By ARIANNA ROMIG
A new outfield wall and seating area were unveiled at the Mets’ Citi Field on Tuesday, just in time for the team’s season home opener against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
The former outfield wall was said to be a disadvantage for the team, in part because of the height and also because of the expansive space in the right field. Of the new wall, Mets Executive Vice President Dave Howard said, “We’re making the ball park play more fair, with more of a balanced approach in terms of home runs.”
Citi Field’s left field wall was lowered from approximately 16 feet to 8 feet, in addition to the construction of the new outfield wall. The outfield wall was also painted blue, in honor of the former Mets’ home Shea Stadium and to celebrate the team’s 50th anniversary. air jordan 1 femmes Throughout the field, the fence was moved in as much as 12 feet.
“We wanted to make Citi Field fair to both pitchers and hitters,” Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said. Alderson previously faced a similar issue at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, where as general manager he lobbied to have the right center field’s dimensions adjusted.
Howard acknowledged that the changes will pose a challenge to pitchers, and said said that he had spoken to Mets’ pitcher R.A. Dickey about that. He described Dickey’s reaction as positive.
“There’s less ground to cover for the outfielders so that will help the outfielders,” Howard said. “ For the pitchers, they’ll just have to focus more and be more precise.”
The new outfield wall at Citi Field accommodates a new seating section just off left field, promoted as the Party City Deck.
The Mets’ mascot, Mr. Met, was sporting a brand new uniform for the 2012 season as he toured the new deck, and gave the expansion a thumbs up. air jordan 3 femmes The deck seats 102 and will be available to single-tickets buyers through the first 7-game home stand, with the first two games already sold out. After, the area will seat groups ranging from 25 to 102.
The deck was partially modeled after a similar left field deck at Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. Just off left field and mere feet from the grass, the seats will have their own designated wait staff that serves food and beverages, including beer, all included in the ticket price, which ranges from $100 to $200.
The deck will be open during batting practice, and Howard advised guests to bring their gloves to what he said “will be a prime location to catch balls.”
As part of the remodeling, the Modell’s Clubhouse, an event space off the right field, also benefited from the wall renovation, with expanded seating for 45 more guests, bringing the total to approximately 135.
Though ticket sales are down from this time last year, Howard said he was optimistic about the season.
“We think the team will do well and far exceed the expectations,” he said. “The team’s coming back. Our ace is healthy, David Wright is healthy. Our team looks like they’re ready to start to gel and play all together.”
The team will return to New York on Wednesday from spring training camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida after facing the Yankees in their final pre-season game.