New Yankee Stadium won’t have the best seats in the house

Down on the Farm
Reviewing the Sickels Mock Draft

nysupperdeck.jpg

I’m no fan of the New Yankee Stadium. While I understand the economics behind the Yanks’ desire for a new stadium, I don’t see the problem with Yankee Stadium.

I know I’m not alone, but Yankee fans have been underwhelmingly quiet about the new stadium. There were no protests to speak of, and the most vocal advocacy groups fighting the stadium were those rightly concerned with the loss of valuable park land in the South Bronx. The Yankees wanted their new stadium, and they will get one that will look just the one in Philadelphia which looks just like the one in San Diego which looks just like the one in Milwaukee and so on.

So the team will get its new playground, but we fans will get a giant surprise: The best seats in the house won’t be there anymore.

The tier level seats in Yankee Stadium are one of the great joys of the current stadium, remodeled in the 1970s. The boxes hang low over the lower decks and offer an intimate view of the field and the game. With the Tier Boxes so low, even the Tier Reserve seats don’t see as high up as they do in Shea Stadium or Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

All of that will change in the new stadium, and no one had reported this dismaying fact until Neil DeMause presented it in an article everyone overlooked in the Village Voice in March. DeMause wrote:

B: The upper deck of the new Yankee Stadium will be about the same height as the old, though with the last few rows trimmed off. (The old park holds 57,545; the new one will seat 53,000, plus 1,000 standing-room.) The new top tier, however, will be set back an extra 30 feet from the field, to keep the high-priced patrons below out of shadow. This less compact design also risks snipping a few decibels off the stadium’s signature crowd roar.

This should stir up passive Yankee fans. Thirty feet! That’s a lot. When I was at a game a few weeks ago, I eyeballed thirty feet. I figured that the Tier Boxes at Yankee Stadium will start where the first row E is in the current stadium. Just so some rich non-fans can pay for the quote-unquote Yankee Stadium Experience, the rest of us fans who have stuck with the team for decades will have to say goodbye to that wonderful intimate view of the game from the Tier level.

Meanwhile, the bad news from De Mause continues:

K: With the luxury-box market tanking, the teams will build a relatively modest 50 to 60 suites, instead opting for more premium-priced “club seats,” which offer roomier seating. Their extra legroom comes at a cost, though, forcing the cheap seats behind them to be pushed skyward.

It’s just more of the same. The people with money get the views while the fans who like to go games day in and day out get screwed. Welcome to the New Yankee Stadium, fans. There’s nothing we can do about it anymore.

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Down on the Farm
Reviewing the Sickels Mock Draft
  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees EJ

    Yeah, the good seats are expensive. Want to know why? Because a lot of people want to watch baseball. Tons and tons of people. As long as people are willing to pay for them, the expensive seats will get more expensive and teams will try to build more of them. It’s the price we pay for being fans of a popular baseball team. I’m sure that I could get good, cheap tickets to see the Kansas City Royals, but the product on the field wouldn’t be nearly as good.

    It’s called capitalism. I don’t mean to rant at you Ben, but it’s a compliant that I hear all the time and it really bothers me. Baseball is a product, just like any other. The laws of supply and demand cover that product. As sports fans, we should be happy that many sports owners (like say, George Steinbrenner) often are willing to sacrifice profit for their fans. The guy selling me a computer doesn’t give me the kind of break that the guy selling baseball often does.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben

    As sports fans, we should be happy that many sports owners (like say, George Steinbrenner) often are willing to sacrifice profit for their fans.

    That’s exactly my point. Steinbrenner is NOT sacrificing profit for the fans. In fact, so that a few hundred fans are willing to pay a few thousand dollars to not watch the game, about 20,000 fans (or more) are going to get screwed over. And that doesn’t count the 3000 fans who wont be able to get into the stadium because the seats aren’t there.

    Additionally, I have no problem with the good seats being expensive. Those field boxes are already really expensive. I have a problem with sacrificing the good affordable seats for a few more corporate dollars.

    The new Yankee Stadium will be about the corporate experience. It won’t be about going to the game, and it won’t be about the fans. The bleachers will be behind a row of field level box scores. The Tier level will be recessed. You say now that we should be happy, but I bet you’ll be singing a different tune in 2009 when the new Stadium arrives.

  • John

    The part that would upset me the most would be the drop in the noise level. I’ve been unhappy at a few games this year when the crowd didn’t seem into a relatively close game.

  • Will

    I have to agree with EJ. People always complain about how much they have to pay for baseball (whether it’s ticket prices, TV subscriptions or food at the concessions), but in reality, the current costs are what the market will yield.

    I understand your disappointment about losing the great tier seats at the current YS. As a partial plan holder of a great seat in Row M of Section 5, no one is going to lose out more than I am. If I had my way, I’d love to keep my seat and the Old Stadium. Yet, I realize that the march of time doesn’t stop for sentiment and certainly can’t blame the Yankees for joining along.

    Also, while I love the Tier Reserve behind home plate, I simply won’t sit in the Upper Deck beyond sections 12/13. Once you move down the lines, the closeness of the Upper Deck creates angles that make significant portions of the playing field unviewable. Perhaps, pushing the Tier back will improve these seats at the expense of the ones behind the plate?

    Also, if having fewer seats means having fewer people there who only are interested in drinking beer, then I’m all for that as well.

  • Jersey

    I don’t understand why there are so many who are so willing to suspend any kind of moral judgment because of “supply and demand.” Just because the market produces an outcome, doesn’t make that outcome “good.”

    Anyway, it’s a real shame the regular fans are getting screwed. Stuff like this that makes it hard to root for the team sometimes.

  • jon

    Jersey, simply because if the market bears the costs based on supply and demand, then they, collectively, don’t consider what they’re buying to be “immoral.” And while you may feel strongly about your views, it is harder to argue for them when enough people to “move the market” feel differently.

  • mf

    I have no real stake in this since I live in DC where Nationals (and O’s except when they play the Yankees) tickets are cheap and plentiful, and I certainly won’t begrudge baseball owners their profits. But the ‘it’s just capitalism’ defense bothers me a bit. First, it suggests that unrestrained capitalism is a natural good not to be disturbed. In fact, there is almost no sector of our economy that comes even close to unrestrained capitalism, and so the question is which restraints are appropriate. In the case of baseball, these stadiums are almost always built largely with public funds, and even when they are not, they are built with the help of extremely generous tax breaks and land grants. And in general, baseball’s antitrust exemption deprives owner’s of any right to cry about infringements on capitalism (they don’t even want market capitalism). In any case, consumers are supposed to have some power within the market as well. So what is wrong with consumers crying foul in the hopes of rallying public support for change?

    • RJW

      MF couldn’t be more correct! Baseball is NOT a business. Every other business does not operate as a monopoly with an antitrust exemption. If there was real competition with competing leagues, MLB would be forced to make the game more attractive to the masses. The Ayn Rand defense is foolishly misplaced here. MLB can’t have it both ways. They can’t operate independent the public trust while reeping the benefits of a virtually non regulated monopoly. Lift the ban and allow real free market capitalism shape baseball. A truly American idea! In the meantime, the patronizing ignorant baseball-as-a-business pseudo-intellects ought to shut the hell up.

  • Wayne’s World

    They could have built a new ballpark with more seats and similar configurations re: distance from field as current ballpark. That would allow them to maintain current price configurations and generate more revenue, thus compensating for smaller number of premium seats. Also, each of those additional attendees would spend concession dollars, creating more concession revenues than there will be in a smaller ballpark. The original Yankee Stadium seated far in excess of 60,000 people, while maintaining the intimacy of which you write. That is the model that should have been used here if they were set on the wasteful folly of building a new ballpark.

  • monkeypants

    Assuming that Wayne’s World’s solution was not viable (by the way, I agree with the idea–there is no reason with attendance averaging 50,000 not to build a new ball park that holds as many as, if not a few more fans than, the current version, and maybe even invoke the calssic stadium’s dimensions a bit more, rather than replicating exactly the house that Jack Clark built), I do think all this hand-wringing over the loss of the good tier seats is a bit bogus. When I first started going to the stadium on my own in the 90s, you could still Loge seats, and in fact I went to opening day in consecutive years and bought seats the day of the game. Now, the entire Loge, most all of the first deck, and all those lovely Tier boxes are sold to season ticket holders. Now, I don’t begrudge these fans (often the most dedicated) their seats, but frankly I haven’t sniffed decent seats at the stadium in years. In my opinion, they have ‘sold out’ not only to corporate interests, but also to season ticket holding interests, because that way they get their money up front and it doesn’t matter whether you show up to the game or not. The old days of deciding that day to play hooky and catch a ball game are long gone.

    Also, the extreme cantilever of the tier means that the corners of the OF are completely obscured if you sit where I usually do–in the sky down the lines. The RF bleachers are supposedly pretty good seats (never doen the bleachers myself), but LF is 500 ft from home plate–hardly good sight lines. The sad reality (in my mind) is that although older ballparks with intimate seating (had you ever checked out the upper deck in the old Tigers Stadium?), those settings also came at a price. And I have to admit that when I have attended games in newer ball parks (Jacobs Field, Great American Ballpark, Whatver the hell they call the New Tigers Stadium), I have never felt that my experience suffered because I was farther from the field, mainly because the newer stadiums offered significant upgrades in other areas (like being able to see the whole field, open sight lines in the concourses that ran all the way around the field, some clever arrangements of the bullpens and standing room areas that allowed wonderfula nd dare I say intimate views of the players warming up, etc.)

    So overall, I am not convinced that many people will be affected (or even notice if they are affected) by the seats sitting farther from the field, and for some of us, we won’t be any farther from the action than we already are.

  • Jersey

    Jon: First off, my #1 complaint is those who, like EJ, suggest that we should not argue or complain. We should take what the market yields. I say, bugger that.

    Second – I have no quarrel with the high ticket prices; it’s when the number of lower-priced seats is reduced or moved back that I problem with. It’s bad faith on the part of the organization, and it renders a scarce commodity even scarcer. Not sure how the fact there is a consumer base willing to support the prices changes that…

    MJ – Good points, all. As another DC resident, I’m spoiled by Nats tickets too.

  • Marsha

    The part that upsets me is the lack of protest from true Yankee fans. We do NOT need a new stadium. The old one suited me just fine. But no one, myself included, raised a peep when the plans were first announced. There were numerous times and places where objections could be raised and heard, although probably not listened to, but no one said anything. That’s the sad part of the stadium saga.

  • RobinCT

    I saw this problem the moment I laid eyes on the design for the new stadium. It was obvious.

    I feel for those who like going to the games in person. I’m far enough away in CT that I rarely go anyway. Now I’ll have even less incentive to trek on down to the Bronx.

  • mg

    The worst part seems to be that the right field bleachers are so completely changed that it’s hard to imagine them being the same experience. Loosing those is the absolute worst part of this. There were no better $10 seats in all of baseball and part of that was how close to the playing field they are. Putting a section of box seats in front of those is a travesty. I can see the bleacher creatures now.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees EJ

    I’m not suggesting that people should just roll over and be content with seeing their favorite seats be eliminated in favor of more high priced seats – I am saying that they should expect it. It is incredibly unreasonable to ask the Yankees to sacrifice what will eventually amount to millions of dollars in order to preserve these seats.

    Baseball is in it’s renaissance. More people than ever want to come to baseball games, and more people than ever are willing to pay a lot of money in order to do so. The problem with an old stadium like the current Yankee Stadium is that it was built in a day where less people wanted to watch baseball – so the design included a lot of lower-cost seating in order to draw more people to the game. The Yankees don’t have that problem anymore.

    Am I happy that these seats are being lost? Of course not. But I’m not mad at the Yankees.

  • squad

    Just wanted to point one thing out. Whose to say that “rich folk” can’t be as dedicated as the bleacher creatures?

    Personally, I’m a Mets fan, but there is similar belly-aching about the Mets new stadium.

    A lot of people automatically assume that the higher priced seating prices out “real” or “more dedicated” fans. Isn’t this slightly obnoxious?

    Playing in New York City, the Yankees and Mets both have access to quite a few people who make a decent living.

    Obviously, there is a nice chunk of seats that go to “corporate clients” which are then passed along to people who may have zero rooting interest in the home town team, but to make a blanket statement that regular or true fans are getting screwed, implying that wealthier fans are not “regular” or “true” fans is simply unfair.

    Perhaps baseball, and even more so the Yankees, attract a more affluent fan? This would be an interesting study, the demographics of the fan bases of each respective league.

  • http://baseballchurch.blogspot.com daedalus

    “Baseball is in its Renaissance?” What are you on – Bud Selig’s elixir of robots? A recent Gallup poll showed the number of people who claim to be baseball fans is at an all time low. There aren’t more people at games – there are more corporations who buy season tickets for clients that often go unused but are still counted in attendance figures. If you visit stadiums outside of New York you’ll see that more often than not these seats are half empty. It’s too bad there’s no way of finding out the actual number of people who attend games. No doubt Selig wouldn’t be able to go around spewing his “baseball has never been more popular” garbage. And World Series ratings continue to plummet, showing how “popular” the game is today.

    I am sick to death of the “market” excuse. There is more to life than economics, people. There is such pure joy in going to a baseball game for us fans, sitting outside, eating a hotdog and drinking a cold beer on a warm summer night, staring out at the greenest green glowing under the incandescent lights, the sound of the crowd roaring with the crack of the bat…The solution they sometimes give for us common folk who can’t really afford the skyrocketing prices is to watch it on television, as if that is an adequate replacement for actually attending the games.

    The “little guy,” or as Nationals President Stan Kasten said, “Joe Fan,” is getting pushed further and further from the field and is forced to attend fewer games because of crap like this, but Joe Fan is the backbone of the game. He’s the one who spends all the money to buy the gear. He’s the one who tries to attend as many games as he can. He’s the heart and soul of the game, not some wealthy jackass who only goes because he wants to be seen. And do you know what happens next? Joe Fan’s kids don’t get to go to as many games as he did when he was forming his identity as a fan, or they sit so far from the field they don’t know what’s going on, etc. They don’t become fans, and baseball fails to develop a new generation that will sustain it.

    Baseball is not the same as a regular corporation, even if you don’t count its anti-trust exemption. It is part of a national conscience and should be treated as such. Of course the “market” people label anyone that sees more in life than dollar signs or who makes a case for Joe Fan as a pinko or whatever other names they have for those of us who have an appreciation for life over money as if WE are the ones who have something wrong with us.

    I hate the Yankees as much as the next small market fan ;) but I cringe at the thought that such a national treasure is allowed to be destroyed in the name of corporate greed. You can’t get these things back, people. You get a fan a couple of generations down the line who is looking at picture books of old stadiums and comes across Yankee Stadium in all of its glory and says, wouldn’t that have been something to see that? And he never gets to feel the incredible sense of awe that a baseball fan gets when he steps foot in Yankee Stadium and he never gets feels the ghosts of greats roaming on the field. It’s not the same as tearing down a stadium in Philly or Kansas City, because the Yankees are so much more than those teams – they are part of the American culture, and players who built that stadium and made those glorious memories are national icons. Yankee Stadium is a living, breathing museum about to meet its untimely and tragic death because of greed and apathy.

    There’s a reason we have the line “don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

    I’ll never figure out these “market” worshippers. It’s as if they are zombies, sucking the blood out of everything that doesn’t make maximum profit. It must suck to not have a soul – you’d miss out so much on the beauty of life. And I’m damn tired of watching their god The Market steal that beauty.

  • http://baseballchurch.blogspot.com daedalus

    p.s. Good post, by the way. Sorry I wrote so much. I just feel strongly about it. I loved how Sox fans started a non-profit and saved Fenway Park.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees EJ

    That’s great, because Stalin never let the market “steal” national treasures. Baseball is a business. It’s a business that a lot of people – those same nameless “corporations” that you like to complain about – want to watch. Guess what? I’m going to the game tonight in “corporate” seats. Am I not a baseball fan? Am I destroying the game we both love? Nope.

    The market that you speak of isn’t some kind of separate, evil monster that devours baseball fans. All the market is, like a corporation, is a collection of people. People like baseball. A lot of people like baseball. Naturally, people want to sit in the best seats they can to watch baseball. As more people watch baseball (and all of the empirical evidence defies your conspiracy theories about attendance numbers. Take a look at how many people visited Yankee Stadium on a daily basis in the 60s), the demand for those really good seats goes up. Until someone finds a way to pack 100,000 people into a baseball stadium in New York City, demand will always exceed supply, which gives an incentive for the Yankees to increase the average price that they get in return for each ticket. To expect otherwise is unreasonable. Baseball may have an anti-trust exemption, but baseball competes against itself every day.

    Yeah, we’re tearing down a national museum. Big deal. I don’t know how often you go to other baseball stadiums, but the new ones are much nicer than Yankee Stadium. Watching a game in Camden Yards almost makes me forget that I’m watching the Baltimore Orioles. Yes, I love Yankee Stadium, but sometimes you have to learn to move on. It’s not going to last forever, nor should it. Yankee Stadium has a lot of flaws that can be corrected.

    • RJW

      How does baseball compete with itself?

  • Big Johnson

    Whether or not we ‘need’ the stadium or not isn’t the point. I am personally deeply disappointed that one of the last great parks with so much history is being retired. I am equally dismayed at a newer smaller stadium catering to the elite.

    However, thems the breaks. Owners have every right to refine their product in any way to improve profitability. If this results in more money to reinvest in the yanks, perhaps it is worthwhile. If you don’t like/cant afford the tickets, don’t go to the stadium. Obviously there are more than enough people content with these more expensive seats to fill them. That george wants to capitalize on this is a no brainer.

    It does represent bold and uncomfortable change, but I am not the one responsible for that 200 billion dollar payroll. George is. He has a right to do what he wants. You have a right not to go if you so choose.

  • http://jeteupthemiddle.blogspot.com Jeteupthemiddle

    I don’t understand why there are so many who are so willing to suspend any kind of moral judgment because of “supply and demand.” Just because the market produces an outcome, doesn’t make that outcome “good.”

    ===
    Sure, maybe it sucks for some fans, but baseball is a business.

    Steinbrenner is very much in the minority of baseball owners who are in it to win it. That is not to say that he wants to operate in the red.

    Baseball owners are in it to earn money. Winning helps earn money, but as long as they are turning a profit, they ultimately don’t care.

    The prices are high because people will buy them. If you don’t want to pay $300 a ticket, the person behind you will.

    You can’t possibly begrudge the Yankees from operating this way. You want them to continue putting out a $200M payroll? Well they have to make up the difference.

    I think there will still be plenty of promotions such as $5 tickets for certain games. Take advantage of those.

    While I will probably have to reduce the number of games I go to in 2009, I can’t blame the Yankees for doing it at all.

  • Brooklyn

    ****LUDDITES*****

    Yeah i like waiting 2 innings on line just to get food other than dogs and beer. Or watching the women cross thier eyes and squeeze thier knees on lines for the bathroom or having the same amenteies as say a 1904 Yankee fan.

    YES network needs ratings too. STAY HOME.

  • Jersey

    Amen, Daedalus

    EJ – You crack me up man. Thank you for using the stereotypical USSR jibe mentioned by the previous poster.

    I also get a kick out of the fact that you can so easily write off Yankee Stadium’s demolition. No it ain’t perfect, and yes it will be a treat to see the improvements at the new stadium, but wow.

    You have used the word unreasonable more than once here. To me, unreasonable is claiming to be a baseball fan, while turning your nose up at the thought that it might be a little bit harder for some fans to go see a ballgame. To borrow a phrase from Warren Buffett, in this case the “invisible hand” is an invisible foot kicking Joe Fan in the shins.

    And if they bent back the other way a wee bit – didn’t cater to the elites QUITE so much – they’d still be the wealthiest franchise in the game.

  • RobinCT

    If they were demolishing the stadium that was built in 1923 I might work up some outrage. But Yankee Stadium hasn’t been that stadium for thirty odd years. I’ve been to the Stadium several times, and while I love the team and like the Stadium, I can’t see any particular claim to a special ambiance for the building itself. The way the upper deck is designed is a plus, though, definitely.

    “A recent Gallup poll showed the number of people who claim to be baseball fans is at an all time low.”

    I thought the poll showed the *percentage* of the population that claimed to be baseball fans was at an all-time low. The thing is there is more out there nowadays – more competition for Americans’ leisure time. Which, IMO, is a good thing. It doesn’t mean that baseball sucks.

  • KAnst

    I agree with Robin, the history of Yankee stadium is great but this isnt the same stadium where that history was made.

    Also, it is very hard to get to a game due to prices, SO when I do get the chance I want the best experience possible. I want good sightlines where I can see the whole field, I want shorter lines for the bathroom and concessions and I want larger seats. I am a big guy like 240 lbs, sitting in the upper deck seats for 3 hours is obscenely uncomfortable…even two extra inches of seat would make the stadium a lot better experience for me.

  • Steve

    I feel the outside of the Stadium and the 100 foot wide concourses, bathrooms and concessions will be spectacular. That is it. Once you you get to your seat, it will not feel like Yankee Stadium even though the facade will ring around the upper deck. It will look more like a more ornate US Cellular Field. I hope I’m wrong as I am going by the models I am seeing. There will be box seats in front of the bleachers. The upper deck in right will not hug the fole pole. The field, even though will technically be asymmetrical as they are keeping the same dimensions, will not LOOK assymetrical in the stands because the bleacher configuration will be symmetrical left and right of the hideous looking glass restaurant that will dominate the back of the stadium wall. They had a golden oppurtunity to do somthing spectacular. They could have designed elements of both original and renovated Stadiums such as the cantilevered upperdeck, low fences around the foul poles, return of death valley with the 3 original monuments on the field, expanded bleachers. There is no reason why they couldn’t design a 59,000 seat stadium instead of reduced capcacity 50,300.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees EJ

    I kind of agree with you. I’d have been more happy if the Yankees decided to completely design the Stadium – create something unique. Create the best possible monument to baseball that you can find.

    Jersey – Guess what, one person in this country doesn’t deserve to watch a game of baseball more than anyone else. When a scarcity of seats exists, there is only one fair and reasonable way to decide who gets those seats, and we do it the same way that we settle other similar disputes – we allow people to ‘bid’ on the seats by offering them at a price that creates a scarcity. It’s how economics works. Yeah, sometimes people get screwed.

    People participate in the free market through willful action, which is why it works so well. The Yankees will make more money by satisfying customers with a better product. But the Yankees aren’t the only ones who benefit. They benefit from their extra profit, but the people who buy the tickets also benefit. A happy baseball fan gains more utility from a good seat than a slightly worse seat. But you’re asking the Yankees to sacrifice their symbiotic relationship with the fan willing to buy the better seat in order to benefit a third group – who you call “Joe Fan”. Two groups lose utility, and one gains.

    I love baseball, but I understand reality. I won’t ask anyone to be irrational just because “it’s baseball”.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    This is why I love discussions like this. I think EJ really hit home a solid point with that last one (not that the rest of you didn’t — it’s just that you can absolutely see how EJ’s argument evolved as more and more people offered criticisms of his previous ones).

  • http://www.yanksblog.com Patrick

    I don’t know why having money means you aren’t a real fan, that you don’t like to go to games or you haven’t stuck by your team. Simply, that means that if you have money, you cease to be a person. I hope to be rich one day. I hope you won’t say that about me. :)

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben

    I didn’t meant to imply that people who are rich cannot be real fans, but how many of the luxury suites or club boxes are going to individual fans? Probably none. The team – as all sports teams do – will sell those boxes to corporations doing business in the area who want an outlet for clients. There’s nothing wrong with that; it just shouldn’t come at the expense of the experience for other fans.

    Additionally, I have no problem at all with people buying the field boxes as season tickets and spending money they have to sit in the seats they enjoy. But I’m annoyed that the Yankees will push back the tier levels to fit in more seats that are explicitly tailored to people who want to say they went to Yankee Stadium for the experience rather than for the game or to cheer on the team.

  • barry

    I’ve never been happy, my family has been attending yankee’s games at yankee stadium for generations now, structural engineers say the building is sound and yet once again, money wins out and we get a half assed new age stadium with luxury boxes for the rich and famous.

  • Berliner

    I’m a relative newcomer to baseball. A New Yorker friend took me to Yankee Stadium three years ago, and I’ve been back there five times since and loved every minute of it. It’s a wonderful stadium. I love being high up in the tiers, and, much to the annoyance of several Red Sox-supporting friends, I’ve grown to love the Yankees.
    My point is, though, I’m primarily a soccer fan. I went to the European Champions League final recently in Athens. That event was a prime example of how corporate money is spoiling a game I love. Real fans of both teams shoved away at the ends of the stadium, the first few rows of seating all aroudn the stadium forsaken for larger advertising hoardings around the pitch, and I came away feeling like those of us who had paid a fortune to follow our team to the other side of Europe were – ultimately – viewed by the sport’s governing body as nothing more than cheerleaders, there for the benefit of the TV audience to provide the “electric” atmosphere.
    While any pro sport wouldn’t be the same without the vast amounts of money needed to sustain it at its current and future level, the fans are the ones that keep it going. A stadium isn’t about the brand. It’s the HOME of the fans. The brand is nothing without the people who spend hours pouring over the league tables, working out which games are essential wins, and going out to the game in crappy weather; all because this game that we love (baseball, soccer, whatever…) is so damn important to us.

  • http://www.savefenwaypark.org et

    Thanks for speaking from a broader point of view, Daedalus. But, what nobody has mentioned is that this didn’t have to be a black/white, either/or situation. The word is ‘renovation.’ You don’t have to knock a place down to improve circulation or to add some restrooms or concessions. You can be sure no love lost here for the Yankees, but, yes, love lost for the Stadium. It’s beautiful, 1970s renovation or no. To be fair, fans did try to get a group together to save the Stadium last year but for whatever reasons it couldn’t get off the ground.

    Because Red Sox ownership is renovating over the off-seasons, the virtues of renovation are clear to see. The place is gorgeous – clean, new seats have been added, new concessions and restrooms – and none of the crowd noise intimacy has been lost. I’ll pay $20 bucks to stand at Fenway any day before I’d pay the same for some lousy upper deck seat anywhere else.

    Fenway Park will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2012. In 2009 Yankees ownership will have its new ‘Yankee Stadium’ but you better bring your binoculars.

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  • http://DownnDirty TBTDENVER

    At this point, the biggest question of all for me is whether the hallowed ground upon which so much history has been made – meaning the field itself – will be brought over to the new stadium. Anyone know if that’s included in the plans?

  • Evan

    I, for one, am thrilled about the new Yankee Stadium The only thing that would piss me off about it is if it gets a new name. Keep Yankee Stadium.

    The loudness of the crowd will NOT go away. This is NEW YORK, people. Yankee fans are the most diehard in all of baseball, and possibly sports, and they’ll scream louder if they have to in order to keep the new Yankee Stadium as intimidating as the current one. There is no “corporate aspect” at Yankee Stadium, because most of the corporate CEOs, etc. in NY are more hardcore fans that the diehard fans of teams like the Orioles, Devil Rays, or Marlins. The stadium will be beautiful. The current Yankee Stadium’s foundation and structure are starting to wear down, so the time to build the new stadium is correct. The current Yankee Stadium has barely any places to eat, but the new one will fix that. The current Yankee Stadium is not very disabled-friendly (minimal elevators and the ones that do work are evidently in poor condition), but the new stadium will be much more disabled-friendly. And finally, what’s all this complaining about the Tiers being pushed back 30 ft? Yeah, the current stadium’s Tiers are closer to the field, but many Tier sections are so close that you can’t even see part of the field. I sat in Tier Box MVP 644 in row B a few years ago, the second row of the upper deck, and I was unable to see a large portion of left field. I’d much rather see the whole field than be close to it, and I’m sure most other fans agree. With the upper deck pushed back 30 feet, everyone in the upper deck will be able to see the entire action.

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  • Snyper74

    New Yankee Stadium…$1.2 Billion.

    2 Premium VIP Baseline Seats Opening Day…$2,400.

    Quote From Ben the Blogger …”It’s just more of the same. The people with money get the views while the fans who like to go games day in and day out get screwed. Welcome to the New Yankee Stadium, fans. There’s nothing we can do about it anymore.”… PRICELESS.

    Baseline VIP duckets are for the wealthy, for everything else theres poor fans bitching!

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  • http://jwwt1234 Paul

    Fond Memories…Your article was interesting about the world famous Yankee Stadium….I was there in 1955…1958 for the world’s largest religious convention that was held there and the nearby Polo Grounds for 8 days…from July 27-August 3. The peak attendance of 253,922 for both stadium to hear the widely advertised public address that Nathan H. Knorr then president of Watch Tower Society gave was GOD’S KINGDOM RULES…IS THE WORLD’S END NEAR?…the New York papers said this was the “best behaved convention ever held in New York city”…Delegates came from 120 countries. Mass baptism at Orchard Beach was 7,136. Not to be overlooked was the mass feeding at both stadiums over 800,000 meals cooked and serve by volunteers…the Army…Navy…and the Civil Defense came to get tips on how to mass feed people if a disaster was to come. I was there again in 1961…1963…1968 and 1973…and then in the new stadium in 1986…1988…those were the days…I was disappointed when they renovated the stadium…it just wasn’t the same anymore…

    See http://www.divinewill1958.com for historic picture.

    Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses made history at Yankee Stadium and I was proud to be there for the ball game of life everlasting…

    Thanks again…Paul E. Beerwort formerly of Philly but now in Eastman, Georgia….