Yankee Stadium - The First Event

Dennis and I were on hand for Yankee Stadium's first public event, a pre-season workout. Crossing 161st Street in the Bronx, the entrance is certainly imposing. While not promoting its "lobby" the way the Mets have, this gallery of greats on banners from a soaring ceiling certainly stands in contrasts to the old park's cramped, subway station-like entrance.
Finally, a look at the field and the stands. The visual effect is remarkable. All the cues -- the colors, the architecture, the placement of distinctive features -- instantly say "Yankee Stadium."
No team does a better job of selling its history. Glossy, historic panoramas are displayed prominently on the main level. Babe, the Mick, Joe D and Thurman will greet you as you head for a hot dog, beer and a souvenir.
So similar to the post-renovation Stadium's right field corner, the new version brings the bleachers closer and then wraps a new field level section in front of them.
For some, a cap, tee shirt or coffee mug is not enough. Peter Max's artwork has its own store at the new Stadium.
Back to the field...
If you had trouble recognizing this strong righthander on the mound, the world's largest video board will help.
A tip of the cap to the original Yankee Stadium comes in the form of the scoreboards mounted in the Right-Center and Left-Center Field fences.
Spanning present and past -- the atrium's portholes offer a poignant look back at the old Stadium, just across 161st Street.
From the upper deck, a sparkling spring day and the wide outfield expanse.
Oh yes, the workout... the players assemble in right field.
And Freddy's back! New stadium, same fry pan. A view from the new field-level seats in Left Field. Stunning how the new Stadium so resembles the original stadium pre-1973 renovation.The frieze, that distinctive moulding fringing the Stadium's roof reminds you again of the way it was and is again. Monument Park is now behind the centerfield wall, just beneath the smoked glass window of a sports bar serving as the batter's eye.
Derek Jeter's in the batting cage, taking his first swings at his new home.
And getting a good look at where it lands.
We'll leave you at the top -- from the upper row of the Left Field Grandstand.
The result is very impressive -- after walking around the entire park, I was impressed by how the architects did a superb job of recreating the grandeur of the pre-'73 original Stadium, while bringing almost all the seats closer (having a fourth level of stand enabled the other three levels to be less deep). Aisles are wider, legroom more spacious... and the areas behind the seats, leading to the concessions and restrooms are open and airy, similar to the way they are in many newer parks. Sure, it cost a mountain of money. But no corners were cut or designs compromised. Costs aside, this is going to be an even better place to see a game than its post-renovation predecessor across the street.

If you'd like to do an A/B comparison to the pre-renovation Stadium, check this post of mine: http://mikemccann.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html


Schruender said…
Great pictures Mike. I know the dimensions are the same, but this just doesn't resemble the old stadium. I think that Rhode Island size tv in center field has something to do with it...

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