respecting tour ends in the Museum and gift shop. I purchased an Ike Davis shirt (note to Mets: PLEASE STOCK NIESE SHIRTS IN 2012), and saw the 50th anniversary video — something new in the Museum and Hall of Fame this year. Howie Rose narrates the video, as well he should, and I was smiling and verklempt at the same time. I guess that means what I saw was pretty good.
I guess with age, the CitiField tour keeps getting better. Though there were some things I wanted to see, I got to see a top notch tour with a good friend, and it made me itch for baseball season to start, whether the Mets are world beaters or not.