Citi Field, the new stadium for the New York Mets being constructed by HOK Sport, is scheduled to open in 2009. It is being built adjacent to their current home in Willets Point in Flushing. The official groundbreaking was held on November 13, 2006, although construction had been underway in the parking lot beyond left-field as early as July. On that same day, it was officially announced that the stadium would be called Citi Field, named for Citigroup Inc, who agreed to payi $20 million a year for naming rights.
The new stadium is planned to have a capacity of 45,000 and an exterior facade clad in brick, limestone, granite and cast stone reminiscent of Ebbets Field. The Mets and Citi will commission a statue and name the entry rotunda to honor Jackie Robinson, the legendary pioneer and great American who broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The projected cost of the new stadium and other infrastructure improvements is $610 million, with the Mets picking up $420 million of that amount. The agreement includes a 40-year lease that will keep the Mets in New York until 2049.
The original plans for what will now be Citi Field were created as part of the New York City 2012 Olympic bid. After plans for a West Side Stadium fell through, New York looked for an alternate stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies. After New York's loss of the Games to London's bid, the Mets and New York City chose to continue with a slightly altered version of the stadium.
Citi Field will be the third stadium the Mets will come home. They played the 1962 and 1963 seasons at the Polo Grounds, which had previously been the home of the New York Giants. In 1964, they moved to Shea Stadium, which by 2008, was the fifth-oldest stadium in baseball.