The team on Monday unveiled its logo for the new Citi Field, set to open in 2009. Combining the colors of Citi -- a global financial services company that is the stadium's namesake sponsor -- with those of the Mets, the new logo is the most tangible bit of marketing for the stadium to date.
"It's a beautiful logo," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "It's a great marriage with Citi Bank and the New York Mets. It's a great day, and I can't wait to see it all over Shea Stadium. It's going to be fun."
Randolph, along with general manager Omar Minaya, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and several Mets players, helped unveil the logo on Monday at Citi Field Practice Field, a diamond built at the team's Spring Training complex with the new park's exact dimensions in mind.
A few hours later, the Mets took an even more tangible step toward their future by playing an intrasquad game on that same field. Quite a few Mets regulars, including third baseman David Wright, shortstop Jose Reyes and first baseman Carlos Delgado, took part in the scrimmage.
"It's very exciting," Wilpon said. "These guys realize that this is going to be their home for the next 30 or 40 years. They're getting sort of a preview."
The logo features Citi's own globally recognized emblem enclosed in a royal-blue diamond. Extending from one side of the diamond is an orange banner with the word "Field" written in a font reminiscent of that used at the old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers was in many ways an inspiration for the new stadium's design, and is represented as such in the emblem.
Citi had free artistic license over the logo's design and colors.
"They came up with a design that works for them," Wilpon said. "But it also uses our colors, which is great, and it's in a diamond shape, which puts it in perspective for baseball. They didn't have to do that, but they did. We're very appreciative that Citi took the effort to make it work for us."
The Citi Field logo will be featured on the stadium's exterior, as well as on the scoreboard, inside the park, and in all Mets marketing materials and publications.
"I think the stadium's going to be one of a kind," outfielder Carlos Beltran said. "It's going to be great. It's going to be fun for the fans. We're going to be able to play in that beautiful ballpark and have fun there."
This season will be the last for Shea Stadium, the Mets' home since 1964. Across the street in Queens, construction is already well under way on Citi Field, the 45,000-seat stadium set to take its place on Opening Day 2009. In addition to state-of-the-art amenities, Citi Field will feature a brick exterior inspired by Ebbets Field, outfield dimensions that will differentiate the stadium from its symmetrical predecessor and the Jackie Robinson Rotunda -- a large, circular meeting area behind home plate.
Citi signed on for the stadium's naming rights in 2006.
"We're counting down the days," Wright said. "We have a lot of good memories at Shea, but we're looking forward to having a new home, a new ballpark and a more intimate ballpark. The fans will be right on top of us and that creates a great home field advantage."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less