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