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Secrets of New York

The ultimate insider's guide to the best-kept secrets of NYC's must-see places and buzzed-about people.

The New York Mets hit these secrets of

The New York Mets hit these secrets of Citi Field right out of the park. (Credit: Jim McIsaac)


Secrets of Citi Field, home to the New York Mets

123 Roosevelt Avenue, New York, 11368

There’s a lot going on at Citi Field — the food, the New York Mets players, the game, your fantasy team rankings and MLB mobile updates. Not to mention the concerts, family festivals and virtual reality games.

It all can distract you from Citi Field’s real hidden gems — like food you wouldn’t expect to eat in a ballpark, ways to skip out on the long lines and nods to the old Shea Stadium.

A relatively new home for the Mets, dating to 2009, there are still many parts of the ballpark loyal fans have yet to discover.

The New York team hit these secrets right out of the park and into amNewYork.

It'd be hard for any baseball fan to

Credit: Meghan Giannotta

The sign over Shake Shack is from Shea Stadium

It'd be hard for any baseball fan to watch their team's stadium shut its doors. Shea Stadium demolition began a month after the final pitch was thrown on Sept. 28, 2008. But, not every part of the stadium was destroyed.

An original neon Mets sign displayed in the old stadium was preserved and rehung in the Taste of the City dining area right above Shake Shack, the New York Mets confirm.

Take me out to the ballgame, buy me

Credit: Meghan Giannotta

Some of its menu items are still its best-kept secrets

Take me out to the ballgame, buy me some doughnuts and rice balls -- those aren't exactly the words to the tune, but the eats at Citi Field are about to rewrite the classic. The park is known for its selection of snacks that go far beyond the typical hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks, but most of its top treats are still among the park's best-kept secrets, Patrick Schaeffer, Citi Field's senior executive chef, said.

Schaeffer said you won't find these four menu items at other ballparks:

Strawberry Cheesecake Doughnuts from the Acela Club, located in left field on the Excelsior level.

Grilled Elote Corn from El Verano Taqueria, located in Taste of the City on the field-level concourse.

Ragu, Nutella and Blanco Verde Rice Balls from Arancini Bros., located in the Promenade behind home plate.

Inferno Wings from Dan & John's at Smorgasburg, located in the Promenade behind home plate.

Citi Field was nicknamed a

Credit: New York Mets

Why a home run at Citi Field used to be a rarity

Citi Field was nicknamed a "pitcher's park" after the Mets' first season. Citi Field averaged an incredibly low 1.33 home runs per game in 2009-2010, which was doubled by its hometown rival Yankee Stadium that same year, Newsday reported in 2011 when the Mets announced they'd be moving in the fences at the ballpark.

The outfield fences were moved 13 feet closer to home plate because the new field's structure had become a "distraction" that caused "chronic" issues for the Mets the season prior, general manager Sandy Alderson said.

The food lines at Citi Field can get

Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson

There's a secret way to skip the Shake Shack line

The food lines at Citi Field can get so long, you can easily miss two hard-hitting innings before you know it -- especially if you're waiting for a ShackBurger at Shake Shack. If you're sitting in sections 11 through 124, an In-Seat food service is available so you won't miss a pitch.

The menu reads the typical -- hot dogs, french fries, chicken strips and drinks -- among other classic baseball game snacks. But what most people don't realize, is that you can actually order Shake Shack from your seat, too, and skip the long wait, Schaeffer said.

In-Seat service is available to fans with tickets in sections 11-19, 111-114 and 121-124.

There are plaques in the parking lot where

Credit: Meghan Giannotta

You can run the old Shea bases in the parking lot

There are plaques in the parking lot where the old bases used to be inside Shea Stadium. But finding them is a serious challenge, especially once the lot has filled up for a game.

Here's how: Walk to the Stengel entrance, outside the stadium along left field. Continue straight into the parking lot, past section B, over the divider and into lot C. Home plate is about halfway down parking row B, in the middle of the lot. You'll see the Citi Field sign clearly in the background.

Keep an eye on the Coke sign during

Credit: Meghan Giannotta

The Coca-Cola sign changes colors during the game

Keep an eye on the Coke sign during the game. The LED sign, found above the Coca-Cola Corner behind right field, is usually lit up red for the brand, but it changes colors for special occasions.

A red, white and blue flag waves through the lettering during the singing of the National Anthem. Occasionally, the sign will light up with the Batman logo when Matt Harvey, nicknamed the Dark Knight of Gotham, comes out on the field.

Any loyal fan knows the old home run

Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

There are two Mets home run apples at Citi Field

Any loyal fan knows the old home run apple from Shea Stadium was also preserved, but did you realize there are actually two Mets apples at Citi Field? There's one standing outside the stadium's entrance, between lots F and G. And, of course, you'll find one hiding in the outfield waiting to show its head when the Mets hit a home run.

The one outside the stadium. A new apple

Credit: Jim McIsaac

Which apple is the original?

The one outside the stadium.

A new apple was made to acknowledge home runs so that the old fruit statute could stand in the parking lot, bringing fans feelings of nostalgia. According to the New York Mets, the old apple wasn't brought back inside the stadium because the team wanted fans to be able to take photos up close.


Credit: New York Mets

You can get married on the field

Say "I do" on the field, close down the Mets Hall of Fame Museum or Coca Cola Corner for cocktails and dance and dine the night away at the Foxwoods or Acela Clubs. Die hard fans have tied the knot at the stadium -- just not on game day.

The team has indoor batting cages used during

Credit: Meghan Giannotta

Batting practice doesn’t always take place outside

The team has indoor batting cages used during rainy days or when distracting events may be taking place on the field.

When Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson aren't warming up for a big game, the indoor batting cages are used for fan prize-pack experiences and corporate events. Lucky fans are offered a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take 15 swings inside the Major League cage.

Bud Light is Citi Field's best-selling beer, Schaeffer

Credit: Meghan Giannotta

It's all about the New York-brewed beer

Bud Light is Citi Field's best-selling beer, Schaeffer said. Budweiser aside, fans can also down an ice-cold, locally brewed beer while they watch the game inside the stadium, he added.

At Big Apple Brews, located in center field on the Field and Promenade levels of the stadium, the beers come from Brooklyn Brewery (Williamsburg), Coney Island Brewing Co. (Coney Island) and Blue Point Brewery (Patchogue).

On April 24, 2009, ABC's

Credit: ABC / Richard Cartwright

'Ugly Betty' and other TV shows filmed there

On April 24, 2009, ABC's "Ugly Betty," starring America Ferrera, became the first TV program to film at the ballpark. Ferrera sat in front of the Delta Sky360 Club while the scene was shot during an actual game, according to the New York Mets.

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" also used the park as a filming location during its 10th season in 2012.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the last Mets game at Shea Stadium was Sept. 28, 2009. It was on Sept. 28, 2008.


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