by Current Writer
Some members of the staff were lucky enough to attend the Mets home opener yesterday. So here’s what to expect when you’re attending your first game back.
Entering the stadium was actually much easier than we anticipated. At first you’re greeted by someone who tries to get get you to sign up for Clear. With this app you can upload your vaccination or test info and can streamline entry. It’s cool but it’s more geared for people who go to the games often. If you’re just going once in a while, it’s not really necessary.
After that you go through the verification process and it was actually surprising how quick and easy it was. You legit just show your vax card or test results, have someone take your temperature with a contactless thermometer, and you’re in. I do suggest that you take your own temperature before you arrive. If you’re a little high, maybe pop some Advil so you don’t have an issues at the gate.
Once you’re inside, you pretty much feel like life is back to normal. Most of the concessions were open. There are now new beer stands that are walk through. You grab your beers, put them on a scale, throw your credit card in the reader and you’re done. The food concessions flowed pretty smoothly. Everything is cashless now which is great. Half the time lines at games don’t move because people too poor to get approved for a credit card pay cash, and it’s time consuming for the clerk to count it out and give back change.
There are no vendors walking the stadium. If you want something, you have to go and get it. You can mobile order food and it’ll be ready for you at a certain time. We did not use this feature, but saw that there were pick up areas based on what section your seats were in.
Most of the small apparel shops are NOT open. If you want to buy shit, you had to go to the main team store in the field level or the promenade level. There, due to capacity limits, they had lines. Likely because it was opening day and people were excited, the lines were kind of long. There were also small kiosks scatter through the building with some gear.
The bathrooms had every other urinal/stall blocked for social distancing. The lines moved fairly quick. Every bathroom seemed to be open. One bathroom apparently though, someone couldn’t wait and extra 30 seconds.
Now here is where we are kind of surprised…no one gave a shit about masks once you were in your seat. We had MU staff in different sections on different levels and none of us were bothered about masks. Which honestly is kind of cool. You’re outside, you’re socially distant (the unused seats are zip tied to prevent people from sitting ins eats that aren’t theirs), and you were either tested/vaccinated. The mask issue should be lax. We know all it takes is some tool shed in city hall to see unmasked fans on TV to raise a stink and make this an issue going forward, but for now, you’re not being bugged about it.
Another surprising thing was that they were letting people hang out in common areas like the Shea Bridge and concourses, as long as the groups weren’t large and you did have your mask on. And that’s great. People should be allowed to go say what’s up to their pals for a little bit.
One thing that was annoying is that they’re still pumping in artificial crowd noise. I guess it impacted people more based on where they were sitting in relation to the speakers. It sounded like machinery was being operated in the distance behind you. After a while you kind of got used to it, but it seemed like it got a little louder later in the game. Maybe they were unsure of how loud it would be with only 9,000 people there. Not sure how it sounded on TV. The crowd seemed as loud as an early season weeknight game. (Except for the McNeil home run. It was loud)
All in all, being back felt normal. Completely different than we were expecting. Hopefully this post helps people who are on the fence about attending a game. Buy some tickets and go. Get your life back, go out and do something you like to do. It’s worth it.