Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Citi Field's New Innovations For This Season


Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets' home opener is Thursday, and when you come to Citi Field, there are plenty of new innovations to check out, including one that will certainly catch your eye when you walk in. The Mets unveiled them recently at their "New in 23" event.

There is a brand new scoreboard in center field; an exhibit on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 "Ya Gotta Believe" Mets, who won the National League Pennant, at the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum; and a new look to the championship banners. Let's look at these each in-depth:

NEW SCOREBOARD & SAMSUNG PARTNERSHIP: The new scoreboard in center field is the largest scoreboard across all professional ballparks. It is dual-sided, with a 17,400 square foot screen on the front, facing into the ballpark, and 6,900 square feet on the back.

Since the fall of 2022, Samsung has unveiled 29,800 square feet of new LED at Citi Field. Their partnership with the Mets began in 2021, and they have worked to make Citi Field the most technologically advanced, professional ballpark. Last year, there was the deployment of 200 LFD displays and several new large-format LED displays, which totaled over 15 million pixels. The second phase of installments, which fans can see for the first time on Thursday, includes several new outfield displays, and will bring the total pixel count in Citi Field to 40 million.

What a highlight will look like on the new scoreboard. Photo by Jason Schott.

In addition to the striking center field scoreboard, fans will see digital improvements in all corners of the ballpark, including its exterior signage, digital concession menu boards, and more.

The New York Mets' Chief Technology Officer, Mark Brubaker, said in a statement, "Samsung's state-of-the-art technology upgrades at Citi Field underscore our goal of providing best-in-class experiences for our fans. The quality of these enhancements will not only provide our fans with more immersive and memorable visits to the ballpark, but it also positions Citi Field as a trailblazer in the industry."

David Phelps, Samsung Electronics America's Vice President, Product Management, Display Division, said, "Samsung's innovative technology at Citi Field will expand the standard for what fans expect when entering the country's best stadiums. Over a two-year period, we've transformed a once static signage environment to an all-digital experience. While working with the Mets, we've been able to push the boundaries of what is possible by delivering more creative and unique experiences for its fan base."

The 1973 National League pennant, as seen in the exhibit. Photo by Jason Schott.

METS HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM: For the 2023 season, the Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1973 "Ya Gotta Believe" Mets reviewing the 2022 season in which the Mets won 101 games, and there will be a look at some of the cameos Mets players have made in television shows, movies, and commercials.

The "1973: Ya Gotta Believe" exhibit takes guests through a season in which the Mets went from last place on August 30 through their clinching the division on the last day of the regular season. The exhibit has a 1973 National League Championship banner which hung above Shea Stadium, a mini bat from Willie Mays Night on September 25, 1973, and a N.L. Championship ring issued by the Mets.

Some of the 1973 moments you will learn about. Photo by Jason Schott.

The "2022: Season in Review" exhibit recaps the most recent season of Mets baseball, celebrating its achievements on and off the field. It starts with the unveiling of the Tom Seaver statue on Opening Day, to winning 101 games, second most in franchise history, and competing in the playoffs. The exhibit includes the final out ball from the combined no-hitter on April 29, a trumpet used by Mr. and Mrs. Met to celebrate Edwin Diaz entering the game to "Narco" all season (its partner is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame), and Pete Alonso' bat and batting helmet from when he tied and broke the Mets single-season RBI record.

The Pop Culture: Mets Cameos" exhibit shares moments throughout Mets history when players and team personnel have appeared on television shows, movies, and a commercial for the New York Daily News. It features the sign-in sheet from Casey Stengel's appearance on the TV show "What's My Line?," a signed script from Keith Hernandez's well-known episode of "Seinfeld," and Mike Piazza's canteen and watch from his recent appearance on "Special Forces."

CHAMPIONSHIP BANNERS: This is very symbolic about where owner Steve Cohen wants to take this franchise. They were moved to the roof in right field late last season, and now they have gotten a major updating. Only the World Championship and National League pennant banners are the ones that have one per title, with the World title ones remaining white,  while the N.L. crown ones are blue. National League East titles are now listed on one banner in orange, and Wild Card banners, which drew the ire of Mets fans, are gone and have been replaced by a solo cream-colored banner that lists their four times winning it. 

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