Next Stop: The “New” Yankee Stadium

May 2, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Growing up as a Yankees fan, and being a traditionalist, I’m reluctant to accept the “new” Yankee stadium. For me, the questions have always been: what exactly was wrong with the old one?  And, what special mystique comes with the new one?

I raise these thoughts because I’m about to venture into an uneasy territory.  On Tuesday, May 5th, I’ll travel via the NYC Subway once more.  This time, though, I’ll be walking north, rather than south upon exiting the station. For the first time in my life, I’ll be stepping foot into a stadium that Babe Ruth did not build.

I will admit, I’ll miss the vintage turnstiles; the concrete flooring that had been trampled on by hundreds of millions of fans; the cramped, antiquated style bathrooms lined with tight urinals, filthy stalls and sinks not even big enough to fit your hands under; the feeling of knowing where you’re going; and finally, the boyish sensation that rushed over me as I made my way up the ramp toward my seats. 

On the horizon, first it’s the blue sky, then the white arches, then the outfield wall with the vacant black bleachers in straight away center, then the bright green grass, and then ultimately, the entire field becomes entranced in your view.  I wonder what new feelings will replace these.

Ironically, I’ll be sitting in better seats at the new Yankee Stadium than I’d ever sat in at the old Yankee Stadium. Will this influence my perspective? Perhaps. But it’ll be temporary. From 14 rows behind the plate, a baseball game is a baseball game.  The amenities are what I’ll be fixated on. 

Will the brand new centerfield jumbotron impress me?  Will the added width between seats allow me to enjoy my experience more?  Will the additional bathrooms – now 1 for every 60 fans, with more space between urinals and sinks large enough to wash up to your elbows – provide greater luxury for me?  The answers are undoubtedly yes.

Still, I have never, and will never attend a baseball game to be impressed.  I go because the Yankees are tradition for me and 26 World Championships means something.  If it ain’t broke… 

…don’t fix the old Yankee Stadium.  Sure, it was decrepit and outdated.  But that’s what gave it its charm. Walking into this sports museum was emotionally moving – both for the fans and the opposition.  Fathers brought sons there to teach them the history.  Opposing teams sometimes became intimidated by the aura.  Now, fathers must explain what used to be.  And visiting clubs will simply come to play in just another stadium.     

One block north and $1.5 billion later, the Yankees have a new home.  They now play in the “new” Yankee Stadium.  Left behind is the legacy, history, and allure of the New York Yankees.  In the “old” Yankee Stadium are the hearts of millions of fans.  Mine included. 

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