Mar
28

Once more unto the new 52,326-seat Yankee Stadium

By

martinibarys.jpg

Derek prefers his shaken, not stirred.

Tired of the new Stadium yet? Me neither. Let’s jump in.

With season previews abounding in New York papers these days, there’s no shortage of stories about the new Yankee Stadium. Last week, we enjoyed learning about the martini bar and other luxurious offerings that will come with the new Yankee Stadium Experience. Today’s story comes to us from Sam Borden of The Journal-News, and it focuses on the more practical aspects of the new Yankee Stadium.

In it, we learn about the Yanks’ approach toward designing this new stadium. They wanted, according to team COO Lonn Trost, to restore aspects of the old Yankee Stadium that were abandoned during the renovations in the early 1970s and keep other long-time attributes. For example, the eagles that currently adorn the stadium entrance will fit right in on the new stadium and will appear more like the 1923 originals which were removed in the 1970s.

Beyond beyond the cosmetics, Trost and Borden talked field dimensions and seating bowl configurations as well:

Home plate will be moved 20 feet closer to the seats; the black seats in center field, which were unoccupied and served as the “batter’s eye,” will be replaced by a large sports bar with black-tinted windows; the numbering of the sections will be revamped, meaning that now section 201 actually will be next to section 202, as opposed to the odd-numbers-in-right-field, even-numbers-in-left setup that currently exists…

Monument Park? It’ll be moved, too, though it’s actually moving back closer to where it was in the original park, when it was literally in deep center field in fair territory (players ran among the monuments on deep fly balls). In the new Stadium, it’ll be in center field again, but this time behind the wall…

Instead of being walled-off from the field, the concourses will be open, so that everyone will always be able to see what’s happening during the game. There also will be approximately 500,000 square feet of amenities for fans to enjoy, Trost said, in a “great hall” between the stadium entrance and the field level.

Contrary to what I reported yesterday, Trost said that the dimensions would stay the same. “The dimensions of Yankee Stadium were not going to change. They just weren’t,” Trost said, sounding a bit enthusiastic about measurements that have been in place only since 1988.

Borden wraps up the piece with a kicker about the attendance. We finally have a figure: Attendance at the new Yankee Stadium will be 52,326, down around 4000 from the current stadium’s capacity.

This I do not like. While it’s much better than what the Mets are doing — who decided cutting a New York sports stadium down to 44,000 was a good idea? — the Yankees are selling out every game in the Bronx. So their solution is to cut the number of seats? That doesn’t fly.

“We could have added more seats, but they would have had to just been higher and further from the field,” Trost said to Borden. “We didn’t want to do that. We wanted to make sure that each fan had a great view and could truly enjoy the new park as much as possible.”

And that, my friends, is selling a lie.

Categories : Yankee Stadium

21 Comments»

  1. Jake S says:

    Although the top prices for seats at the new Stadium will be incredibly high – a field-level suite ticket will run $2,500 a game – the highest-priced tickets will absorb much of the cost of the other tickets. Trost estimated that 5,000 seats in the new Stadium will be very expensive, and “if you exclude those 5,000 seats, 89 percent of the seats will be $100 or less,” Trost said. “Fifty-five percent will be $45 or less. Fifty percent will not have a price increase from this year to next.”

    That’s something nice to hear at least. I fear for the day of the $75 upper deck seat.

  2. [...] Once more unto the new 52,326-seat Yankee Stadium – Ben K. – River Ave. Blues [...]

  3. Chris says:

    The reason the yanks and mets reduced the seating capacity is so they can create more demand. More demand means they can justify higher ticket prices. Its all about the $$ folks. Although, you could also argue that they sell out every seat anyway so why bother…

    Also there will be standing room only ‘seating’ i dunno if thats already included in the 52,000+ or will be in addition to it. Time will tell.

  4. jk says:

    They screwed the fans with the new seating. The 52K in the new place includes 3K of standing room so it is only 49K of seats.

    The bleachers are now obstructed view due to the hiddeous sports bar in center field. RF bleachers can not see LF and vice versa. Inexcusable.

    Upper deck is chopped from 30K to 20K with 1300 seats carved out for “terrace suites”. Thanks for nothing.

    Meanwhile they brag how the new place has 50% more square feet. More retail and food but fewer seats epecially in the cheap seats in upper deck/bleachers.

    Selling a lie indeed.

    • steve (different one) says:

      The bleachers are now obstructed view due to the hiddeous sports bar in center field. RF bleachers can not see LF and vice versa. Inexcusable.

      i definitely agree that this was a BAD move, but i think we should wait to see how many seats are affected. i would bet that a very small number of seats have a partially obstructed view. i wouldn’t make such a blanket statement that “the bleachers are obstructed view”.

      and again, i am not excusing this design flaw, but there are obstructed views ALL OVER the current park, including our beloved upper deck.

      for example, sitting slightly up the 3rd base side of home plate near the top, you currently cannot see the left field corner.

      i know this because i was at game 7 of the 2003 ALDS and i saw the ball leave Aaron Boone’s bat, but i never saw it land…

  5. Guiseppe Franco says:

    Obviously there is a much higher demand for Yankee tickets over every other team in MLB – but at least they aren’t slashing the capacity down to A’s or Rays standards.

    Neither of their new yards are expected to exceed 35,000 seats.

    I guess they don’t want to see a half filled stadium (or worse) on a daily basis anymore.

  6. jk says:

    Take a look at the renderings, it does not look promising for the bleachers. The sports bar is a monstrosity. Trost said they are putting banks of tv’s on the ooutside of each side of the sports bar so the creatures can see balls hit to the opposite side.

  7. Sciorsci says:

    It’s not “selling a lie.” It’s absolutely the truth. I work in baseball. I fill seats for a living. Sellouts do not equal full stadiums. Announced attendance is, to some degree, different from a stadium that is actually full.

    The Yankees have been selling out at the higher capacity anyway; supply/demand was already working in their favor. They were already raising ticket prices and selling out at those increased rates; so, again – this was not a supply/demand issue.

    I am inclined to believe Trost’s statement that it is currently about putting forth the best possible experience for the fans, and if anything, there might be an element of preserving architectural integrity and not sacrificing the ideal design of the stadium for the sake of squeezing in a few thousand “cheap seats.”

    I hope I didn’t ruin your little cynicism party.

    • Ben K. says:

      They’ve already sacrificed the cheap seats and ruined the experience by pushing back the front of the upper decks. That’s not “putting forth the best possible experience for the fans.” That’s putting forth the best possible configuration for the Yanks’ wallets.

      And that’s hardly cynicism; it’s just the truth. Baseball is a business, and the Yanks are going all in on the new stadium.

      • steve (different one) says:

        They’ve already sacrificed the cheap seats and ruined the experience by pushing back the front of the upper decks.

        while i tend to agree about the upper deck, maybe we should actually wait until the stadium opens before we declare the experience “ruined”.

    • mooks says:

      While I do not work in baseball, I do know that Trost was not entirely honest with his account, simple basic construction and economics would have given the most true answer.

      Those nosebleeds seats cost more (construction wise) to build i.e. install, the further and further you get from the field, the more time and money it costs to keep putting those seats in.

      Those seats which are the most expensive to construct are also the cheapest tickets. I.E. at this point your spending more money to get less and less money back.

      Now you can factor in demand if want, but the bottom line was the costs of more seats (which would have been further) and the minimal revenue they would have brought back.

      By the way, this doesn’t only apply to baseball, it applies to basically every arena, and other facilities, be it football, or whatever.

      • Mike P says:

        I was about to make the exact same point. They could easily have made it bigger, 3-4 extra rows in the upper deck would have kept current capacity without hindering “fan experience”. It just wasn’t very cost effective. $$$

  8. Ross says:

    In the current stadium, the Tier Box seats behind home plate are CLEARLY the best value of the whole stadium. You are hanging practically over the field. The Yankees are smart in pushing them back. If you are in the Upper Deck and this your sears are among the cheaper seats in the stadium, you shouldn’t have the best view in the place other than the people in the Field Championship MVP box seats.

    Right now, I am a season ticket holder in Tier Section 1, Row M. I am fairly certain that I will not be DIRECTLY behind home plate when the relocation packet comes out. I am disappointed, yes, but I understand that for the upgraded amenities, the structure would have to change some. Basically, some Loge people are probably going to get bumped to the upper deck, which will in turn push us Tier Reserved folks more down the baselines. Just my guess.

    Anyway, no reason to hate on the new stadium. The current one is so dated, inconvenient and decrepit. I am sick of it taking a half hour to get out of the stadium.

  9. LiveFromNewYork says:

    You haven’t even sat there yet. How do you know they’ve “ruined the experience.” I am so tired of these new stadium bashing posts. It’s ridiculous.

  10. barry says:

    they should of just said
    “About the seats, we wanted to help force the law of supply and demand. We hope to sell tickets for more money because there will be less around.”

  11. steve (different one) says:

    one thing i will say about the new stadium:

    for anyone who has been to the Prudential Center, the ability to see the “field”, while you are walking around the concourse is amazing.

    think about it this way: if you are at a sold out game at the current stadium, and you go to get food, you will miss almost an entire 1 inning standing in line. now think about being able to watch the game while you get your concessions.

    all of these things add to the “experience”, just as pushing the upper deck back might subtract from it. we’ll have to wait and see what the final tally is.

  12. jk says:

    When the relocation letters go out, we will get a first look at how happy everyone is going to be. They claim it will be in April.

  13. Mike P says:

    The ability to see the field while buying food is pretty cool, I’ve been to the Sky Dome and it works great. But they didn’t find the need to do it in the upper tier. I think the “split” tier is a real shame. That’s where they’ll lose one of the best parts of the current stadium. Frankly, all the concessions in the world aren’t worth the huge tier reserve section of the current Stadium.

  14. Steve S says:

    I agree we have to let go of this hatred to a stadium that isnt even built yet. Ultimately its going to be the place where the New York Yankees play 81 games. Its not the venue or address that create the excitement or desire to go, its the 25 guys in pinstripes we root for. It sounds like they are building a theme park, but it also sounds like they are trying to recreate the original feel stadium while adding some things that dont appeal to the purist. If its the Knicks, you have an argument, but this is a team that spends $200 M a year and makes the playoffs every year. We also live in NYC, where things tend to be overpriced. I still think the Yankees have a way to go before they even approach “overpriced”. They deserve these luxury boxes considering the $100M they pay in lux tax and revenue sharing every year.

    And its still easier to get tickets to a Yankee game then a Jet or Giant game.

  15. pete c. says:

    Prints for the eagles were found somewhere in the recesses of the stadium, and the new ones were supposedly made to those specifications, the more atheletic look notwithstanding.
    For what it’s worth disregarding Sciorsci, I pretty much come down on the side of Ben K.
    The one thing i haven’t read is , does anyone else think it’s just plain wrong to tear down the house that Ruth built. 26 championships in that building, and after this season it’s gone.
    We can see games being played on the spot where Ruth, Mantle, Joe D.et al only 1 more season. Think opposing teams will use the expresions Mystique and Aura when describing the new park. Probabbly not. But they can talk about the martini and sports bar not to mention the steak house. IT”S A BALLPARK people, not six flags for yuppies.
    Disagree if you will but I always thought when Ken Burns made his movie about the game it went from being a blue collar to a game for dillitants. Ballparks configured for the experience rather than the game. If MLB and the teams think that by sanctioning these “ammenities” and prices is good for the game they have another thing coming. I hear everyone complain about the high cost of taking your family to games, well it’s no joke. My 1st game was in the ’62 season, my dad took us, that’s where I fell in love with the game. I saw Mantle, Maris and Peppi hit homers, Whitey pitched and got the win. How many people after this are going to be able to have that “experiance”. Now if the league doesn’t gert those new converts from family trips to the Bronx, all I can say is, I can see those ticket prices coming down from the stratosphere in about 20 years. Sorry for the long post.

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