This space reserved for restaurants. (Photo by Ben K.)
New baseball stadiums these days are all about the synergy. Restaurants, bars and kiddie-oriented theme parks dominate the stadiums while the game can often become a secondary enjoyment. In fact, the teams operating the ballparks would rather see their patrons frequent the restaurants and spend their bucks on booze.
With old Yankee Stadium, the Yankees’ entertainment options have long been limited. While the team is rolling in dough, the men holding the purse strings have seen the revenue opportunities available as new stadiums have popped up across the country. With the new stadium, the Yanks have the opportunity to expand this economic base, and they’re wasting no time in doing so. The Yankees and the Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment company announced a new partnership and two restaurants planned for the new stadium.
Per the Yankees’ press release:
The New York Yankees announced today that they have agreed to enter into a long-term agreement with Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment to open a 7,000-square-foot Hard Rock Cafe in the new Yankee Stadium. In addition, YGE Steakhouses, an affiliate of the Yankees’ parent company, Yankee Global Enterprises, has joined with Hard Rock Entertainment to create the newly-branded NYY Steak, a prime steakhouse also slated for the new Yankee Stadium. Both restaurants will be operated year-round. The agreement also permits the parties to explore other NYY Steak locations.
Hard Rock Cafe Yankee Stadium will be located on the corner of 161st Street and River Avenue and feature seating for 210 guests. It will be open year-round to ticketholders and non-ticketholders alike with a full bar and patio seating. The restaurant will house memorabilia from top artists, with an emphasis on New York-area talent and additional Yankees-related pieces.
NYY Steak will open above the Hard Rock Cafe in right field in the new Yankee Stadium. Based on the successful Council Oak Steak & Seafood Restaurants at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., the new restaurant will occupy 6,300 square feet of space with seating for 128 guests. The restaurant will be open throughout the year and have extended hours on game days. It will be operated by Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment.
While the anti-new stadium skeptic in me looks at this deal as simply another strike against the new stadium — going to a game is about seeing baseball and not Rock ‘n’ Roll history — this is one move the Yanks have made that benefits the community. Now, instead of just offering off-season tours, Yankee Stadium will become a tourist attraction in the South Bronx. The restaurants will employ, according to Yanks’ COO Lonn Trost, local union members in full- and part-time capacities throughout the year, and its year-round business will draw people to that corner of the Bronx after baseball season ends.
From a construction standpoint, I can’t quite figure out where this restaurant is going to be. Earlier reports had some restaurants in center field, but this press release says right. The picture above shows the right field entrances, and we don’t yet know what will be behind those walls. Either way, the new stadium will feature a Hard Rock Cafe and a NYY Steak restaurant. Love it or hate it, it’s the ballpark wave of the present.