Take Me Out to the Gift Shop

On Friday morning, at 11:40 on the dot, hundreds of Mets fans flooded into the new team store at Citi Field in Queens. It was the opening day of baseball season, and they were the first ones into the new space, located in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, the grand entryway to the ballpark.

Susan Wiedeman, 65, from Riverdale, N.J., who has attended Mets opening day with her husband for the last 40 years, was giddy with the experience. “We were just about the first ones in,” she said. “That was really cool.”

At 10,000 square feet, the store is twice the size of its previous iteration and filled with new technology, art and merchandise. There are vastly higher ceilings — “Last year I could adjust a lightbulb myself if I needed,” said James Benesh, the executive director of consumer products for the Mets — and a hanging sculpture by Michael Murphy, an artist in Brooklyn. The orange sculpture has the Mets logo intertwined in different cityscapes.

The new Mets store is twice the size of its earlier iteration and includes a hanging sculpture by a Brooklyn artist.Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times

Part of the new store’s appeal is the sheer size of its inventory. “There is a lot of stuff in here,” said Janet Conlon, 75, who lives in Hillsborough, N.J., and is a school bus driver. She already has a closet full of Mets apparel at home, including more than 40 baseball hats. On opening day she wore three layers of Mets clothes — “I don’t like to be cold,” she said — and carried a branded bag and blanket. Still, the store offered bountiful new options.

“I’ve never seen a lot of this stuff before,” she said, laughing. “It’s amazing.”

The store has 3,000 baseballs on the shelves …Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
… and an expansive array of new merhandise.Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
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