Has anyone ever seen a Yankees game from a Legends Suite? What was it like? Was it worth the money?
Then again, neither was Roger Clemens.
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?
If you read this, it seems to make sense…
And, that would be the end of me being a season-ticket holder. Right now, I split the 81 games with 8 other parties. And, it would be a nightmare to try and do that in a fair way if the prices for games were not all the same.
Via the Post -
Yankee Stadium attendance is down 3.6 percent so far this year — greater than the 3 percent drop last season — and the team is blaming StubHub for its gate woes.
“We believe there are serious issues with the StubHub relationship,” team president Randy Levine told The Post yesterday. “We are actively reviewing more fan-friendly alternatives for next year.”
The Bronx Bombers and other Major League Baseball teams have bellyached about StubHub for a couple of years — as more fans turn to the low-priced online reseller for tickets instead of buying directly from the team.
The Yanks and other teams claim tickets are priced too low on StubHub.
The StubHub effect this year — combined with a lousy economy and a poorer on-field performance — has produced an average crowd of 40,949 through 25 games, compared with 42,491 last year.
Season-ticket sales have dropped a few thousand, to the mid-30,000 range, the drop about the same amount that daily attendance is down, a source said.
Compared with last season’s total average attendance, the Yanks’ 25-game average is off 9 percent.
Overall, MLB attendance is up 7 percent. Much of that is due to the Miami Marlins moving into a new stadium.
Plus, the Yanks had been the first or second best-selling MLB team through their first three seasons in the new stadium. This year they are only the fifth best-selling team.
Levine said the team’s contract with StubHub expires at the end of the season.
The Mets’ attendance is down a similar 4 percent.
No question – I can see how some would stop buying season tickets and go the StubHub route. But, I am not sure I see how switching from StubHub to another service would mean that ticket prices would not go down? If people have tickets to sell, they’re going to want to discount them rather than eat them.
Via AM New York –
Yankee fans, your eyes aren’t deceiving you — there are indeed more empty seats at the stadium this year.
The Bombers are averaging 40,950 fans this year, down from 42,885 at this time last season, and are seeing their lowest attendance since in their new ballpark, which opened in 2009.
Although the difference may not seem like much, the Yankees have drawn under 40,000 a game 10 times this year, having done that once in the prior five seasons.
“I think some of the novelty has worn off,” Benjamin Kabak, managing editor of the Yankees blog River City Blues, said of the new stadium. The Yankees declined to comment.
Dom Cosentino, a contributing writer for Deadspin, also attributed the decline to the team’s lackluster performance.
The Yankees have a 29-24 record and are third in the AL East. The soggy weather hasn’t helped either, according to Cosentino.
“No one wants to see a team with lots of injuries that’s barely above .500,” he said. “Especially if it’s a Tuesday night and it’s raining.”
Cosentino said the fans will return if the team plays better.
“If they go into August and find themselves 20 games above .500, they won’t have this problem, but if they’re out of the [playoff] race, no one’s going to come,” he said.
At the end of the day, is a difference, on average, of 2,000 less fans per game, give or take, really a big deal? Then again, I guess that dips and slides have to start somewhere, right?
Rob Neyer offers his take on the new Yankee Stadium.
I actually did “LOL” when I read this one comment left by one of his readers regarding the difference between the new Yankee Stadium and the last one:
The real difference: The old stadium was “The Warriors.” The new stadium is “Walt Disney presents The Warriors…on Ice!!!”
I went to the first regular-season game ever at the new Yankee Stadium. And, I went to a number of games there in 2010 and 2011. This year, to date, I have gone once and plan on going at least another three times.
I went to games at the last Yankee Stadium so many times that I’ve lost count. For sure it was probably at least a hundred times. Maybe closer to 150?
In any event, I have grown to really like the larger and open concourses and better restrooms at the new Stadium. And, the staff there is much more friendly than at the old Stadium. But, the new place is way too expensive and it just does not have the feel of the old Stadium. Neyer hits on this when he writes:
I’ve had a bit stronger reaction, perhaps because I’m not predisposed toward the franchise. Yankee Stadium is perfectly serviceable, but upon my first visit this week I was actually disappointed. Disappointed with its lack of character. Disappointed with its lack of charisma. Disappointed with its lack of gravitas.
The only major league ballparks that I’ve attended are the first Yankee Stadium (back in 1973), Shea Stadium, the last Yankee Stadium, and the new Yankee Stadium. So, I cannot compare the new Yankee Stadium to anything else but the last Yankee Stadium.
Soon, I would like to visit Citi Field, Camden Yards and Citizens Bank Park to get some perspective. And, if possible, I would love to see games at Comerica Park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Safeco Field, PNC Park, Wrigley Field and AT&T Park. (I’m on the fence with Fenway Park. The baseball history nut in me wants to see it. But, I’ve heard that it’s not a comfortable place to watch a game. And, the Yankees fan in me would have a hard time sitting there with all those Red Sox fans, I suspect.)
Better late than never. I just found this great post from a year ago. Wonderful photos!
“Bald Vinny” is hanging them up. I guess he doesn’t want to be the next Freddy Sez?
I went to the last Friday home game this season – the one that was called just after it was scheduled to start and then rescheduled for Sunday night (against the Red Sox). And, I parked in the River Avenue garage.
While I was inside the Stadium, someone stuck a hard flyer under my windshield wipers (in the garage) – which I didn’t notice until I pulled out of the garage (after the game was called).
Of course, since it was raining, and I was driving in the South Bronx, in the dark, I didn’t elect to pull it off my car – and the damn thing stuck to my windshield during the whole ride home.
The next morning, I noticed that most of it had emulsified into pulp stuck on my car – but, there was still enough of it left for me to tell that the flyer had BaldVinny.com and SwishersWishes.com (or something like that) on it.
In the end, it left a mark on the windshield – that’s still there now. (I guess I can try and Windex if off or something.)
So, I suppose that will be my final “Bald Vinny” Stadium memory…at least until I figure out how to get that ink stain off my windshield.
Here’s the ones before tonight -
Yanks have only lost one of these in my lifetime. I hope they maintain that this evening.
Via Chad Jennings -
The New York Yankees will hold a special pregame ceremony on Friday, September 23, to honor the 50th anniversary of Roger Maris setting a then-Major League record with 61 home runs in 1961.
The Yankees ask that fans take their seats by 6:20 p.m. with ceremonies slated to begin at 6:30 p.m., prior to the Yankees-Red Sox game scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.
Joining the Yankees for the day’s celebration will be the families of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, as well as former teammates.
The group will be introduced as part of an on-field ceremony emceed by actor Billy Crystal. In addition, Roger Maris bat as well as the 61st home run ball on loan from the Baseball Hall of Fame will on the field during the ceremony. Following a video tribute, the Yankees Foundation will present a donation to the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo, N.D.
Cheryl Howard, daughter of Yankees All-Star catcher Elston Howard who was a teammate of Maris from 1960-66, will sing the national anthem.
This is a nice treat for the fans who will be there this evening. I just hope it doesn’t rain during the ceremony.
Via the AP -
Officials in the Bronx are hoping to put a hotel and conference center on the site of one of Yankee Stadium’s parking garages.
Condos, shops and a high-end penthouse restaurant are all part of the plan.
The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. on Monday invited developers for proposals.
The site to be developed is at River Avenue and 153rd Street, bordering the park where old Yankee Stadium stood.
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said developers and hotel operators have expressed interest in such a hotel for years.
Chuck Lesnick, vice president of the agency that manages the stadium garages, said he hoped visiting baseball teams as well as tourists would be attracted to the hotel.
This is the best idea that I’ve heard since someone suggested opening up a chain of Chuck E. Cheese’s in Somalia.
Via Bryan Hoch -
Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit came the last time the Rays were in town, and they’ll celebrate it all over again on Saturday afternoon. Here’s the press release from the Yankees, asking fans to be in their seats by 3:45 p.m. ET:
YANKEES TO CELEBRATE DEREK JETER’S 3,000TH CAREER HIT WITH A SPECIAL PREGAME CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 13
The New York Yankees tonight announced that a special pregame ceremony celebrating Derek Jeter’s 3,000th career hit will be held prior to Saturday’s game between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, scheduled to begin at 4:10 p.m. Gates will open two hours prior to first pitch at 2:00 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early and be in their seats by 3:45 p.m.
On July 9, 2011, Jeter became the 28th player all time—and at 37 years, 13 days the fourth youngest—to reach the 3,000-hit plateau with a third-inning solo home run off Tampa Bay’s David Price. Jeter would finish the game 5-for-5 with the game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning. He joined Wade Boggs as the only two players to hit a home run as their 3,000th career hit, and became only the second player to record at least five hits in the game in which they recorded their 3,000th hit (also Craig Biggio).
Details of today’s #DJ3K ceremony being kept under wraps even to Jeter. Says no one has told him a thing.
Shame the game is on FOX today. I don’t know why the Yankees wouldn’t wait for Sunday so that they could show the whole thing on YES. I wonder what surprises they have in store for Jeter?
As promised, here are some pictures that I took when I was at the game yesterday.
Left the house at 10 AM this morning to attend the Yankees game. Decided to set this one up as a “chron job” to publish at 6 PM.
Probably won’t be checking the blog until later tonight. In any event, use this post, if you want, to discuss the events of the day.
No word if Lynyrd Skynyrd’s That Smell was also being played over the Stadium PA…
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?
I’ve been a Yankees season ticket holder since 2001. Every season for the last 11 years, I buy the full 81-game package (2 seats) and split it nine ways with eight other parties. We each get 9 games – making sure that we all get at least one game for each month of the season and (when possible) one game for each day of the week. (Everyone gets at least one Sunday game, one Saturday game, one Friday game, etc.)
In the last Stadium, the seats were in the Loge, Section 15, not far from first base. And, in the current Stadium, they’re in a similar spot in the Main Level. (Both times under cover – which is sweet when the sun is blistering or when it’s raining.)
But, I’m thinking about not renewing my Yankees season tickets for 2012.
Why? It’s the cost. When I started this in 2001, the tickets were $37 each and parking at Yankee Stadium was around $10 per game. This season, the tickets are $80 each and parking at Yankee Stadium is closer to $40 per game. When you’re looking at $200 to sit and park as opposed to $84 to sit and park per game, that’s a big difference. And, of course, this doesn’t include the cost of eating and drinking these days inside the Stadium.
Also, lately, it seems like there’s an advantage to buying tickets on the secondary market if you’re willing to see games against non-premium teams/draws and wait until close to game-day to purchase the seats – since sellers are anxious to unload the tickets and willing to let them go under face value.
There are two things holding me back pulling the plug.
One is my “package-mates.” More than half of them are interested in doing the split with me next year. And, some of these folks have been doing this with me for a long time. I don’t want to pull the rug out on these guys – even though there’s never been any promise to anyone what this situation with the tickets is a guaranteed right or a long-term deal.
The second is my ego. I like saying “I’ve been a Yankees season ticket holder since 2001.” And, I like it when I sell my tickets to someone I know and then they tell me, after attending the game, “Your seats are great.” Also, I see the look in my kids’ eyes when I tell them that I might not renew the seats again next year – even though I also promise them that we’ll still attend as many games each season, in the future, as we do now.
Now, I know that the ego is a dangerous thing – in many, many, ways. So, I try and keep that in check and look at this objectively.
And, I know that, while most of “package-mates” have said they’re in for next season, every year it seems like we have to replace two parties (or so) because they dropped out or were not invited back. Therefore, this thing has always been a house of straw as opposed to a house of bricks – and capable of getting blown down in any given season.
I’m really on the fence with this one. If you were me, what would you do?
It was nice to see Sweet Lou. And, the hands for Torre and Bernie were impressive.
Gotta be truthful: My eyes started to well up a bit seeing Whitey and Yogi standing out there, together. Not sure how much longer we have with both of them.
The video tribute for Geno was first rate. Great job on that one – especially getting guys like Donnie and Rags to contribute. And, how impressive were the current Yankees getting him that truck? Ballplayers make a ton of money these days…but when it allows them to pony up and do something like that, it’s awesome.
Great to see the current players – Giambi too – enjoy this one so much. Sad that Jeter had to miss this one. But, you could see Jorge step up and be the ring master for the team. Call me crazy, but, I think Posada would make an excellent Yankees manager someday. And, if he’s allowed to do it somewhere else, it will be like when they let Piniella get away.
Per Chad Jennings, tonight’s first pitch scheduled for 10:30 PM. The fans who have been sitting in Yankee Stadium for the last 3 1/2 hours, or more, for this game to start deserve a Croix De Steinhouse pin or something.
My son had a Little League game this evening. So, we were out of the house at five-thirty and didn’t get home until close to eight. When we got in, I turned on the Yankees game and it was the bottom of the 4th inning. A-Rod was just in the process of striking out.
I had some work things that I needed to address – since I logged off at five today. And, we had to get the kids tucked away in bed, etc. By that time, it was close to eight-forty-five. I took another peek at the Yankees game and it was the top of the 6th inning. Colon was just in the process of giving Juan Rivera an IBB. Sure, the bases were then loaded - and it was a one-one game – but the Yankees were just a DP away from getting out of it.
In any event, my wife and I wanted to watch the finale of House – which we had recorded. As a result, I gave up on the Yankees game until I had another chance to tune in.
That would come just before ten o’clock. When I switched to YES, I saw Yankee Stadium looking like a ghost town. Seeing all those empty seats in the bleachers and the field level, and without knowing what the score was, I figured something terrible had happened – and it was a blow-out in the Jays favor.
Frank Francisco was warming for the Jays and it was the top of the 9th inning.
And, then, they showed the score: 7-3, Jays.
A four-run game at 10 pm? That’s not a huge hole or a late hour? Where the heck was everyone? It’s pretty warm out now – and not raining. I don’t get it?
I wanted to see the Yankees come back and tie this one in the 9th. I wanted to see it because I’m a Yankees fan. But, tonight, even more, I wanted to see it so that all those who left this game before it was over would be kicking themselves after they heard about the comeback.
But, it didn’t happen. Gardner did his job. And, Granderson had that loud foul. But, that was all that the Yankees could muster in the end. Too bad.
And, it’s too bad about what’s become to the Yankee Stadium crowd. They get there late. They leave early. And, in between, half of them are inside doing things other than watching the game. Add all that to the fact that the upper decks are farther from the field, which means less surround sound at the games, and it’s a totally different ballgame than it was at the old Stadium.
Via the AP –
Waiters who serve the higher-priced seats at Yankee Stadium claim in a lawsuit that their tips are being withheld.
The suit names Volume Services America, which ran food services in the old stadium, and Legends Hospitality, which runs them in the new stadium. It was filed in Manhattan federal court on Monday. It seeks unpaid wages and other damages.
Menus in the seats’ cup holders say “a 20 percent service charge will be added to the listed prices. Additional gratuity is at your discretion.”
The lawsuit says the workers did not receive any of the 20 percent service charges.
A spokeswoman for the Yankees told the New York Daily News it hasn’t seen the lawsuit but that all its employees are paid in strict accordance with their union contract.
Thirty years ago, a somewhat demented old man once told me: You want a good tip? Buy twin beds. You’ll never get screwed.
Looks like the Yankee Stadium wait staff is not getting a good tip and getting screwed at the same time. Go figure.
In the two years and handful of months of the new Stadium, this was my first trip to “Monument Cave.” I had been to Monument Park at the old Stadium a few times – the last one being during a Stadium tour in 2008.
I was surprised how quick and easy we got into the Cave. We were there about 80 minutes before the first pitch and walked right in – no waiting in line, whatsoever.
Going in, you do feel like you’re entering the basement of the Stadium. But, once you come out into the Cave…er, I mean, Park.. it’s pretty cool. For sure, it’s nice to peek over the wall and get the view of the field that you would have if you were playing center field.
Monument Park seemed a lot smaller in the new Stadium compared to the old Stadium. Perhaps that’s because the retired numbers are right in front of the monuments and plaques now and they used to be on the walk into the old one? And, it seemed like the plaques in the new Park were too high up on the wall. Maybe they want all that space below them for future plaques? Interestingly, the monster plaque for Big Stein didn’t seem as big/gross in person as it does on TV.
But, even with all that, Monument Cave didn’t seem as bad as I expected. Once you were inside it, you forget, sort of, that you’re in “the Cave” and you can enjoy walking around, checking it out, doing pictures, etc.
My son, who just turned seven, enjoyed the trip. It was his first time in “the Cave” too. I hope to get my nine-year old daughter out there later this season.
I still wish that Monument Park wasn’t hidden out behind the center field wall and not visable within the sight-lines of the Stadium when watching the game from the stands or on TV (like you could see it at the last Stadium). But, again, one you’re out there, checking it out, it’s not that bad.
A little small. Plaques could have better placement. But, not terrible.
I would not go out there every time I go to the Stadium. Heck, I may not go out there again after I get my daughter out there. But, I’m glad I got in there for the first time last Friday.
This the first pitch of the Yankees game of April 29, 2011.
Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photo.
Where is everyone?