A state-of-the-art stadium with no technology allowed

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At CitiField, iPads are welcome, but the Yankees have banned this technology. (Photo by Amanda Rykoff)

For Bronx-bound patrons coming from work, Yankee Stadium security represents a unique challenge. In the days of 24-hour connectivity, many workers need to cart laptops back and forth from home, and few have the chance to make a pitstop on the way up to the ballpark. Yet, the Yankees have long banned laptops from the stadium, leaving fans with no choice but to pay the exorbitant bag-check rates at the bowling or Stan’s across the street.

According to the team’s vague security guidelines, the technology ban in a stadium equipped with state-of-the-art, well, everything extends beyond just personal computers. Included in the ban are “any other devices that may interfere with and/or distract any sports participant, other patron, audio or audio/visual telecast or recording of the game or any technology-related service provided in Yankee Stadium.” Based on recent reports, that ban now includes iPads as well.

This odd news broke when a woman on the IGN tech boards wrote about how security denied her iPad entrance into the stadium. Eventually, she was able to sneak it in, but fans were confused as to the ban. Maybe the Yankees don’t want to risk someone’s retransmitting the game from their seats. Maybe the Yankees are afraid that laptops will distract from the game experience or bring unwanted noise to the stadium. Yet, the team made a show of touting the way technologies would be able to interact with the new stadium.

The TSA, according to Mashable, doesn’t consider the iPad a laptop, but the Yanks have extended their security policies to encompass what could be personal wireless device. Yet, the inherent contradiction is laid bare when we realize that the entire stadium is one giant wireless network. The Yankees provide free wireless but do not allow the technology into the stadium to take advantage of it. They want Yankee Stadium to be state of the art but do not want people to take full advantage of it. As other parks allow iPads, laptops and similar devices in because they understand the way people commute and the inconvenience of not doing so, the Yankees are content to slam that door. What exactly is the point of that ban?

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  • jon

    I dont really get why they would ban the laptops

    but i also dont really get why anyone would bring a laptop to a baseball game

    • Cecala

      I was thinking the same thing, why would someone bring a laptop to a baseball game? Mine would only drop when I jump up because someone made a good play. It just seems like an inconvenience.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        Because a lot of people have jobs where a laptop is required or useful, and go to games after work?

        • Cecala

          Keep it in a locker or something, there is seriously no point in using a laptop while watching a game.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      As mentioned in the post, a lot of people come to the game straight from work. Unlike most other stadiums, the vast majority of people don’t drive to Yankee Stadium, and thus have no place to leave their belongings when they go to the game.

      I had a similar problem last year because I would bring a refillable water bottle to work everyday and when I went to the game, I had to throw it away because they wouldn’t let it in. So whenever I went to games after that, I had to leave my water bottle at work. If someone could explain to my why I can’t bring an empty plastic bottle into the stadium, that would be awesome.

      • http://conservationvalue.blogspot.com/ Jon G

        Not being allowed to bring in an EMPTY re-fillable waterbottle is absurd — I can do it at both stadiums here in the Bay Area.

        Bottled water is an environmental catastrophe, while allowing fans to bring their own refillable bottles dramatically reduces the team’s waste and carbon footprint. Bottled water is also obscenely expensive — much more costly per gallon than gasoline.

        If the Yankees don’t allow fans to bring in their own empty water bottle, they are missing a huge opportunity to cut their waste management costs (as well as their fans’ water costs).

        The good news: the Yanks are doing many things right: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091027&content_id=7560272&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy

        Clearly, though, there’s still much work to be done.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        You’re supposed to be able to bring empty reusable water bottles in but the requirements change depending on who the guard you get is. I had to toss one that I’d brought to 25 games last year because the particular guard who was checking me in decided it was “hard plastic” and therefore not allowed.

        Now I just bring one that I got from the Yankees as a giveaway in 2007 or something.

        The thing that bothers me most about all the security guidelines is that they are incredibly inconsistent with the execution (which means people aren’t trained properly/etc). Since I go to so many games this pops up a lot for me.

        • http://conservationvalue.blogspot.com/ Jon G

          Rather than have to lose a water bottle, it sounds like you can just tell the “uninformed” (to put it charitably) security guard that you’re going to put it back in your car, then go to another line. You can even watch the lines for a guard who is fine with it, and then go in that gate.

          I’ve done that on a few occasions at other events…

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    This seems in diametric opposition to some other clubs–I believe it was the Indians that set up an area for bloggers, equipped with wireless access?

  • http://twitter.com/YanktheMike yankthemike

    since you can’t even bring in a back pack i don’t know why anyone would even consider bringing a laptop or iPad. I know I wouldn’t put either one on the ground under my seat and I certainly wouldn’t want to have to hold it in my lap for the whole game. the real issue is backpacks in my opinion. you can bring them to any other park i’ve been to

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      You can bring in back packs now, that policy changed last year to align with the rest of MLB.

      • http://twitter.com/YanktheMike yankthemike

        oh i didn’t notice that when I was up in April- Thanks for the info

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

          It happened totally out of the blue, I showed up one day in August or something and there were signs with bag guidelines. It was exciting!

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

    I bitch a lot about this security policy. I have a netbook that I have to bring to work a lot, and it really irritates me that I can’t bring it into Yankee Stadium. I lock it up at my office for the night but if I’m going to a game on a Friday it’s a huge hassle.

    As far as I know the Yankees are the only MLB team that bans them, and I’ve never had problems taking it in with me to minor league games.


  • http://jorellrivera.blogspot.com Jorell

    You know what else distracts from the game? All the noises,games and sound effects the Yankees play throughout the game.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      drunk people. maybe they should stop selling beer.

    • Tom Zig

      Cotton Eyed Joe and the Macarena are huge distractions

      • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

        and the stupid wabe

        • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

          *wave (although the wabe is bad too whatever it may be)

      • http://www.bomberbanter.com/ BomberBanter.com

        Cotton Eyed Joe is the bane of my existence, right up there with God Bless America.

        The Macarena? When did they start incorporating the Macarena? That’s horrible! How could I have not noticed this?

        You’ll know when I strike it rich because Cotton Eyed Joe and God Bless America will be gone right away, along with YMCA and The Macarena(?)

  • nygrump

    Well you slaves will just accept it and do whatever your masters tell you. Great how this stadium was built with taxpayer money but fascism is well and good here.

    • Klemy

      I’m not even sure how to reply to that.

      • Meat Loaf

        With pointing and laughter, sir.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        I don’t think there is a proper reply.

    • Regis

      It’s time to join my oppressed brothers as they take up the struggle against this racist, fascist, White Minority Regime!
      One man, one vote!
      Right, Leo?

    • pat

      No laptops = fascist? Wow.

      • Tom Zig

        I think he meant socialism, or maybe communism?

      • Bob Stone

        It is definitely dictatorial. The policy is a controlling, ridiculous blunder. The front office has made a lot of those.

    • nsalem

      The only agenda here is our safety.

      • Bob Stone

        Yeah – right.

        • nsalem

          I guess you are right. Nobody has ever tried to do harm to
          landmarks in New York City where large amounts of people

          • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

            im sorry did you just insinueate ys3 might be the target of a terriost attack? really? our own safety? an ipad? an empty water bottle? really? last time i went to yankee stadium i didnt get frisked or anything. i couldve had a knife or gun…but if i had a backpack, open it up, no ipad. our safety is most certainly not their concern

            • nsalem

              no insinuations just stating a fact that anywhere in
              New York City where there is a large gathering of people is a terror target. This is sad an unfortunate. I do not know if these rules will be effective in the long run. I was just stating that I believe that safety is their
              concern (in concert with NYPD with MLB) for instituting them.


          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

            If they’re worried a laptop might be–gasp!!!–a bomb they can set up an area and pull people over to the side and check to make sure it’s a working laptop.

            Hate to break it to you but if someone really wanted to bring a bomb into YS III they’d find a way to do so.

  • Meat Loaf

    Nick Swisher can do anything an iPad can do anyways.

    • Tom Zig

      Steve Jobs is actually Nick Swisher…in disguise.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    I blame Randy Levine.

    Seems like he has nothing better to do than sit around thinking up inane policies.

  • FrankFernandez

    Wow. So thoroughly idiotic, even for the demented duo of Trost & Levine. Luddites without a cause. Only a matter of time before they have to back down.


    What exactly is the point of that ban?

    I preface this by saying that I don’t agree with the ban, but it probably is as much about fearing what things people might download/run at the game (i.e. file sharing) as it is whether people will broadcast the game from their laptops during the event. They seem to see attendees as people that can’t be fully trusted with the Steinbrenners’ new toy.

    I’d imagine that the ban will eventually come down, and then you will have the “opportunity” to expand the Yankee Stadium experience by paying $9.99 for “unlimited” access (re: 500 mb) to the internet during the game.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      One of the things they made a big deal about when the stadium was opening was that there would be free WiFi for everyone. Said WiFi has not materialized, shocker.

  • Brad Toughy

    Oh for the days when people went to a baseball game and were able to enjoy the game and the people they went with for the duration of the game without having to bury their nose in a laptop or similar device.

    I’m also not a fan of people constantly complaining about the Stadium and it’s operations. If you don’t like it, then stop going. The Stadium is a fantastic environment to take in a ballgame, but watching the game in a bar is great too.

    Just because everyone else does something isn’t a great reason to adopt the same policy. The Yankees don’t operate the exact same way the Braves or Royals do. If the Yankees feel they need more control over what goes on in their Stadium, that’s fine with me. Somehow, I’m able to thoroughly enjoy a game regardless.

    • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      Oh for the days when people went to a baseball game and were able to enjoy the game and the people they went with for the duration of the game without having to bury their nose in a laptop or similar device.

      get off your crusading horse. im willing to bet the majority of people who this affects are people like me who work and go to the game straight from and need to have alaptop because they are on call or because they require working from home, etc and not to just use it at a game. a huuuuuuuuuuuge portion of people attending yankee games are businessmen going sdtraight form work and at my job everyone has a laptop.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      You are missing the point by a gigantic margin. Many people in the city have laptops for work. I am one of these people. I don’t want to use my laptop at the game, I want to bring it home to do work after the game instead of locking it in my desk at work.

    • http://www.bomberbanter.com/ BomberBanter.com

      back in my bleacher days, I was a big fan of the guys chanting, “get off the phone!” at people on cell phones – and this is before cell phones were as prevalent as they are now. Back then, it’d just be a few idiots, now it’s half the people at the park… but then, if i wanted to watch the game in comfort with any amenity i could htink of, I’d stay home.

      Oh and although their camera guidelines say you can’t bring in a camera with a detachable lens, I’ve been doing so for years and no one has ever said a thing to me about it.

  • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

    Well IF they were smart, the Yankees would Wi-Fi the whole stadium and encourage fans to bring their devices, then charge for access to, say, eight different web camera angles. Talk about bringing fans closer to the game! And suddenly not a bad seat in the house.

    I build large scale high performance Wi-Fi networks for a living. Did Times Square for Yahoo! Very doable.

  • http://w00ks.org Bob Marley

    The Yankees should also legalize marijuana at the stadium. It would dramatically cut down on violence in the bleachers.

    I mean heck, it’s a police state in New York compared to other cities I go to games and bars at — security is relentless.

    I go to the Fillmore in Denver, nobody bothers me if I am sharing a doobie. If I get caught in Yankee Stadium, I end up in freakin Riker’s Island.

    • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

      In 1980 at Yankee stadium, pot was ‘legal’ at Yankee Stadium, at least in the bleachers.

      A guy would walk up and down the aisles with a bundle of 100 joints in his hands saying
      ‘Get your Yankee joints’ and would sell them for a dollar. He’d give you a small fold up schedule with each.

      Yes, there were pinstripes on them.

  • mr.strickland

    My 12 yr old brother used to be allowed to bring his helmet with siren that would light up when the Yankees scored (heck we brought it to citi field on friday with no problems. Now they have banned us from bringing that in after bringing it the past two years. They need to lighten up with security its getting a bit too ridiculous

  • mrinterlockingny

    last year there was alot of tech. talk from the yankees & cisco on how soon you can use your cellphone,pada,iphone and beable to order food and such from your seat, with the conveince of staying out of loing lines & missing less of the game you paid major bucks for.. i feel all the money wasted in putting this technology inplace (unless they use it to its fullest extent)could’ve been used towards other things that would’ve benefited fans.

  • http://twitter.com/j_sprouse2213 (The Real) James

    ” interfere with and/or distract ”

    This x10000.

    Wouldn’t that go over well…some bloke getting smashed in his face with a foul ball and dying because he is checking the scores on his MLB at bat app.

    If you have an iPad then you probably have an iphone/ipod touch…bring that to the game and check the scores..text…call..whatever, boom problem solved.

    and lets be real…why are you bringing your damn ipad to the stadium anyway? (to show it off obviously)..but really? are you going to read an ebook while the game gets boring? i mean come on.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      You set up a scenario as though it was iPad only then point out that he has a phone too, guess what, you can be smashed in the face with a foul ball checking out the score on a cell phone just the same way.

      and lets be real…why are you bringing your damn ipad to the stadium anyway? (to show it off obviously)..but really? are you going to read an ebook while the game gets boring? i mean come on.

      Because people do things other than just mill around at baseball games and go home? This is the stupidest response I see to these bans, I swear. People don’t live in a bubble, maybe guy with an iPad doesn’t want to read an eBook in the stadium but does for the train ride home? Use your brain for three seconds.

      • http://twitter.com/j_sprouse2213 (The Real) James

        my whole post was meant to be read in a joking, not so serious manner.

        Sorry i didn’t convey that better.


    The ban is absurd…although I have never had a problem bringing in my camera gear in a large backpack that fits a laptop I have heard stories of being disallowed. My solution was to bring 3 micro sd cards and holsters and switch between the cameras and my blackberry in order to upload photos during the opening day ceremony as it was going on to my Facebook page. I don’t get a press pass so this was the way I did it. I was able to connect to their wifi without a problem and didn’t have to rely on the cell signals which were overloaded and “masked” because of NYPD digital surveillance equipment. I also don’t remember ever seeing a laptop bomb capable of doing any significant damage. They’re fear must be that someone will drink too much and hit someone with it or it will be stolen…of course with all of the video surveillance they have in place this shouldn’t be an issue…

    Time to lighten up Yanks…


      Oh…and I sent this from my blackberry…while at work using all sorts of technology and not missing a beat nor getting hit by any baseballs…