Shared Experience: going to a ballpark during a pandemic

A+view+of+Citi+Field.+the+view+from+the+inside+is+stunning+and+connot+be+replicated+from+a+TV+Screen.

Photo Credit: photo via wikipedia under creative commons license

A view of Citi Field. the view from the inside is stunning and connot be replicated from a TV Screen.

By: Colin Thompson, Reporter

Going to a baseball game is one of the best things you could ever do. But because of Covid-19, that great pastime was stripped away from us for a whole summer. Now that we can go back, is it the same?

Going to a ballpark during the conditions we are in was certainly an experience. I went to a game on Friday, May 8 with my mom. That day the New York Mets faced off against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first of a 3 game series. It was my first time going to the stadium in over a year, and I was very excited.

In order to even get into the ballpark, you had to be either vaccinated or a doctor’s note saying that you were negative. My mom was fully vaccinated, but I was not so I had to go to a Kinder Pediatric for a Covid test. This was the first time I ever needed anything more than a ticket to get into a game, and it almost made us late because I guess they were backed up.

The only thing that didn’t change about going to a Mets game was the traffic going to the stadium. We had to leave at 4pm just to beat the traffic and the game started at 7:10 PM. When we got to the stadium we checked in with parking and found a spot. It was the first time I had seen the parking lot so empty on a Friday night, but that was how it had to be. I went in the ballpark through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda in the front of the building, and before you could get to security you had to give your papers saying you were safe. After that, we went through the standard security procedures and made our way inside.

Being inside the stadium after so long was a very refreshing feeling, but at the same time, it was bitter-sweet. The entire stadium is usually bustle with all of the people trying to get food and find their seats, but there just weren’t that many people there. All of the shops weren’t even open at the time, so it felt very empty as I walked through the building. I was scared at one point that the food stalls I liked were closed down. I was in a mood for sausage that night, and thankfully I found one.

My seats were in section 402, which is pretty high up so I could see the entire stadium from my seat. The stadium was barely half full, which doesn’t happen on a Friday night at Citi Field. Even so, the place was still loud, a characteristic of any Mets game. Even though there were many changes to the average baseball game, the game itself felt as if there was never a pandemic, to begin with. It felt very comforting to enjoy the experience of a game after so long.

The game ended in a 5-4 win for the Mets in the 10th inning. The highlight of the game was getting to see Francisco Lindor’s 1st Home Run at Citi Field. So all in all, a baseball game during a pandemic is just a regular baseball game with some added hoops to jump through.

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