A not-so-glowing review of the new stadium

AJ f/x
RAB Live Chat

As I walked down the steps from the elevated 4 train platform at 161st St. late Saturday morning, I paused at the top to survey the scene. On my left was a new building carrying an old name, shiny and surrounded by people. On my right was Yankee Stadium, looming over the street, empty and silent.

I wanted to walk up that old building and give it a hug. I have so many memories, good and bad, from 25 years of games at the stadium. I didn’t care if it didn’t have the same charm as pre-renovation Yankee Stadium. I didn’t care if the concourses were a little cramped, if the bathrooms were a little small, if the luxury suites weren’t there. On a night with a packed house, there was no better place to be.

Maybe I’m predisposed to look at the new ballpark with a critical eye. Maybe I have very high expectations for one of the most expensive sports stadiums ever constructed. Whatever the reason, I came away from new Yankee Stadium underwhelmed and unimpressed. For all the political machinations, for all the money, I expected a better pure baseball experience. What I saw was a spectacle of commerce inside a ballpark while a game went on below.

What follows then is my review — an admittedly curmudgeonly one at that — of the new home. For a more glowing review of the new digs, check out Mike’s take. The links below go to my photoset of scenes from the game.

The Upper Deck

At Yankee Stadium, the old one, I loved the upper deck. From the seats behind the plate, you could see the entire stadium unfold in front of you, and because of the overhang, even seats in the upper reaches of the Tier Reserve seemed close. The Tier level was also a mass of Yankee fans, 36 sections, 36 rows, of screaming Yankee fans.

I start then with a photo:

This is a scene from the evening of the final game at Yankee Stadium. The game had ended and no one — not a single fan — had left the upper deck. The similar view at New Yankee Stadium:

I know it’s one game. I know I took that picture a few minutes before an exhibition game on a blustery gray day in early April, but the differences in the Upper Deck are immense. The seats in the grandstand are isolated from the equivalent of the Tier Boxes, and there are ten fewer rows in than in the Tier Reserve. The Terrace, once the Tier Boxes, has five fewer rows than the equivalent section at the old park. No longer does the entire Upper Deck feel as though half the stadium is there.

Instead, recessed from the field and with most of the grandstand shoved under the frieze, it feels like an afterthought. The upper decks aren’t the places about which the Yankees care. They’re the seats for the stragglers those who aren’t rich enough to pay $350 a ticket to use to catch a game. While the Stadium looks good from up there, the intimacy of the overhang and the feel of a densely packed house just won’t be the same.

Across the street, fans sitting upstairs didn’t just feel as though they were a part of the action; they were a real part of the stadium. Now, the upper decks are excluded from the rest of the park, and that brings me to my next theme.

Exclusion

New Yankee Stadium is all about exclusion. Throughout the stadium, intermingled with the broad concourses and seating sections, are exclusive areas. There are restaurants that cater only to people who are ticketed for those sections. Get to close and an overanxious security guard will eye you suspiciously while awaiting a ticket stub to confirm that, yes, you actually do belong here.

Even on the upper level of the stadium, exclusivity is the rule. While everyone is free to wander the corridors, only patrons sitting in the Terrace MVP seats can get into the exclusive Jim Beam sports bar. And lest the Yankees employ subtlety, all of the exclusive restaurants have floor-to-ceiling windows so those without access can see what they’re missing.

It goes beyond the hoity-toity restaurants though. As YF explained, this exclusion is everywhere. Two hours before the game starts, don’t expect to get a close-up of the field. If you’re not ticketed for the field level, the best you can do is to walk around. Security guards snap at anyone inching up for a better picture, a better view, a two-minute glimpse of batting practice. You have a Grandstand ticket? Well, you don’t belong anywhere closer to the field. This is the best view you’ll get.

“A Mall Featuring a Baseball Field”

There is, of course, one thing from which the Yanks won’t want anyone to be excluded: the opportunity to buy stuff! From disappointingly soggy and lukewarm garlic fries, raw meat and a full-service food court to a pair of in-stadium team stores, the Yankees want you to spend, spend, spend. I bought two hot dogs and a small garlic fries for a grand total of $17. Yikes.

In dissecting this element of the stadium, Alex Belth referred to the new park as “a mall featuring a baseball field.” From food stalls to stores to TV screens and rotating ads too numerous — and distracting — to count, the stadium almost wants you to forget you’re at a baseball game.

Sensory Overload

As with any mall, going to new Yankee Stadium is an overwhelming experience but for the wrong reasons. Baseball is dwarfed as noise and screens take centerstage. While old Yankee Stadium was loud with one giant speaker stack above center field, this new park is L-O-U-D with speakers above every section. Hopefully, the team will turn down the volume before each game. Last weekend, it was deafening.

Similar to sound problem is the giant screen the Yanks proudly installed above the field. The problem — as you can see here, here and here — is that the screen is simply too big. When it’s on during the game, showing replays and graphics, it dominates the field in such a way as to detract from the game. If I wanted to watch a screen, I’d stay home.

The Yankees wanted big. What that got is far too big, but in a way, this giant screen is a perfect metaphor for this ballpark. It is in fact a far better metaphor than the obstructed bleacher seats and the pathetic attempts at fixing the problem.

The Yanks wanted a multi-billion-dollar stadium to enhance their revenue intake. What that got is something that, in my opinion, leaves the die-hard fan yearning for something a little more baseball-y and something a little less flashy. Architecturally, the ballpark looks great. It’s Yankee Stadium as it should look, but inside, it’s nothing at all like how a baseball stadium in 2009 should be.

Maybe I’m being too pessimistic. Maybe I need to wait to experience the stadium with a packed house in the middle of June. Maybe I’m letting my opinion and love for the old stadium color my biases. I’m certainly willing to allow for that. Right now, though, I can admire the grandeur of new Yankee Stadium, but I don’t quite feel as though I like it. It’s definitely going to take some time to feel at home there, but considering that I’ll be watching Yankee games there for the rest of my life, it’s time to suck it up and start that adjustment process.

Addendum: Scenes from the Game

I realize this is a rather negative review of a new ballpark. I realize that many Yankee fans haven’t seen the new stadium yet and many more will disagree with me. There were aspects of it that I liked though, and while I wrote this guide to highlight the problems with the new stadium and the problems with the rationale behind the new stadium, I would like to share some scenes from the park too.

Did know that there is a Farmers Market fruit stand by Gate 4? Good luck though getting Yankee fans to properly contribute to the Compost bucket. I still can’t decide if I like the concrete-and-metal bleachers. The old blue ones across the street seemed more in tune with the colors, and these still look unfinished.

The subway race and Yankee cap game both made the trip across the street. So did an out-of-town scoreboard that can show only four games at a time. The Yanks should have sacrificed some ad space for a full 15-game scoreboard.

The $6 beer is real, and the Yankee security cameras will watch you drink.

The sections are now numbered consecutively, and every seat has a cupholder. The Great Hall is, well, great, and the signs outside are excellent. Fans can still watch the 4 train pass as well. It wouldn’t be a Yankee game without it.

AJ f/x
RAB Live Chat
  • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Ben, I’m with you 100%. The new Stadium is gorgeous, but they clearly did not have the interests of the average fan at heart when they designed it. It’s more than a bit disappointing in that regard.

    • Chris C.

      From what I heard from a friend who went to last Friday’s exhibition game, they didn’t have BASEBALL at heart when they designed it!
      It was described as a big money-grab designed to tempt and pick the pockets of thousands. And oh-by-the-way……..there’s a ballgame going on somewhere in the building, if that’s what you’re into.

      • Brian

        So, basically what your saying, is that when I eventually scrape together the $5billion it’s going to take to buy the team, I’m going to have to pony up for a new stadium as well?

  • steve (different one)

    So did an out-of-town scoreboard that can show only four games at a time. The Yanks should have sacrificed some ad space for a full 15-game scoreboard.

    for the life of me, i can’t figure out what the big deal is about this?

    i was looking at the RF scoreboard in Camden Yards yesterday, and it was showing 4 games.

    the old stadium showed 4 games.

    i just don’t see the big deal.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Clearly it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but at the same time, why build an out-of-town scoreboard that only shows 4 games at a time instead of 15 games at a time? It’s perfectly reasonable to criticize that oversight. And if you’re someone, like Ben (and me), who thinks that the Yankees paid too much attention to building exclusive restaurants and stores instead of providing the best baseball-watching experience, then the lack of a full out-of-town scoreboard is just another example of how the baseball-watching experience should have been a more important concern in the design of the Stadium. When I’m sitting in my seat in the upper deck I couldn’t care less about the Peter Max gallery/store on the field level, but I DO care about keeping track of other baseball games.

      • steve (different one)

        but who said it was an “oversight”?

        it was exactly how it was in the old stadium that everyone misses so much.

        it’s exactly how it is in the stadium, Camdem Yards, that everyone in the sports world looks to as the gold standard.

        i am a “regular fan” and i couldn’t care less. i can wait 20 seconds to see the score i am waiting for.

        it’s only your OPINION that this is an oversight.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          In the grand scheme of the stadium, it’s not a very big deal. But it’s something that — for a few billion dollars — shouldn’t be an issue.

        • steve (different one)

          in the picture above of the old stadium, isn’t the out of town scoreboard that little black square between the State Farm and the Chevy ad?

          actually, i was wrong, the old stadium only showed TWO games at a time.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Dude, that couldn’t be more irrelevant. They built a stadium from scratch, and provided for an out-of-town scoreboard that can only show 4 games. The scoreboard at the old Stadium is irrelevant.

            You’re right, it’s not the biggest deal in the world. Why you’re so adamant that an out-of-town scoreboard that only shows 4 games is fine, and that everyone should be fine with that scoreboard and it’s wrong to be minimally upset about it, is beyond me.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Um, well… Yeah. Of course. And it’s YOUR opinion that it’s not. Thus, the disagreement. Clearly we’re not arguing over something with a definite, provable answer. Not sure how saying “well that’s just your opinion” is a valid point to be used in this argument, it’s kind of an irrelevant point, no?

          Question: Even though you don’t care, would you prefer to be able to see all 15 out-of-town games at once, or to be able to see 4 out-of-town games at once?

          • steve (different one)

            Question: Even though you don’t care, would you prefer to be able to see all 15 out-of-town games at once, or to be able to see 4 out-of-town games at once?

            depends what it would look like. would that make the scoreboard 4 times as big? might look stupid.

            would it sacrifice who is pitching, to just squeeze in more scores? i’d rather get more info and wait a few seconds.

            the only reason i brought it up was b/c Abraham also complained about this, and i just see it as such a tiny, tiny little nitpicky complaint that i was surprised to see it from 2 different sources.

            also, here is a picture of the old out of town scoreboard:

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/trainman/30064186/

            it was almost worthless. the new one is just 1000% better that the complaints seemed a little petty to me.

            w/e. everyone is entitled to their opinion.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              The size of the out-of-town scoreboard at the old Stadium is irrelevant. Irrelevant. Irrelevant.

              Irrelevant.

              Other than that, agree to disagree.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Isn’t this just the same old fan vs. advertising debate? The Yankees decided that they would forego a nice feature — a 15-game out-of-town scoreboard — in exchange for some more ad space. They could have fit in 15 games on the outfield wall as they have in various other stadium. They could have fit it in as another video board, but both of those would have come at the expense of advertising.

          At some point, you have to design a stadium for the fans. They’re the ones spending the money and supporting a team. If it means giving up one billboard ad, then so be it. I guess the Yanks’ cost-benefit analysis is different from mine though.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I’m sorry, I don’t want to seem like an anti-curmudgeon pooh-poohing your curmudgeonly take on things, but…

            … i literally could not give a single shit about whether the out of town scoreboard shows 4 games at once or 15 games at once.

            I feel like going on an Allen Iverson-type rant about practice here.

            We’re talking about an out of town scoreboard. Seriously? Seriously?

            Half of the people on this page are telling me I should spend the $10 bucks to get the uber-awesome iPhone MLB app that streams live coverage of every game literally into the palm of my hand, and we’re bitching about the fact that we have an out of town scoreboard that “only” shows 4 games at a time?

            Really?

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Nobody said it’s a huge deal, relax. People can dislike a certain aspect of the new Stadium without losing their minds over it. You’re painting people who dislike the out-of-town scoreboard as being overly emotional about it so you can then attack that overly-emotional response, but nobody actually went there.

              Do I wish the out-of-town scoreboard showed more games? Yes. Am I losing sleep over it? No.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                I know, i know.

                I just read the convo and the Allen Iverson press conference was the first thing that leaped into my mind.

                I’m like… really? The out of town scoreboard? Really?

                My bad.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Do the “beeoooouuuiiiip” thing from Afternoon Delight and we can let bygones be bygones.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  BEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-
                  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPP!!!!!!!!!!

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Happy Mondesi.

            • JimmieFox

              Yeah, who cares about 4 games or 15 games. It is a non-issue to me.

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Well when you put it THAT way… Man, what have I been talking about?

                • jeremy

                  Not to extend this conversation longer than it has to be… but I do believe they have the ability to show up to 8 games at a time on the Out-of-Town board. The sacrifice being that if they show more games there will be fewer details shown about each game, i.e. # of who is at-bat, pitch count etc…

            • Chris C.

              “… i literally could not give a single shit about whether the out of town scoreboard shows 4 games at once or 15 games at once.”

              Neither could I. That’s a petty gripe.

              “Half of the people on this page are telling me I should spend the $10 bucks to get the uber-awesome iPhone MLB app that streams live coverage of every game literally into the palm of my hand, and we’re bitching about the fact that we have an out of town scoreboard that “only” shows 4 games at a time?”

              Great point…..I don’t even know anyone anymore who can’t get all the scores on their phone these days.
              And the only time I care about out-of-town scoreboards anyway is at football games. I really don’t care what the White Sox are doing during game 47 of a 162 game season.

    • Chris C.

      I haven’t gone yet, so I’ll reserve judgement.
      I know a total of 5 people who’ve seen it, and 3 of them were less than thrilled, and 2 of those 3 said it was DEFINITELY not a better baseball atmosphere than the old building .
      That’s not the kind of review I was hoping for, but I’ll decide for myself, of course.

    • mtrico

      The out of town scoreboard with only 4 games at a time is a real disappoinment in my opinion. I have always hated the fact that at the old stadium I had to wait for all the scores to cycle through. I thought that would be corrected in a $1.5 Billion stadium. I guess I was wrong.

  • John Duci

    The new stadium is awesome

  • Russell NY

    Yea, my girlfriend bought me bleacher seat tickets the other day and when we learned about how bad the obstructed view was from there we were upset to say the least. Really dumb.

    • andrew

      Well, there was information on the obstructed view seats available. You didn’t have to wait until you got to the stadium to find out. Yea, it sucks, but it doesn’t hurt to do 5 minutes of research before heading over to the game. I don’t mean to be harsh.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        You’re not being harsh, but you are being a bit unfair. By your reasoning if someone knows, before arriving at the Stadium, that they are going to be sitting in an obstructed-view seat, then they can’t be disappointed by the experience of sitting in those obstructed-view seats? And, while we all may be a little Yankees-obsessed around these parts, not everyone out there thinks to check out the latest stadium-gossip on the Yankees blogs to see if their view will be obstructed. Those people still have every right to be disappointed by the obstructed view.

      • Russell NY

        She bought those tickets on stubhub months ago. Before this was as much a known issue as it is today.

      • YF

        Anyone buying a ticket at any venue should be able to assume a full view unless they are informed otherwise during the purchase process. Especially in a new $1.5 B stadium. They should not have to do research.

        Note that “full view” does not have to mean “great” view.

    • Drew

      Weren’t they five dollars? I’d go to a game with an obstructed view over going to a driving range or a movie theater, neither of which you can do for five dollars.

      • Russell NY

        Well I didn’t buy them. But I believe she payed $21/seat (came to like 52 after taxes for both tickets) off stubhub. High priced because its against the Angels, I guess. But yea, those $5 seats are limited to a few games. You can’t find any group number of tickets on MLB.com for bleachers, it sucks. And the processing/ship fees on stubhub bring ticket prices into the $15/seat range.

        • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

          i paid 15 a ticket on stubhub for a game against the angels… after fees and everything.

        • ratman

          man you call 21 bucks expensive? now 100 or more per seat is expensive but 21 bucks sure as heck isnt .

  • http://www.scottproctorsarm.com Andrew Fletcher

    The problem with the out-of-town scoreboard is that it shows you who’s batting and who’s pitching while the scoreboard of THE GAME YOU’RE ATTENDING doesn’t even show you the name of who’s pitching. You’d think they could put it somewhere on the giant TV screen in center field.

    Ben, great review and I agree with every word, even though I was probably more negative with my review.

    • steve (different one)

      doesn’t sound like that’s a problem with the out of town scoreboard though. sounds like they just need to put that info somewhere. shouldn’t be impossible to fix.

    • http://limonene.wordpress.com limonene

      They didn’t have the names of the pitchers anywhere on the scoreboard at the old stadium either, though. I remember sitting in front of some people who thought that “Duane Reade” came in to relieve Andy Pettitte at one game last year. They only figured it out when this “Duane Reade” chap was also pitching for the Reds the next half inning.

      That said, I do agree with Ben on how LOUD the new place is, and I don’t love how many TVs are all over the place. I think that overall, I’m a bit more positive about the new stadium, because it’s so much easier to get around in, the building is gorgeous, and ultimately, I’m a bit of a sucker for that new stadium smell.

  • steve (different one)

    gotta agree about those TV in the obstructed view seats. pretty weak. they need to do something better there.

    also, how many of those seats are $5? is the those 2 entire sections? or just the seats right next to the wall?

  • Joe R

    Ben, do you know of a list that says which players are up in the Great Hall?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      I don’t have one, and the Yanks’ site doesn’t. I think however that Mike jotted them all down. I’ll ask him.

  • El Generalissimo

    The bleachers were dumb- that goes without saying.

    But, I think the rest of your review is skewed, because as you said going on a half empty gross day, is a lot different then a meaningful game against the sox in July. I think you should reserve judgments until then.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      That’s a very valid point, and as I said in the review, I’m certainly willing to revisit this critique later on in the season. This is my first take on the stadium. We’ll see how the season unfolds. My first game is later this month if we can’t land opening day tickets, and I can reassess as the season goes on.

      But shouldn’t a stadium seem just as intimate half empty as it does completely full? The old park did.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        But shouldn’t a stadium seem just as intimate half empty as it does completely full? The old park did.

        I question the validity of statement.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Meh, you’re nit-picking a bit. Of course it didn’t feel just as intimate when half-empty as it did when it was full. The intent of the statement was that it looked and felt more intimate when half-empty than did the new one, though (on one day, and Ben admitted already that seeing more games there could change his opinion on the matter).

          • A.D.

            Eh, from my experience, if you were sitting in the upper deck in the old stadium and the stadium was half full, it didn’t seem intimate, it seemed like you were a ways away from everything.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Meh, you’re nit-picking a bit.

            Perhaps. It’s just kinda silly to compare “intimacy” between one of the last times you visit the old stadium during a pitched regular season battle for the playoffs and a freaking exhibition game in a new stadium you’ve already opposed on some level.

            That’s a stacked deck. It’s like comparing the “intimacy” of visiting your dying mother at her bedside in your childhood home to meeting your father’s new girlfriend at the nursing home the following year.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “It’s just kinda silly to compare “intimacy” between one of the last times you visit the old stadium during a pitched regular season battle for the playoffs and a freaking exhibition game in a new stadium you’ve already opposed on some level.”

              Kind of misrepresenting the argument, again. The comparison is of a half-empty new Stadium and a half-empty old Stadium. AND he acknowledged that the review was written after one visit during an exhibition game, and clearly his feelings might change after seeing more games there.

              Annnnnd… Ben can speak for himself on this one, but you’re unfairly attacking his integrity by insinuating that the fact that he already opposed the new Stadium, “on some level,” somehow means that he is biased against liking the new Stadium and his review is biased. I think that’s unfair. He never said “I hate the new Stadium.” He may have questioned the need for a new Stadium, or the financing/construction process, but none of that should matter here and shouldn’t be used to impeach his review. (Please don’t take this last bit to mean I’m accusing you of calling him a lying baby-raper or anything, I intended “attacking his integrity” here in the most lenient way possible.)

              • steve (different one)

                not that it wasn’t well done, but i think the review does expose a tiny bit of bias.

                he addresses the legitimate issues well, and i don’t think the criticism of the sound system or the bleacher seats is unfair or a result of bias. those are legit.

                and while i have read many, many fans who think the screen in CF is incredible, that part is also legitimate as Ben is certainly entitled to his opinion and i could see why he would feel that way.

                no, the part of the review that i think expose (maybe a subconsious) bias are the little unnecessary potshots interspersed through the review.

                things like:

                The $6 beer is real, and the Yankee security cameras will watch you drink.

                and

                Good luck though getting Yankee fans to properly contribute to the Compost bucket.

                just comes across as a little cynical. the yankees shouldn’t have security cameras? we should criticize the yankees for at least TRYING to be a little eco-friendly?

                but, that’s like, just my opinion, man.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I’m not trying to be snarky here, I’m being sincere… I really don’t see how statements like the ones you mentioned are relevant to the bias issue. I mean… of course everyone’s biased in some way. The very act of writing this review is a way for Ben to explain his biases to the masses. That’s kind of the point. It’s not an objective guide to the Stadium, it’s a review. What I took issue with was the insinuation that Ben’s opinion on the matter is somehow impeached by the fact that he may not have thought there was a need to build a new Stadium, or his criticism of the Yankees’ dealings with the city, or any of those other issues. In making that connection, TSJC was effectively saying “I don’t think Ben is able to be objective about whether or not he likes being in and seeing a game in the new Stadium, because Ben didn’t think the Yankees needed a new stadium to begin with.” I don’t think that’s fair. It’s not like Ben had an alternative/competing design for the Stadium or anything. Something like that might impeach him from giving a review of the New Stadium, but that’s totally different than what happened here.

                • steve (different one)

                  my point was merely that picking on things that are completely and totally benign, like a compost can, reads as if you walked in without a 100% open mind (hence a pre-existing “bias”).

                  that’s all i was saying.

                  this may be different from your issue with TSJC and totally off-topic. and i certainly wasn’t trying to impeach anyone’s character.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I hear you. The whole bias issue is confusing, everyone’s biased in some way. The only thing left to say about it is BEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-
                  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPP!!!!!!!!!! (h/t TSJC)

                  I think the comment about the compost can was directed more at the idea that most people won’t use them than it was a complaint about the Stadium or the Yankees for putting those cans in the Stadium. I had the same reaction. I think it’s great that they have compost cans, but I don’t think too many people are familiar with the concept nor do I think most people will use those cans. Hopefully the fact that the Yankees put those cans in the Stadium will mean that more people will learn about composting and utilize those cans and the process, so I think that’s great and I’m glad the Yanks put the cans out there. But I still said “heh, nobody’s going to use those things” when I saw them.

                  I’m sure everyone’s glad to know how I feel about the compost cans in the new Stadium. I’ll be quiet now.

                • steve (different one)

                  Mondesi, when this thread started, i had ONE thought: “i wonder how the Honorable Congressman Mondesi feels about composting?!!”

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Oh, dude… Do not insinuate that I’m the new Januz. lol

                  (that was still my favorite comment ever)

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
            • Chris C.

              Again, haven’t been there yet, but part of the problem for me is this…….with all the new stadiums that have gone up over the past 20 years that have attempted to look high-tech and ultra-modern, much of what I loved about Yankee Stadium is that it wasn’t. It just flat-out felt like baseball in there. Abd as blasphemous as it may be, I loved Fenway for that same reason.

              Just looking at pictures, it looks extremely gaudy and totally taken over with ads. And I heard the food was aweful. So now they’re gonna rip fans off for bad food.

              I just hope the first time I go there isn’t the last time I want to go there.

        • Chris C.

          But shouldn’t a stadium seem just as intimate half empty as it does completely full? The old park did.

          “I question the validity of statement.”

          Nah, I know what he’s saying……..the upper deck looks way more removed from the action on the field in the new park than it was in the old park. I think he meant intmacy between the fan and the game, not the fan and other fans.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    The central part of this argument seems to be that the upper deck is smaller and further away. This is true.

    However, the second deck is much larger and closer, and the field level is larger and closer. That’s a trade off I’m happy with.

    • Yankeegirl49

      Its built “out” instead of “up”..and I like that about it.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Cosign. I actually like this upper deck better than the old one.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “Its built “out” instead of “up”..and I like that about it.”

        See, this is where I disagree. This is totally subjective so I’m not saying you’re wrong, just explaining how I see it. I prefer building “up” than “out.” I look at it like this:

        Take hypothetical Stadium A and Stadium B. Both stadiums are identical except for the degree of incline in the upper deck (your “up” vs. “out” concept). Stadium A’s upper deck is more steep, so it’s built “up.” The incline in Stadium B’s upper deck is more gradual, so it’s built “out.” Seat X, which we’ll say is midway up the upper deck in both stadiums and the same price in both stadiums, will be at the same height in both of our hypothetical stadiums. But, in Stadium A (built “up”), Seat X will be closer to the field of play than it would be in Stadium B (built “out”), because of the steeper incline in the upper deck. I prefer to be closer to the field and I find it surprising when people would prefer the more gradual incline and a seat that is further from the field of play. (Obviously this degree of incline/distance from the field concept applies to non-field level decks’ overhang, etc., as well.)

        • steve (different one)

          to me, i think it depends how far up your seat is in the upper deck. if you sit near the bottom, yeah, i’d rather be closer b/c i don’t have to walk up those steps very far.

          if you are all the way up top, those steps could be a little scary.

          i’m a young-ish guy in decent shape, so whatever, i’ll deal with it and have dealt with it dozens of times. but i could see how those seats would simply be not an option for older or less mobile people.

          but you are right, i think this is subjective. you both have good points.

      • Chris C.

        I disagree. Why would you like something that furthers you from the action?

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “The central part of this argument seems to be that the upper deck is smaller and further away. This is true.”

      I think that’s a misrepresentation. I think the central part of the argument is closer to something like “I wish the baseball-viewing experience of the common fan were a more important aspect of the new Stadium’s design process.” What they did to the upper deck is just one piece of evidence to support that broad argument.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        And my retort is that the configuration of the upper deck is not per se evidence that they didn’t make the baseball viewing experience of the common fan a more important aspect of the new Stadium’s design process.

        I can, and will, say that I feel firmly that they did make the baseball viewing experience of the common fan a more important aspect of the new Stadium’s design process, because they configured the seating in a manner where there are more seats closer to the field than ever before. They made a tradeoff where they made a smaller and less inclined upper deck in exchange for making larger and closer first and second levels.

        I disagree that the evidence presented supports the thesis.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          I disagree with that.

          If you price the seats closer to the field at such an extreme price point so that most people can’t or won’t afford them, you’re limiting the viewing experience of every fan. The second deck certainly isn’t closer to the field than it was at the old Stadium. The Loge across the street was pretty damn close to the field too, and it wasn’t nearly as recessed as the Loge equivalent here.

          They cut the number of seats in the Terrace/Grandstand area as compared to the number of seats in the old Tier level. They shoved it back a few seats. That’s a trade off that I personally didn’t want to make.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            But now you’re changing the equation to include price discrepancies in the seats as well.

            That’s a different argument, an economic one.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

              I don’t think it’s really changing the argument. Considering how price-focused this new stadium is and how expensive a lot of the seats are, you can’t really argue for or against the new stadium experience without weighing price. It’s a not-insignificant factor in this story and it was one of the driving motives behind the new stadium in the first place.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              You can’t discuss seating configurations without considering ticket prices. It’s not a different argument, you just didn’t consider it.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
            • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

              Good link, Mondesi.

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                It was in a post here, didn’t mean to claim it as my own or anything. Did you post that link here, in a comment? Sorry if I didn’t credit someone.

                • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

                  No, I didnt. I like seeing that kind of info though. Might have to go to some Baltimore games.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Yeah, totally. I don’t spend $60/game now, but if I lived in Philly, you can bet your ass I’d be sitting in the best seats in the house for that price.

                  You should try to go to games in other parks. You can usually get pretty good seats for (what we consider to be) great prices. It’s an opportunity you don’t have in NY.

                • Yankeegirl49

                  Which is why I am going to 3 games in Balt and 2 in Cleveland.

                  Yesterday I had first row club level at Camden. Ticket cost me 50 bucks. I love the club level. However, I never actually made it to my seats. I ended up sitting 2nd row from the field, no one ever claimed those seats, so I stayed.

                • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

                  I bet your middle name is “danger”, you rebel.

                • A.D.

                  Some of the interleague places are smart and bundle the games, thus if you want to see the Yankees or Sox they aren’t sold single tickets but only in packages of 4+ games.

  • Yankeegirl49

    I was there all 3 days last weekend and I agree with pretty much everything said here. However, I don’t look at it with negativity because what I saw those 3 days is EXACTLY what I expected to see. Since when do the Yankees do anything that’s not over the top? I knew from the day the new stadium was announced that this would be one huge mega structure and that the amenities would overshadow baseball as it was meant to be played.
    The Yankees will have just what they set out to have. Its not just a place where baseball is played, its going to be a tourist attraction that people are going to make it a point to see.
    I agree about the exclusivity, but like anything else, I accept what is within my means. Id love to be able to afford field level and be a member of the exclusive lounges and bars, but hey, life is what it is.
    If there was a new team with this as their brand new stadium, I would probably all be going ga-ga over it. However, it is replacing the most historical venue in sports and NOTHING will ever be “Yankee Stadium”.

  • Mike W.

    I went last weekend and absolutely loved the stadium. I sat in the upper deck behind home plate as well and thought it was great.

    We also walked around the stadium and went to the area where the obstructed view bleacher seats are and I can say that I would definitely pay $5 to sit in those seats for any game. What can you do for $5 these days? I didn’t think they were that bad at all (now whether the Stadium should have been built that way is a different question).

    • Russell NY

      Mike – how far up were you. I am going to be sitting on the right side obstructed seats, row 21 seats 28+29

    • Yankeegirl49

      I have those seats for next Tuesday’s game and have no problem with it for 5 bucks.
      However, as stated before, it should have been designed differently.

  • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

    I can’t believe that the restaraunt blocks the view that bad. Also, I’m with you on the bleachers, I’m not a huge fan.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Yeah, that I did think was bad.

      That restaurant boondoggle was pretty bad. They should have angled the sides of the restaurant to make it a trapezoid to fix that. It’s crappy, and those three tiny TV’s on the side of the wall are pathetic.

      • Bob Stone

        The trapezoidal idea for the restaurant is a great idea. They could make that fix but it will take away more low cost seats in favor of higher priced restaurant seats. But I would never buy an obstucted view ticket out there in the bleachers.

  • robert skollar

    Ben,

    Thank you for voicing exactly what so many of us true fans are feeling.

    The new Stadium is spectacular, awesome, overwhelming…and I don’t like it.

    I feel our “house” has now been opened up to let the famous “aura and mystique” out.
    The overhang will be sorely missed…the expansive concourse makes it feel like the game is only part of the “experience”.

    I agree…maybe it will take some getting used to…
    But I feel like I’m out of town.

    • steve (different one)

      the Aura and Mystique permantly vacated the old address after game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Thank you for voicing exactly what so many of us true fans are feeling.

      Urge to kill… rising…

      • UWS

        Beat me by 1 second. Damn you, TSJC! *shakes fist*

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Dude, whatever, I bet you don’t even have a True Yankee Mustahce.

        (Reclines in Scott Brosius jersey and watches Yankeeography-1998 on DVD.)

        • UWS

          Dude, whatever, I bet you don’t even have a True Yankee Mustache.

          *I* certainly don’t…

        • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

          Ietc.

    • UWS

      So now the True Yankee Fanness(tm) is judged based upon whether you like the YS 2.0 or not? Crap.

      • Chris C.

        “So now the True Yankee Fanness(tm) is judged based upon whether you like the YS 2.0 or not? Crap.”

        No, dummy…..he said “alot of us true Yankee fans”.
        And I’m sure he’s right.
        Don’t get all offended because he and many other long time fans, many of whom probably invested way more dollars into the team than you did over the years, aren’t fond of the new digs. They have a right to their opinion.

        • steve (different one)

          ah, thank goodness Chris C. is here to call everyone names and make a bunch of strawmen to knock down!!!

          • Chris C.

            Sorry……I needed to add some sanity.
            It’s not “strawman” if I directly addressed the issue. I think it was pretty obvious the original guy was not speaking for every Yankee fan, and his statement was structured as such…..but it was called “crap” anyway.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              It wasn’t called crap.

        • robert skollar

          Thanks for the sanity Chris.

          I didn’t say you had to agree with me…or Ben… to be a “true Yankee fan”. I said I felt many true Yankee fans agreed with Ben’s POV.

          Hey…I’m not going to like the Yankees any less or root any less hard for the Yanks while sitting in the new Stadium…I merely said, I am going to sorely miss the special feeling of the “original” Stadium.

          Perhaps there are many, many “true Yankee fans” who couldn’t care either way…or prefer the swanky new digs..I, FOR ONE, loved the old ballpark.

          So back off…

  • Bob Stone

    Ben,

    I took a long time Red Sox fan to a Sox/Yanks series in August, 2008 because he had never been to the Stadium and we knew it was coming down. He was amazed at the size of the place but that’s all he was impressed with. As I sat with him, I noticed how old the stadium looked close up. I said to him that the Stadium presented itself much better on TV and that close up it really looked tired (He agreed). It definitely was time for a major set of renovations (a la Fenway – where they have done a GREAT job) or a new Stadium.

    I share your feelings about the new Statdium even though I was very excited about all the previews of the new place for a couple of years.

    The New Stadium is SO disappointing in so many ways from the obstructed seats and exclusionary, classist policies tot its non-baseball focus and the lack of intimacy.

    I wish they had modernized the old place now. I’m willing, like you, to change my mind later but I’m just very biased by 50 years of knowing and loving the Real Yankee Stadium.

    • A.D.

      Very interesting that your Red Sox friend thought that, given that while they have renovated Fenway it is also rather obviously very old in person, at least in my opinion, and I used to live 3 blocks away.

      • Bob Stone

        I went to Fenway two years ago for Opening Day. My previous visit had been seven years prior. In the previous visit I thought the place was a hole and was amazed that so many people thought it had so much “charm”. But the renovations have opened the place up, made it fresher and it is 100% better. Is it still old, with many of the problems associated with age? Yes it is. By the way, the new ownership group has improved it tremendously over the last 6 years without losing its character and by the way, adding about 6,000 extra seats.

        • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

          I went to Fenway when they played the A’s. Must of been 8 or 9 years back because Giambi was still on the team and Pedro was pitching. Giambi hit a bomb to RF, from what I remember, it was a fun experience but I was so young. Bro-in-law is a Sox fan, that’s how I went.

          • Bob Stone

            After they get past the 100th year anniversary of Fenway in 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised to see talk again of a new Fenway. The plans they had a few years ago for a new Fenway looked awesome.

            • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

              Lol. This guy loves Fenway.

              • Bob Stone

                I don’t love Fenway – I really love the original Yankee Stadium. I am just obviously very impressed with what the new ownership has done to what I considered a real HOLE when I first visited Fenway about 15 years ago, despite how people say it has so much charm. I mean it sucked. Poles, obstructed views, dirty and dingy, inadequate restrooms and concessions, cramped seats, etc. etc. I was totally unimpressed.

                My point was that revocations, if done thoughtfuly can really improve even a very old ball park.

                • Bob Stone

                  renovations – not revocations

            • Yankeegirl49

              What I find interesting is that most Sox fans that I talk to..WANT a new Fenway.

              • Bob Stone

                I agree. Most of my Red Sox friends still want a new ball aprk.

                • Stephen

                  I don’t know about that. I go to college in Boston and I have not heard one Red Sox fan say they want a new stadium. Everybody loves Fenway here.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                True.

                Mainly because the current Fenway was built when the height of the average American male was like 5’6″.

                It’s cramped like a tin of sardines in there.

                • steve (different one)

                  they tried to make it seem more spacious by drafting Dustin Pedroia.

                  kindof like the 18 inch model of stonehenge…

            • A.D.

              The plans were pretty cool, though what plans for a new stadium aren’t cool

  • A.D.

    With the blocked seats, what exactly can’t you see?

    RF if your on the LF side and vice versa?

    • Bob Stone

      Yes – Exactly!

  • UWS

    I wonder about this whole “exclusionary” business and the big hullabaloo around it. Yankeegirl touched upon this a few posts up, as well. The bottom line is, you get what you pay for. This is not communism, and everyone is not entitled to stuff equally. Yeah, it’s irritating and the Yankee security staff could certainly be less brutish/more diplomatic about it, but them’s the breaks. There are plenty of exclusionary/”classist” things that happen every day, everywhere. I was very rudely told I didn’t belong when I strayed into the wrong part of Carnegie Hall. There are restaurants, bars, clubs, stores, that will unceremoniously slam the door in your face. Fair? No, but again, them’s the breaks. New Stadium is no different.

    Just IMO.

    • Bob Stone

      UWS,

      What you say is very true and real, but unfortunate. It would be a plus if you could at least roam the Stadium, let’s say up until two hours prior to game time. I don’t know it that’s practical but it would be nice. You have the run of the entire place at Fenway.

      • UWS

        That is definitely true. Perhaps it’s also something that will be addressed by the Yankees in the future if they hear enough complaints? One could hope, at least.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Positives:
        You have the run of the entire place at Fenway.

        Negatives:
        You’re surrounded by Massholes.

        • UWS

          Negatives:
          You’re surrounded by Massholes at Fenway.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Same thing.

          • Stephen

            I’ve been to Fenway twice, one of those times during last year’s playoffs, and I thought Fenway was a very cool place to watch a game. New Englanders do suck but the atmosphere, especially during a playoff game, was electric.

        • Yankeegirl49

          Nice!

      • jeremy

        I do believe that you can roam all the concourses and areas of the new stadium up to 3 hours prior to gametime. Although you can’t walk down to the legends seating area for an autograph. The other thing they did this year, is open the gates 3 hours prior to gametime so you can watch the Yanks take BP, which you haven’t been able to do in the old place for over 15 years. Of course if you bring your son to the game, he’ll have to lower his baseball with fishing wire from the terrace to get Jeter’s autograph. Life is a series of trade-offs friends!

    • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      I don’t think the fact that the New Stadium is pretty “classist”(according to what I’ve read; I’m going next Saturday) would matter as much if the Old Stadium had also been “classist.” However, the Old Stadium had the feel of being a place where all fans could go and watch the hometown Yankees kick ass, while, according to the pictures that I’ve seen and the accounts that I’ve read, one is constantly reminded that the stadium is Ad and Business Central, and the consumer is merely the tool by which the business survives and grows. While all businesses are that way, the best of them never make the consumer feel as if he’s being used.

      • A.D.

        I agree, its the sudden classit that people dislike. That and some of the exclusive stuff, namely the bar & restaurant area that was only open to pass holders was much less discussed than some of the new stuff.

        • A.D.

          That’s to say there were exclusive parts in the old stadium, which people didn’t talk about so much. However in the new stadium, probably because they are attractions & more of them, there is much more discussion.

        • steve (different one)

          didn’t the old stadium have a bar and restaurant that was only open to pass holders?

          also, the box seats behind home plate in the old stadium were prohibitively expensive AND had waiter service…those seats could get mixed drinks, and you couldn’t get that anywhere else.

          the new stadium is more BLATANT about it, but all of that separation existed at the old stadium too.

          i think we are romanticizing it a bit.

          shit, you couldn’t even go ANYWHERE with a bleacher ticket in the old stadium OR get a beer. have we forgotten that already?

          • A.D.

            Yeah it did, had a bar/restaurant in the basement which served buffet lunch, dinner, or brunch and opened up earlier than the normal gates, but had to have a pass which I believe was only obtainable through season tickets.

            It was something like if you have season tickets, you could then choose to purchase this pass.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Yes, there was one exclusive bar/restaurant at the old Stadium. One. There’s something like 12 in the new Stadium. They are everywhere. It’s a little different. I actually don’t care much about the restaurants, I don’t think they affect my baseball-viewing experience much. But it’s certainly different than the old Stadium.

            And the box seats around the field in the old Stadium were expensive, sure, but they were several orders of magnitude less expensive than similar seats in the new Stadium.

            You’re right the separation existed at the old Stadium, but it was, again, several orders of magnitude less severe, and this point isn’t really subjective.

            • steve (different one)

              yeah, i don’t disagree. just trying to prevent people from forgetting some of the realities of the old stadium.

    • Count Zero

      I would agree and extend that to pretty much all professional sports venues at this point — it’s not just the new YS.

      I guess I just don’t see that much of a difference between sitting in a tier seat at the old YS, and sitting in a tier seat in the new YS. To me, there are basically two separate experiences of sports:

      1) You go to a huge pro park and experience the thrill of important contests with larger than life players surrounded by tens of thousands of other fans
      2) You go to a smaller venue and get an intimate experience of a less important game without big stars and sit in a more simple social setting with a few thousand people tops.

      Both of these experiences offer me something, and I’ll do both for different reasons. I went to a Norwich game several years ago (when they were still a Yanks affiliate) and sat in the second row behind homeplate — a couple of scouts with radar guns were right in front of me. This guy (a nobody) came in in relief for the O’s affiliate and he wasn’t very impressive except for one thing — he had a bugs bunny change. The first time he threw it, the batter was so far out in front, I went “OMG — talk about pulling the string! Did you see how far out in front he had him?” and started laughing. The two scouts turned around and grinned at me, and one of them showed me the gun — 68mph. Thing is, he didn’t have to show it to me because I could tell (in that intimate AA setting) that I would have been just as far out in front of that pitch as the hitter was — it was like being at the plate almost. I love that shizz! That is intimate enjoyment of a baseball game.

      Being in college and sitting third row in the student section for basketball games — same thing. There’s no Wade or Lebron, but man you can hear them calling out picks and the ball pounding on the floor at times.

      But that just doesn’t happen in any pro sport unless you are a celebrity or richer than God. On the other hand, the AA ballgame was meaningless to me and I didn’t know who 80% of those guys on the field even were, so it was impersonal in a whole ‘nother way. When I go to YS, I know everybody on the field for both teams, every W / L means a ton to me and so do the individual efforts of my favorite players.

      It’s a tradeoff and one I’m comfortable with since I can’t afford $2,500 a game for season tickets. Whether the tier seats are 50 feet closer to the field or not isn’t going to change experience 2 into experience 1, so I feel like it’s kind of a moot point. It’s kind of like putting A1 on a hamburger and saying, “Now it’s like a steak!” No — it isn’t. It’s a hamburger, and it’s nothing like a steak. :-)

    • Chris C.

      I wonder about this whole “exclusionary” business and the big hullabaloo around it.

      Oh, you wonder????
      Let me present you with a firsthand example………by brother-in-law was a season ticket holder for 16 years, and they didn’t even give him the option to spend more money on his same box.
      Instead, they sold it, then offered him crap in the upper deck in right field area, take it or leave it. And the letter he got was ridiculous. It was full of apologies for something that was very avoidable.

      It was like someone walking up to you, punching you in the face, then apologizing while offering you a band-aid.
      They weren’t sorry they screwed him. They were sorry he took exception to getting screwed.

      He’s no longer a season ticket-holder. He was part of the Yankee exclusionary plan

    • mcmacguy

      uh, no – you do NOT get what you pay for at NYS. The value you receive for what you pay is a joke. Visit some other ballparks: Fenway, Camden Yards, Cleveland, St. Louis – much better seats even for us “poor folks” at a fraction of the price. The NYS sucks. Don;t these guys know greed is obsolete?

  • Sean Dunn

    Unfortunately, I agree with you 100%. To make matters worse, my full season ticket in the Grandstand behind home plate has an obstructed view of homeplate!

    http://www.funkykangaroo.com/img/sec422_row5_seat1_obstr1.jpg
    http://www.funkykangaroo.com/img/sec422_row5_seat1_obstr2.jpg

    The Yankees very thoughtfully did not give me any warning about this. I know, it’s not the worst, but would YOU want to sit through a 9-inning game with this view? Your eyes start to hurt after the 3rd inning fromt he constant focus adjustments.

    When I contacted the season ticket office their reply was “There’s nothing we can do about it, sorry for the inconvenience”

    I’m VERY unhappy with the Yankees and the new Stadium.

    • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

      Why are you unhappy with the Yankees?

      • Chris C.

        Because his obstructed view was all AROD’s fault. I heard Jeter demanded the obstruction be removed, but AROD has a clause in his contract that states all obstructions are to remain intact.

        • Sean Dunn

          funny stuff

    • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      I see your point, but it’s not the worst thing ever, as you can still see home plate, the batter, the ump, and (probably) where or not the pitch was a strike.

      • steve (different one)

        that is unfortunate.

      • Sean Dunn

        No, it’s pretty bad. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

        • Bob Stone

          That is a pathetic obstruction – I understand why you are unhappy

  • steve (different one)

    look, i think we can at all agree on one thing: this is all somehow A-Rod’s fault.

  • Sean Dunn

    When I say the Yankees, I mean season ticket office, etc. They should do the right thing and offer a fix or reimbursement for this.

    • steve (different one)

      this is a tough one. on one hand, it would be nice if they did something about this. but on the other, this particular infraction wasn’t done in the name of “greed” or “excess” or whatever, it’s a handrail. it’s there for safety and probably has to be there and has to be a certain height.

      i do sympathize with you though.

      • Sean Dunn

        Unfortunately, that backwards “P” you see is NOT on 90% of the handrails in the Grandstand… I don’t understand why it has to be in my section.

        • A.D.

          You could pay someone off to hacksaw that “P” off

          • Sean Dunn

            trust me, i’ve been thinking about it!

        • steve (different one)

          Unfortunately, that backwards “P” you see is NOT on 90% of the handrails in the Grandstand… I don’t understand why it has to be in my section.

          ah, i see. i could see how that would be annoying.

  • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

    I think we all just need to give this new stadium time. I mean, what has it been a few weeks of it being “finished”? Obviously, right now, nothing is going to replicate what the old stadium was to us. These are the Yankees, our favorite team, and something we cherish. I think no matter what the Yankees did here, most fans would of found some kind of fault with it. It will never be the same until special moments happen here(I fear change), so when you are attending an ALCS game vs the Sox and CC is pitching a dominant shutout…are you going to enjoy it any less? We all just need to give it some time. There are some horrible mistakes, the restaraunt blocking the view is inexcusable but I think when all is said and done, we will all learn to love this place.

    • A.D.

      the team makes the mystique of a stadium not the other way around

      • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

        according to jeter its the fans.

  • Thomas

    I haven’t been to the new stadium, but my biggest complaint (outside of the obstructed bleachers) is simply why didn’t they leave the OF walls the same shade of blue? It would have at least reminded us of the old stadium, so it doesn’t feel like a road game.

    Also, my friend and I were talking about the giant TV screen and he said the definition and clarity of the screen is ridiculous. I had to agree. We decided it looks like when they place an image over computer screen giving the computer unrealistically good definition in TV shows/commercials.

    • pat

      That’s how the screen really looks though. It is as clear as any normal HDTV except a thousand times the size.

    • steve (different one)

      i like the navy blue theme of the stadium.
      i think the chairs look sharp, and the wall looks sharp.

      that’s 100% opinion though.

  • Russell NY

    I am pissed that I have to sit in those obstructed bleacher seats for my first game but I look at it this way…

    Would you rather have less seats (like Citi Field) and no obstructed view seats and just leave those seats blank or would you want to just put the seats there and whoever wants it can have it for cheap?

    I would rather have the latter. If I wanted to get out of the house and go see a cheap game I wouldn’t think twice of sitting there.

    • A.D.

      I agree, I’d much rather have the extra seats & lower price available. If you know ahead of time the view is an issue, then your expectations are set, and you know why the price is what it is.

    • Thomas

      I agree I’d rather have the seats, but they should have made the restaurant trapezoidal to give better site lines or at least provide more and bigger TV than the three tiny ones.

    • pat

      Citi field has obstructed seats too, but the Mets organization is refusing to admit it.

      photos here- http://sectionsix.metsblog.com/blog/_archives/2009/2/19/4098371.html

      • Russell NY

        Thomas – you’re definitely right but some of those bleacher seats are pretty close to the wall. You would be giving them seizures with something bigger lol

      • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

        are those full price?

  • Nady Nation

    On a lighter note, it seems that the $10 Souvenir Cup of beer is an outstanding deal. The 290 calories represents approximately 2 and 2/3 beers, or 31-32 oz, translating to roughly $3.75 a beer, which is cheaper than you’ll find at most NYC area bars, and is also a bigtime improvement from the $9.50 24 oz. cups at the old Stadium.

    • A.D.

      I thought the same thing, assuming its beer, and not Soda.

      • A.D.

        Yeah, from that sign it has to be beer.

        • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

          so guy in penn station last night wanted $3.75 for a bottle and $20 for a six pack… $3.75 for 32 oz is a steal, if its for beer not soda.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Yeah, if you’re willing to drink cat piss…er, Bud Light.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I’m very willing. Decide for yourself what that says about me.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          That you would have fit in well during the prohibition era, when they drank anything that had any alcoholic content whatsoever.

          You’ve been judged.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I’ve been judged… wisely.

  • zack

    Coming to this late, apparently, but Ben, I am 100% with you on all of it.

  • Grant

    Did anyone expect Ben to actually like the new stadium after hes been ripping it to shreds for a yr now?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      To be fair (to myself), I’ve been ripping the process to shreds for over a year, but I was more than willing to give the substance a fair shake. Just because I didn’t like the way the Yanks went about funding and procuring a new stadium doesn’t mean I can’t offer up a review of the the game experience. They are two very different aspects of the stadium debate.

  • Gary

    Ben,

    Perhaps if you have the time you can look for several of past comments on Yankee Stadium on here before….I’d rather have a beer, soda, hotdog, peanuts and cheap scorecards and Yankee Yearbooks and be in the very old (pre 1975) Yankee Stadium than now! But Ben, distractions in ballparks abound throughout the United States: wherever you go, it’s as if some mogul has made the decision for you that baseball is, essentially, boring, and if you aren’t distracted from that simple fact to be diverted by some silly mascot, or any of the myriad of the other distractions, it will occur to you that baseball isn’t as good as football and you will suddenly stop showing up. Well written, Ben, but what are you going to do? This is the baseball stadium of the 21st century. WE need a new commissioner of baseball and we need to issue an immediate directive to require every baseball player to show socks (tubes and otherwise) and to STOP the dreaded Barry Bonds look NOW!

    • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

      totally disagree. How many people are going to spend the game in the shops and all the other stuff that is there? I doubt many. There not their to distract people from a boring game, they are there to be another stream of revenue. Professional baseball is a business, people need to learn to accept that.

  • Tony

    Ben, I am a little older than you. But you just experienced something that will happen to you more & more as you get older. You have a point of reference – in this case the old stadium. You will always compare the new stadium to the old. When you expereince anything & then are given an inferior product – you will never be happy with that. With that said a 10 yr old kid today will not have the same point of reference & to him the new stadium will be the only place he ever watched the Yanks. (just as the renovated stadium is the only one I know – I never expereinced the pre-renovation stadium – so maybe the pre-renovation stadium was superior – but I never knew it because I did not experience it)

    So thats why older people are so grumppy – because to them it was better in the past :)

  • Januz

    I find the entire Stadium issue to be interesting. There is no question that the Stadium is not perfect (Of course, nothing constructed by man, meets that standard (Except the perhaps the pyramids)). I am actually shocked that the critics are not as numerous as I projected (Even Richard Brodsky and Community Board #4 has been quiet), which means that basically the Stadium is a success.
    The thing to keep in mind, is Yankee Stadium was NOT created in a vacuum that stands alone, it is part of a long-term process: The train station, new parks, new Courthouse, the Gateway Center, and even rezoning is designed to improve conditions for not only the Steinbrenners, and the players, but for all visitors to the area (Including fans and shoppers at Gateway), and residents of the community.
    As for the Stadium itself, the exhibition games were a dry run, to see what worked and what did not (The netting was a distraction on TV so I certainly hope it will be taken down). As for the audio, it should not be difficult to take it down a few amps if it is a distraction (Although I admit I prefer Led Zeppelin and Van Halen, played nice and loud to smooth Jazz, so it would not bother me). The biggest issue I had was with the wind. Of course, it will take one year to test the wind currents, and see if something has to be done, to prevent the Stadium from becoming a band box for hitters.
    I fully expect that you can essentially build a timeline towards the Stadium being at its best: First Opening Day, when the kinks were ironed out. Next, May when the train station opens. 2010, when the old Stadium will come down, the Gateway Center will be open, and the new garages opened. Then finally, when the new parks are erected, and blocks are renovated, this Stadium will be finally complete.

  • Gary

    I sincerely can’t wait to see the new stadium in person, but I would HATE it if it became a band box for hitters. But honestly, would it have angered the baseball gods if the distance to center and left center approximated 425 or 430 feet? Deep distances to left-center and dead center are just as much a tradition at the Stadium as are the auxiliary scoreboards. Righties such as Elston Howard, Bill Skowron, Hank Bauer and Joltin’ Joe would have hit 45-50 home runs a season in the park with the dimensions of 2009.

  • Gary

    It’s not irrelevant to me that all out-of-town scores aren’t shown at all times, that’s IMPORTANT to me. I’m a baseball fan. That freaking Boston score should be there in the same place and time all the time for me to view when I want to view it, not when some freak working the scoreboard (if there is a real person there, I doubt it) decides to show it to me. Everybody’s a money whore in 2009. There should be less “CASIO” and Budweiser signs and more baseball relevancy. Mondesi keep the faith I am with you!

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  • dc1874

    The banners on the outfield wall are way too BIG…they must be removed NOW!!!!!!

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  • GregB

    Here we are a few years after the new stadium’s introduction. And for nearby references, we have Fenway Park and Citi Field. And we have our memories of the old Stadium.

    LIKES

    * the ornamental facade along the roof
    * the way the old field was preserved for the neighborhood
    * the limestone walls
    * the view of the field as I walk around the ground level
    * access to the rest of the stadium from the bleachers
    * very attentive staff, unlike Citifield, they have a policy for parents with strollers, and smiling ppl ready to hold onto them for you
    * and unlike Citi, it’s still in a real neighborhood, with people and houses rather than chop shops … The Mets blew it by not relocating to downtown Brooklyn .. they should’ve built an old-style park where the Nets are now, but they are as usual unable to seize the moment
    * and unlike Citi, access to parking is easy to find
    * and unlike Citi, if you have a wheel chair or a stroller, there’s a way to get to the stadium from the subway. The Mets are incompetent.

    DISLIKES

    * the old stadium has beautiful clean lines, this new stadium has an unappealingly bend around 1B/3B. Granted, to facilitate the view, but it was handled inelegantly, at a hefty price tag. architectural fail. I mean, aesthetics are what they are, and for some people its measured in how BIG your house is. For others, the form itself actually matters.
    * i can understand that there are different experiences for different customer$, but there is something unacceptable about the way the CF restaurant obstructs the view so egregiously. There had to have been a better way to do this. It’s as sloppy architecturally as it is an unmistaken affront to the people seated there
    * the view from the top of the upper deck is grand, if I want to watch the surrounding neighborhood and the facade, but I’m so removed from the field of play, I really have no sense of attachment to the game. the upper deck has most clearly been moved back, away from the field. and it’s smaller.
    * the noise (advertisements and pop music) is so loud, I can’t talk with my kids
    * the way the far ends of the upper decks have been cut at an angle, it seems to cater the whole view to someone sitting behind home plate, in the owner’s area
    * the big ‘Yankee Stadium’ signs are superfluous, intrusive on the view, and the font is simplistic, and unrelated to the team’s brand.

    Fenway … The Red Sox have the right idea. Keep your park. Monetize it the right way.
    Citi Field … Is better. The upper deck is closer to the action. There’s a place for kids to play whiffle ball. And the exterior’s aesthetics .. it looks beautiful.