Please consider the below remarks my off-the-cuff and highly subjective review of the park. Oh yeah, the Mets lost, but it was a good game. Hayden Penn did not pitch for the Marlins, which was disappointing for me and the firend I went with (he's also an O's fan). I'm not giving letter grades or anything, just impressions.
First Impressions: So, as you may have heard, they have this replica of the facade of Ebbets Field as their main entrance. Once you enter that, which they call the "Jackie Robinson Rotunda," you are faced with a bunch of mural-sized photographic enlargements of various non-Yankee New York baseball moments (mostly stuff from the Mets). There are also retail opportunities, I think. There are always retail opportunities these days. My impression of all this, honestly, was not very high. The photos are accompanied by lame on-word catchprhases like "Commitment" and "Excellence" and "Community," which just struck me as corny and inspirational-poster worthy. The photos themselves, as well as the architectural quotation of Ebbets and the naming of the thing after Jackie Robinson (who was never associated with this particular franchise) just struck me as an obvious and cynical ploy to grab all the non-Yankee baseball history in the city, despite the fact that those other two franchises still exist and presumably have plenty to do with their own history. Now, maybe I'm wrong on this, being an outsider. I'd be perfectly willing to admit that I'm wrong if a bunch of baseball fans from Queens and (especially) Brooklyn feel that the Mets are the legitimate inheritors of the non-Bronx baseball legacy in the city.
The Field: The other reviews that complain about the outfield wall being gimmicky are right. The fence does this weird undulating-looking thing that bears no relation to the parking lot the field sits in. It's like that little corner of the right field corner of OPACY on crack. It was really distracting, though its presence did lead to three triples in the game, which was exciting. Overall, though, it seems like Populous/HOK may have fallen into self-parody or the Wilpons asked for a bunch of dumb stuff. Or both. Also, the sight lines don't seem great. I was in a $69 "Excelsior" (read: club-level) seat and had to look at a TV monitor to see what happened on a couple of balls hit into the left-field corner. If I'm dropping that kind of coin I kind of expect to see the whole game.
Concourses: Snazzy. Wide open, you can see the field from them. I approve. Also the club-level has these super-ritzy bars that I didn't avail myself of because I already dropped all this money on the ticket and I have papers to write tonight. But if I was a corporate dude looking to get tanked and drive my beemer into a wall on the LIE, I'd sure love to do it at Citi. Due to NYC law (I think) the whole thing is non-smoking, which is fine with me but strikes me as kinda shitty for smokers. Oh well. It made the walk to the 7 train rather smoky, besides.
Electronics/Gadgetry: I was in the club level, so I can't speak for the whole stadium. But there were TV's with the SNY feed that let you check that stuff out. The out of town scoreboard is prominent and fairly easy to read, and even tells you what uniform # is pitching for each team, as well as runners on base and outs. The runners on base are green lights and kind of hard to see during the day. Oh well. There were a TON of speakers overhead for the stadium music. It was too much. The music was too loud (maybe I'm just old). Luckily, the music overall was less obtrusive than at OPACY, with a lot of traditional-sounding organ music. They did do some weird stuff like play an O.A.R. music video before the game (those dudes are from Montgomery County! And they stink!), but overall the aural experience would've been fine if it wasn't too loud. Oh, also, their scoreboard race was between a forklift and a light truck because it was sponsored by some equipment rental company. Weird. No Thank God I'm a Country Boy, obviously. They play New York State of Mind after the game, which I thought was a dumb attempt to be like the Yankees. But maybe other people actually like that horrid song.
Food: Citi has gotten a lot of pub for being foodie friendly. I had a Nathan's dog and a Super Pretzel. They both tasted like they always do, though the condiment bar was cool. In addition to NYC deli mustard they had those onions in sauce that you get at the street carts, plus sauerkraut. I hear the beer selection is good. I didn't drink, like I said, so I can't comment. I'll go over the summer and get hammered, I'm sure. Prices seemed reasonable for any non-Yankee team you'd expect to go to. Cheaper than Fed Ex, too! heh. They very prominently serve Dunkin Donuts coffee, which is kinda weird in NYC, but whatever.
Other Stuff: The 7 train makes it easy to get to, and my friend (who drove from Philly) didn't complain about the traffic or parking or anything. The bathrooms were clean and had these nifty futuristic-looking urinals. Ushers and food people seemed friendly enough. Some more than others. The usual.
The baseball: The Mets are kinda crappy and National League ball is dumb. Jose Reyes lead off with a triple and Jerry Manuel called the safety squeeze with Alex Cora, who he for some reason thought would be a good chocie in the two hole. *rolls eyes*
Conclusion: The park is fairly expensive, though I dunno what the cheapest seats are like. When I agreed to go to the game I didn't realize what kind of tickets he had. Oh well, it's only money. It seems like a nice enough park, but the attempts at uniqueness just seemed like bland simulacra. It's a very corporate park with little heart. It wasn't full. Maybe about 3/4, which doesn't seem too bad for a chilly (60ish degrees) afternoon in April. Overall it struck me as a kind of mallpark-lite. A perfectly pleasant place, but, befitting its location, kind of featureless.
PS - I saw two people wearing face masks in what I assume was an attempt to prevent swine flu. Americans are so stupid.