As of this exact second, the following Major League Baseball stadiums have never hosted a World Series game.
Camden Yards, Baltimore
Citi Field, New York
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Marlins Park, Miami
Miller Park, Milwaukee
Nationals Park, Washington
Petco Park, San Diego
PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Safeco Field, Seattle
Target Field, Minnesota
There's a school of thought that you never really know a baseball stadium until it's hosted a World Series. You don't know what your park is capable of until the world is staring at it, until it's the place where everyone wants to be.
The World Series is not a destination for the "one percent" the way the Super Bowl is. The Super Bowl is for people who jet in, spend a ton of money and then jet out. To many of them, it doesn't necessarily matter where the game is (as long as the weather is warm) or who is playing. The Super Bowl is a global celebration and circus of capitalism that exists independent of the circumstances of the actual game. If you happen to live in town when the Super Bowl comes stampeding your direction, you mostly just try to stay out of its way.
The World Series, like baseball itself, is much more local. If the World Series comes to town, that means your team is in the World Series. (And apparently, in a pinch, this can work even for two-team towns!) It becomes a collective experience for your city, something for everyone to commiserate about at the water cooler or the playground, a thickness in the air that keeps everyone light on their feet. It's something you'll always remember. That was the year of the World Series. The Super Bowl is an event that happens to you. The World Series is an event you're a part of.
And this is never truer than at a World Series game itself. The Super Bowl, rather infamously, is not for the fans of the teams playing in the game, not really. You can have zero interest in the outcome of a Super Bowl and it won't particularly affect your enjoyment of the experience either way. You can still party all week and you can still see the halftime show and you can still say you were at a Super Bowl and you can be back home on the red eye that night if you want to. The Super Bowl is easy; it requires money far more than it requires effort or commitment.
But attending a World Series game, you have to be emotionally invested. There isn't just one event, first of all, and you don't know, before you buy the ticket, what the circumstances are, what game of the series it will be, who's going to pitch, whether it's going to rain. Due to the start time, you'll be lucky to get out of there before midnight. (Then: Good luck with traffic and/or the subway!) All the shops and food and beer stands are still there like they always are, only everything's more expensive and the lines are longer. And it's so much colder. Logistically, a World Series game is just like a regular-season game, except it requires so much commitment from you.
But it's so worth it, and you can tell it the minute you walk in the park. "Electricity" doesn't quite cover it. It is as if an invisible hand picks you up and carries you through the turnstiles. It is like a global event celebrating you, specifically. The World Series takes something familiar -- a baseball game, at your local park -- and fuses it with massive import, turning it into something extravagant and eternal. The place vibrates. It feels like someone hosting the Oscars in your living room. I've been to Busch Stadium 37 times since it opened, but the four World Series games are the ones I'll never forget. I've actually only seen Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City four times, all four of which have been World Series games. As far as I can tell, that place is Westminster Abbey. Every part of it glitters. A World Series inspires your stadium to put on its fancy clothes. The world, after all, is watching.
And next Friday night, Oct. 30, thanks to the Mets' 8-3 win over the Cubs on Wednesday night, securing a 4-0 NLCS sweep, Citi Field will host its first World Series game.
Citi Field is an excellent new baseball stadium, one of my favorites. (I've been to all current MLB stadiums but five: Comerica Park in Detroit, Globe Life Park in Texas, Marlins Park in Miami, Minute Maid Park in Houston and Petco Park in San Diego.) It's big but not imposing or aloof. It's uniquely designed with its own peculiarities, but it's not aggressively weird or off-putting. The food is terrific. The sightlines are reliable everywhere. You can see the city from the upper concourse. You can take a train home. If it weren't for the somewhat-garish-even-for-a-ballpark advertising signage, I wouldn't have a single complaint. I went to the first baseball game at Citi Field -- an exhibition game between Georgetown and St. John's -- and I liked it from the get-go. It's a wonderful ballpark.
But I've never really seen it, and neither have you, and neither have any of the millions of Mets fans who have been there since it opened in 2009. Citi Field has roared this postseason, its first postseason, in the same way PNC Park roared in 2013 and Kauffman Stadium roared in 2014, the roar of decades of pent-up frustration finally being released. But the World Series is something different. The World Series is man landing on the moon, except the moon has a Shake Shack.
The Mets -- the Mets! This crazy Mets team! -- have reached their fifth World Series, and their first in 15 years. Every Mets fan is going to be useless at work all day today, and it's going to be fantastic. But the real party is about to begin. The Mets will be off for the weekend, and then they will fly to either Kansas City or Toronto for Games 1 and 2 of the World Series. There will be pomp, circumstance, pompinstance, and it'll blow everybody's mind, these Mets, in the World Series. But come next Friday night, in Flushing, it'll get a lot more real. Then it will be there. The World Series. At Citi Field.
Citi Field is ready for its closeup. The World Series is coming to town. It blows your mind every time. Cross Citi Field off the list. It's all grown up now.