Heather and I went as part of a group of five. She really wanted to go because of all the articles she had read about the food being great. Deep down, I don't think she cared about the game nearly as much as the dining. I guess I shouldn't really care as long as it gets her excited about going to a ball park. We got in and immediately made a b-line for the food. Behind the center field wall is a huge courtyard with all sorts of food options, the most popular of which being Shake Shack. I stood in a really long line to get a burger while Heather went to Blue Smoke to get some wings. At the center of it all is a giant beer stand called Big Apple Brews with staff at every side.
Let me say that for a ball park, I was supremely impressed with the beer selection. Heather wanted a stout but unfortunately they had none, so the guy working there suggested the Beck's Dark while I got the Goose Island IPA. The beer was very good and a little incongruous with the plastic cup I was drinking it out of. The guy pouring my beer in this picture was super nice, gave me no guff for sporting Phillies apparel and specifically angled the pouring of my beer to improve the picture. Mad props to the staff at Citi Field and specifically Big Apple Brews.
It was a good night: Good game, good friends, good beer. I don't know which was better, the fact that the Phillies won or seeing a guy in a Mets shirt who was yelling like a jackass get ejected from the park for throwing a fistful of peanut shells at another guy for asking him to keep it down. Incidentally, the man who got hit with shells was also wearing a Mets shirt. It wasn't a hometown pride thing, he was just being a douche.
The second time I went was with my dad to a Mets vs. Cardinals game. It was an afternoon game so it had more of a relaxed feel. We didn't do a whole lot of walking around because we had decent seats, but I did notice something that I hadn't before. At one of the concession stands, there were two beer taps; one of them was Bud Light and one of them was Stella Artois. In my mind, this alone was a giant leap from the stadiums of old. Sure you can go to the ballpark and kick back with a nice cold Bud. You would be alienating your entire core audience if you didn't provide some sort of light beer like Bud, Miller, or Coors. However I think it is great that if a guy like me--who loves a ball game but prefers a Stella to a Bud--pays for a ticket to see the Amazin' Mets, he never has to be more that thirty feet from a beer that suits him.
The new Mets stadium seems to be about inclusion and making sure there's a little something for everybody. There's some decent food for Heather, there's a wide variety of beer for me, there's Budweiser and hot dogs for my Dad. And if we're lucky, there's a decent ballgame to watch. I guess it's fitting that a place like Citi Field exists in a place like New York where people of different cultures with different tastes can coexist.