Journeying into Premium Seating & Hospitality at Citi Field with the NY Mets

In the course of this exclusive exploration of premium seating and hospitality at Citi Field, which included engaging with key NY Mets personnel Deric Manrique, VP of Premium Sales & Experience, and Jake Bye, Senior Vice President of Ticketing and Premium Experience, ALSD International’s Cassandra Calleja embarked on a memorable journey, as she reports.

Representing ALSD International, Cassandra aimed to explore the essence of Citi Field’s premium offerings, and in the process, found herself immersed in a world of warmth, camaraderie and unforgettable moments.

This exceptional visit, made possible by the NY Mets Premium & Suites Experience team, and its Director, Matthew Cohen, left an indelible mark and offered a wealth of insights into the world of premium seating, hospitality and fan experiences.

Cassandra Calleja, Head of Client Services & Membership, ALSD International, said: 

My experience at the Mets game was truly unforgettable. It not only highlighted the Mets’ commitment to premium seating and hospitality but also served as a testament to the industry’s dedication to providing top-tier fan experiences.

Jake Bye, Senior VP, Ticketing & Premium, New York Mets, said: 

Being a part of the Mets’ premium experience and having the opportunity to be a guest speaker at the ALSD International Conference is a testament to the Mets’ commitment to elevating the fan experience and sharing industry insights on a global stage.

A Warm Welcome 

The evening began with a warm welcome to the NY Mets business suite, where sleek, matching decor, and a stunning view of the field, just left of home plate, set the stage for an extraordinary experience.

The ambience was remarkable, and the opportunity to connect with fellow sports industry professionals added another layer of richness to the evening.

Among notable figures in attendance were Brandon Plinto, Director of Premium Hospitality for the Washington Commanders, Kirsten Hilbert, former manager of luxury suite sales at the Miami Dolphins & Hard Rock Stadium, and Scott Kornfield, Co-founder of WolfCycle.

Culinary Delights 

As the game unfolded, we were treated to a smorgasbord of culinary delights, with the menu featuring everything from large sandwiches, to vibrant salads, hot chips, savoury meatballs, and a delectable array of ice cream, all generously provided by Aramark, Citi Field’s F&B supplier.

The food, impeccably prepared and served, made for a memorable dining experience, complemented by a flowing selection of beverages.

ALSD International 2023 will take place at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, UK, on October 9th & 10th. Optimising revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions is the key focus of this industry-leading event, where Jake Bye, Senior VP, Ticketing & Premium, New York Mets, will be joining the “Club Level: Optimising Your Premium & Hospitality Spaces” panel session.

Premium Offerings

The adventure extended beyond the suite, as we embarked on a personal tour of Citi Field’s main premium seating and hospitality suites and areas.

With a seating capacity of 41,800 and room for 45,000 standing, Citi Field boasts an impressive array of premium options, including:

Empire Club: A standout feature is the Empire Club, an all-inclusive space where the glass retracts, seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor premium seating and hospitality experiences. It offers beer, wine, and liquor purchase options, in-seat and out buffet with a rotating menu, and the opportunity to add drink rails as a daily pass.

Empire Club 1280: The Empire Club features a premier buffet with numerous carving stations, and nightly selections from the resident Chef. The buffet connects to the full service member bar, featuring complimentary beer and wine

Left Field Metro Grille: This outdoor space offers group seating, or an intimate four-course dining experience, perfect for premium hospitality. The Grille has first and second levels available for premium hospitality, with the rest of the space available for reservations. 

Hijole Porch: Designed for social gatherings, the Hijole Porch features 12-person couches for rent, featuring high-top tables and a prime view of the game. Additionally, there are tiered drink rails backed by a living wall and a state-of-the-art bar area available for reservation. The majestic view of MLB’s largest scoreboard redesign makes it a much sought-after space.

A view of the Hijole! Porch Bar from the back, reserved seating on The Porch is available in front of the bar facing the field for a fantastic rooftop bar baseball experience

Cadillac Club – Speakeasy: The Cadillac Club stands out with its distinctive atmosphere and a ‘secret’ entry experience unrivalled by any similar space in baseball. There are screens designed as artwork  that can display various content, including Mets history. Guests receive a welcome drink, and the lounge provides a comfortable oasis with features like personal TVs, wireless phone chargers, and ample storage.

The Cadillac Club: From left to right: Jake Bye, NY Mets, Brandon Plinto, Washington Commanders, Deric Manrique, New York Mets, Cassandra Calleja, ALSD International, Matthew Cohen, NY Mets, Scott Kornfield, Wolf Cycle and Kirsten Hilbert

The Cadillac Club, in particular, exuded an aura reminiscent of a New York City speakeasy. Its buffet and top-shelf bar offerings were sensational, leaving a lasting impression of the city’s sophistication and style.

As Matthew Cohen aptly put it:

Everyone wants their own version of a premium experience, and our goal is to be able to provide a version of that at various different levels.

Citi Field’s range of options reflects this ethos, ensuring there’s something for everyone seeking a premium fan experience.

Cadillac Club 1224 & 1230: Enter through the speakeasy entrance off of Seaver Way outside Citi Field into the Members lounge where guests can enjoy welcome drinks, shop exclusive merchandise and relax while they wait for their host

NY Mets at ALSD International

The NY Mets’ are participating in next week’s ALSD International Conference & Exhibition, which promises to be a transformative experience for attendees.

It’s noteworthy that the NY Mets are not just a baseball team but also dedicated members of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD). Their active involvement and commitment to elevating fan experiences extend far beyond the ballpark.

The Mets’ strong support for ALSD and ALSD International was evident when they attended the 2023 ALSD Conference & Tradeshow in Indy back in July; a testament to their dedication to industry collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

Jake Bye, Senior VP of Ticketing & Premium, will join a distinguished panel at next week’s ALSD International event, entitled “Club Level: Optimising Your Premium & Hospitality Spaces”. The panel, moderated by Shawn Doss, CBO of Elevate, features prominent industry experts: Vicky Jaycock of Everton, Matt Botten of The O2, Becci Thomson of Co-op Live, and Will Hitch of Motion Project Management. Jake Bye’s insights will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of premium seating, hospitality and fan experiences. The panel is scheduled for Monday, October 9th, commencing at 11.55am BST.

Key Takeaways and a Taste of Excellence

In closing, this journey into premium seating and hospitality at Citi Field exemplified the pinnacle of premium offerings, highlighting the importance of creating fan experiences that cater to diverse preferences and the value of forging connections within the sports industry.

As ALSD International’s Cassandra Calleja prepares to cross the pond for ALSD International, she joins the NY Mets in celebrating their shared commitment to excellence and innovation in the world of premium seating, hospitality and fan engagement.

Author: Cassandra Calleja, Head of Membership & Client Relations, ALSD International

Imagery courtesy: NY Mets

Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event and 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

ALSD International 2023 will feature venue tours complimented by a high-level conference, exhibition and networking events. This year’s edition will also include the inaugural Tech Symposium and a Fan Experience breakout being delivered by IIFX.

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat sector for the last 30 years

#SportsVenueBusiness – The leading platform for sector news, views & developments

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