Mar
27

Assessing the sight lines and field size at the new Yankee Stadium

By

newoldcomparison.jpg

Click to enlarge this image for a side-by-side comparison of the new and old Yankee Stadiums. (Courtesy of flickr user mfbyrne_pa)

As the new Yankee Stadium arises in the Bronx, we know a lot about the outside. In pictures, we’ve seen the new Stadium go up. Today, we learn that the entryway with the gold-etched lettering now features a few glass windows. From the outside, at least, the stadium in progress is quite the scene.

The inside is, of course, a different story all together. As shots from MLB.com show, the inside is far from complete, and the field, the last part of the project, is a mess of machinery and mud. In fact, throughout the whole process, information on the inside of the Stadium and its internal configuration has been hard to find. We know that the tier level seats will be more recessed at the new stadium. But what about the field and the sight lines? How do those compare?

This week, while digging around flickr, I came across the image at the top of the post. As the large version shows, the new field will have different dimensions from the old. The new stadium will still feature a 408-foot drive to centerfield and a 318-foot left field foul line. Right field moves in two feet to 312, and the power alleys appear to be 392 in left-center and 371 in right-center as opposed to 399 and 385.

While these dimensions are purely preliminary and could very well change, the new stadium, as it is displayed above, strikes me as a hitter’s park. Luckily, Phil Hughes and Chien-Ming Wang love those groundballs. (Check out this image from Baseball-Fever.com for an overlay of the old field on top of the new one.)

Meanwhile, the images, which seem to come from here and here, suggest that the front of the tier levels will be significantly more recessed than they are now. No longer will the upper reaches of the stadium hang over the loge and field level seats. Rather, most will be open-air seats. But a few changes will be made to help the stadium retain some intimacy.

Notably, foul territory behind the plate will be reduced. Again, the stadium will play as a hitter’s park with the fans much closer to the action. With these changes as well as a 53,000-seat capacity and a wider seating bowl, the last row of the tier level could be as much as 54 feet closer to the action. That’s a significant improvement even as it comes at the expense of the tier box seats (or, as they’ll be called, the Terrace Level seats).

Right now, everything here should be taken with a grain of salt. These are unofficial figures from folks who are, by and large, estimating what the field will look like. Until the Yankees unveil the final figures, we won’t know for sure. But we’re beginning to see the trade-offs. Some seats will be better than they are now; some will be worse. As much as I don’t want to see Yankee Stadium go because of the history, the nostalgia and the memories, I’m a bit excited to at least explore the new ballpark. I shudder to think, however, of the day the wrecking ball comes.

Categories : Yankee Stadium

30 Comments»

  1. Jeff says:

    Great Article by Verdicci…..

    Restocking a Rivalry
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....index.html

    • Ben K. says:

      Please try to keep comments on topic. To draw our attention to a story elsewhere, please use the e-mail addresses in the left-hand sidebar.

  2. Jeff says:

    Yogi on the renovated Stadium…

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/.....-years/?hp

    And once Yankee Stadium was re-modeled in the mid-1970s, it was just not the same for the old Yankees. “I didn’t play there,” Yogi said, matter-of-factly.
    ———————————————————-

    I am 20 but most of the older generation I come into contact with always say it isn’t the same stadium…..

  3. barry says:

    Life of Yankee Stadium II? Guesses anyone? 25 years sounds right.

  4. Rich says:

    I don’t mind that the new stadium will be a hitter’s park. I can recall watching games played at the old stadium as a little kid when mammoth drives were caught at the wall, well over 400 feet from home plate. But it does stand in stark contrast with Cash’s decision to make pitching the centerpiece of the organizational strategy going forward.

  5. LiveFromNewYork says:

    Wasn’t the original designed for the way Babe Ruth hit? I’m fine with that.

    Will the bleachers have the black seats? That wasn’t there until 1973.

  6. Mike P says:

    The new Stadium looks pretty good. I think the overhang of the upper deck had to go realistically. I love it ’cause that’s where I sit, but anyone below probably didn’t enjoy it too much and they pay more money.

    I have one major gripe. The stadium will be smaller with fewer cheap seats. Couldn’t they simply have added 2-3 rows to the upper deck? That would have increased capacity by a few thousand cheaper seats. The Stadium would look better and I can’t imagine the view from the extra seats would be bad.

    Also, I love the way the roof covered most of the stands in the 1923 version.

  7. AlexCT says:

    i just realized…. there is very little space behind home plate. i always loved that about yankee stadium. i hope it stays the same.

  8. mustang says:

    They will have the black seats. It’s actually going to be like a restaurant or something to that effect for bleachers creatures.

  9. Adam says:

    anyone have a feeling that moving the left field wall in has something to do with making it a little easier for a-rod to break the home run record? there is a lot of money to be made by the yankees in that pursuit, and moving the power alleys in 7 and 14 feet has got to help.

  10. mustang says:

    Good point Adam. I wouldn’t doubt it.

  11. mustang says:

    It would also make it a little easier for the Captain to hit HR.

  12. Guiseppe Franco says:

    I thought the new yard was supposed to be the exact same dimensions as the current yard.

    Isn’t that what we’ve been hearing for a year now?

    • Guiseppe Franco says:

      Somebody goofed up on these dimensions because Lonn Trost confirmed in a LoHud piece this morning that the Yankee Stadium dimensions are not going to change:

      http://lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll...../-1/SPORTS

      That meant occasionally being firm with the architects, HOK Sport, who sought to tweak some aspects of the Stadium – including its longtime dimensions – to accommodate for the limited space. After all, the Yankees were restricted on almost all sides by either subway tracks or parkland, so “the footprint” of the Stadium, as Trost called it, really couldn’t be expanded any more.

      “They would ask about moving in the right-field fence – we said no. They would say, ‘What about just changing left field?’ and we said no,” Trost said. “The dimensions of Yankee Stadium were not going to change. They just weren’t.”

      • Ben K. says:

        Interesting. I’ll have to check that out. That’s the first time a team official has said that in public I believe. I know it’s been hinted at.

        There will still be less foul territory and the sight-line diagrams remain the same as above though.

        • steve (different one) says:

          actually, to me, it doesn’t look like there will be less foul territory. it just looks re-distributed.

          there looks to be less ground directly behind home plate, but slightly more up the baselines.

          i am just guessing here, but i would think that the new stadium *could* play as more of a pitcher’s park in that respect. i would guess there are more balls that aren’t caught because they land in the seats up and down the baselines than balls that are popped straight up behind home plate and land in the space that was there before but is not there anymore.

          i have absolutely no way of quantifying this, so i am basically talking out of my ass (what else is new?).

          at worst, i would *guess* that the amount of foul balls caught in the new stadium and old stadium would roughly even out….Posada might lose a few, but it looks like there is some room for the 3Bman/LFer or 1Bman/RFer to catch a few more foul balls.

          thoughts?

  13. Adam says:

    the “old” yankees stadium on the left looks so familiar and comforting. the “new” yankee stadium on the right looks so bland and symmetrical. i become less of a fan of the new stadium every day.

    • monkeypants says:

      Yet of course, if the dimensions on the NYS are accurate, it will be LESS symmetrical than the current park: 392′ LF and 371′ RF = 21′ difference, more than the current 14′ difference (399′ LF and 385′ RF).

  14. [...] Assessing the sight lines and field size at the new Yankee Stadium – Ben K. – River Ave. Blues [...]

  15. YES says:

    I like that the new YS is symmetrical but I don’t want to see it become a hitter’s park. That doesn’t help Kennedy who’s a fly ball pitcher. Also Hughes seems to have become a fly ball pitcher since coming up. His minor league numbers indicate that he had a lot of ground balls. Don’t know what’s behind that.
    So hopefully the dimensions are the same. Everything is about offense. Got to at least help out the pitcher.

  16. jscape2000 says:

    I’ve said it before, but my idle fantasy is that the Yanks would put new Yankee Stadium to Old Yankee Stadium’s dimensions: 312LF-457LC-461CF-407RC-296RF.
    If you’re going to build a team around young pitching, why not give them an advantage? And all that space in the outfield means that you could construct a team with two centerfielders while most of your opponents would roll into town and have to chose between offense and defense. As we see at new Tigers Stadium, a lot of extra space doesn’t necessarily reduce offense- it can turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples.

    • Travis G. says:

      that would’ve been pretty cool. especially to watch Manny Ramirez run around lost in that expansive left field.

    • ceciguante says:

      i also had thought about going back to the old dimensions — i would love that. put some baseball back in baseball: speed, defense, triples. strategy.

      i don’t like the profile of the new park so far. good upper deck seats are becoming extinct. who cares about the very last row of the upper deck? i want to know that i can get a mid to front upper deck seat, and be pretty close to the field. no longer. but i’ll have my choice of martini bars and espresso bars! (sigh)

    • Mike P says:

      There is the small matter of the Yankees having awarded the biggest contract of all time to a right handed slugger. Though I guess they’d save money on the “historical achievement” bonus with those field dimensions.

  17. EJ says:

    Interesting, though any discussion of a potential park factor will have to be on hold until we see wind conditions.

  18. barry says:

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/.....1172729090
    Check out this old ad for genuine yankee stadium seats, only 7.50 and some cigarette box tops.

  19. Mike P says:

    I think the new Stadium’s pretty good. It has one huge problem though: it’ll be smaller and there will be fewer cheaper seats.
    Also, I’ll miss the upper deck’s overhang, but I guess it had to go. I don’t see why they couldn’t have added 2-3 rows to the tier level. The view would still be good and the stadium would be bigger and look more like the old one. I also like the bigger roof from the ’23 stadium.

  20. monkeypants says:

    You can’t compare the proposed dimensions of NYS with the current park’s dimensions. Since you have taken Andrew Clem’s diagrams, you should have noticed that the distance markers in the current park are not located in the same place as proposed distance markers in NYS. According to Andrew Clem, the “real” distance to “true” LF is 388′ and to RF is 372′–these distances correspond to the distance markers in NYS (392′ and 371′). The dimensions in the new park will be very, very similar to the old park. It will not be a hitters park (IMO)–it will be a neutral park, just like the stadium is now.

  21. [...] to what I reported yesterday, Trost said that the dimensions would stay the same. “The dimensions of Yankee Stadium were [...]

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