Take me out to the ballgame? Sure. But forget the peanuts and Cracker Jack . . . there'll be way more than that.
Hoping for record ticket sales at Citi Field this year, the Mets Wednesday unveiled a slew of attention-getting additions, from tweaked ballpark dimensions to a much larger centerfield scoreboard to . . . yup . . . new food items for the concession stand connoisseur.
"The fans are really going to be taken aback by all the technology," said Lou DePaoli, Mets executive vice president and chief revenue officer. "It's going to be very crisp, much larger and very noticeable."
At 5,670 square feet, Daktronics' high definition video scoreboard is 62 percent larger than the original (3,500 square feet) and will be accompanied by two LED ribbon displays on the third-base line of the stands. One of those, longtime home to an insurance company ad, will be a K board.
"With power arms, we think we're going to be home to a lot of strikeouts," DePaoli said.
The Mets hope that's accompanied by a few more long balls, too. The walls have been moved in from 390 feet in right-center and 375 feet in right, to 380 and 370, respectively. The club also will be keeping last season's Free Shirt Fridays -- the first one this year was designed by Matt Harvey -- and will continue to focus its promotions on the weekend. Fans can go to Citi Field on May 2 for their own Jacob deGrom garden gnome, or head over on June 13 for a David Wright replica jersey.
Ticket sales are up more than 20 percent from last year, DePaoli said, and the Mets hope to keep the trend going. To that end, he added, there is "of course, a lot of new food."
The team has started new partnerships with Rao's Specialty Foods as well as Josh Capon, executive chef and partner of the Bowery Meat Company, and four other restaurants in New York and Miami.
The new fare includes gourmet short rib grilled cheese, lemon chicken and a chicken cacciatore hero. Meanwhile, old standbys have upped their game: beef bratwurst from Blue Smoke, a breaded mushroom cheeseburger called the Shack Stack from Shake Shack, and a lobster roll, shrimp po'boy and fried flounder slider trio from Catch of the Day.