April 4, 2009

A day at the new Yankee Stadium

As it turned out my friend that I was supposed to go to the game with ended up sick, and everyone else has a job or wasn't interested so here I am driving to the game by myself rapidly approaching traffic.

The speed limit on the Major Deegan is 50mph, which I was doing at one point.

But as you can see, it didn't last very long. I was crawling along at 4mph before and after this, but 11mph was a major breakthrough to see double digits

This is the exit ramp to get to the stadium, unfortunately not the one pictured. That is the Stadium.

Right next door is the stadium, the new Yankee Stadium that is. You can't expect much of my pictures to this point since I was driving, honking, yelling, and giving the finger while looking like a tourist.

I will also add that they managed to build a parking garage under the old Stadium, which left me so dumbfounded I couldn't get the camera out. I still can't figure out how they did that, and I'm not sure I want to know.

So after I took those pictures it was onto getting the car parked. I pulled into the garage to be told by the lot attendant to take a ticket and then pay a meter after the game and I needed to use that ticket to put back into the same machine to get out later. Sounded like a good idea, however you will find out later why it isn't. I paid the machine before going to meet up with some people so I didn't have to deal with that later. Now they take credit cards which is nice, but will ultimately lead to a nice pile of debt. So flew the $20 out of my wallet and into a machine. I traded a crisp $20 for a credit card sized piece of paper. Great.

I meet up with some friends at the bodega up the block, have a couple of beers and hang out. I decided to leave before all of them because I wanted to get some grub and walk around the stadium before the game started and check it all out. A sandwich and a soda at the deli cost me $7, I later saw inside the stadium a sandwich by itself was $12. Now I have my sandwich, which made me happy, and onto the walk over to the stadium. This was weird only because you have to walk by the old Stadium to get to the new one if you park or hang out in certain areas. The old one looks like a condemned building, and it's quite sad for all the memories and good times that happened there for it to be reduced to that.

This is what it looked like as I was walking up to get in.

Hard Rock Cafe, and Yankees Team Store. The Hard Rock will be open year round in case you were coming here at some other point in the year.

This was the line to get in at one of the gates, and as you can see from the picture there is a jumbo-tron type thing just inside the gate. Already this seems strange to me and I was still 50 feet away.

The old Stadium, you handed your ticket to someone and they scanned it with a hand held thing. Here, you scan your own ticket and go on your merry way. It was just like Disney, just the Yankees are the attraction and not a corny mouse.

At this point my jaw was on the floor. There is a jumbo screen blasting above the store, and there are screens everywhere as well as the "Great Hall" we have been hearing about for months on end.

I know this is alot of pictures, and I took about 134 of them because many of you were interested in seeing as much as possible. But you woould really have to see this many, or even more to really appreciate what is going on inside this stadium. I am going to put a bunch more here, and you can judge for yourself what you think. Once I was inside, I went camera happy and probably will not do that ever again unless its in my seats taking pictures with friends.

Topps pack was $3.00, Topps Attax $3, UD was $5 and the cereal boxes were $18! Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be until I saw the cereal box price.

Suzy and I love kettle corn, probably more than we should admit to. If you have never had it, you MUST try it. Another thing about the concessions is that each cart states not just the prices, but the calories in each item. If the prices aren't scaring you away believe me, the calories will.

I walked down the first tunnel I saw to the field because I couldn't wait until I made it around to the bleachers.

I looked left.

I looked right.

And then walked forward. There it is, my first look at the diamond.

My season tickets are right above that Modells sign.

The view from the top of my section.

So the dipshit pictured on the bottom was the ticket bitch. He was at the top of Section 203 where my seats are. Since I don't have the full 81 game plan I was not offered my regular seats for this game. My seats were in Section 235 in left field. I explained that to the guy and asked if I could merely walk down and check it out and I would come right back. As you can see there was no one there, so he could have clearly noticed me not coming back. There was no where to hide. He said no. Then I said would you go and point to them since it's not possible for me to walk there, again no (though I expected that answer since I was being sarcastic). I said thanks for nothing and kept walking.

For anyone in an obstructed view seat on either side of the batters eye restaurant, you can watch the game on a flat screen on the wall.
Monument Park. I can't believe how this ended up looking. If you were in the old Stadium and saw Monument Park, it felt like a great tribute and it was big and nice. Now it just looks like they needed to stick it somewhere and quickly. I don't like it at all.

My seats above the Modells sign.
For Suzy.

Old school scoreboard, on the right field wall.

The new scoreboard has a great feature, if you look to the right of it there is now closed captioning. Everything said before the game was typed right next to the screen.

First pitch.

View from behind homeplate on the main level.

High tech scoreboard.

Me and my brother.

The section where my brother's season tickets are. Which coincidentally is right next to my section, just a little higher.
Looking down on my seats from my brothers.

One last look from my brother's section.

So far this blog has taken me 2 hours. Blogger really needs a bulk uploader for pictures.

Now that you have had a chance to see all the pictures, see the game on tv if you live in the area or have the MLB package you can kind of form your own opinion about the new place. My opinion at this point isn't great, and is probably over critical. After spending many years in the old Stadium and having so many good memories and times there it's hard to like some place new. Now don't get me wrong, the new stadium is a fantastic place for fans, but you have to have a nice chunk of change to spend in there if you want to eat, drink, or shop. That is normal for Yankees stuff though so it's not that big of a deal.

Where it all hit me was as soon as my ticket was scanned. I looked up, down, left, and right and was in awe. It was all so new and computerized, nothing like walking into the bleachers entrance, or any entrance for that matter in the old Stadium. The feeling I got when walking into the old one was long gone and was replaced by a jumbo-tron in my face on Mark Teixeira talking. Walking into the old Stadium it was an undescribable feeling and it felt like home. I'm sure this will eventually feel like that, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. Since the bleachers were quarantined from the rest of the old Stadium, you could walk in and see 20 people you know within minutes; in the new one you could get lost trying to find the bleachers, much less a familiar face.

Most people were very sad at the last game last season, and I was too but I just made sure to take it all in and enjoy it. I'm sure glad I did. I was more upset last night sitting in my seat before the game just looking around at how all the history, all the memories and mystique I was used to had been taken away and in it's place is a monstrosity with a Hard Rock Cafe. I don't know if I sound bitter, or spoiled by what I have seen over the years but you simply can not replace history as much as they tried. If this stadium were anywhere else, I might be in love with it but this place took away a place that had every game I had ever seen.

I could really go on for a while on what I really think about all of this, but it's not fact, just my humble opinion. I could also go on about the ticket prices, and the cost of parking and how the average person probably couldn't afford to take a family to more than one game if they oculd even afford that at this point. I don't want to totally give everyone a bad perspective, and I am sure more people love it than hate it but it will have to grow on me at this point.

I also want to mention that the old Stadium for all it was, now looks like a condemned building. There is a giant hole in the outfield wall that is almost covered by a wall with those little "post no bills" flyers on it. Talk about a punch in the gut.

If anyone else has been to the exhibition games or workout days, please comment and let me know what you think about it. I would like to hear it, and especially if you have been going to the other Stadium for years.


  1. Thanks for all the pictures! It really helped me get a feel for what the new stadium is like. I've been to NYC only a few times. I'd be too rattled by the traffic, crowds to take a bunch of photos, too.

    The billboard-type ads really stand out in the photos. They look HUGE. Seems like there are too many.

    As impressive as the stadium is, it makes me sad that they basically discarded the old one. Stadiums should last a lot longer than they do. Why can't a stadium last a 100 years? Yeah, yeah, I know. Money.

    Oh, and kettle corn is very big where I live. It's tasty.

  2. I agree with you. The billboards are everywhere, and this stadium just doesn't come close.

    There was a show on earlier today that my brother watched and he said that older generations said that this is very similar to the original stadium pre-renovation. I wouldn't know, but would be curious to hear that from someone who was there before they renovated.

  3. Thanks for the pics. My wife is coming to NY in September and I asked her to take a few pics of the old and new stadium since I've never been there. Hopefully the stadium will grow on you.

  4. Cross your fingers that it's still there in September. They are starting to knock it down already. There are two gaping holes in the outfield.

    I'll try and get some pics of it Opening Day, or the day game the first homestand.

  5. Awesome pictures! I think they should have paid more attention to monument park and less attention to the huge screen (even though its nice).

  6. Thanks for all of the pictures - you really did a magnificent job documenting the new stadium. It looks simply incredible. I can't imagine what its going to be like there for the first Red Sox game! I only hope the Yankees can win.

  7. Awesome job! Thanks for uploading all those pics (I know it takes forever on Blogger). I feel like I've been to the new Yankees stadium.

  8. Great pics. I too feel like I've been to the stadium!
    I hope to make it to the new park for the Yankees former AAA team, the Columbus Clippers.
    As to your thoughts about the stadium, I was wondering if you have recently yelled at those kids to get off your lawn! You were sounding like one of us grumpy old guys!
    Have fun on opening day!

  9. Believe me I would have been yelling that when I came home, if there were kids on my lawn. LOL, I know it sounds grumpy but it's hard to imagine something is the same when you never saw the stadium before the 1970's.