The Major League Baseball Players Association, in partnership with stadium concessionaire ARAMARK and the New York Mets, has opened a prototype store called The Players Clubhouse at Citi Field.

Marlon Anderson, J.J. Putz, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday prior to the Mets' exhibition game with the Red Sox at the new ballpark in Queens, N.Y.

The store showcases player products jointly licensed by the MLBPA and Major League Baseball and provides the MLBPA and its licensees with a unique opportunity to launch new items, test future products and host player-related events.

"We have seen these products generate incremental sales for retailers across the country, and we are excited to be able to test new concepts in product development, merchandising and promotion right here in our own retail laboratory, with wonderful partners like ARAMARK and the New York Mets," said Judy Heeter, the PA's director of business affairs and licensing.

Design and merchandise costs for the 470-square-foot store are underwritten by the MLBPA, while ARAMARK will maintain inventory and manage the store on a day-to-day basis.

"We are excited to partner with the MLBPA on this innovative retail concept, which is part of a larger effort at Citi Field to redefine the shopping experience for baseball fans in stadiums," said John Franzini, vice president of services for ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment.

The prototype store is a natural extension of the MLBPA's successful Players Clubhouse in-stadium retail program. It's located on the Excelsior Level (fifth floor) behind Section 327.