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Visiting Yankee Stadium (The "New" One)
I will mention Yankee Stadium, I am often asked, “Have you been?” and “What did you think?” Yes, I have to make sure we are talking about the same place as I have been in the original Yankee Stadium and the “new” or “new” or “new” Yankee Stadium…or whatever people are calling it. (They don’t have a problem in Boston.) However, while I appreciate the history of the original ballpark, and have visited it more times than the new version, I’m happy to say that The new Yankee Stadium that’s fine in my book. It is strong, beautiful, clean, spacious and modern. It had to be built – the old site was difficult. But even though the building is beautiful, the atmosphere at the games is different from the old Yankee Stadium and some of them make me long for the old days.
The new Yankee Stadium opened in April 2009. I first met there in June of the same year when my wife, Evelyn, took me there (and to the rest of NYC) to celebrate a very small birthday (which will not be a secret. ) celebration. He arranged everything: tickets, parking permits, hotel, etc. It was very interesting to him since he is not the biggest baseball fan (or big city fan) in the world. As the day wore on, I felt guilty and shocked when I learned that the Yankee Stadium incident had cost Evelyn all her money and madness.
We arrived at 10:45 for the 1:00 game on Thursday afternoon. Evelyn paid last week for parking in the garage on River Avenue. I can see Yankee Stadium! Great! All we had to do was walk around the block to the other side and we’d all be ready. Not so fast. When we wanted to go up the one necessary block to get to the parking lot, there were barricades blocking the road… A 3 minute walk turned into a 45 minute nightmare as we had to leave New York State to get back to our parking lot which was across the street from the stadium!
I started to remember how parking at the old Yankee Stadium was $8 for a long time and then $10 not too long ago and now it was $24 at the new lot. I told my wife how tickets for upper front seats between the third and first row were no more than $19. They were now $40 at the new Yankee Stadium.
So we finally parked and entered the “New” Yankee Stadium. The Great Hall was impressive; The ton of space and high ceilings made me feel small. Our seats were in the loft behind the concourse and we had a great view. The weather was hot and humid (but not hot) and everything was perfect. Then Evelyn felt thirsty. Being the gentleman that I was, I walked down the 999 steps and down the street to the shopping center. I can’t say enough about the price of a large drink and a bucket of popcorn even if it’s more expensive than a steak dinner at home. Why? The sake of the drink came in a plastic Yankee tumbler and the popcorn came in a commemorative ice bucket with the Yankee logo. I got to bring home a small piece of the new Yankee Stadium that day. I still have both reminders in my kitchen. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.
Yes, leaving the square was difficult: walking and traffic made Evelyn very anxious and her movements were not good. But, overall, our trip had more positives than negatives. If you want to go to Yankee Stadium, let me tell you the following:
- Avoid driving if possible. Traffic jams and parking fees can frustrate you. Take the subway if you live there. If you’re coming from out of town, get to the ballpark at least 5 hours before game time… maybe 7. Or camp overnight in the parking lot. (Do they allow that?) Yeah, maybe you’ll see some players coming. (I’ve done that – not the camp part – the original part.)
- Get your tickets from a trusted website or get them from friends. High prices are one reason why attendance is declining. I think $19 for a premium seat is a good price, right?
- Eat and drink already you go… unless, of course, you want a Yankee Stadium ice bucket full of popcorn. Or an $8 bottle of beer.
- If you’re going on a hot, sunny day, wear sunscreen. Evelyn is from Ireland and would have been furious without it.
I hope you have a great time at Yankee Stadium. I always… in all the Bibles. But the old Yankee Stadium gets my vote.
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