Archive for New Yankee Stadium

Oct
09

A sobering thought

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This photo, an Associated Press shot from Sunday night, could be one of the photos from the last October victory at Yankee Stadium. While I have to believe the Yanks will be back in the playoffs next year, tonight’s loss could be the last ever playoff game in a baseball cathedral that has seen many, many classic moments. The Yanks really have to win next year and send the House That Ruth Built off in style.

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You know how the Yankees are supposedly paying for their own stadium. Not quite, says Neil deMause in one of the few articles worth reading in the Village Voice these days. According to tax documents, among those items the Yanks asked for reimbursement from the city were crystal baseballs and bar tabs. And that’s just scratching the surface. Read the article. If you care about this obviously ridiculous situation, it’s pretty outrageous.

Categories : Asides
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Got a few million dollars lying around? Want to stick your name on something at the new Yankee Stadium? Well, boy, do I have a sponsorship deal for you.

According to a Tyler Kepner original in The Times today, the Yankees won’t be selling the naming rights to the new Yankee Stadium. They will, however, be selling the naming rights to everything else you can imagine inside the new stadium.

Now, the Yankees know they are giving up a lot of money to keep the stadium name pure, and ostentatious luxury boxes aside, I like their attitude. “The dollars we passed were incomparable,” Yankees COO Lonn Trost said to Kepner. “Having said that, you wouldn’t rename the White House, you wouldn’t rename Grant’s Tomb and you wouldn’t rename the Grand Canyon. This is Yankee Stadium, and this will always be Yankee Stadium.”

Here’s where it gets interesting:

As they look ahead to the new Yankee Stadium, which will open in 2009, the Yankees have found an alternate way to collect some of the money they might have made from naming rights. They will announce today that they have hired the Creative Arts Agency to market partnerships to corporate sponsors. “It’s an opportunity for a company to partner with the Yankees and say, ‘We support the Yankees’ decision to keep the stadium as Yankee Stadium,’ ” said Mike Levine, the co-head of CAA Sports.

Knowing that, he said, the partnership with CAA will help the Yankees benefit financially by offering expanded sponsorship deals to companies in the new ballpark. Trost and Levine said specific plans were still in development, but there would be no advertising on uniforms, which is against Major League Baseball rules, and Trost stressed the ballpark would not be cluttered with corporate logos.

Currently, much of the Yankee broadcast on TV is brought to you by something or other. (That’s a post for another day, actually.) Nowadays, at the stadium, mostly everything has a sponsor too. The pick-a-song, Yankees DJ feature is brought to you by XM Satellite Radio; the fan marquee is sponsored by Snapple; the Yankees hat tease comes at us courtesy of New Era; and Modell’s gives away gift certificates galore in between innings.

So what’s next? With these new sponsorship deals in place, the upper deck could end up being brought to you by Upper Deck. Maybe the Beers of the World stand will become the Foster’s Beers of the World Stand. And take your pick of toilets: The line at the Geico’s restroom is shorter than the line at the Bank of American bathroom.

Outside of the naming rights, the Yankees will probably set some industry records and rewrite the industry rules in milking money out of sponsorship deals for the new stadium. It will be interesting – if a little sickeningly – to see which company brings every aspect of the new stadium experience to the fans and how they go about branding these sponsorships.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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Why are the Yankees building a New Yankee Stadium? To sell luxury suites. Who are the target customers for these luxury suites? Why, folks who would find a showroom for the suites on Fifth Ave. between 50th and 51st Sts. appealing.

According to Charles V. Bagli of The New York Times, the Yankees are set to open their very own Fifth Ave. showroom of sorts in January. The showroom will feature full-sized models of the luxury suites. What better to woe the suits at NBC and Tiffany & Co. who work in the neighborhood. The Cityroom blog has more:

The team just signed a lease at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets, for a showroom for the new 51,000-seat stadium now under construction in the Bronx. When it opens in January, potential buyers will be able to walk into a series of plush models of the 57 luxury suites planned for that stadium, which is rising quickly just to the north of the Yankees’ historic home in the Bronx.

Buyers who visit the showroom on the 32nd floor will also get the opportunity to test out a few of the 5,000 to 10,000 wider, more thickly cushioned premium seats that will also go on sale when the stadium opens, presumably for the 2009 season. Premium seats, naturally, have the some of the best views of the action on the field.

Currently, luxury suites at Yankee Stadium sell from $2,8000 to $6,600 a game (or $265,000 to $350,000 for the season). You can bet those prices will head north in a hurry. That is, after all, why the Yankees are building a new stadium and daring to tear down a piece of baseball history.

In the end, I’m not sure if this is more or less disgusting than this pleasant story about Barry Bonds. It certainly is baseball economics on display.

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Major League Baseball teams love their commemorative patches. By pretending to honor something meaningful, teams create marketing campaigns during which obsessed suckers collectors will buy every new hat or t-shirt with a patch.

Trust me; I’m one of those collectors. I have eight different Yankee hats all with different patches (World Series: 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003; 100th Anniversary Season, Post-9/11 U.S. Flag).

Well, with history inevitably heading our way in 2008, the Yankees’ uniforms – but not their hats – will be adorned with patches. The patch shown on the left in the image above will commemorate the rich history and final season of Yankee Stadium. The team will wear that patch on their left sleeves.

The patch on the right will adorn the right arm of the Yankee uniforms from the start of All Star balloting in late April through the All Star Game in July. You can bet that the All Star Game will bring with it a whole slew of merchandising opportunities as well. In fact, you can already buy some All Star Game merchandise, and it’s still just 2007.

So keep those wallets ready. It’s marketing time around the Bombers.

Patches and uniform information courtesy of the Something Awful forums. For a larger view, click here or anywhere on the image above.

Categories : All Star Game
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The New Yankee Stadium, shown here on Sept. 5, is lagging behind Citifield. (Photo by Ben K.)

Via Curbed comes an update on the stadium construction sites in New York City. According to this article in today’s New York Sun, Citifield is ahead of the new Yankee Stadium in terms of construction progress, and the rumors that the Yanks are behind schedule continue to grow louder.

In the article, Sun reporter Christopher Faherty talks about the progress at Citifield. The Mets have much of their iron and concrete work completed and a good percentage of bricks in place. The electrical wiring is nearly finished as well. New Yankee Stadium is an entirely different story altogether.

Faherty writes:

With just about three months until the first official day of winter, the surrounding façade that will form the perimeter of the new Yankee Stadium is yet to be completed. A large swath, about 100 feet long, lies barren between two hulking walls of concrete, and views into the stadium show no evidence that any of the interior or the 50,000 planned seats are near completion.

Two Yankee electricians, who were interviewed by a reporter on Tuesday as they exited the construction site of the new stadium for a lunch break and asked not to be identified for fear of losing their jobs, said four separate crews were currently working on electrical aspects of the stadium.

I’ve noticed this as well. Over the season, I’ve taken pictures at most of the 19 games I’ve been to so far of the progress on the new stadium. To call it slow would be an insult to snails.

The Yankees, spending $1.2 billion to build the world’s most expensive ballpark, refuse to comment on the pace of construction. “We are on schedule with construction, on budget, and fully expect to be operational and ready for opening day 2009,” Alice McGillion, a team spokesperson, said to Faherty. But that’s been their standard line since we first head the stadium was behind schedule in July.

I doubt the Yanks will fall too far behind in their stadium construction. Opening Day 2009 is set to be a very big day for the organization. They’ll want to open their first new stadium since 1923 in grand style, and you can bet that a late opening date isn’t in those plans.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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Apparently, those responsible for creating MLB’s schedule aren’t fond of the Yankees. On the final day of the 2008 season, the last season for one of the most historic ballparks in the game, the Yankees are tentatively slated to be playing a game at Fenway Park. Har har, schedulers. That was a good one. Now hand out the real schedule to teams.

Even worse than playing the final game of the 2008 season in Fenway is that the Mets, also slated to have a new park in 2009, are home. So you’re going to allow the Mets to have a fond farewell to the biggest shithole stadium in probably all of sports, but are forcing the Yankees on the road? That’s fucking ridiculous.

Feeney said scheduling both New York teams to end the season at home is “not impossible, but it’s difficult,” adding, “there are a lot of issues when both teams are home.”

I know that I’m biased, but it would seem that the closing of Yankee Stadium, home of 26 World Championships, is a tad more important than the demolition of Shea. After all, who’s going to miss their stadium more, Yankees fans or Mets fans? If you had to think about that for more than a millisecond, get off my site.

Yes, I realize that regardless of whether it’s the last game of the season or not, there will still be a final game at the Stadium. Why wouldn’t you make it the last game of the season, though? It gives everything a sense of finality — that is, until the playoffs.

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According to reports, the city’s Industrial Development Agency postponed a vote on the Yankee Stadium parking tax exemption plan. Some board members had more questions about this plan that could cost taxpayers up to $8000 per parking space. It sounds like the board listened to the Bronx Borough President’s formal protest.

Categories : Asides
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While those driving to the new Yankee Stadium will get slapped with a $25 parking fee, the parking saga doesn’t end there. Last week, during a hearing on the parking structures planned for the new stadium, the Bronx Borough President, in an exceedingly rare move, issued a formal protest to the city’s Industrial Development Agency. For more on the parking subsidy issue, check out Streetsblog’s coverage of the debate. Yet again, a sports team is getting a mighty good chunk of taxpayer subsidies for a new sports stadium.

Categories : Asides
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A report released on Thursday has dropped a bombshell on everyone who likes to drive to Yankee Stadium: It’s going to cost $25 to park in the new lots when the new stadium is open.

The Real Estate, a blog run by The New York Observer, has more:

If you must drive to Yankees games, you might as well stash your car in the bleachers. A city economic development official said today that it would cost $25 a car to park in one of the official garages at the new Yankee Stadium. The estimated cost of building new, more and better parking spaces to accompany the new stadium went up 13 percent to $295 million just since April, when the tax-exempt bond issue first appeared before the city’s Industrial Development Agency for approval, according to application materials.

The city’s economic development agency thinks that patrons will nonetheless pony up. While officials had been modeling revenues based on $20 to $23 a car this spring, they modeled $25 to make the higher cost pay for itself, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Currently, fans pay $14.

According to the report, this increase is due to inflation and an increased demand on behalf of the investors for the construction company to cover debt payments. Risings costs and inflation, eh? That’s fairly unsurprising.

This news also bodes ill for those of us holding out for affordable tickets at the new Yankee Stadium. If parking is going to cost $25, how much will bleacher seats cost, let alone anything else in the stadium.

Meanwhile, when 2009 rolls around, my suggestion is to utilize the new Metro-North stop or take the subways. It sure beats paying for gas, tolls and $25 parking.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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