On Saturday, I took my 10-year old daughter to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won. The Mets lost. It was a good game.
I live about 50 miles away from Yankee Stadium and the only practical way for me to get there is by car.
Heading to the game today, we left our house at 3:45 PM. Yes, I know it was a 7:15 PM start for the game. However, we wanted to get there early enough where we were not rushing – and we wanted to see the pre-game parachutes that were scheduled for 6:15 PM (per the Yankees – meanwhile, they really started at 6:30 PM).
My route to Yankee Stadium is pretty simple. I take the Garden State Parkway to the Turnpike. And, then I take Route 46 into the “G.W.B.” Once over the Bridge, I immediately get off and take local streets to the Stadium (and, I don’t mess with the Major Deegan or anything else).
Going in today, as I said, we left at 3:45 PM and zipped into the Stadium. At 5 PM, I was locking my car and we were heading into my fav Yankee Stadium deli to get sandwiches to bring into the game. That’s reasonable – an hour fifteen, door to door, for the 50 miles.
Coming home, it was a different story.
Of course, we waited until the final out of the game to leave our seats. And, after that, my daughter made a quick stop at the restroom before we left the Stadium. But, we were back at our car, in the parking garage, at 10:25 PM.
And, that’s where it got ugly. It took us one hour and five minutes to get from our spot in the garage to the George Washington Bridge. Yes, it took us 75 minutes to drive all the way in to the game. But, it took us 65 minutes, coming home, just to get away from the Stadium and out of the Bronx.
Once we got on the Bridge, because it was then 11:30 PM, we flew from there and I got home at 12:30 AM on Sunday morning. In total, coming home, door to door, it took two hours and five minutes to cover the 50 miles – and most of that drag was due to the mess in the Bronx, on the streets, after the game, around Yankee Stadium.
Now, I get it. This is not my first rodeo. I’ve been here before – big games against the Red Sox, post-season games, etc. – and, I know there’s heavy and slow traffic after the game…especially if it’s a big crowd and a close score. (And, for the record, there were over 48,000 there on Saturday and the final score was just 4-2.)
There have been times in the past where it’s taken me just as long, if not longer, than it did to get away from Yankee Stadium and out of the Bronx. However, just because it’s happened in the past, it doesn’t take the annoyance factor out of it happening again now. And, just because it’s been this way, it’s no excuse for the Yankees and cops, not to do a better job at keeping things flowing, as best as possible, when these big game crowds empty out of the Stadium.
Or, is that asking too much?