We had an opportunity to visit the new Mets Stadium, Citi Field, over the weekend and have to admit, walked away feeling a bit ambivalent about the current state of America's pastime. While the space itself was certainly impressive and well-designed, featuring clear sight lines from virtually anywhere in the park, along with a number of family-friendly baseball-themed areas from batting cages to a miniature stadium for kids, it seems like a small consolation considering the rather exorbitant prices being charged for everything from bleacher seats to hot dogs.
Which may be nothing new, but was an even harder pill to swallow given the fact that it felt like everyone there was being forced to pay twice. Tax money aside, not only was every fan in attendance helping to pay for these improvements with their wallets, but with their attention spans as well. This stadium might be one of the most well branded pieces of real estate in the entire state, both in terms of physical and mental space.
During every half inning, at least one, if not several, promotions were being broadcast throughout the ball park and shown up on the giant screen with a chance for lucky fans to win branded merchandise. At the same time, advertisements were literally being shot into the stands in the form of T-shirts blasted out of bazookas. Even the blimp languidly floating up above sported an enormous digital display that would have smacked of "Blade Runner"-esque dsytopia, if not for the blazing sun.
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