Yankee Stadium, Mohegan Sun and the mob

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As the new Yankee Stadium nears its regular season debut, the Yankees are taking a good deal of flack over a few aspects of the stadium. While bloggers — ranging from Bronx Banter, New Stadium Insider, YFSF and Scott Proctor’s Arm, to name a few — have given less than glowing reviews of the new digs, the mainstream press has been doing some good reporting on the stadium issue as well.

Today, we have two stories. One is about the Mohegan Sun sports bar and the obstructed-view bleacher seats surrounding it; the other is a tale of questionable companies winning competitive contracts for both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium jobs.

Mohegan Sun protests bleacher association

First up is this tale of naming-rights woe from Friday’s Times. Richard Sandomir spoke Yankee officials and representatives from Mohegan Sun about the controversial sports bar in center field. The big restaurant in center field serves as the batter’s eye, but it also creates some very obstructed views of the outfield from the bleachers.

The Yankees, it seems, never told Mohegan Sun that their branded bar would block the bleachers. “Since there are no obstructed seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, it wouldn’t necessarily have come up,” Alice McGillion, a Yankee spokesperson, said to Sandomir. Right. Good thinking.

Mohegan officials are none too pleased about this development. While the Mohegan tribe-owned company has paid for the naming rights, they didn’t choose anything else about the restaurant. “We don’t want to be held responsible for the impact the facility has on the view of seats there,” Mitchell Etess, president and CEO of Mohegan Sun, said. “We had no say in the construction of the stadium, and I’m certain that this was designed long before we made the deal.”

For the Yankees, Randy Levine was his usual sympathetic self. “The decision was to do obstructed seats — those few seats — and we’re pleased. They’ve sold out,” Levine said, while ignoring the fact that most of these seats were sold long before they were revealed to be obstructed.

Levine also told Sandomir that fans could watch the game from the Terrace on top of the sports bar. However, security guards were removing fans from that area last week, and the disconnect between the Yankees’ statements and their guards’ actions remains.

Firms accused of organized crime built the Stadium

This second story is just amusing. While the City of New York has barred a good number of companies with alleged ties to organized crime from bidding on city contracts, apparently the city’s development agency isn’t as careful. At least three contracts — one concerning the demolition of Shea Stadium and two for the construction of Yankee Stadium — were awarded to some of the banned contractors. Since the city’s Economic Development Company doesn’t have the support staff to review every single subcontractor, some city money certainly landed in the hands of suspected companies. Oops.

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  • The Evil Empire

    I like the stadium. Easier to navigate, 90 something % of seats are better, more comfortable, and it’s modern. What’s not to like?

    BTW

    My first time hearing about this http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2009/04/06/jose-canseco-says-90-chance-manny-ramirez-is-on-steroids-list/

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

      There’s a lot not to like. You should read the review I published yesterday.

      As the the second item, it is (a) off topic and (b) at least a week old now. Canseco can talk until he’s blue in the face. He has no knowledge of who’s on that list, and he shouldn’t be afforded publicity over it.

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

      Also, a few questions for you:

      Who cares if it’s easier to navigate? I want a ballpark in which I can watch a game, not stroll around. Sure, it’s nicer to have a park easier to navigate but not at the cost of worse views of the game.

      And how do you know that 90 percent of the seats are better? A lot more than 10 percent of the seats are worse than they were at the old stadium. That 90 percent figure has seemingly materialized out of thin air, no?

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

    At least three contracts — one concerning the demolition of Shea Stadium and two for the construction of Yankee Stadium — were awarded to some of the banned contractors.

    I’m afraid I must insist. You see, my wife, she has been quite vocal on the subject of the construction money, as in, ” Where’s the money?” “When are you going to get the money?” “Why aren’t you getting the money now?” And so on.

    So, please, the money.

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

      From the article:

      Much of the electrical work at the new Yankee Stadium was done by Petrocelli Electric, a company that since June 2006 has been on a list of contractors that New York City cautions its agencies against using.

      The owner, Santo Petrocelli Sr., was indicted this month on charges that he had been bribing a leading union official for more than a decade.

      Could be worse… coulda been Halliburton KBR.

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

      From the article:

      Much of the electrical work at the new Yankee Stadium was done by Petrocelli Electric, a company that since June 2006 has been on a list of contractors that New York City cautions its agencies against using.

      The owner, Santo Petrocelli Sr., was indicted this month on charges that he had been bribing a leading union official for more than a decade.

      Could be worse… coulda been Halliburton KBR.

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

        IETC

        • billbybob

          If KBR had done the wiring, fans washing their hands in the bathrooms would be eloctrocuted.

          • Jason

            I love it…Obama f***ing bows to the King of Saudi Arabia and they’re still making Bush/Cheney/Halliburton jokes.

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

              What say we try to get through a day without bitching about politics on a sports blog.

              • pat

                icwudt

                • Lanny

                  Did you really expect Obama to be any good? hes a chicago machine hack.

  • Jay

    I was at the saturday game against the Cubs. The new yankee stadium is great I loved it. The new stadium has much better sightlines than the old one.

  • Rich

    Randy Levine has apparently studied at the Dick Cheney school of public relations™.

  • Jay

    If you dont like those 5 dollar obstructed bleacher seats which I dont its a simple solution just dont buy those tickets. People complain way too much.

    • Rich

      What if that’s all a person can afford?

      I don’t think people need to show obeisance in order to be good fans.

      • John

        well, the only reason they are priced that low is because they are obstructed. if they weren’t, they would be priced like the other bleacher seats and a person wouldn’t able to afford anyway/

        • Rich

          On some level, a corporation that receives a measure of public assistance to construct a for profit entity has a quasi-public trust responsibility to at least make some unobstructed seats affordable to the average guy, imo. That responsibility should have been made a condition precedent to the granting of public assistance.

          Whether or not that corporation chooses to adopt that standard, Levine’s statement has a “let them eat cake” quality that I find unnecessary and offensive.

          • 27 this year

            fourteen dollars for bleacher seats is cheaper than most places in New York. Plus, you could bring outside food and have a night for two for around fifty dollars. That is affordable and if not, going to a baseball game is just out of reach regardless. You don’t see luxury car dealers selling their cars cheap for the average person. A person should go for what they can afford. THe city financing is a good thing for the city. People don’t get that bonds get paid back plus interest. My family is having a pretty hard time and I could afford some tickets for opening day. If you budget correctly, you’ll be fine.

            • Rich

              Luxury car dealers haven’t accepted public funding measures, so that analogy is inapt.

              I’m sufficiently fortunate that it doesn’t affect me, but it’s not about my personal ability to spend, it’s about the average working guy having the ability to watch an occasional game without having to go to a chiropractor for a neck adjustment after he leaves the stadium.

              • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

                its a business they have to maximize revenue.

                • Rich

                  I knew that…

                  If you seek and accept public funds you have a responsibility to advance the public interest even if it means a marginal sacrifice in revenues.

          • Gary

            Amen again Rich on your comment of 2:51 on April 11. Many people just don’t have your degree of intelligence. That’s a burden you have to live with. Having morons saying if you don’t like that ticket go somewhere else is simply ignorant, and misses the point.

    • Drew

      My sentiments exactly. I’ve said many times that for five dollars I’d sit out there over going to a movie or driving range, both of which costs more than $5.
      Most people that are kind of upset about this and some other issues aren’t mad about the inconvenience, but more upset that they got funding to build the greatest stadium on earth and they managed to botch some seemingly easy things to avoid.

      • bob k

        Camden Yards, the darling of new ballparks has the same issue in the bleachers. A few hundred fans can’t see anything in RF because of the giant out of town scoreboard. They never put up TVs and people still sit there.

        Much ado about nothing in my opinion. At least there are cheap seats available, obstructed or not, and not just blacked-out rows of bleachers.

        • andrew

          interesting, I did not know this, post some pics if you know of any

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

      “People complain way too much.”

      Yeah, I agree. YOU just complained, btw.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    There is no such thing as the Mob.

    It does not exist.

    • Joey

      Andy Corleone? Are you the Don’s long lost brother? Moved from Sicily to Daytona? Aaahhhh it’s all coming together now

    • Drew

      Never go against the family.

  • desus

    Jimmy Hoffa is buried in RF at Shea.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    The thing that bothers me is the disconnect between allowing fans to stand in certain places to watch the game and Stadium security not getting that.

    How far are those seats from the Creatures? They alone are worth $5.

  • Simon B.

    Man, Ben, you need to back up a little bit.

    It’s one thing to be skeptical of the new stadium, but every post of yours feels like some kind of propaganda campaign. Everything is negative, everything is heinous, everybody is giving it bad reviews. While there have been complaints, the reception has generally been good among Yankee fans from what I’ve seen, but you’d never know that it was any less catastrophic than Little Big Horn from reading any of your posts.

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

      Why does he need to “back up a little bit?” He’s allowed to criticize, you’re allowed to disagree. You don’t like the opinion/idea? Say so (and maybe give some reasons why), but don’t tell the person not to express that opinion/idea.

      • Simon B.

        I’m criticizing his coverage; I’m not saying he should be forbad from posting it.

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

          You complained about negative coverage in general, you didn’t respond to any of that coverage with any sort of specificity. To me, that signaled that you were saying “stop with the negative coverage,” which is like telling someone you’d rather they didn’t comment than comment negatively. Maybe I overreacted to the “you need to back up a little bit” part. But I still think if you disagree you could point out why instead of just decrying negativity in general.

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

      the reception has generally been good among Yankee fans from what I’ve seen

      What exactly have you seen? One person’s comments. From what I’ve seen, the reception has generally been negative, and I bet I get a lot more random Yankee fans emailing me each day than you do.

      • Simon B.

        I don’t claim to have any kind of statistical analysis supporting that, but I do feel like most Yankee fans like the new stadium and are optimistic.

        You’ve set yourself up for years as a categorical opponent of the new stadium. Naturally, you will attract those of similar opposition to your email inbox.

        My problem is more your coverage. Every post of yours reads like some of those pamphlets I get on my car windshield sometimes from some far-out group. You’re waging a campaign; you’re not posting news/analysis.

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

          You just said he’s not posting news… in response to a post that highlights two news items concerning the new Stadium. Come on.

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

          What exactly in this post is “waging a campaign”? I took two article about the stadium — the two most recent ones — and presented them. Does the fact that I added an “oops” as a commentary at the end offend you that much?

          Do you really want to go back through the archives and dig up all of the positive posts we’ve run about the new stadium as well or would you prefer to keep your blinders on?

          I’m happy to admit, as I did yesterday, that I think the new stadium is an unnecessary show of money, and I’m more willing than willing, as I said yesterday, to give it some time before I pass an ultimate judgment on it.

          That said, this is the news today: Randy Levine is expressing his callousness over the fact that the poor bleacher folk can’t see, and because the NYC EDC isn’t properly staffed, both the Yankees and Mets may have contracted with organized crime. The first story reflects badly on the team; the second is about good government and isn’t at all related to how the stadium is from a fan’s perspective.

          I realize I’m getting defensive here, but come on. These two stories are news stories and you’re complaining about being told the news now.

          Out of curiosity, have you been to the new park yet?

      • Januz

        From everything that I have read, the majority of reviews of the Stadium have been favorable (Even Community Board # 4 has been silent). The only ones who do not like it are the hard left-wingers and 20 somethings who have no idea what is actually involved in major construction projects.
        What would be fitting is for these people to become Cubs/ Wrigley Field fans (A beautiful ballpark with 100 years of LOSING). Maybe that would make them happy……… until Wrigley comes down………. then they can become Red Sox fans.

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

          Hard left-wingers? What are you smoking?

          Reviewing the stadium from a baseball perspective has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Your blind adherence to the belief that the stadium is some political issue has become comical.

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

            Your blind adherence to the belief that the stadium is some political issue has become comical.

            Nope, it’s still just pathetically tragic.

            • Januz

              When I see issues such as mob tied contractors being brought up, then it makes me suspect that the objections are not meerly baseball related.
              I am not stupid enough to think that problems cannot occur (Such as the wind gusts, that could turn the Stadium into a hitters paradise). That said, give it a little time, and do not jump to premature conclusions. The Stadium will take a few years to be at its best (The Old Stadium coming down, kinks ironed out etc). That is when an objective appraisal can be made. The single biggest being. 1: How does the new stadium compare with the 70s renovation? 2: Does the economic and social costs justify the expense? Those are the two questions that need to be answered.

              • Lanny

                You have been ranting about the stadium for a long time here. You were predisposed to not like it. Your reviews arent objective.

                Please name me the perfect stadium with all perfect seats. If 5$ tickets have obstructed views shell out the extra dough and get a better seat or watch it on tv.

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

                  Your reviews arent (sic) objective.

                  Can you point out the absurdity in your own statement right there? It’s a review; reviews aren’t objective by definition.

                  Anyway, as I pointed out yesterday, there is a huge difference between criticizing the process of building the stadium as I’ve done and giving it a fair shake substantively in a baseball sense. My review yesterday about the stadium was about watching a game there. It had nothing to do with the process or politics — whatever they may be — behind it. That’s not a difference that’s hard to grasp.

                • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

                  i think he ment open minded.

                  Lets all just wait till a months worth of games are played there before we pass judgment on the stadium.

  • http://amonthoffundays.blogspot.com Phil in LA

    I like revenue streams, so I am wildly in favor of the new stadium. It will let us keep competing at the highest level for a very long time. The obstructed view seats are unfortunate, so I recommend that the bearers of this tickets spend the difference on booze.

  • dc1874

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

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

      I don’t like the fact that the infield dirt is Red Silica #34 instead of Abyssinian Rust #47.

      • Januz

        TSJC, I am no expert on infield dirt. Can you please tell me what Red Silica #34 and Abyssinian Rust #47 are. What is the difference? And why one is better than the other. I am not being snarky, I really do not know?

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

          He’s being sarcastic. He tends to do that a lot, along with most others here. Guys complaining about something pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme (or most likely kidding about it) so TSJC kids about it. It’s the RAB equation we all follow

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