• Hartnett On Contradictory Yankee Stadium

    Posted by on June 29th, 2011 · Comments (11)

    Sean Hartnett laments about the new Yankee Stadium -

    And that’s exactly why I’ve never entirely fallen in love with the new ballpark. When viewing it from the outside you are overcome by the impressive original design that is a throwback to the days of Babe Ruth. Once you turn the corner though, you gaze upon the Hard Rock Café which looks entirely out of place. It’s almost like the building is going through an identity crisis on whether to be a historic landmark or a kitschy tourist trap.

    Once you’re inside, the stadium becomes even more contradictory with itself. I enjoy viewing the large banners of past Yankee legends and the shot of Reggie Jackson inside the Great Hall but right above Reggie is the Tommy Bahama Bar. Similar to the Hard Rock, I don’t like seeing another resort-type distraction on the way to my seats and what are we trying to get away from? We’re at a ballpark where you should be able to forget about your troubles anyway.

    Passing by the various suites, you’re struck with the unwelcome feeling of class hierarchy that exists throughout the stadium. None worse so than the Legends Suite seating that separates your ‘average Joe fans’ from privileged high society via a ‘concrete moat.’ Even kids hunting for autographs and foul balls are turned away by guards (I’m sorry stadium security) if they don’t possess tickets within the field sections. It’s a shame that your regular kid won’t have the chance to chat with one of their heroes pre-game, a shot at a foul ball or come away with a prized autograph. These were experiences that I took for granted as a boy at the old stadium.

    As for a franchise that is obsessed with their own history, there is an embarrassment of replaying modern day Yankee classics with empty seats in the lower section. The clientele that are lucky enough to sit there prefer to hang out inside the indoor club and lounges. Wouldn’t it be nice to open up the unclaimed front row seats for fans after the 7th inning? It would save public face and allow average fans a more enjoyable experience.

    The whole centerfield situation is what really hinders the new stadium most. Adding to the obstructed seats and shrunken Monument Park is the monstrous 5,925 square foot, 1080p HD scoreboard. Is it a beautiful screen? Yes… but maybe too beautiful as it’s too distracting for first-time visitors and diverts fans from the interesting moments between pitches.

    That combined with the loud noise constantly being pumped throughout the stadium doesn’t allow fans to generate an atmosphere of their own. The message board continually prompts you to ‘do this, cheer for this, look at this.’ It’s little wonder why the Yankee Stadium crowd is listless compared to the fans at Citi Field who attempt to create their own colorful ambiance.

    I remember the feeling when I first entered old Yankee Stadium as a 7-year old boy in 1992. We may hold memories of our childhood with heavy nostalgia but there was a real aura about that place. The Yankees weren’t a winning ballclub at that time but the fans were lively and into the game. There was a charm there that somehow didn’t make its way across the street to the new stadium.

    At the age of seventeen, I first became a Yankees’ partial season ticket plan holder in 2002. I continue to renew my plan but now I come more for the product on the field rather than the ballpark experience itself. It should be an equal ratio as baseball is the kind of sport where the venue genuinely matters.

    Me? I’m warming up to the new Stadium.

    It’s not the old place – never will be the old place. Different fans below the upper-deck (thanks to ticket prices). Different crowd feel (thanks to the new layout of the seats – with the non-field level seats further from the field).

    Why is it growing on me? Maybe it’s because my kids are really into the new Stadium? After all, this is “their” Stadium – just like the last one was “my” Stadium and the first one was my father’s Stadium.

    How about you? Like the new digs? As much as the old one? More, less?

    Comments on Hartnett On Contradictory Yankee Stadium

    1. Raf
      June 29th, 2011 | 12:35 pm

      I don’t miss the ultra narrow concourses, getting herded like cattle after the game. I don’t miss the tiny seats. I do like that I can walk all over the park for the most part, sitting here or there. I do like that the bleachers are part of the park now.

    2. Garcia
      June 29th, 2011 | 12:42 pm

      I love the new stadium, at first I didn’t but it has definitely grown on me. I like being able to walk around and still see the game from just about any angle.

    3. clintfsu813
      June 29th, 2011 | 12:54 pm

      I also enjoy it. I’ve only been to 2 games, but came away very pleased. Hartnett laments the differences of history and tourism, but I think with the Yankees you kinda have to have both. The Yanks attract a very diverse crowd. Old school New Yorkers as well as first timers/tourists like myself. You never miss any of the game, and I love how spread out it is. Jesus, it takes an hour to leave the Trop..its so damn cramped.

    4. G.I. Joey
      June 29th, 2011 | 4:41 pm

      The new stadium has grown on me considerably, but I still can’t stand how quiet it is in there compared to the old one. This largely has to do with the fact that the upper decks are pushed back and many die-hard fans with modest incomes have been priced out.

    5. Raf
      June 29th, 2011 | 5:04 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      The new stadium has grown on me considerably, but I still can’t stand how quiet it is in there compared to the old one. This largely has to do with the fact that the upper decks are pushed back and many die-hard fans with modest incomes have been priced out.

      But have they really been priced out of range? There are tickets that are often sold below face value, plus there are whatever specials the Yankees may be running.

    6. redbug
      June 29th, 2011 | 6:15 pm

      @ Raf:

      The tix below face value are only sold on the 2ndry mkt.

      One of the big points the writer makes is that kids (or adults like me) can’t autographs any more or get close to the field. That stinks. I can remember going to the old stadium as a kid, and then as an adult, and meeting and talking w/ the players. That’s a real shame.

      I do like getting out of the stadium after a game and not waiting forever on a bathroom line. But, beyond that, I’ll take the old stadium and it’s aura.

    7. Raf
      June 29th, 2011 | 6:17 pm

      redbug wrote:

      The tix below face value are only sold on the 2ndry mkt.

      My point is that they’re available.

    8. Evan3457
      June 29th, 2011 | 6:47 pm

      There’s no separation between the decks for me. So far, at the new park, I’ve sat in

      Terrace Infield, Jim Beam Suites, Grandstand Infield, Main Infield, Delta Sky Suites, Field Cafe Seats, Audi Club, Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, Field MVP, Main Infield, and Main Outfield…

      …depending on the game, the seats available, the bargains I could find at StubHub, etc.

    9. Evan3457
      June 29th, 2011 | 6:59 pm

      Right now, as I type this at 6:50 pm Thurs. night, on Stubhub, there are
      15-20 tickets available at 1/2 price or less for Field MVP.

      If $120-160 a ticket is too much, there are roughly 40 tickets available for Main Infield at 40-60% off their single game day of game price, at least 20% off their season ticket price.

      If $65-100 is too much, there are 7 Jim Bean Suite tickets available at half off their single day of game price, and another 15 or so avilable at a discount of 15-20%.

      If $35-70 is too much, there are 173 tickets available in Grandstand Infield at least 50% off their single game day of game price, some as low as $15 total for 2 tickets (the taxes and fees cost as much as the tickets, for tickets priced that low).

      The Brewers are a good team, CC is pitching, and the weather tomorrow looks great. I was going to myself, but something of a personal nature has come up, and I don’t think I can go. The tickets will go fast under these circumstances.

    10. Raf
      June 29th, 2011 | 7:26 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Right now, as I type this at 6:50 pm Thurs. night,

      Posting from the future, my mind has been blown :D

    11. June 29th, 2011 | 10:19 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      but I still can’t stand how quiet it is in there compared to the old one. This largely has to do with the fact that the upper decks are pushed back and many die-hard fans with modest incomes have been priced out.

      Agreed, 100%.

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