As the Yanks have constructed a $2 billion behemoth on the northwest corner of River Ave. and 161st St., the team has faced off with Bronx community activists unhappy with the way the team displaced valuable parkland and hasn’t delivered on the promise of jobs. Now, the Yankees are extending something of an olive branch to their Yankee-loving neighbors.
The Yankees will be opening up the gates of new Yankee Stadium on Thursday, April 2 for Bronx residents. The team will distribute 15,000 free tickets to Bronx community boards, Bronx-based community organizations and union workers who helped construct the new stadium. The 12 community boards will each get 1000 tickets to distribute to residents.
Beyond that, I don’t know how distribution will work, but I’d pay for one of those tickets. I’m just putting that out there for our Bronx-based readers. Contact info for the Bronx community boards can be found here.
Meanwhile, the Yanks and borough activists are still sparring over the lack of replacement parks. NY1 News’ Shazia Khan reports that the various rooftop parks that will cover the new parking lots surrounding Yankee Stadium won’t be completed until 2010. She also has news on the fate of old Yankee Stadium:
The old Yankee Stadium will be transformed into Heritage Field Park. Demolition is slated to start next month and construction of the park is expected to be completed by spring 2011.
Critics, however, say that’s not soon enough.
“It’s completely outrageous that elected officials and this administration have allowed this Yankee Stadium to still stand,” said New York City Park Advocates President Geoffrey Croft. “The New York Mets, the day after demolition, started taking down their field. This community deserves much better than that and this community is desperate for recreation.”
At some point in the next two years, the Bronx will have its parks and numerous trees to replace what once was lost. I don’t, however, blame the community and park activists for feeling slighted. Shea Stadium was recently turned into a parking lot in short order. The city could have made an effort to do the same with Yankee Stadium.