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Yankee Stadium

September 29, 2010

  • 1 East 161st Street
  • Bronx, NY 10451
  • (718) 293-6000
  • Website

How cool is it to have a wife that not only agrees to go to a baseball game on our anniversary but actually suggests it?!  I have to admit, I was a little surprised when J said let’s go to New York and go to a Yankees game. I’m not a Yankees fan or anything.  I’m a die-hard White Sox fan, but I love going to ball games anywhere and like every guy, my fantasy is to visit every Major League baseball stadium.

Three years ago, my sister-in-law bought my brother tickets to a game at Old Yankee Stadium but she had no interest in actually going, so they gave the other ticket to me.  My brother and I made the trek to New York (first time for both of us) and got to see a game in the old stadium before it was tore down.

I’m really glad we got to see it, but once was more than enough.  I’m not a fan of old stadiums.  I hate them.  I get the nostalgia and would like to experience it once, but that’s it.  The concourse areas at the old stadium were so tight there was barely enough room for two way traffic…then throw the concession stands in there and forget about it.  We had pretty good seats and still had to deal with obstructed view.  The cool thing about the day was getting to see A-Rod hit his 500th home run.  That made the whole trip worth it.

The new version of Yankee Stadium is right across the street from the old one.  We took the subway from our hotel in Queens which drops you off right across the street from Gate 6.  The new stadium is on the site of the Macombs Dam Park.  It’s the third most expensive stadium ever built and the most expensive baseball stadium in the world.  The final tally was over $1 Billion.  Seriously.  $1 Billion for a baseball stadium.

After our lunch at Bar Americain and a walk around Midtown, J and I headed across the East River to our hotel.   Lucky for us, they let us check in 45 minutes early and we took advantage of that time.  I had only gotten about three hours of sleep before we had to catch a plane at Midway in Chicago, so a nap was in store for me before game time.  I slept until a little after 6:00 then we got a little confused at our Subway transfer, so we got to the stadium later than we had hoped.  It was after 7:30 for an 8:00 game by the time we headed through the gate into the massive Great Hall.  This area is a huge open area that leads to stairs, escalators and your first opportunity to buy way overpriced ballpark food.

J and I were both really thirsty so we thought we’d pick up a couple pops before heading up to the 200 level where our seats were.  Lucky for us they had Pepsi.  Unlucky for us, a 20 oz. bottle of pop was $5.  Two pops cost $10.  You’re asking about beer?  $11.  No kidding.  After getting over that sticker shock, we headed up the stairs to find our seats.

Our seats were in the bleacher section which was technically in the 200 level.  We entered the level behind home plate and started walking towards our section.  When we got to the end, the numbers ended one section before ours.  I looked around and noticed the sign below us.  The bleacher section actually sits kind of between the 100 and 200 level so we had to go down a flight of stairs to get to it.

I bought our tickets on Stubhub and was really surprised at the price.  I have no idea what face value of our tickets were, but I got third row bleachers for a Yankees/Red Sox game for $50 a piece.  I was really happy with that price.  Sure, there were cheaper tickets on Stubhub, but they were obstructed view.  Yup.  Brand new $1 billion stadium has obstructed view.  Take a look.

That player you see on the field is the center fielder.  From this section, right field is completely blocked by that massive wall…hence the TV’s on the wall.  Brand new $1.5 Billion and there’s a whole section where you can’t see a large portion of the field.

Anyway, back to our seats.  They were actually bleacher seats with only an aluminum bench and back.  Apparently, actually looking at seat numbers is way too hard and someone was in our seats because they assumed it was there’s.  I mean, they had seats 1-4, so of course they’re going to be the four on the end….unless they’re the four on the other end.  After a few minutes, we finally got them to look between their legs to see they were sitting in the wrong seat number and we took our seats just as the game was starting.

We had a great view from the outfield for what turned out to be a really good game.  We weren’t super interested in the game though.  We were there for atmosphere and the experience.  We watched the game for the first five innings then got up and walked around.

The stadium is just massive.  While that’s impressive, it’s a pretty generic stadium.  I guess we got spoiled by Comerica Park.  There’s not a lot of character to the building itself which is fine because it’s a great place to watch a baseball game.  Such a huge improvement over the old park.

While walking around, I noticed a sign for a Yankees Museum.  It’s kind of hidden behind the concourse on the 200 level.  The entrance is way back from the seats right next to a staircase leading down.  I looked in to see if it was open and free.  It was so, we went inside to check it out. It turned out to be pretty cool.  The Yankees obviously have a lot of history and a lot of it is on display.  There are several World Series trophies, Babe Ruth’s uniform and sweaters from the early days of the Yankees history.

We were debating on whether or not to go at this point and we decided to stay for a couple more innings.  Instead of going to our seats, we sort of walked up to an area of the standing room section where no one was standing and took that over.  Good thing we did.  This provided the most entertainment.

One of the ushers got into a pretty animated argument with a group of guys over who was better.  The Jets or the Giants.  It was comedy we would have payed for.  Everyone involved was a stereotypical New Yorker and J and I just laughed for ten minutes while this was happening.  During that time, A-Rod hit a line drive home run to right field to put the Yankees up 2-1.

The thing I really took away from this experience was just how passionate the fans were.  These people really love their Yankees and show up to games to cheer them on.  It’s not like Cub fans who just show up to drink like they were going to a frat party.  At times, someone would start a chant and not five minutes later, the whole stadium was joining in.  It wasn’t something started by the scoreboard or announcer.  It was a fan who got it going in one section and before long, the whole stadium was joining in.  It was a very cool experience.

I’m am so happy I have such a cool wife who enjoys baseball.  We both had a blast and most of it was people watching.  The new park is a huge improvement over the old one.  I still didn’t get to see Monument Park, but oh well.  I know my brother is super jealous and if he ever wants to go back, I won’t hesitate to book another trip.

The Great Hall

The View from our Bleacher Seats

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