Things are looking patchy for the 2008 Yanks


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.

Mets beating Yanks in stadium game


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.

Preliminary schedule has Yanks ending 2008 on the road

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.

New Stadium parking saga continues

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.

With $25 parking, take the train instead

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.

Yanks, Bronx have yet to fulfill park money promise

When the Yanks, with the help of the City of New York, grabbed the Macombs Dam Park and appropriated it for their new ballpark, they agreed to pay back the Bronx through money that will go toward new parkland. Seventeen months later, the Yankees and the Bronx have yet to fulfill that promise.

Metro has a little bit more:

Central to [the new Yankee Stadium] deal was the promise of an annual $800,000 for Bronx nonprofits over the next 40 years. Critics labeled this a “slush fund,” because the money would be doled out by a new not-for-profit staffed by representatives of Bronx elected officials, and it didn’t have to be spent in the affected community. The funds were to start flowing, the agreement said, “upon the commencement of the construction.”

So imagine the surprise of Geoffrey Croft last week, when he discovered — one full year after the stadium’s groundbreaking — no such not-for-profit has been registered with the state yet, and no funds have been disbursed.

While I may object to the new stadium on the grounds that it’s simply not necessary – and an average home attendance of 52,645 would bear me out – the Yanks have continually stiffed the Bronx community on this deal. As the article notes, the city gave up the parkland to the Yanks with no public hearing.

Now, you may fault community silence, and it does seem that these Save Our Parks folks haven’t gotten nearly the attention they deserve. But the Yanks owe it to the city to make up for the missing parkland. At a deep discount, they’re taking public lands. They should replace it sooner than 17 months after construction started on the new stadium.