There are few stadiums in the world that can claim to be the home to the amount of sports history that Yankee Stadium has witnessed over the years. Home to the 26-time World Series champions, the field has seen everything from MLB All-Star Games, to professional football and boxing matches, to concerts and even a Papal Mass. However, history can’t stand in the way of change and come spring of 2009 the Yankees will leave the house that Ruth built for one that George Steinbrenner helped finance.
Overall, estimates put the New Yankee Stadium (the working name of the facility) at roughly $800 million, with taxpayers and the team splitting the cost. Located directly across the street from the current Yankee Stadium, the New Yankee Stadium will bare some resemblance to its predecessor. For starters, the famous white Yankee Stadium façade will be prominently featured across the top of the stadium. Additionally, the exterior of the stadium is being modeled after the old pre-renovation current ballpark – a concrete wall that will encircle the building.
But for all it’s acknowledging of history, the New Yankee Stadium is not going to be without some modern day conveniences. The blackened bleachers in center field of the current Yankee Stadium serve as a “hitter’s eye” and are amongst the more distinguishable features of the ballpark. The new stadium will turn that location into a restaurant complete with tinted windows that will be preserving the blackened area for batters. Underneath the new restaurant in center field will be “Monument Park,” a staple of the current Yankee Stadium. Consisting of dozens of plaques of former Yankee greats and retired numbers, “Monument Park” will remain open for business with the only change being its location – currently the area resides over the left field wall. . .
Packing Yankee Stadium hasn’t been a problem for the Bronx Bombers in recent years, as the team has drawn over four million fans in total attendance in both 2005 and 2006 – making them one of only two other teams to accomplish the feat. While the current Yankee Stadium is the largest baseball-only stadium in the entire league, with a capacity of 57.455 New Yankee Stadium cuts back – but only slightly. The new stadium will seat 51,000 fans that include an increased number of luxury boxes as well as keeping with the traditional bleacher seating that has made the Bronx such a devastating place for opposing teams to win.
You can bet that opening day 2009 will be one of the hardest baseball tickets to come by in recent memory. With tickets at the current Yankee Stadium running as high as $400 for “field championship” level seats and as low as $5 for weekday bleacher seats, it should be interesting to see how prices develop in the new stadium.
Tradition is one of the main selling points for the New York Yankees, and the loss of their old stadium will undoubtedly take a little of the luster off their crown. However, with all the amenities and features of New Yankee Stadium, as long as the team keeps winning you can bet that the crowds will continue to be sellouts.