When the new Yankee Stadium opened, two aspects of it had an immediate economic impact on the surrounding neighborhood. First, the stadium’s smaller capacity meant that fewer fans, and thus fewer shoppers, would be hanging around the area surrounding the stadium. Second, the move across the street and subsequent reworking of subway entrance patterns would shift foot traffic from meanderings along the commercial strip on River Ave. to a funnel to the new stadium. Meanwhile, with the economy doing poorly and stadium ticket prices up, the Yankees, while still leading the league in home attendance, are averaging 9000 fewer fans per game this year than last.
Today, WNYC’s Elaine Rivera interviewed some of the 161st St. merchants. As expected, they aren’t, for the most part, doing as well as they had been in the past. Some resent the new stadium with its improved amenities and more attractive dining options. Others feel that they’ll be fine once the economy picks up. Others are concerned about the impact of new zoning laws. It’s an interesting story about the impact a new stadium can have on a neighborhood fans often overlook on the way to and from the games.