What Went Wrong: Yankee Stadium

Yankees designate Eli Whiteside for assignment
Clemens & Bonds headline 2013 Hall of Fame ballot
(Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)

The current version of Yankee Stadium is now four years old, so we have enough data to definitively say something like “the place gives up homers like crazy.” It’s no longer a small sample size fluke, like we argued back in April 2009. We also have enough data to say that the place can be pretty lifeless at times, and that seemed to be especially prevalent this season. The place is only four years old, so it’s a problem.

For the most part, attendance over the last eight years has held pretty steady, and therein lies the problem. There should have been a spike when the new building opened, just like there was when the old place closed…

Total Per Game Capacity MLB Rank
2012 3,542,406 43,733 87.0% 6th
2011 3,653,680 45,107 89.7% 7th
2010 3,765,807 46,491 88.9% 7th
2009 3,674,495 45,364 86.7% 8th
2008 4,298,655 53,069 92.3% 5th
2007 4,271,083 52,729 91.7% 7th
2006 4,243,780 52,392 91.2% 5th
2005 4,090,692 50,502 87.9% 5th

There was a spike after the 2009 World Series, but for the most part the new place was selling seats at a similar rate to the old building (before the closing spike). I doubt the Yankees expected that. The problem was especially noticeable in the postseason this year, when there were swaths of empty seats in the club’s five home playoff games. Was the lack of postseason attendance overstated? Definitely, but the fact that there were empty seats to talk about in the first place is a problem.

Obviously we can point to the ticket prices as a culprit for the less than stellar attendance, but I don’t believe it’s that simple. Maybe it is, I just happen to think there are more factors in play. The economy has sucked the last few years, parking prices are ridiculous, stuff like that contributes as well. I never have trouble finding $20-ish dollar tickets to a typical regular season game, but I’m one person, one data point. The Yankees have won plenty in recent years, so performance isn’t an issue.

Long story short, the Yankees aren’t going to drop ticket prices because they’re still selling a ton of tickets. The prices are set at what people are willing to pay (not team payroll, contrary to what many seem to believe), and they won’t drop until people stop paying. Given the size of the city and surrounding areas in addition to the high tourist traffic, I wouldn’t count on it happening anytime soon.

This one is entirely subjective, though I suppose you could bring a decibel meter to the park like they did with CitiField. Good luck finding historical data for the Old Stadium to use as a comparison. Besides, crowd noise isn’t the be-all, end-all of stadium atmosphere.

Anyway, has the atmosphere of the old Stadium been overstated in comparison to the new place? Absolutely. Trust me, that place wasn’t exactly rockin’ all the time like you’ll be led to believe. It was definitely more energetic than the current Stadium though, there’s no doubt about that in my mind. Why is this? Tons of reasons, really. The building itself doesn’t provide great acoustics, but that’s not a “the Yankees screwed up!” thing, that’s a “the City of New York says you can’t build like that anymore” thing. Is the security crew too harsh? Maybe, I’ve never had an issue though. There are a lot of factors beyond the team control here.

One part of the stadium experience the Yankees do control but have largely ignored in recent years is the quality of the between-innings entertainment. How long has the Cap Game been going on? The Subway Race? I mean, the YMCA-dancing grounds crew was neat the first time and literally never again after that. I have yet to see anyone say “oh great, it’s Cotton Eye Joey!” during a game. Monument Park as well, it’s hidden way in center field and can’t really be displayed, even if you’re sitting up in the grandstand and just looking around.

I also think the Yankees have generally done a poor job of cultivating fans in recent years. They don’t have any caravan events, don’t let kids run the bases after games, don’t do any of these super-fan-friendly things other teams around the league do. Yeah I can get to the park early and shake hands with a fringe roster player at the ticket gate every so often but who cares? Baseball is more of a generational sport than any other, dads and sons and grandkids all enjoy it together. I don’t think they’ve done enough to reel in the younger fans out there, the ones who are still impressionable.

This turned into more of a rant than I expected, so my bad. I think the new Stadium is pretty awesome in general, I love the nice wide corridors and the restrooms that are actually properly sized and all sorts of other stuff. The food choices could be a little better, but that’s terribly important to me personally. The postseason attendance and atmosphere problems this year were very noticeable though, and they really helped make some of the other deficiencies at the new building stand out. It’s never going to be the old Stadium in part because what we remember of the old Stadium has been romanticized and no longer jibes with reality, but I still feel it’s lacking compared to other state of the art facilities.

Attendance data via ESPN.

Yankees designate Eli Whiteside for assignment
Clemens & Bonds headline 2013 Hall of Fame ballot
  • MG

    They did have a couple events this year where kids of season ticket holders got to run the bases. They also had a photo day where season ticket holders got onto the warning track to take pictures of all the players and they had a “picnic” with Brian Cashman for season ticket holders too. They also introduced more of these sorts of events for long time ticket holders so they are improving in that regards, however slowly.

    • Hitman 23

      Oh I see. You need to be a season ticket holder to enjoy any of this. AND thank for repeating that several times in your dopey post. The stadium is geared toward the corporate world and not your everyday fan, it’s a shame.

      • Captain

        why shouldn’t a season ticket holder be able to enjoy perks like this over a person buying single game tickets? stuff like this is exactly why its better to get season tickets. jeez. everyday fans buy season tickets too.

        • MG

          Yea, I don’t see much issue with rewarding season ticket holders over people who buy single games. Then again, I’m a season ticket holder so I would feel that way.

  • JD

    I love the yankees. But I hate a few things.. The 1,500 seats being one. No way to rationalize buying those. 2: pretentious Yankee fans who think towel waving, the wave, rally calls , etc are beneath them.

    It’s embarrassing how unmotivated the fans are, I do blame the PR dept too, the entertainment there is sickening… Cotton eye joe and YMCA… Pathetic..
    Show some thought, hand out signs, towels, play music , etc..
    The last few yrs proved the fan energy SUCKS…

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I don’t mind towel waving or……do I know what rally calls even are? I will say I can’t stand the wave. Just one of those things. I agree that rallying points for the team like you suggest are a good idea, and navy blue rally towels would look pretty badass on TV.

      I could do without just about any of the between-inning things, but I do have a soft spot for YMCA. Sorry.

    • Chris

      The wave is for losers. We are at a Yankee game to watch the Yankees. If you are that bored go home.

      The biggest problem IMO is the all the secondary stuff to do. Audi, Mohegan, Jim Beam, Kettle One, This club that club. Half the stadium isn’t even in their seats because there is too many things to do. The old stadium, the game was the attraction. Now, I can go to the Steiner Sports store or the Yankee Museum DURING the game. That crap should only be open before the game like Monument Park.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Other stadiums have all that, though. I don’t think that’s necessarily a detraction.

        Also, if I bought my ticket, and that’s how I want to enjoy the game, why shouldn’t I?

      • wolfgang’s Fault

        I don’t like the new building, right field dimensions are a joke and an embarrassment, I don’t like the positioning of the restaurant in center field as it blocks the view of the field if your seat is anywhere around & to the side of it, monument park is a joke, the ushers are like the gestapo, the team has gotten old & one dimensional, & ownership & front office people are at best indifferent & sometimes antagonistic to the life long but struggling due to a tough economy Yankee fan. Other than that, nothing to worry about.

      • Jay

        LOOK OUT! We’ve got a “PURIST” here!
        You’re one of those “Bleacher Creatures” aren’t you? You know… one of those A-holes that hangs out in right field and spends the first inning screaming players’ names in the hopes that they’ll acknowledge your pathetic existence? That’s you, right?
        Yeah, that’s cool, but then when a 7 year old wants to join in on the wave, you’re one of the first to yell “NO! Don’t do the wave!”
        Oh yeah… the name-calling out there is cool too.

  • cnp

    since our MLB rank is conversely getting better, wouldnt that just mean that attendance is down overall?

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’ve always hated the upper deck at the new stadium. It just feels so detached from the game itself, but I do love myself some Section 203. Always will.

    I wish there was more “die-hard” and less “here for the attraction” with the Yankees. I wish there was markedly better food.

    Other than that? I still love the structure. I still love how it feels like a cathedral of baseball and that the “small town” feel of Citifield would never fit the Yankees. I love how I can get anywhere in that stadium in about ten minutes or less.

    I think prices are the reason for attendance and wonder if people are just conditioned to think they can’t afford a Yankee game any longer.

    • Preston

      The upper decks in most places suck, the old stadium was unique in that regard. But there is nothing the Yankees can do about that.

      • gnatie

        Not sure I agree about upper decks – both Citi Field and Nationals Park have nice upper decks to see a game from.

    • https://twitter.com/Erica_Lynnnn Erica

      I hate the upper deck as well… but… love the ticket prices. Sigh.

      The food IS lacking. I like to be moderately healthy; save for the sushi, there’s nothing that really caters to my nutritional needs. :(

      • Hitman 23

        Baseball is not there to cater to your nutrition needs you ass. It’s A BASEBALL GAME. HOT DOGS, CRACKERJACK, BEER, ETC… YOUR COMMENT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE NEW STADIUM. People expecting to go there for a Ruth Chris teak. It is a baseball game not a 5 star restaurant YOU DOLT. GET A LIFE AND NEVER GO TO THE STADIUM AGAIN. I WOULDN’T WANT YOUR DIETARY CONSTRAINTS TO NOT BE MET, YOU FOOL.

        • Cliff


      • karcotte

        you can bring your own food into the stadium.

  • Rich in NJ

    “parking prices are ridiculous”

    This can’t be said enough.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Plenty of public transportation available.

      • Rich in NJ

        If that’s what works for people great. Most people I know like to drive.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Meet better people.

          • Rocky Road Redemption

            Trust me. I don’t like to give my location, but a LOT of people have to drive.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I’m honestly asking out of curiosity……why? Where in the tri-state area is it preferable to drive straight to the Bronx than driving to a PATH or NJ Transit station? What percentage of folks attending the stadium will that be?

              When Barclays opened, there were interviews with guys who drove from BED-STUY to the arena. That’s just asking for a punch in the nuts.

              • Rich in NJ

                It’s really hard to park in Hoboken, for example, assuming the PATH is operational.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  Post-Sandy is a different story. I’ll give you that, but Hoboken, under regular circumstances? I’m sorry. People take the train into the city for work from there every day.

                • jjyank

                  I used to drive to Hoboken and take the PATH in all the time, never had an issue. The parking lot near the PATH station always had spots open.

                  • Rich in NJ

                    I have been there at night to hangout and the parking is so bad I take the train instead.

              • Rocky Road Redemption

                A lot of people don’t even consider public transportation as an option, to be honest-and Rich makes a really good point.

                • The fax

                  I would take the train but as a fan from new jersey who also works there 9-5 the train is not really an option unless I want to get to the stadium in the fourth inning hence why driving is the only option if I want to catch the full game.

  • Get Phelps Up

    How is 43,733 87% when 45,364 is 86%?

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    The Yankees ruined their stadium and in my opinion the experience at YS2 was far superior.

    Besides the ridiculous cost and the moat they built around the field with the ultra high priced seats, the atmosphere around the park is far more subdued.

    I was recently watching the documentary “9 innings from ground zero” and the stadium just rocked back in those days, very different from what you see in YS3.

    I went to the last playoff game where they clinched against Baltimore and couldn’t believe how much orange there was at the stadium. The Yankees fans do that to other teams, not the other way around.

    • yankthemike

      9 Innings From Ground Zero is an amazing documentary, but to suggest the dramatics of 2001 WS games 4 and 5 were commonplace at the old stadium or anywhere for that matter is a stretch.

  • BigJoe

    The new Stadium DOES get loud. Check out highlights from 2009 World Series Game Six vs. Pedro. The place was rockin and LOUD! Yankee fans are just spoiled and used to winning year in and year out so take postseason games for granted. Plus, this collection of Yankees does not play the most exciting brand of baseball. Its all hit or miss. Homer or strike out. Very rarely do you see doubles/triples, stolen bases, bunt attempts, diving plays (by out 2nd baseman or short stop….). Plays that normally would fire up the crowd. Face it, yanks are boring. Yes, they win, but play a boring brand of baseball

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Very rarely do you see doubles/triples, stolen bases…

      As a team, the Yanks hit 280 doubles in 2012 (league average was 275), so we did see our fair share of doubles. You are correct regarding triples, but their biggest 3B threat missed most of the season.

      They had 93 SB (league avg =108), but again, their biggest SB threat missed most of the season. You know which teams had fewer SB? STL, TEX, CIN, DET & BAL, all of whom made the playoffs. The top 7 teams in SB were MIL, SDP, MIA , MIN, TBR, LAA, KCR & TOR, and those 7 teams didn’t make the playoffs.

      Can’t imagine many fans would want to see more SBs at the expense of missing the playoffs.

      • bigjoe

        How many doubles did you see in October?

        • Rocky Road Redemption

          You’re looking at a handful of games and then extrapolating that to the Yankees as a team in general. We hit poorly in October, it happens.

  • Mike Myers

    I used to goto 15 games a year, no im around 7 or 8.

    1-The security is so so rude.
    2-You cant BBQ in the parking lot before the games anymore
    3-Beer Prices
    4-ticket prices

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I forgot to say I also love how the bleachers are not their own separate section of the stadium anymore.

    • Ajax

      You can’t grill in any of the lots anymore? Did this change since may?

  • Tim

    I have had numerous run-ins with Securitas since 2009. I never have any issues with staff at Citi Field, and the folks at MSG and Barclays are both very engaging and pleasant, asking how they can help. Securitas routinely talks in a condescending tone and demands things. While standing at a hi-table behind a section of seats in the 200s, I kept having a Securitas person tell me to move a few feet to the right or a few feet to the left for seemingly no reason at all. Walking back to the LF Bleachers last year with a food tray in each hand I had a Securitas person demand that I show my ticket — keep in mind this is the cheapest section of the Stadium; I understand checking when people plunk hundreds of dollars down but for a ticket that was worth $15, is this really worth it? I told Securitas it was in my pocket and they refused to let me pass, to which I said “you gotta be f-ing joking me.” Securitas then called another Securitas employee over, and both then insisted that they did not like my tone and that I needed to refrain from cursing. I had to put both food trays on the ground to fish my ticket out of my pocket. It is just head-scratching what their motive is, since it is clearly not improving the experience for the fan and usually just a completely arbitrary enforcement of rules.

    The Moat behind home plate also kills any sense of atmosphere, as its usually filled with corporate folks who are there for business. Arrive late, leave early, and these are the people closest to the action and who are seen on TV.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      To be fair dude, telling security “you gotta be fucking kidding me” is pretty bad.

      • David

        No, asking someone carrying food trays to show their ticket to get into a $15 seat that they had just been sitting in is bad. What ever happened to customer service? I’ve had the same experiences several times and it really gets in the way of enjoying the game. I live in the city and used to go to 15-20 games/year at the old stadium. Between the Moat, the obnoxious rent-a-cops posted every three feet and the giant obstructions they put up to prevent people from standing behind the Moat to take in a few pitches closer to the action, 2012 was the first year that I didn’t go to a game since I started going as a little kid, and I really didn’t miss it.

    • Get Phelps Up

      It’s really not that unusual for ushers to do that. Hell I was at a game at Safeco last year and the ushers wouldn’t even let me in the 3rd deck to take a picture before the Game even started.

      Also yeah, they’ll get upset if you swear at them.

  • John

    Agree with just about all this, Mike. Think the atmosphere is biggest/most disappointing issue and believe that is caused by two main factors: sheer volume, i.e. literally fewer people at the games and ticket prices leading to more affluent/less passionate fans attending. Having said that, could the Yanks save face this year by offering a one-year, 2013 only discount due to Superstorm Sandy? It would allow them to drop prices for a good cause and avoid the proverbial egg on their face. I think dropping prices say 10% or so in 3 or 4 sections could help the team in several regards. Then come next season, they could just announce that they’ve decided to make it permanent. With the payroll coming down and YES revenues going up, the organization could easily afford this. Anyway, just some thoughts.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I also can’t understand why someone would ever choose to drive to the stadium. The Deegan is a traffic nightmare even without the team playing. You can access public transportation from just about anywhere for cheaper. The B/D will get you down to Penn Station in about 30 minutes if you’re coming from New Jersey. The new Metro North trains are a godsend to those coming in from Connecticut. I see zero reason why it’d be preferable for someone to drive unless there are extenuating circumstances.

    • BigJoe

      Realize that a large populations comes in from Northern NJ and there isn’t any mass transit options. They HAVE to drive

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Why would it be preferable for them to drive straight to the Bronx than drive to a NJ Transit or PATH station?

        It may be easier and more comfortable. Other than “because I’m in a damn wheelchair” or something of the sort, I’m trying to figure out why someone would HAVE to to the point that paying $50, or whatever they’re charging, is the only choice.

        • Cris Pengiucci (Unreasonably optimistic Furutre Lefty out of the ‘Pen)

          It’s the feeling of being in control of when one arrives or leaves that driving in a car provides. There’s no set schedule. While it may take longer, you do as you please. Listen to whatever music you care to listen to. Stop off at whatever place if you feel like it. Can’t necessarily do that on a train.

          That said, being a tourist in NYC when I’m there now, I take the subway or Metro North.

          • Cris Pengiucci (Unreasonably optimistic Future Lefty out of the ‘Pen)

            And I will get the spelling of “Future” corrected.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Wow. It’s the complete opposite for me. The feeling of control would come from knowing I don’t have to deal with parking and that the worst stress I’ll go through is the logjam to get through the turnstiles. Once I’m down at that D train, just get me the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

            • http://drawingwalks.wordpress.com/ RC

              Avoid the D train logjam by entering a few blocks up by the Burger King instead of using the entrance by the McDonald’s. You can even use the MetroCard machines if you need to because literally 99% of people use the McD entrance.

        • BigJoe

          I would never drive to the Stadium but you have to understand the demographic. Some guy with his kid who lives north of the GW Bridge in Jersey (highly populated) is NOT taking an 1 hour train ride down to Penn Station to then take a 40-1 hr minute subway ride back up to the Stadium. Especially for a night game. Doesn’t make sense. He HAS to drive

          • Rocky Road Redemption

            Yeah, exactly.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I get the sentiment, and maybe this is the city boy talking, but he still chooses to drive.

            City boy will now move on to something else. :)

            • LK

              Strictly speaking, yes, he chooses to drive. Strictly speaking, we all “choose” to pay taxes, because we could also take the option of going to jail. I live in the city, so I’d never drive to a game, but there are people who live in places where driving is clearly a superior option to public transit, and to suggest that those people’s desire to attend a game wouldn’t be impacted by exorbitant parking prices is a little ridicuous.

          • The fax

            Agreed I would take the train but as a fan from new jersey who also works there 9-5 the train is not really an option unless I want to get to the stadium in the fourth inning hence why driving is the only option if I want to catch the full game.

          • Cris Pengiucci (Unreasonably optimistic Future Lefty out of the ‘Pen)

            Similar for people on LI. Get the proper train on the LIRR into Penn (40 minutes or so from my station when I lived there), then take the subway for 40 minutes or so and do the reverse on the way back, hoping you get to the LIRR train on time and don’t have to wait an hour for the next one. I would always drive to the old stadium. Then again, parking wasn’t as expensive at the time.

          • gnatie

            (1) Park near Rt. 4
            (2) Take Spanish Bus to GWB Terminal
            (3) Subway to stadium

            It’s quick, and not that complex.

        • Jersey Joe

          I come from north NJ. Usually we drive to Seacacus then we took train to 161. It takes awhile and NJ transit can be horrible, but it’s a tradition of sorts, so I go with it.

  • Cris Pengiucci (Unreasonably optimistic Furutre Lefty out of the ‘Pen)

    restrooms that are actually properly sized

    Properly sized for what? ;-)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Now THAT’S a really good question. Mike?

      • Preston

        I think he means that they are large enough, have enough urinals/toilets to accomodate the amount of people who will be using them without it being a mob scene.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    What can I say? I could not possibly disagree more, I love that place. I went to a regular season game in September when the Yankees were playing like shit and Phil Hughes of all people was pitching. The Stadium was ROCKING, it was an awesome experience. This for a game in the middle of a shitty stretch of baseball with an okay pitcher who wasn’t very popular on the mound-and two runs were scored by the Yankees all game.

    FYI, just get the cheapest seats and stand in the lower decks. You’re basically right next to the field. Not to mention, I’ve been in the cheapest seats anyway. They’re not that bad. And bleacher seats are ten dollars.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      They’ve definitely gotten tougher with just standing behind the expensive seats from the concourse since ’09, but it still can be done as long as you’re not blocking the way for Goldman and Sachs to get through.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        Are you serious (I mean this sincerely, not as disgusted sarcasm). I went there in September and I had literally NO issues standing next to the field. None. Nor did, as far as I could see, anybody else.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I didn’t go this season, at all (and for good reasons), and only went twice at the start of last season. It felt different to me in that regard. Could have been a one-time thing, though?

          I miss the stadium.

  • Slugger27

    Just can’t understand why legends isn’t the 2nd level. Almost every other stadium across all sports has their club/suite sections ABOVE the lowest tier, mainly to avoid looking bad on TV BC they know the types that come. All the free food in the clubs, its like they don’t want them in their seats.

    Which would be fine…. but not on the lowest level!

    • JD

      Agree , hateeeeee seeing empty large seats on TV

  • JD
  • The fax

    Ticket prices speak for themselves they are way too expensive if you buy directly from the Yankees especially in this bad economy, which is why I use stub hub for dirt cheap prices. Additionally, as a fan coming from jersey I’m out $40 dollars before I step foot in the stadium between the parking and the bridge. The concessions are also way overpriced 12.00 for a hot dog and a small soda? Please. Another thing with the atmosphere Yankee stadium is the only ballpark I’ve been to that doesn’t let you near the dugouts during BP and its even emphasized with the “moat” which in my opinion has sadly become a symbol of the new Yankee stadium.

  • Mike

    This kind of sums up the attitude at the stadium…someone made a conscious decision to install urinal dividers in the downstairs men’s rooms but not the upstairs.
    Also, my 63 year old father was told not to rest his hand on a handrail by security behind the bleachers.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      “Big enough” restrooms.
      Urinal dividers.

      I’m now starting to get the picture.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    Besides the changes in the atmosphere at the new stadium, with giant high def TVs in nearly everyone’s homes, you can argue that the experience of watching a game in your own home has never been better as well.

    When I think about spending a couple of hundred bucks and spending 5 hours including commute time vs. ordering a pizza and watching the game for free on my 62″ high def TV while avoiding the hellacious ride both ways , most of the time my couch is going to win out.

    • Cris Pengiucci (Unreasonably optimistic Future Lefty out of the ‘Pen)

      The NFL has similar concerns due to the popularity of Hi-Def TVs.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

        I go to a few Giants games every year, mainly because my son likes to go but I always DVR the game because to me it’s much more enjoyable watching on TV.

    • thenamestsam

      I think this is a big part of the story that’s left out here. I live a short subway ride from the stadium, big enough fan to be posting on a blog, plenty of disposable income, and yet I go to 3-4 games a year. If it was 2000 I might have season tickets, but honestly the home viewing is just so much better than it was then. Not only HD feeds and bigger TVs, but being able to access a constant stream of mostly intelligent commentary (on RAB or Twitter) has negated the social advantages of going to games.

      I went to Game 5 against Baltimore and that was totally worth it. That feeling can’t be replicated in your home. But a regular season game against Baltimore? Give me my living room. I’ll have a better view of the game, eat better food, drink better beer, sit in a more comfortable chair, not worry about the weather, not waste time on the subway, talk to equally as informed and passionate fans. Oh yeah, and spend a fraction of the money. I honestly can’t think of one reason I’d rather be in the stadium for that game. I think more and more you need unique and clever hooks to draw fans to the park, and the Yankees are a very traditional organization that hasn’t embraced much of that stuff.

  • stu phillips

    For get everthing,just have a. winning team

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      1992 was the last year the Yankees didn’t field a winning team.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        CHUCK CARY!!!!

        (not on the ’92 team, actually)

  • Nathan

    I’m not sure what it is but the new stadium doesn’t feel “hyped” or “electric” anymore. All the times at the old stadium when Boston came in for a series, you could FEEL it. At the new stadium, you don’t get that.

    I’m not sure if it’s a different type of fan, accoustics, or what but even when the crowd gets loud at the new place, it just doesn’t feel right.

    Maybe it’s just me, IDK.

    • Slugger27

      Its not just you.

  • RCK

    I love Yankee Stadium because that is where the Yankees play. That said, I do find the ticket prices a bit offensive (but you are right, of course, that they won’t lower them when they can get people to pay them), and the food is terrible.

    I think you are right that there is just a general feeling of not really being cultivated as a fan, other than, you know, all the winning! Which is the most important part.

    Also, the game is enjoyed by mothers and daughters too. Not just fathers and sons.

  • Hall and Nokes

    I think they would go a long way to improving things if they did away with all Legends seating past the dugouts. Create more demand for those seats and create more density along the foul lines. It would make for a better atmosphere and it would look a hell of a lot better on TV.

  • AnthonyD

    Other than create a money printing machine – and there’s something to be said for that – did they get anything right in the new stadium? I haven’t had the pleasure of sitting in the Legends seats, but have sat in the lux boxes and realize how much money / resources were used in that area. Everything we hate as regular baseball fans (other than stuff on the scoreboard and what not) is designed to make money and not to improve fan experience / cultivate a “winning / intimidating” environment.

    So again, bigger bathrooms, some better beer selections, bigger chairs for fat people, beer for guys in the bleachers – other than that anything right?

  • AnthonyD

    Would anyone believe you 5 years ago if you said the folks at MSG would hit a home run w/ their renovation, the Mets would do a pretty good job, the Nets would do a pretty good job and the Yankees and Giants would shit the bed?

  • Ethan

    Mike you should run some statistical analysis, regression in particular, to determine the impact that changes in price have had on attendance. Would be really interesting to see, and probably a total pain in the ass to do.

  • MikeD

    I go to roughly a quarter of the games I used to. I can’t even explain exactly why that is. Parking is way better than it used to be and the new stadium certainly offers more food and amenities than the old one, but I just feel indifferent towards going now. At the risk of sounding melodramatic tearing down Yankee Stadium has made me less of a fan.

    • Darren

      everything you said, me too.

      i go to way less games now. maybe i’m busier or maybe i was just as much of a fan of The Real Yankee Stadium as the team itself.

  • RetroRob

    Love the new place, wouldn’t go back to the old Stadium, even though there are things that they can do to improve the new place. Won’t bother listing them here since I think most will probably hit on them in the thread.

    I also agree that they should be doing more to encourage new, younger fans.

    The one point on which I’ll disagree has to do with the attendance spike that didn’t happen. Spikes in attendance happen for teams with poor attendance. That’s not the Yankees. Also, the Yankees “new park” attendance spike was masked by a consistent increase in attendance in the new place as the historic place was heading toward a shutdown, and in face we see that there was probably greater interest in fans making into the the old place before it shut down then there was in getting to the new place. In the last couple of seasons at the old Stadium, I would reguarly run across out of towners who drove up from down south, or flew in from other areas of the country just to attend Yankee Stadium one last time, or for that fact, the first time. No other team opening a new park has had that type of reaction. And last, the “full capacity” numbers at the new Stadium are a bit of fiction because they include a bit of standing-room areas. The new place has drawn quite well.

    The biggest issue they’re facing right now is the Stub Hub deal which has collapsed the secondary market and is doing just the opposite of what was happening at the old place. Tickets are now easier to get and at lower prices. The easier it is to get a ticket actually depresses attendance.

    • AnthonyD

      Do you think the new place creates a visible divide between haves and have nots and do you think the stub hub effect has created the perception that tickets are less desirable? (Not antagonizing, just curious). Despite my negative comments above, I actually still prefer the new stadium to old – I just think they did a really bad job with it.

      • RetroRob

        I think we’re on the same page here. The “haves vs. haves not” is one of the things I really don’t like. I love the park, but I don’t like the velvet rope syndrome that has been created with it.

        And, yes, the Stub Hub effect, as well as what the Yankees have also done by raising prices in an attempt to grab a greater percentage of the profit that the secondary market was creating, has actually driven a large part of the secondary market away. People used to buy tickets up front knowing they can sell them at the least at face value, if not at a profit. Now they’re forced to sell them at a losing price, and in some cases at a signficant loss. This trend will continue to feed on itself, creating a belief among fans that there’s no reason to buy tickets in advance. Yankee Stadium attendance in 2013 will be lower than 2012. The downward trend will probably continue for a few years until they can fix the overall dynamic.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      Gotta agree, dude.

  • bobby two knives

    I have gone to the new stadium only once – for a tour on an away-game date, when I could get into the stadium and out in less than high-traffic time. Otherwise, the days and times of the games, whether early or late, make it a MAJOR traffic journey and basically an 8-12 hour – very costly in terms of time and energy and money – event, which I can watch on TV or DVR without commercials. I live in New Jersey, near the 78 and 287 interchange, and it’s absolutely an all-day project and next day worn-out undertaking. And using public transportation really isn’t much better, though maybe a bit less expensive. And Saturday and Sunday are out: I work those days. just sayin’. Sad to read what I just wrote, really, because I love going to the stadium.

  • dan gen

    you cannot charge 1500 for a game versus the royals in cold April..AND THEY DO,…AND EVERYTIME YOU TURN AROUND THEY REMIND YOU 189,189,189….BUDGET….I HATE IT!

  • Carp

    In response to the writers remark about security, I have to say that is incorrect. I was at the July 31 game in the stadium this past season and there were 5 or 6 young guys in our row. They were having fun; they had a few drinks, where a little loud but nothing like one might see in NewnYork. At one point, they were standing up and cheering for Boone Logan and about 15 cops and YS security threw them out. They were not swearing, no heckling or picking on anyone, just being a little silly and a little boisterous. Again, nothing over the top and nothing like one might expect to hear in the bleachers of any ball park. These kids were just having fun as a night out at the stadium. This actually ruined our night. The Yankees were losing, but seeing these guys get bounced for no apparent reason left a real sour taste in our mouths. After they were bounced, I asked The security person why and he said it was because they were told to quiet down previously. My response was, “Really? Some kids are cheering atmambaseball game in New York and you’re throwing them out?”. His response was, “They were warned”. As it turns out, they ended up comping two more seats to a different game to two older people sitting in front of them, who were Orioles fans, who did the complaining.
    BTW, we sat under the overhang on the first base side closer to home plate.
    As far as I am concerned, this was improper handling of a very minor situation. So, I have to believe the security at ate Stadium is a contributor. They are very strict about everything.

  • https://twitter.com/Erica_Lynnnn Erica

    I live an hour away from New York City, in good ol’ Central Jersey.

    I choose to utilize public transportation, whether it be the bus (gosh, how I hate NJ Transit) or the train. A round-trip ticket is just shy of $30. A round-trip subway ride from Port Authority up to the Stadium is about $5. Factor in ticket prices and food (I like sitting as close as I can without being in the moat because, hi, I’m not a millionaire)… it’s a good $200 day.

    Listen. The Yankees are worth it to me because they’re my team. I don’t feel they “owe” it to me if they lose the game I attended. But the vibe at the stadium SUCKS. Save for when I was in attendance for A-Rod’s 600th HR and Jeter’s 3000th hit… it’s quiet. It’s very quiet.

    I was at the Old Stadium only once, back in 1999 (Clemens pitched and they lost) but I remember it to be a VERY different atmosphere. I was in the upper deck and it was a lot more lively. It was just a regular game I attended… and people seemed to give more of a crap and get more into the game then, as opposed to now.

    I do think the moat, on the other hand, is the absolute stupidest thing. I want to sit up close! I want to sit up close without slapping my savings account upside the head. It’s not fair. At all.

  • Jersey Joe

    I went here on a camp field trip last summer 9 (I’m 14). I had 5 bucks with me and a PBJ and a bag of chips in a lunchbox with a sealed water bottle (they only allow those, WTH). So when I realized all $5 could get me was a small drink, I was quite pissed. Especially since it was 100+ degrees.

    For payback to them, I ran the water fountain for a minute after I refilled my water bottle for the millionth time. That’s what I called revenge.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “This turned into more of a rant than I expected, so my bad. I think the new Stadium is pretty awesome in general, I love the nice wide corridors and the restrooms that are actually properly sized and all sorts of other stuff.”

    I like the wide corridors and the nicer restrooms (in comparison to YS2) as well, but therein lies the problem… Those two things are way down on my list of things that affect my experience watching a baseball game. When it comes to the stuff that affects my experience watching a baseball game, YS3 doesn’t fare well, in my eyes.

    On a side-note, nice to see a post on RAB acknowledging that YS3 has problems. For a long while it felt like any negative words about the new stadium were shat on. I’m happy for people who like YS3 a lot, but I don’t – and there are a lot of people out there who feel that way.

    That being said, YS3’s our stadium for the rest of our baseball-watching lives, so fart-noise.

    • RetroRob

      Totally understand, although the question I have is what are the things you don’t like, and are they correctable?

  • Joba’s Trampoline Academy

    It’s the fans that make the experience what it is…and that all depends on what is happening on the field. Yankee fans are different in that they don’t “cheer” until something happens (for the most part)…other fans cheer to make something happen. Too much booing our own…yes I understand your pissed Alex just struck out AGAIN…but booing is not gonna help. I used to be a boo-bird…no more…it’s so counter productive. I live in Southern California now and I have to sit with friggin’ Angel fans and their damn rally monkeys…I’d take another game in The Bronx over that any day!!!!

  • Joba’s Trampoline Academy

    It’s the fans that make the experience what it is…and that all depends on what is happening on the field. Yankee fans are different in that they don’t “cheer” until something happens (for the most part)…other fans cheer to make something happen. Too much booing our own…yes I understand you’re pissed Alex just struck out AGAIN…but booing is not gonna help. I used to be a boo-bird…no more…it’s so counter productive. I live in Southern California now and I have to sit with friggin’ Angel fans and their damn rally monkeys…I’d take another game in The Bronx over that any day!!!!

  • Dicka24

    I’m from Boston, and have only been to the old Yankee Stadium once. So I don’t have much in person experience with either park, but my buddy and I (also a diehard Yankees fan from Boston), don’t like the new stadium much. The crowd sounds dead compared to the old yard. Maybe it’s all those corporate seats, or maybe with pricing. It could simply be a more spread out park. I think the loss of the average fan hurts sports in general. When you get a lot of pink hats and corporate suits that go, you lose the energy and passion of the blue collar joe that bleeds for their team.

    Being from Boston I go to Fenway, and have lots of experience in the old Boston Garden. The older parks, because of how they were built, are more tightly packed and thus much louder. People sat closer to the field/court, and the confined space made for more noise. Today’s parks/arena’s have larger footprints. The need to eliminate columns (obstructed views) and put in larger seats (for fat american arses hehehe), have made most newer venues quieter, with a further view from the field. The “new” Garden here in Boston isn’t really loud either. Certainly not like the real Garden was. I miss the old buildings and parks.

  • High Pitch Eric

    The fans are the worst part. Too many corporate types, as well as lesbian couples from upstate who don’t cheer too particularly loudly for some odd reason.

    The “security” staff is a joke too. Unqualified to even flip burgers and without exception they all have a chip on their shoulder. About the same as the TSA.

  • MkYanks

    Yankees have some issues fan wise YES, absolutely true. The “stigma” of the stadium is indeed pricey. Which is fine. For the Yankees it’s about revenue, and yes if they fill the ballpark they get more revenue. Mark Cuban did this with the Mavs and it works. You price all 400 seats at $5. Once you do so, you will fill the upper levels each and every game. By driving traffic into the upper deck 400’s those who currently spend the $35-$40 for those seats will upgrade from pure supply side. It will actually trickle up. Yankees can write off that revenue stream as simple. They fill the upper levels they still make money off concessions.

    Also a fun thing to do would be to sell “standing room” seats above Mohegan. Pack that section in completely. Price the tickets at the same price as bleachers. Make it known though that each and every game that section will have a lottery and has a good chance to be upgraded to the premiere legends seats that didn’t sell

  • Magilla Gorilla Mama Called me Roy tho

    I wrote to Randy Levine about the design the first time that he presented it to the public. Told him that the bowl shape would diffuse fan noise. He never bothered to respond. What a putz!

  • Andrew

    What Went Wrong: River Ave. Blues
    What Went Wrong: Mike Axisa’s Agita
    What Went Wrong: All Baseball Blogs
    What Went Wrong: Who Gives A Shit

  • dan gen


  • http://yankeeanalysts.com Matt Imbrogno

    I may be in the minority here, but I think I prefer the new place to the old place. Getting to the game is easier, the team is still good and fun to watch, and it’s easier to get around in the new stadium.

    • Captain

      yup. there’s a lot of nostalgia for the old stadium (and rightfully so since most people here grew up going to games there, myself included) but to consider it this great stadium is kind of ridiculous. especially since the most vivid memories for people probably involve playoff games during the late 90’s-00’s. don’t hear much about the great fan atmosphere from the early 90’s though.

  • Tony

    I really think the problem is that you can go to any game you want, whenever you want, at a cheap price (for the most part) via Stub Hub….I used to go to 15-20 games per year in the old stadium (I got the smaller ticket package – I wanted to be able to go to playoff games) Now I can go to pretty much any regular season game I want for like $5-$10 a ticket & getting playoff tickets is no longer a problem. The funny part is the tickets are cheaper and easier to get than ever…yet I go to less games 3-5 and the a few playoff games. I just think the supply is way larger than the demand & The New Stadium atmosphere just isnt worth the trip – that old stadium atmosphere was part of the Yankee experieince, and now it’s gone

  • ronaldhennessy

    I used to be quite a proponent of the New Yankee Stadium, then things went downhill. The old stadium was certainly a dump, but at least had character (and multiple championships to prove that). Now they expect us to pour out money like happy little consumers. Maybe I’m getting older, but I don’t think baseball games should have to cost a lot for a decent experience. The Yankees are heavily dependent on their commitment to winning to justify charging a premium product. When the team hits rock bottom (and inevitably they will one day), is this sustainable in the long run?

    I haven’t attended a game in more than two years. Not because of the above mentioned, but their aggressive policy towards banning electronic devices such as iPads and e-readers (kindle, nook, etc). I enjoy using my personal technology devices and I can’t support a team that refuses entry with them. I wrote a letter to Yankees PR and have yet to respond to me. Well, I’ll respond by not attending any games until this ban is lifted. I don’t see why this is a problem at Madison Square Garden, Prudential Center, Metlife Stadium, Barclays Center, Citi Field, etc.

  • Alex

    You know I’ve always felt that the old Yankee Stadium created its own energy (when it was there) because the atmosphere, mystique, history, etc… but the new Yankee Stadium is by all means a modernized stadium and modern stadiums have to major cons to go with all of the pros that need to be addressed.

    1) There are more things to pull you out of your seat. The new stadium is an experience while the old stadium is a fun place for a ball game.

    2) The modern stadium as more bells and whistles at it’s disposal inbetween the seats (better video boards, better sound systems, etc..).

    The fact is, Yankee games are still done in a very tradition (old) style. I am an avid Yankee fan, I make it to multiple games a year but this new stadium needs a kick from somebody behind the scenes at times to really pump excitement into less hardcore fans. I’m not saying go completely the way of the NBA but we can learn a little bit from that. I’m not an NBA fan but I will go to an NBA game. If I were not a MLB fan I would not go to a Yankee game.

    • Alex

      P.S. Although I do like the new stadium.. I really miss the old one!

  • beedogs

    One thing I wish they’d lost in the trip over to the new stadium is that awful, AWFUL 8-track tape of Kate Smith singing God Bless America. Forced patriotism is unbearable, and that tired old recording just makes the 7th inning punishment even worse.

  • Chris M

    At one time I had the Sunday package. I sat in section 2 in the upSper deck, it came with opening day and old timers day. Parking at the stadium was 13 dollars and my seat costs $20 bucks per seat. When the new stadium opened I got pushed out to left field (sun field), parking went up to around $27, my seat which I hated went from $20 per seat to $45 per seat. Old timers day and opening day were replaced with two mid week games. All the people who were there every Sunday started to disappear. Who are all of these special clubs for? Super Expensive Seats? NYY Steak? Not for me and not for the real fans. Lets put a restaurant in center field and cover monument park, o’h by the way, it’s okay to obstruct the bleachers. So, I walked away and I’m not coming back…The suites don’t show up on cold games, rainy games, during losing streaks and mid week… Yankees, you got what you wanted, an empty MSG

  • PaulS

    Old thread, but I came across it while reading about current stadium attendance issues (after seeing all the lower level empty seats in last nights game against the Red Sox). Other than prices, the generic mallpark feel of the new place is the reason I’d just assume watch on TV. Even though the old place lost a lot of it’s charm with the horrid 70’s “modernization”, walking through the inner corridors & ramps, I knew I was still in that same gritty old ballpark. It just had an urban “feel”. The new place might just as well be in Tampa or Charlotte. The arrogant Yankees brass downplayed the importance of the old stadium to the Yankees “mystique” (as is Fenway & Wrigley to the Sox/Cubs). Big mistake that time will only magnify. A renovation to bring it back to it’s old glory would have meant short term headaches…but would have been in the best interests of the Yanks brand long term. For many fans, the thrill is much less, and may be completely gone once Jeter/ Mariano are gone.