Ahead in the Count

First trip to the new Yankee Stadium!… ho-hum.

by Ted Sullivan

I made my first trip to the new Yankee Stadium yesterday for the Yanks / Orioles afternoon game and thought I’d write a short review.

First, a few disclaimers:

1) I generally dislike the Yankees for all of the same reasons why anyone would dislike the Yankees. (Though I’m also a Duke Basketball fan so I can understand why Yanks fans may wonder “how the hell can you not like the Yankees?”)

2) I grew up watching the Orioles at Camden Yards and was at Fenway only a couple weeks ago so my bar is set pretty high.

3) That being said, I have no right to review MLB stadiums (or even calling myself a baseball fan) because I’ve never been to Wrigley Field. I know, I know… I’ll get there. Enough already.

The replica of the House that Ruth Built. Taken with my iPhone. (If Budwiser would like to sponsor this blog I'm willing to listen to offers.)

The replica of the House that Ruth Built. Taken with my iPhone. The foliage didn't do a good job of keeping Yankees fans from "unintentionally" dropping food on the Orioles' relief pitchers. (If Budwiser would like to pay me gobs of money to sponsor this blog I'm willing to listen to offers.)

Anyway, the “new” Yankee Stadium is structurally very similar to The House that Ruth Built (not necessarily a good thing) but with none of the history. The old stadium had the ghosts of Ruth, Mantle and Maris so it didn’t need a Green Monster (Boston), a big Brick Warehouse (Baltimore) or a pool in the outfield (Arizona). The designers also eliminated the tunnels from the concourse so you can’t get that feeling we all love of coming out from the darkness and seeing the field for the first time.

The place is huge. Granted, it’s New York City and they are the Yankees, and ticket revenue isn’t going into my pocket, but just under 52,000 seats is too many for a baseball stadium. Lastly, there are also some obstructed view seats in the outfield bleachers which is unacceptable for a new ballpark in my opinion.

The high def scoreboard is ridiculous. Absolutely enormous and amazing quality. But unfortunately the sound system doesn’t match it’s quality. I was in the outfield bleachers and could barely hear anything. Maybe PA announcer Bob Sheppard just needs to turn up the volume.

There has been all kinds of press about the super-high prices of the box seats. I wasn’t sitting anywhere close to them but there were plenty of empty seasts around home plate on a beautiful day when the Yanks are on fire and just took over first place. The most expensive seats are about 2500 bucks. This seems crazy to me but I know the Yankees aren’t the only guilty ones here. The comfy first few rows behind the plate at the National’s new stadium in DC could use a few more rear-ends too.

I admittedly didn’t test too much of the food. The basic hotdog I had was surprisingly good. Fries were average. Beer was cold but pricy ($9 for a bottle of Bud Light… expensive even for New York.)

Whatever “character” is lost in the stadium is gained back with the fans. Love ’em or hate ’em, the Yankee fans make themselves known. During the top of the first inning the right field fans chant each Yankees defensive player’s name in unison until they get a wave of the glove or a tip of the hat. And every player gives a wave when called. But as the alcohol flows some fans begin to cross the line. We sat right behind the Orioles bullpen and after about the 5th inning (and third beer) if any of the pitchers or catchers showed their face they would get absolutely abused by the pinstriped drunks in the bleachers.

Overall grade: C –

It’s a shame that the team and the city spent $1.3 billion for a place that really lacks personality. I’m looking forward to heading to Queens and checking out Citi Field. But if I want to see games in October it looks like I’ll be heading back to the Bronx.

July 23, 2009 - Posted by | written by Ted Sullivan | , , , ,


  1. Perhaps they could sell the new stadium to the Mets and move back in across the street to “baseball Mecca”, the one and only real House that Ruth built. We shoulda never left it. History man…… history.
    Go Yankees!

    Comment by G. Papillo | July 24, 2009

  2. What grade do you give Fenway?

    Comment by Buffy | July 27, 2009

  3. Fenway is definitely an A. The history and atmosphere make up for some of the “rickety” aspects of the park. Thanks for the comment Buffy!

    Comment by Ted Sullivan | July 27, 2009

  4. Hey Ted, as a Wrigley Field bleacher bum who was in Shea Stadium for the Miracle Mets clinched in ’69 (!!) and who grew up a Red Sox fan but who has never been to Fenway (my dad took us to the Bronx to see the Sox), I definitely have a strange spin on this.

    I’m not sure when I’m going to the new Yankee Stadium – which does get credit for keeping its name, but I’m sorry to read your review.

    I’ve just been once to the new Shea (otherwise known as US Government bank Field ;-), and I was pretty disappointed to find out that the outfield bleacher seats – which granted were non existent at Shea – were set up in such a way that you couldn’t see if a fly ball was caught or not, or over the fence. This was in the left field upper deck, so it probably isn’t universal.

    But I thought that they had figured out how to remove obstructed views in modern stadiums (they certainly figured that out in the new Comiskey Park, which is 20 years old now).

    My impression is that the new Shea was built for people who come to the games to eat and socialize, since you can see the field from just about anywhere in the ball park, including where you line up for food and brews.

    I have different, hopefully better, tix for a Cubs game on Labor day weekend, so I hope to like it better this time!

    BTW, do you really plan on getting to see some post-season tickets? If on the off chance that the Cubs do get to the big dance, I’d love to see them smoke the Bombers in the Bronx. 😉


    Comment by Jim | August 1, 2009

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