It’s pricey, but Yankee fans feel at home in new stadium

April 3, 2009

The view from the upper deck as New York Yankees workout in new Yankee Stadium in New York

Larry Fine had a chance to mingle with some Yankees fans on Thursday when they opened the new $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium to season ticket holders and community organizations and drew over 20,000 people.

I didn’t hear too many dissenting views on the new facility, which has the feel of the old ‘House that Ruth Built’ looking down on the field, but adds all the modern stadium amenities with roomier seats, broader concourses, elimination of ‘portal’ entrances, expanded concession choices and a whole tier of luxury boxes.

Ray Mirabal, who works in a suburban New York library, had a representative reaction. “It’s very beautiful,” he said from his perch in the third deck overlooking the third-base line. “What I like the most is the field itself. It feels like you’re at the old Yankee Stadium. It still feels like home.”

The Yankees are having trouble selling some high-end tickets at the 51,000-seat stadium, priced at a whopping $2,500 a seat for the best spots, although they have already sold 35,000 seats for each of their 81 home games in the season that begins on Monday.

Lew Rose, a passionate fan who has owned a season ticket in the first row directly behind home plate since 1977, praised the park but complained about the pricing.

“In the truest tradition of the New York Yankees, it is truly a majestic stadium,” he said of the new facility. “It has grandeur and I can’t wait to hear the sound of the roar of the crowd here. That’s what makes New York a sports mecca. The roar of the New York audience.”

“The only thing that’s sad is that they used to play on the same exact ground as Babe ruth and Lou Gehrig, but now we’re across the street. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m saying it’s sad.”

Rose, a retired producer of national concert tours, was resigned to splurging for his seat at the new stadium but resented the price. “The cost is absolutely silly, $2,500 a seat is silly. And $850 for the second row is silly.”

Picture by Reuters/Ray Stubblebine

15 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Make Larry Fine do a column. Mr. Mulvenney can you make Larry get a column? Man knows so much more than the folks he quotes. Larry Fine is a resource. Larry, get a column. As a complete aside, are you related to the Moe and Curley Fine family? Are you the same Larry Fine who used to pitch softball for Sports Illustrated?

Posted by Zeke Jompain | Report as abusive

Hi Zeke. We’ll see what we can do… We at least got him his own byline now.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

it will never be like the old stadium though. I cant think of one new stadium in any sport anywhere in the world where fans would say the atmosphere was better than the old one. Any one disagree?

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

The new stadium looks very impressive. I’m surprised at the complaints about the season ticket costs however. As an English football fan, the price quoted for the 2nd row of $850 for 81 games seems very reasonable or am I mistaken and this is the price per game?
My season ticket at Arsenal football club here in London costs just under £900 and that entitles me to 19 home league games and 7 cup games.
So my impression is that the Yankees fans have it pretty good.

Posted by Kevan Egan | Report as abusive

I’m afraid the $850 seat Lew Rose was referring to is PER GAME. Gotta be well-healed to sit there. sigh.

Posted by Larry Fine | Report as abusive

Zeke, did I stare you down from the pitching slab some Wednesday in Central Park? I am not a member of the Three Stooges but I am the guy who pitches for Sports Illustrated’s team in the NY Press Softball League.

Posted by Larry Fine | Report as abusive

so that’s 2,500 bucks for ONE GAME???? That’s up there with the optimistic pricing announced by Wimbledon yesterday… http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bdcccf5c-1fdb- 11de-a1df-00144feabdc0.html
hope that 40,000 dollars cinludes strawberries and cream

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

You have any video footage of you pitching, Larry? Youtube maybe?

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

the pricey price tag includes access to great luxury. Fan Lew Rose said the “Legends Club” is “twice as elegant” as any first-class lounge at an airport. But I think they pay as they go in there. Deep pockets.

Posted by Larry Fine | Report as abusive

not aware of any YouTube footage out there. just as well. batters can’t go to school on videos of my beguiling delivery. Have to say that softball in Central Park is such a gas — lovely fields, with skyscraper border beyond the trees.

Posted by Larry Fine | Report as abusive

Hey Larry I see you’re still in sports @ reuters,
You have a great insight in the sports world. Thanks for your observation. From an former Reuters employee.

From my understanding the $2500 seats get you a seat as well as entry into the glass-enclosed dining room/hall where food is complimentary, but alcohol is not.

The concourses and walkways are nice and wide and with a $22 upperdeck ticket you can walk around the stadium and watch the games from almost every angle. If you’re willing to stand, you can even watch the game from about 40 feet behind the $2500 seats.

Sitting in the right field bleachers with the ‘bleacher creatures’ during roll call, for a second it was very easy to forget the new stadium. The dimensions of the field are the same as the old park.

In centerfield there is now a sports bar. Great view of the field from inside the tinted windows, but its a $700 seasonal membership just to go in there during the games during the regular season.

For 1.3 billion they could have positioned some of those flatscreens in areas where you can’t see the field. And for some reason I don’t like where the new flagpole is, but with more food options and lots of tribulation to the history of the franchise, the place is a must-see for Yankee fans and lovers of the game.

Posted by Rich Cato | Report as abusive

2500 dollars and you have to drink diet coke instead of champagne? somethings’ wrong there.

Posted by jacks | Report as abusive

1.5 billion stadium and the Yankees will still be terrible.

Posted by richard | Report as abusive

Hey Richard — don\’t go by the early-season records of any teams. Lot of kinks to work out and teams are often without certain players — like Yanks missing A-Rod. Anyway, I think Yankees will go as far as their pitching, and if they stay healthy the Bombers have outstanding rotation and should join the Red Sox in the playoffs even though I have high regard for the appealing young Rays.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

mike…

Your topic Farming Friends ” Incubating Guinea Fowl Eggs was interesting when I found it on Tuesday searching for rotation diet…