New Yankee Stadium reviews: Day 792

The New York Yankees weren’t even home this weekend, but still no one can stop talking about their new stadium, and all the people who aren’t buying tickets there:

  • New York Times columnist Harvey Araton favorably compares the Boston Red Sox‘ renovation of Fenway Park to the Yanks’ new “monument to excess”: “It is always a mob scene at ancient Fenway, just as it usually was in recent years at old Yankee Stadium. So why was there such a dire need for a new one that required the mutilation of centralized parkland and the eventual demolition of a landmark? Oh, right, it was all for the fans, as the Steinbrenners have made a habit of assuring us.”
  • A recent California transplant writes on Athletics Nation that the new stadium is “cold and uninviting and simply lacking any charm. The real Yankee fans are largely banished to the top edges of the place, and if there was little chance that a kid growing up in the same Bronx neighborhood that houses the stadium would ever be able to afford a ticket inside the old place, well, there is zero chance of that happening in the new one.”
  • Rick Malwitz makes a similar observation on MyCentralJersey: “People who actually live within walking distance apparently don’t go to the games. I hate to make judgments on entire villages, but in the housing surrounding Yankee Stadium, I suspect there are not many families of four who can afford the average ticket price of $73, not to mention a round of $10.20 Rocket Doubles. … So here’s my idea about how to fill those seats that investment bankers and hedge fund operators can no longer afford: If there are empty seats up front, let kids in the neighborhood fill them, and give them two pears for free.”
  • San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler has more suggestions for filling those empty field-level seats, including tarps and weasel masks.

8 comments on “New Yankee Stadium reviews: Day 792

  1. That’s my main problem with the whole project. Maybe Yankee Stadium could not be repaired from a structural standpoint, and that would have to be given consideration. However, Yankee Management claim that they did it for the fans. Most people just don’t buy it. Their relocation plan and their ticket prices prove that it was always about their maximum earnings potential. Many fans do like the new design, but many including myself think it is cold and lacks charm. It should look like a new exact replica of the old stadium.

  2. Remember when Rudy left office at the end of 2001 and there was a plan for a new retractable roof Stadium to be built in Macombs Dam Park?

    HOK designed that Stadium and was asked by the press why Yankee Stadium could not be renovated….

    Hok responded by saying the Yankees never asked for a renovation of Yankee Stadium!

    The Yankees didn’t want to sacrifice 2 years of profits while doing partial renovations to Yankee Stadium in the offseason…..A true appreciation for History!

  3. Nobody ever said Yankee Stadium could not be repaired from a structural standpoint. Quite the contrary, the city’s buildings department (which inspects annually) said all along that building was structurally sound. This was ignored by Bloombucks. Because, you know, we couldn’t let anything stand in the way of a great deal. And no journalist questioned him on it.

    Frankly, I think the high school teams who no longer have a home field and the neighborhood kids who dream of being the next Manny Ramirez should be allowed to play on the new stadium’s pristine turf during Yankee road trips. It still wouldn’t make this a fair deal, but at least it would offer some perspective.

  4. “And no journalist questioned him on it.”

    A-HEM:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-01-22/news/sports/1
    (see second item)

    If you mean questioning him directly, I never got a chance to do that, but I’d wager that Pat Arden of Metro did. Not that it made a whole lot of difference, given that no one else was paying attention at the time:

    http://tinyurl.com/d3744c

  5. Mea culpa! I stand corrected on my foolish choice of words. You’ve done more than your share of shoe-leather reporting on this–probably more than anyone, which is why I’ve been reading all along. You could write a great book just on the Yankees’ stadium with all the research you’ve done over the years. And I do recall your links to Metro as everything was unfolding. Pat Arden asked a lot of questions that the dailies, for the most part, didn’t dare. Kudos all around.

  6. A tragic disaster. A gloomy, structure reeking of hubris and embarrassing phony majesty. King Ubu Field.

    The old stadium, while huge, had an intimate feel with the massive upper deck overhanging the lower levels and allowing fans in the highest reaches to feel as if their bellowed cheer was absolutely heard down on the field. If architecture can push action, the old Stadium was a powerful force. Truly, one of the most exciting theatres in the world.

    Now, with the setbacks, and the dead air produced by two levels of luxury boxes, the place has lost all immediacy and excitement. It feels dead, morose. But it has great food!

    Also, I’m sorry, the huge screen in center is a travesty. It’s brighter than the field, and the eye keeps going there to enjoy another fake, virtual or commercial experience. The new stadium was built by clueless, greedy men who don’t give a hoot about baseball. The building is anti-baseball.

    And all the while, the old edifice stands across the street mutely accusing us of once being great.

    I first entered Yankee Stadium with my father at the age of six. I’m now 55. I’ve attended well over a thousand games, Playoff games, World Series Games and on one day in May, 1998, Perfection. I have loved Yankees baseball. I HAVE LOVED YANKEES BASEBALL!

    I won’t be attending any more Yankees games. What a bloated piece of crap.

  7. I hear ya, barry. But you should’ve known that it has been years in the making. Between the influx of bandwagon “fans” who only show up because of the “marquee name” or the controversial tenure of Steinbrenner the III or the constant attention the big media keep putting on every move, rumor, innuendo involving the Yanks, all of that and others that I didn’t mention conspired to make this new reality a fact.

    But rest assured that Yankee fans aren’t alone in feeling that they’ve entered a twilight zone. It is just that they’re amongst the last to figure out. And many of them still don’t care even today. They’re more like “Hey! It’s still better than the crap the Mets have now!” Or did they raise a peep when the fans in Montreal lost their Expos, when fans in Seattle lost their Sonics, when fans in Cleveland lost their Browns or when millions of fans all across the land found out that they can’t afford to pay for season tickets for their favorite teams? Not likely.

    While it’s true that the brass brought this upon themselves, I don’t see how the media in other places should express any schedenfreude over this mess. It’s just the same mess that has happened in other cities, the only difference being that it is on a much grander scale. What’s important to note is what we’ve lost along the way. By “we” I mean the average fans all over the land. Whose only “crime” is to swear loyalty to a particular team and take the years of tragic disappointments and letdowns in the hope of witnessing at least one championship in their lifetime. The ones who have been willing to pay for tickets simply because they want to watch ballgames, only to be “rewarded” with escalating price hikes, bad service, rude ushers, greater and more absurd inconveniences in purchasing tickets and unresponsive management. And then we swerve to an inconvenient truth about average folks like us: WE ARE EXPENDABLE!

    Maybe not as expendable with the bad economy but expendable in any true sense. Welcome back to the world, barry.

    So instead of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” perhaps the right song to play is “Trouble” by Coldplay.

  8. I had the displeasure of going to a Yankee game only to wait 2 hours in a rain delay. Instead of showing Yankee highlights from old games, or diplaying any player profiles new or old, the idiots in marketing decided to show profiles of all the places to eat their overpriced food. Imagine sitting in a chair that is cramped, in the cold rain(covered by an awning)and being subjected to a advertising blits from of all the places to eat and being tortured by the sight of the food. Imagine that that is the only thing that they show with a Yankee clip here and there. Rule 101 in how to make your customers happy…..don’t do that, you have convinced me that the management people are not so bright and that I should cease to return so long as that nonsense is going on. I understand that the food is expensive, rain delays happen, and money has to be made. But I want to be entertained while I am waiting, don’t throw that food marketing
    garbage in my face.