In an effort to win back the team’s most loyal fans, the New York Mets today announced a retro update of their uniform, which follows news of a more Mets-centric look being installed for CitiField’s second year. The team’s original fans, from the 60s and 70s, can no longer outnumber fans created during the Mets’ second half, 1985-2009.
But those Mets have resonance and retro is in. The team stadium will soon honor the builders of the team, Casey Stengel and Gil Hodges as well The Franchise himself, Tom Seaver. Even as a Yankee fan, I think Seaver is one of New York’s greatest sports heroes. I was quite disappointed that the new stadium lacked any sort of tribute or sense of history. Most every HOK- designed park has some sort of personality that reflects the town or team, whether it’s the warehouse at Camden Yards or the swimming pool at Chase Field.
As documented on my first trip to CitiField, the stadium had a sterile quality to it. Having visited the HOK-designed parks in other cities, CitiField came off as slapped-together, not site-specific in design and lacking a “Met vibe” with very few logos and references to past teams.
In CitiField’s opening season of 2009, for example, the poignant tribute to 9/11 from atop the scoreboard at Shea was thoughtlessly placed atop the Blue Smoke barbecue stand. Meanwhile, there was a massive statue of Jackie Robinson, who never played for the team.
I recommend the Mets salvage some artifacts from Shea (oops they leveled it already). A re-design of the horrible scoreboard to emulate the one in the old park is quite possible by April. As it stands now, most of the “footprint” is advertising, on both sides. It’s an eyesore.
Could the Mets create a 21st Century Kiner’s Korner in the new park for multi-media/fan-generated content creation/upload? Use the old wood paneling, though. What about a mural based on a psychedelic Lindsay Nelson sportjacket? An Ed KranePOOL for the kids on hot days? A Keith Hernandez smoking deck over by the World’s Fair Marina?
I could go on.