Citi Field unveils fresh look
The Mets unveiled their new-look, drawn-in outfield wall to the media Tuesday, showing off a change in Citi Field's dimensions intended to result in "more neutral" playing conditions this season.
Originally designed as a ballpark that favors pitchers because of its expansive outfield and tall leftfield wall, the Mets conceded after last season that the original conditions were too extreme.
Citi Field was last in the major leagues in home runs during its first three seasons with an average of 1.43 per game, according to STATS LLC.
So in an effort to relieve frustration from their power hitters, the Mets brought in the left-centerfield wall by as much as 12 feet at its deepest point and lowered its height to eight feet. They also eliminated the area in rightfield where the fence jutted out, creating a more linear wall and eliminating another 11 feet.
"It's one of those things where we wanted to have pitcher-friendly, and it was probably a little [too] friendly in that regard," said Dave Howard, executive vice president of business operations. "And we had the ability to make some adjustments and we think it will be more of a neutral, fair field."
The color change -- they were black -- is another nod by Mets officials that they're listening to Mets fans who have been outspoken in their disappointment of how little Citi Field resembles their old home.
"We heard them," Howard said, "and this was a perfect opportunity to bring back the Shea blue, along with the home-run distance markers being in the white that we also had at Shea Stadium."
The change in dimensions also allowed the Mets to create a new seating area in leftfield, above the new 8-foot wall but below the old wall. There's one row of cushioned seats in front of a row of swivel stools, a design the Mets say was influenced by the seats above Fenway Park's Green Monster.
"We have the advantage that we're not quite as high as they are, so the sightlines are a little bit better in terms of field views," Howard said of the Green Monster seats.
Howard said those additional 102 seats above the new leftfield wall will be sold on a single-game basis for the first home stand but then be sold only to groups of at least 25 for the rest of the season. The new leftfield seats will cost between $100 and $200, which includes waiter-service food and drinks.
Citi Field's capacity, including the new seats, increases to 41,922, the team said.