Yesterday afternoon, Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin were sitting in two seats in Section 20 of the Legends Suites. With those tickets, the former mayor and Alaska governor could catch a field-level glimpse of batting practice and ask the Yankees’ and Rays’ stars for autographs. They and their fellow Legends Suites patrons are the only ones with such unfettered access to the lower reaches of Yankee Stadium, and the autograph hunters who haunt the Yankees are not happy.
In an article examining the unintended consequences of the Yankees’ restrictive access policies, Times reporter A.G. Sulzberger explored the lack of autograph opportunities at new Yankee Stadium. As the areas around the dugouts are now off limits during batting practice and as the players’ parking lot is now accessible underground instead of via a public walkway, fans looking to see their favorite players up close cannot. For its part, the teams says it knows autographs are an important part of fan interaction, and Yankee officials are attempting to figure out how players can better connect with fans. We’ll have to see how the Yanks iron out this kink before passing a final judgment.