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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Trying It On For Size

Could have they come up with a worse name?

Yes. Absolutely. Examples are abundant.

Safeco Field. Petco Park. McAfee Coliseum. Yadier Molina Memorial Stadium (though I am partial to the memorial aspect).

It could have been worse. That's the best I can say for CitiField, future home of your New York Mets, at this early date. I've been living with it for 24 hours — practicing it, imagining it, mulling it and wow, it gets less likable every time I say it.

CitiField.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to CitiField.

The Mets return home tonight to open a three-game set with the Cubs at CitiField.

We go live to Bruce Beck out at CitiField for more.

And at CitiField, the Mets topped the Phillies 3-2 on a Carlos Beltran home run.

Good news for the CitiField faithful.

It's going to be an exciting weekend at CitiField.

No, stay on the 7 and get off at the CitiField stop.

I'll just meet you at CitiField, OK?

This is going to take some time. I suppose we'll have plenty of it.

Reminder: The final piece of the 2006 retrospective, conveniently touching on a very related subject, is lumbering around third in Ramon Castro fashion, but will arrive soon.

28 comments to Trying It On For Size

  • Anonymous

    My big concern is the inevitable nickname: “The Cit”.
    Or, more to the point, the inevitable bad puns around the “Cit Down!” theme.
    Still, on the whole, I'm far less displeased than I expected to be…

  • Anonymous

    Or listening to all the Yankee fans calling it ShittyField.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like something you would see in a movie where they need a generic name for a stadium. As mentioned, it could have been worse, and since Citigroup isn't likely to be bought by anyone, the name should stick for awhile (unlike San Francisco). Between the stadium and SNY, the Mets are a virtual money factory for the Wilpons, so they have NO excuse for not spending what it takes to win.

  • Anonymous

    Ugh.
    What ever happened to naming parks after people or the team or something that had absolutely nothing to do with the ravenous consumption of the sport by advertising and commericialism?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I was thinking along those lines, and was going to suggest combining the words “Shea” and “City” to express what we feel about the old and the new.

  • Anonymous

    As someone on another Metssage board said, “Hell, for $20 million a year they can call it Yankee Stadium for chrissakes…

  • Anonymous

    Safeco was particularly loathsome because THE CITY PAID FOR PART OF IT. The citizenry was supposed to have input on the name. We were told this.
    And then, one day, we wake up and it's called Safeco Field. They never said they were going to, they just did. That was the outrage in Seattle.
    Otherwise, the outrage train for naming venues after people left years ago. I am not quite sure where I get to tell what something that belongs to someone else is called.
    They told us a long time ago they were going to be selling the naming rights. They told us. They didn't hide it. I don't think they need to ask us or consult with us or read internet petitions. They just did it. I am glad they just presented it as done and ended the endless emotional debates (and creation of yet another IThinkSheaShouldBeCalled.com web site)
    And there are worse venue names. National Car Rental arena. Tweeter Center (which ruined the perfectly suitable Great Woods). The shed in Camden that changes names every year and I can't keep track of it. I still call Continental Airlines Arena Brendan Byrne, still call PNC Bank Ampitheater (or whatever it's called) the Garden State Arts Center. I've been through this with music venues.
    And the Yankee fans can call it whatever they want as long as we keep winning there.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I imagine I'll still be calling it Shea for a while, deliberately or not.

  • Anonymous

    I'll be calling it Shea. Not only have I been calling it that my whole life, but I take great exception to corporate whoredom.

  • Anonymous

    They can put as many signs on it as they want, we're still going to call it the New Shea. Or just Shea. Just like no one calls 6th Ave “Avenue of the Americas”. Just like its devotees still call Grimaldi's “Patsy's” regardless of legalisms. No disrespect meant to those who served, but no one on Staten Island calls the Richmond Parkway the Korean War Veterans Memorial Parkway.

  • Anonymous

    A statue of Jackie Robinson, eh?
    I think the rotunda should have a classic nude of Cleon Jones emerging from the back of a van.
    Or an M. Donald Grant statue that people can walk by, throw things at and spit on — Mussolini-style.
    Now that would make for an interesting rotunda…

  • Anonymous

    Corporate whoredom? ravenous consumption of the sport by advertising? I'm sorry…did we all suddenly fall through a blackhole into the 1960's? As far as I'm concerned, I would have prefered “shea” or “Mets Stadium” or “Metroplitan Ballpark” or even the New York Post-fueled “Robinson Stadium.” But so what? After the place opens, we'll all develop a shorthand to refer to the place that everyone will use — I can easily see people just calling it “The Citi” for example — a la “I'm heading over to The Citi to catch the game” — but whatever it is, two months after it opens, nobody will be worried about the name. We'll just be worried how the Mets are playing. And if they're playing well, that will be all that matters.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, corporate whoredom. The kind of disgusting blackmail that turns Jack Murphy into Qualcomm. The fact that we can't name a stadium according to our own traditions or history, only after whatever product can come up with the most ransom money. Tampax Park can't be far behind.
    If you have really heard no objections to this sort of thing since the 60s, I have to wonder what black hole you've been living in. Or did I misunderstand you?

  • Anonymous

    $20 million sure does buy you a couple of players though.
    A lot of fans will still call it Shea.
    They can slap whatever label on it they want, but the above is a fact.
    It could be worse, it could be better.
    At the end of the day, so long as they win there, I don't care what it is called, so long as it is called the Home of the World Series Champion New York Mets several times.

  • Anonymous

    If they were going to use a prefix trademark from a financial services company, I sure wish that MetLife would have ponied up the money instead. MetField sounds a lot better.
    Other than that, I only have two observations now that we'll be playing in The Citi:
    (1) This will be one of the few times that people will be leaving Manhattan when they say they're going to The Citi.
    (2) I really really really hope that they play “In The City” by the Eagles on the PA after every home win. You aficionados of The Warriors also probably recognize that this would be perfectly appropriate for wins at Keyspan in Coney Island too.

  • Anonymous

    With all the money to spent on the place, lets hope it doesn't become a Cits Bath…

  • Anonymous

    There was once a time when sports weren't just a vehicle for the shameless, tasteless, wasteful advertising industry or big corporations that have absolutely nothing to do with the game, except in the fact that the climate of greed has made them necessary (or perhaps 'unavoidable' is more accurate).
    It's not a new phenomenon; it's been going on for decades, I agree. But that doesn't make it any less offensive. Besides, if they wanted to give it a commercial name, they should've called it Azek Stadium. Once you look, it's all you'll see…
    I mean, there's Good, and then there's New York, Long Island Honda Dealers Park. I mean Good.

  • Anonymous

    I can only get outraged for so long, and then I go pick bigger battles. The first time I heard Pete Townshend sell a Who song for a car commercial, I saw stars. The second time, I wrote him a very detailed note on his blog. The third time, I stopped noticing. My issues with Pete these days have more to do with his $256 ticket prices and lack of patience with the Maestro's personality quirks than the fact that he made some money.
    Yes, the Wilpons have more money than I could ever imagine in a lifetime. But it's a business, not a charity. They didn't lie about how it was going to work. They told everyone up front they were selling the naming rights.
    I don't like people telling me how much money I should be happy making. I'm not going to start telling them or David Wright or Pete Townshend how much money they should be allowed to make, or how much is “enough”.
    How much does the name really, truly matter? Doesn't it matter more what happens inside the place? That's how I started looking at the whole venue naming thing. I mean, I hate the Nokia Theater not because it's the Nokia Theater, but because it's a sterile, soulless place to see rock and roll. On the other hand, I took issue with Hilly Krystal and the late CBGB because Hilly was a freaking lousy businessman who has had more benefits to save the club than muscular distrophy. There was no reason that club had to close for lack of money. He sells as much merch as A-rod does.
    But, again, I digress.
    What matters is the substance, not the label. Doesn't it?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I've head the objections since the 1960's. But, to my mind, this is a case of “much ado about nothing.” First, the battle has been fought, and lost. Second, it really doesn't matter what the place is called, as long as it's comfortable, it's easy to see the field, the bathrooms work, there's enough parking, it's easy to get around. All the things Shea is not. The most important thing of all,of course, is that our Mets are playing good ball. I really don't think I'm going to be sitting in the CitiField, rooting for the defending World Champion Mets, thinking “I wish I could enjoy this, but I'm too bothered by the corporate whoredom and the name of the ballpark.”

  • Anonymous

    Amen to all that, Mets Grrl.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. The Mets are still the Mets, not yet the Cits. It's just the principle of having to be subliminally assaulted every time I enter my ballpark. You'd like to think Pete and David and all the other individuals who make colossal fortunes on the entertainment/advertising industry will be able to see for themselves how much is “enough.”
    It's swell that so many rich celebrities have funds and give to charity. But if they all decided to collectively make a little less money, and say, invest that surplus in public education or transportation or alternative energy….
    But don't listen to me, I'm probably a socialist or a communist or, God forbid, an idealist. *shudder*

  • Anonymous

    Who cares?
    It's not a bad name. Corporate yet – -but at least it ain't Dicks Sporting Goods Stadium or Petco Field. CitiField…big deal.
    Would you prefer Poulon Weedeater Stadium?

  • Anonymous

    Tampax park, huh?
    That's the problem with corporate sponsorships. There are always string attached.
    Hey, be grateful. I could have made an allusion to a ground ball to deep short, or an 0-2 count, as being in the….nope, not gonna go there.

  • Anonymous

    But are you not subliminally assaulted now? You're assaulted on the train, you're being recruited for the Dallas Police Department in the men's bathroom (they're in the ladies' room too), you are assaulted to BUY and CONSUME the minute you walk into the ballpark, or, for that matter, the second you step out your door in the morning.
    I mute commercials on TV at our house. I do it not just because commercials suck or I don't want to hear what HP bastardizing the Kinks. I do it because it's TOO MUCH INFORMATION, too much in my head, too much distraction.
    You know, it's great to be altruistic, but the problems of this planet are not rooted in the fact that athletes make millions of dollars, nor is it their responsibility to not accept industry standard. it's not as simple as David Wright saying, “no, don't pay me that much money, channel a million to PS 84.” you do what you can with what you have. it's not just the money, lending a name and publicity to a cause gets it mindshare. if thousands of teenage girls start learning about MS because the David Wright foundation donates money to it, maybe a dozen of them will participate in a walkathon. Or maybe one of them will become a scientist who helps find the cure.
    better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. and better to save energy for the things we can change.

  • Anonymous

    Last night on Met Hot Stove Jeff Wilpon said the $20 million would be used to pay off bonds that financed construction of the new park and therefore will free $20 million from their capitilzation budget for use in improving the team. Since Citifield was privately funded, I can live with the commerical name, but do hope some sort of nicname becomes popular and adopted by the public and press.

  • Anonymous

    The Dallas Police Department thing just baffles me. It's like an Onion article come to life.
    “Yah, I was getting wrecked at Shea and taking a piss and I was a bit dizzy and smacked my nose on your sign and thought, 'Wow, I DO want to be a police officer! And I DO want to move from New York to Dallas to be one!' ”
    Is this really a way to attract quality talent?

  • Anonymous

    How about “Shea”?
    Sincerely,
    Meadowbrook Hospital, Newark Airport and Sixth Avenue

  • Anonymous

    This is easier than you think. Just call it City Field.
    Spell it City Field, pronounce it as distinctly two words.
    It's a throwback name. Like County Stadium!