Upon first glance, the outside exterior of the new $1.5 billion dollar Yankee Stadium in the Bronx looks like a spiffier version of the old stadium built in 1923. But step inside and it’s whole new world.
My first taste that the stadium had moved into the 21st century came when I strolled up to the second floor. I stepped out to NY Steak, a fine dining restaurant with seating capacity for 126 patrons that’s decorated with tasteful baseball motifs and a view of the playing field. Strolling around the Great Hall, a cavernous retail plaza that glittered with gold reminded me more of touring the Forum Shops at Ceasars in Las Vegas than a ballpark. Here one can purchase all things Yankee from seed grass, official merchandise and high end memorabilia from the former stadium. 1 million-square-feet of retail space sparkled in anticipation of the new season. However, in this down economy, I wonder how many fans will be able to afford to take advantage of myriad of shopping opportunities.
Among the other dining and lounging opportunities I spotted included the Hard Rock Café and the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar not to mention numerous outdoor and indoor food courts. So, one can still find the traditional overpriced slightly soggy hotdogs and beer, as well as branded fare such as Famiglia, Nathan’s and Brother Jimmy’s.
While the overall seats been reduced from 56,886 to 52,325 (including standing room), the seat width has been changed from 18″ to 22″ and the legroom went from 29.5″ to 33″ to 39.” Even the former football players in the crowd seemed to be able to ease into these expanded seats. Also, cupholders are provided in all seats located in the general seating bowl. Vendors armed with electronic devices stand ready to offer in-seat food and beverage service.The field and fence dimensions remain the same though the distance from home plate to backstop has been reduced from 72′ 4″ to 52′ 4.”
As expected, these additional amenities come at a price. According to the annual Team Marketing Report survey, the average price of a Yankees’ home ticket is a$72.97, a 76.3% increase from last year’s $41.40 ticket price. Currently, the ticket prices range from $2,625 for one of the Legends Suites seats to $5 for partial-view seats in the bleachers. Some of the higher end single tickets remain unsold, and time will tell if this investment will pay actual dividends for New York City taxpayers.
For information about tours of the facility, a full comparisons of the current and former stadiums and other Yankees related information can be found at the Yankees official website (www.yankees.com).