A fan-unfriendly farewell ceremony

By George, I think we've got it's starting to look like a Stadium
Game 154: Going Out With A Bang

A few hours ago, Mike posted a link to the Yanks’ plans for Sunday evening. As farewell ceremonies go, it sounds like a pretty swell plan, but something about it bugs me.

For ticket-holders to Sunday’s game, the Yanks plan to open the stadium at 1 p.m., seven hours before the first pitch. From 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., these fans can wander around the field — on the warning track only — and tour Monument Park. Then, the normal pre-game batting practice routine starts. At 7 p.m., the Yankees will begin the pre-game ceremonies featuring former Yankees and artifacts from the stadium’s past. The game is set to start at 8:15 p.m.

The catch is that anyone who enters the ballpark for the hours of pre-game explorations and ceremonies doesn’t enjoy the privilege of re-entry. If you show up at Yankee Stadium at 1 p.m. and want to see the game, you’re stuck in the Bronx at the stadium for the next seven hours. I’d guess that only the most die-hard of obsessed fans will go. I have tickets, and I probably won’t stop by the stadium until at least Yankee batting practice at 4:40 p.m, if not later.

While re-entry isn’t the norm at any sports venue across the country, the Yankees should make an effort on Sunday to accommodate fans making their final journeys to the House that Ruth Built. A re-entry system wouldn’t require much thought, but it would require a little bit of work. As the number of fans who would take advantage of it are capped by the capacity of the stadium, it can be done. Yet again, though, the Yanks are neglecting the common fan. But that’s why, as Cliff Corcoran so aptly wrote yesterday, they’re building this new ballpark in the first place.

Update 4:28: Now that I’ve reflected for a few minutes on this, I realize I come across as bitter over this plan. I want to clear something up: I love this ceremony. I love the idea that fans will be able to spend time on the field and watch Yankee batting practice. I love that the team is planning to honor the stadium with former greats and an extensive pre-game ceremony. I just wish the team could find a way to be a little more flexible with re-entry on a day during which some fans could be in the stadium for ten or eleven hours.

By George, I think we've got it's starting to look like a Stadium
Game 154: Going Out With A Bang
  • Yankee1010

    I would be there at 1 with bells on.

  • pat

    sigh…… every party has its pooper ben

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Call me a party pooper, but there’s a more practical, fan-friendly way to do this. That’s just the reality of the situation. If you arrive at 1 p.m., by 2:30, you’ll have nothing to do for the next three or four hours.

  • Colombo

    I agree with Yankee1010…i would be there as early as they let me in, and i would be in heaven all day long. While a re-entry system would be better, this is still pretty awesome

  • Anthony

    I’ll be happy to spend 10 or 11 hours in the stadium… its the last 10 or 11 hours of my life that I get to share with the most historic ground in all of sports history.

  • http://everythingbaseball.wordpress.com Aaron

    I’d be there all day without one complaint. So you’re sitting in Yankee Stadium for numerous hours. Why does that sound so unappealing to you?

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

    NO REENTRY?!?!

    Sadly, it looks as though I’m going to have to invest in a new handheld portable TV in order to watch the scintillating Indiana Fever v. Detroit Shock matchup in Game 2 of their thrilling WNBA playoff series.

    Tipoff’s at 3pm EST, in case you forgot.


    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Ok wait.

      Seriously. Am I really that far off the mark with this one? I don’t want to be curmudgeonly, but with all the downtime that’s bound to pass, is re-entry too much to ask? I don’t know.

      • http://everythingbaseball.wordpress.com Aaron

        Ben, it’s one afternoon spent soaking up the fact that Yankee Stadium is about to be gone. Most people won’t get to go to the game. Some of us haven’t been able to get to a game all season.

        It’s no so much that you’re off base on the re-entry part. It’s just such a silly thing to be upset about.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Ah. I get your point now.

          I’m not really *upset* about it as much as I just see this as yet another way the Yanks don’t go out of their way to keep an eye out for their fans. I’m certainly not bemoaning the generosity of the team to stick thousands of fans on the field before the game. But as UWS said a few minutes ago, 11 hours in the stadium is a looooong time even if it is the last game.

      • UWS

        I sort of agree with you, Ben. On the one hand, I guess it’s not a huge deal. On the other, I’m pretty sure I’d be ready to climb walls by the time the game started.

        I’m guessing it’s all just a ploy to get you to buy more stuff at the concession stands, etc. Hence, no re-entry.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        No, I actually agree with you on this one, Ben, my above silliness notwithstanding.

        I’d love the chance to come to the stadium, soak up the sights, then go outside and have a drink at Stan’s before going back in.

        It’s a simple courtesy the Yankees could have easily extended to thank their fans for paying 75-bajillion dollars per ticket on the resale market. But, like all true greedy corporations, no turnip is unsqueezed for blood. Whatever altruistic Yankee executive mentioned the idea of allowing the fans to come and go was probably shot down immediately by the Executive VP of Concessions, reminding everyone of the captive audience potential of thousands of fans forced to eat and drink 5 dollar hot dogs and 9 dollar beers…

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Here’s how I would have handled it if I was Big Bang Hank:

    All final-game ticketholders are allowed entry into the park between 1pm and 4pm. Open up the park, FOR REAL open it up… put security everywhere, but let people come walk through the bullpens, stand on the bases, cheese for pictures in front of the 408ft sign, etc. Make it more like a tour, where you get access to parts of the park you never had access to before, but you’re not allowed to linger; take your photos and keep it moving.

    But here’s the catch… Sell Final Day Stadium Passes, right outside the stadium, for like $10 or $15 each. The passes don’t let you go to the night’s game, but you can come stroll through the stadium on it’s last day. (And ticketholders aren’t paying twice, their ticket gets them in.) This lets all the other Yankee fans who won’t pop for a $600 ticket in the nosebleeds still come and see the Last Day of the Stadium and get all the photos they want. You can even sell “Final Day” t-shirts in the concession stands and shit. I’m sure they could make a ton of extra money doing this, more than enough to offset the additional labor costs of bringing in their security and gameday staff and such a few hours early.

    And at 4pm, everybody leaves. Clear the joint. Fans with tickets to the game can re-enter at 5pm.

    They do it for day-night doubleheaders… can’t be that hard logistically.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    One thing can make it all better…..Free Fiddle-Faddle for all.

  • Lanny

    It has to be no re entry. That’s a ton of work for them to do on the final game if they let people walk in and out.

    You would have a logistical nightmare if they let people meander and wander back and forth and in.

    Enjoy the last few hours in the stadium

  • Yankeegreat

    Morons: You sound like a bunch of whiners for Boston. The beer will be flowing, the sun will be shining, and we will all be able to sit and feel a little of the historical magic of “I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee.” There’s no other place to be if you’re a Yankee fan. Hell I wish I could sleep in that park. It’s 85 years of unbelieveable baseball history. Stop and think about the greatness here. The Babe and Lou, a World Series Perfect game, Joe and Mick, Reggie, and Jeter, Mo, and Arod! Each night or however often any of us walk in there, we take it for granted. This is the one day to really worship in the cathedral. How many bandwagoners will be there because it’s the last game… 10-15k. That’s leaves 35-40k of us to really celebrate life as a Yankee fan. Beyond the game… I’d pay by the minute to have any extra time in there before they close thoses gates for good. A re-entry system is ridiculous. They are making this night special, something to blow away the surprises of the ASG. They’re letting us into Monument Park one last time, and they’re letting us walk on the field. That’s a gift. It’s the Yankees extending the treasure of the team to each and every one of us.

  • http://www.nosenseworrying.com Jen

    You’re assuming that if you show up at 1 you’d be out of there in an hour and a half. I’m envisioning looong lines for this. But say I get done with walking the field by 2:30. Well, then I’ll just take in the views of the stadium that i don’t get to see everyday from the bleachers. If the concessions are open I’ll grab some black and whites. By that time the Yankees should be about ready to start their warmups before batting practice. And who doesn’t like batting practice? With the box seats in front of us next year this could be my last chance to snag another ball, or get thwacked in the head again.

    As for re-entry, I don’t think it’s as simple as you think it is. What’s to stop people from passing their ticket stubs to friends outside? Eventually they may be found out, but it would just be a bigger hassle for security in the end, not to mention other fans whose seats potential freeloaders are grabbing.

  • Yankee1010

    Honestly, if people aren’t OK with staying in the Stadium for 10 hours on its last day, I’ll get the smallest violin for everybody. If people want me to take their tickets off their hands, just let me know.

  • mark

    Sorry to break the bubble of everyone with a Bleacher seat. They will not be letting bleacher ticketholders onto the field, and it’s not really on the field, you get to walk the warning track and that’s it. It’s exactly like the tour, no one is allowed to set foot on the grass itself. Bleacher ticket holders will only be allowed into Monument Park. You’d think for once, on the last day of the ballpark, that they’d stop treating Bleacher ticketholders like the red-headed step-child. It’s all a ploy to get people to drop tons of $$ at the concession stands.

    • http://www.nosenseworrying.com/ Jen

      Yeah, I know about the “only on the warning track” thing. But where did you get that bleacher ticket holders are only allowed in monument park?