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Newsday (New York)


The gold standard for baseball seating used to be behind home plate, but things have gotten more complicated in modern stadiums, where unconventional locations that promote socializing — and taking social media images — have become increasingly valued.

The latest example will be unveiled to journalists on Thursday at Citi Field, where as part of a tour of what is new for 2018 officials will showcase the rebuilt Citi Pavilion, an area overlooking the bullpen in right-centerfield.

Designed for groups, the section includes 60 seats with an option for up to 32 standing room tickets, at prices from $120 to $200, depending on the matchup. The minimum purchase is 15 tickets.

The area comes with snack foods, non-alcoholic beverages and . . . beer? Unlimited beer?

"Unlimited beer until we hit the start of the seventh inning," said Brian Fling, the Mets' senior director of corporate partnerships. "We will have the typical alcohol compliance monitors that we have in the rest of the ballpark.

"We don't expect it to be a rough-and-rowdy space at all. If a fan has consumed as much as they need to that night, one of the compliance monitors will alert a member of our staff."

The area itself is not new, but its 2,160 square feet have been given a facelift.

"It's going to be a really enhanced fan experience for everybody who comes through that space this season," Fling said.

Stadiums increasingly are emphasizing areas that promote more than just sitting in place and watching a game.

"It's recognizing the value of social interaction," Fling said, "of people who are paying attention to the game and watching their favorite players — that is a big reason why they're there — but also the social element of a night out."

Last season, Yankee Stadium removed obstructed bleacher seats and replaced them with terraces on which people could congregate, eat and take pictures, another example of recent ballpark trends.

Citi Field, with its many nooks and crannies, has proven to be a valuable canvas for creative enhancements.

"It's a large footprint," Fling said. "There is a lot of public space out there. We're able to be as creative as possible, to throw ideas off the wall."

Fling called the updated area "an atmosphere within an atmosphere. You've got this Citi Field experience, and now the Pavilion and a variety of other places where you can carve out your own little niche."

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March 22, 2018


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