When Citi Field was built in 2009, Mets owner Fred Wilpon and Jeff Wilpon envisioned the park having many sellouts in its infancy.
It took seven years, but finally, the relatively new ballpark has been drawing big crowds this season as a result of the Mets’ success from last season.
Take it from me. I attended couple of Mets games in May, and the two games were sold out. The seven-year-old ballpark was vibrant and electric when I saw the Mets against the Nationals and Dodgers. I had to wait 20 minutes to enter the stadium and wait for an hour to get food from Box Frites due to a long line.
It’s a small price to pay for a team’s success I suppose.
It was refreshing to watch. It’s about time that beautiful ballpark had energy flowing from the stands, standing room, Shea Bridge and the Bullpen Gate.
When exiting the Willets Point station, the buzz is palpable as fans start congregating. It’s like entering a festival. Fans are so fired up as they enter the stadium to root on the Mets.
This is going to be the norm all season long. The Mets are the hottest ticket in town. They are the most entertaining team of all teams that play in the NY-NJ-CT region. They represent the city’s best chance of winning championship of all NYC teams.
The Mets have sustained last year’s success by doing well in the first two months of the season. Prior to Wednesday’s game against the White Sox, they are 29-22, and they are two games behind the NL East-leading Nationals. They have done well despite awful pitching by Matt Harvey and an inconsistent offense. That’s a credit to the pitching depth they have.
The Mets embraced the high expectations of winning a championship when spring training started. They believe they are good enough to win it all with their timely hitting and excellent pitching.
So far so good for the Mets.
Everyone loves a winner. The Mets certainly fit the bill. The best part about them is they are likeable.
The Mets have replaced the Yankees as the city’s favorite baseball team. It isn’t only just the Mets drawing much better than the Yankees from watching eyeballs in the seats. The Mets are a talking point on sports radio, and they receive more media attention than the Yankees.
The Mets have been on more back pages than the Yankees in the New York tabloids.
This is a reflection on the Mets trending upward and the Yankees trending downward. In other words, the Mets are relevant and the Yankees are irrelevant.
It’s been a long time coming for this once beleaguered Mets franchise.
They went through so many lean years in recent years in building this team. The young players were learning on the job, and the team was building talent under Sandy Alderson’s regime.
Everything came together last year when the Mets made moves such as acquiring Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe, Addison Reed, Kelly Johnson to augment this roster. They also called up their hitting phenom Michael Conforto from Triple-A Las Vegas, and the Mets young star justified their decision by hitting nine home runs and driving in 26 runs in his callup last year. It was good enough for them to go all the way to the World Series.
After getting a taste of the playoffs, the Mets’ goal for 2016 is to finish the deal by winning a championship this year after falling short in five games against the Royals in the World Series.
What the Mets do this year provides an intrigue for Mets fans and causal baseball fans in the tri-state area.
It’s why Citi Field will be packed throughout the summer. The crowds should be even bigger once school is closed for the summer.
The Mets should be banking on more sellouts in September when the team could be in a tight division race with the Nationals.
It’s been a long-time coming for Citi Field. The stadium struggled to draw when it first opened up. Mets fans were not showing up to watch a bad baseball team, and they were not happy with how the stadium paid homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers rather than honoring the Mets history.
The Mets made adjustments in sprucing up their new park, and they built a better team.
The fans are having fun at Citi Field now. It has become a baseball’s paradise.
It’s about time.