Two weeks prior to the Mets' 2013 home opener, their home stadium will have a much different look as it plays host to the inaugural Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic at Citi Field on March 17.
The first-ever NCAA Division I lacrosse games at Citi Field will feature a pair of matchups, starting with the University of Michigan taking on Colgate University at 1:05 p.m. ET, followed by the College of Holy Cross squaring off with the United States Naval Academy at approximately 4:05. Tickets for both contests go on sale Wednesday.
"Lacrosse is immensely popular in our community and we are thrilled to bring together these four prestigious universities for the first-ever lacrosse games at Citi Field," said Dave Howard, the Mets' executive vice president of business operations. "This high-profile event further positions Citi Field as a world-class sports and entertainment venue that has hosted a myriad of events, including international soccer, large-scale concerts and festivals."
Three of the four participating teams -- Colgate, Holy Cross and Navy -- are conference rivals in the Patriot League, while Michigan is preparing for its second season of varsity lacrosse in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
The Wolverines will have a tough task against Colgate, which is coming off its best season in school history. The Raiders went 14-4 last year and won their opening-round game in the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated in the quarterfinals.
The second game of the doubleheader features one of the more storied lacrosse programs in the country, as Navy enters the 2013 season with 17 national championships and 26 NCAA tournament appearances to its name.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.