The New Citi Field: A Small Lesson in CRM

Last night I had the privilege of attending only the second game in the history of Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets. My uncle has been a season ticket holder and diehard Mets fan for nearly 25 years, and despite my underlining tendency to bleed pinstripe pride, I’m a baseball fan first and certainly wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to witness the first series in this new ballpark (though I’m still somewhat surprised my Uncle extended me the invite, as sport rivalries run deep in our family. Just ask my father, the Red Sox fan.)

To say Citi Field is spectacular is an underestimate. Everything about it speaks to the grandeur of New York baseball; no amenities were spared. But I couldn’t help and notice that in the process of building as many inimitable features and intangible benefits into the new field, the Mets perhaps missed on two of the most basic, yet important criteria on building a good ballpark: an excellent view of the field and the timely use of entrances, exits, restrooms, and food vendors.

A lot of the same intangibles that give the ballpark its look and ambiance also lead to obstructed views of the field from multiple directions, including the frieze that lines that mezzanine section and certain aspects of the brick wall the lines the field. Exiting the stadium and leveraging the food courts can take forever.

Despite any off-field implications, a baseball franchise is still a business, and fans are the paying customers. I think in a lot of ways the new ballpark speaks to a CRM mistake that many companies make. Providing exceptional customer service…or what some CRM gurus like to call the “wow” factor of impressing your customer, is all well and good, but making sure you provide your customers with 1st class execution of the basics is where any CRM initiative should be built from the ground up.

I’m just interested to see what the new Yankee Stadium has in store later this summer when I go…and I’m sure Martin is just as excited as I am J

File:Citi Field Home Opener.JPG