Via the Daily News -
Hundreds of irate fans – some who claim Yankee employees told them the game had been rained out – stormed away from Yankee Stadium before Monday night’s game against the Red Sox even got underway and couldn’t get back in, resulting in a an ugly scene at one of the ticket gates.
With rain falling for hours and no start time announced until shortly before 9 p.m., hordes of fans began leaving the Stadium and heading home – some who said they had been advised that the game had been called by Yankee employees who walked the concourse holding pinstriped “How may I help you?” signs.
When a 9:20 p.m. start time was eventually announced over the public address system, a crowd on the sidewalk outside Gate 6 tried to get back into the Stadium, only to have the employees working the turnstiles promptly close the doors in their faces. Panicked fans began racing up and down the sidewalk, trying to find a way back into the ballpark, while others remained at Gate 6 either pleading or demanding to be let back in.
“We talked to the security personnel, who said there was zero chance they were going to play the game,” said Tom Stuart, a 27-year-old from Astoria who waited out most of the rain delay before leaving with his girlfriend. “We spent three hours drinking beer – you can’t drink much because they’re 10 bucks apiece – now they’re going to play a game in front of 35 fans.”
Becky Wright, who flew in from Oregon for Monday night’s game, had bought two tickets as a birthday present for her 16-year-old son, Seth O’Neil. They left the game because “the guys holding the ‘How may I help you signs?’ said they weren’t going to play,” said Wright. They were among the hundreds of fans outside Gate 6 trying to get back into the Stadium.
Jason Zillo, a Yankee spokesman, said the team has a firm no-reentry policy. He also said the NYPD and Stadium security hadn’t let any fans back into the ballpark.
“We’re a part of hundreds of people, if not thousands,” said Martin Watson, a 39-year-old New Yorker who spent $800 for four tickets and tried to reenter through Gate 6. “This is not fan-friendly. This is B.S. You pay money for a top-of-the-line franchise, and you get bottom-of-the-line customer service.”
“I built this Stadium and they won’t let me in it,” a man wearing a local union jacket said before storming off.
While fans were being rebuffed outside Gate 6, scores were having their tickets rescanned outside Gate 4 and being allowed back into the Stadium, but that lasted only for a limited time.
One fan, who was wearing a No. 2 Derek Jeter jersey and a backward Yankee hat, approached a reporter to say he had been let back in, but couldn’t do so because the Yankees wouldn’t rescan his father’s ticket. A turnstile supervisor directed the reporter and several fans to the customer service window, which was locked.
At least one fan was arrested outside the Stadium. Roseanna Franco, 25, of White Plains, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after she allegedly kicked a New York City police officer after not being let back in.
Stadium security also threatened to revoke the credential of Daily News photographer Robert Sabo, who was shooting the scene outside Gate 6 – a location photographers weren’t prohibited from working at on Opening Day.
“They were super-embarrassed and told me to go back to my position on the field or they’d take my credential,” Sabo said.
After most of the crowd had dispersed outside Gate 6, turnstile workers opened the doors and began letting people back into the Stadium. But it was already too late for hundreds of fans.
Hey, the fans shouldn’t feel bad. For what it’s worth, at the new Stadium, the Yankees recently also rudely treated Paul O’Neill and his wife too.
Strange. I would bet that the Yankees try and write this stuff off as being the bugs of opening up a new Stadium. But, really, did they never have a two-hour rain delay before a game at the old Stadium? And, did they never have a former Yankee, and current broadcaster, and his wife visiting the park at the old Stadium? These are not situations that are unique to the new Stadium, and, therefore, they should have been handled better by the organization. Hopefully, we’ll never hear of these types of situations happening in Yankeeland again – because, they should just not be happening, period.
(H/T to BBTF on the stories.)