On the corner of 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx, across the way from the footprint of its predecessor, lies Yankee Stadium. Ruth did not build this house, nor Gehrig, nor Mantle, nor DiMaggio, nor any of the other immortals whose visages smile back at you as you walk the stadium's broad concourses. This is the House that Steinbrenner Built. Even a half-decade after his passing, his spirit lives on in this temple of capitalism and Yankee Pride.
Yankee Stadium, like the city it calls home, is both a melting pot and caste system, simultaneously gritty and gilded. A fan can enter 1 East 161st Street and have a vastly different experience from the person they sat next to on the train from Manhattan. One's experience at the House that Steinbrenner Built is as bare bones or as lavish as one's W-2 permits.
Opened in 2009, the Yankees’ nearly 50,000-seat, billion-dollar stadium is, in many ways, more tourist destination than ballpark. Like the home of its rivals in Boston, Yankee Stadium has become as much a place to see and be seen (by your Instagram followers) as it is a place to watch the New York nine take on a visiting squad.
This is a bit of a shame, because underneath all the $9.50 beers and the empty Legends Suite seats behind home plate is one of baseball's crown jewels, as iconic a sports venue as this country can boast. To watch a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, whether from the wine-and-cheese sections along the baselines or among the Bleacher Creatures in right field, is to feel part of something special. On a warm summer night, few stadiums carry the gravitas and damn-near piety of the House that Steinbrenner Built. To many, that justifies the price of admission on its own merits. The rest varies by pocket depth.
While Yankee Stadium is truly a must-visit, the 2016 season began with an embarrassing, self-inflicted ticketing fiasco. The team announced an exclusive electronic ticket deal with TicketMaster that eliminated the use of PDF tickets. This forced the users of StubHub and other secondary market sites to acquire hard-copy tickets either by mail or from a StubHub pop-up store a few blocks away, or pay a premium to use the TicketMaster marketplace with artificial price floors implemented by the Yankees (thus also giving the Yankees a second cut of tickets they had already sold). Controversial executive Randy Levine then doubled down on the decision by insinuating that fans who had never sat in a premium location do not deserve to do so for less than top dollar (Levine was famously mocked by John Oliver for this statement). This caused an uproar among fans, and attendance instantly suffered. Just before the All-Star break, the Yankees caved and struck a deal with StubHub, allowing StubHub users to buy and sell electronic tickets with a price floor of 50% of face value for any given seat.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Yankee Stadium left no stone unturned in curating its dining program. Locally based options like Brother Jimmy's BBQ and Lobel's Steak Sandwiches share concourse space with national brands like Papa John's and Hebrew National. More unique cuisines like Cuban food, sushi, chicken & waffles, and a variety of gluten-free options can also be found throughout the stadium. All the standard ballpark fare, including hot dogs, burgers, fries and ice cream are available, and the most basic items can be purchased from vendors patrolling the aisles. None of the food is cheap (expect to pay a minimum of $12 per person to be full), but the variety is unparalleled for a sports venue.
For those less concerned about watching the game or their budget, the stadium boasts multiple sit-down restaurants, including a Hard Rock Cafe, NYY Steaks and the Audi Club, Mohegan Sun Sports Bar and Legends Suites, the last three of which are only accessible with certain tickets. The Legends Suite, located behind home plate beneath the 100-level seats, offers a stunning array of steak, seafood, desserts, hors d'oeuvres and more, along with a full bar. Aside from the booze, all of this is included with admission to the Legends Suite. Sitting on each Legends Suite seat is a menu for many of the same items found inside, also complimentary and delivered to your seat. The milkshakes, in particular, are to die for.
Alcohol sales cut off at varying times during the game depending on vendor location. The bleacher section vendors and portable carts cut off in the fifth inning, while non-cart vendors in the bleachers and elsewhere cut off in the 7th. Carts and vendors in the outfield also only sell one alcoholic beverage at a time per person, while all other vendors can sell two per transaction. Basic domestic beer is readily available in all areas of the stadium, and Yankee Stadium's imported beer selection has grown significantly over the past year. A few concession stands also sell cocktails, and full bars are available in every suite.
Yankee Stadium feels both tacky and hallowed. Images of past Yankee legends adorn the walls and support beams. White marble is used in extreme excess. The Great Hall, just beyond the main entrances on 161st Street, contains marble pillars and vaulted ceilings, but the floors are generally concrete and the concourses feel a bit sterile. The stadium can feel more like a museum than a ballpark, and feels downright casino-like in its efforts to separate you from your money.
Furthermore, the organization feels the need to commemorate every moderately significant player who ever put on pinstripes by shamelessly retiring the numbers of dozens of players just so they can get bodies into the stadium for Bernie Williams Day or the Jorge Posada Number Retirement Ceremony. The organization has also played host to the retirement tours of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, plus the cringeworthy ousting of Alex Rodriguez from the roster. Aside from a one-game wild card appearance in 2015, it has been quite a while since the outcome of the game on the field has been the main attraction of a visit to Yankee Stadium. While it's hard to fault the franchise for trying to attract fans during a lackluster period in its history, the gimmicks have worn pretty thin.
There's nothing special about the in-game promotions, though the grounds crew endures nightly humiliation at the hands of the Village People as they perform the "YMCA" dance in the sixth inning of each game. For a stadium that already gives the effect of being sorted by tax bracket, something feels a little off about watching presumably low-paid workers being made to dance to a cliche stadium song with questionable connotations.
All that said, the stadium itself is a modern marvel, built to look much like the old building, down to the white fence facade adorning the roof of the structure. Unnoticed by most, the stadium also features a flag for every team, organized by the day's current standings and updated as necessary (this occurs quite often, especially in the early parts of the season). The checkerboard cut of the grass, the lights shining down on the iconic pinstriped uniforms and the architectural nods to the previous home of the Bronx Bombers give the fans a truly unique feel while they watch the game. The quality of play has varied in recent years, but Yankee Stadium sure looks impressive.
Most of the stadium gives the fan a good sightline, but the monstrous batter's eye structure in center field (which houses the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar) blocks the view for large sections of the bleachers on either side of it. There also are not many places to stand around and watch the game outside of your seat. On all concourses, there is a large boundary behind each section so fans don't crowd the people in the last row. Unless you are standing right on the boundary, you won't be able to see the game. If you're looking to meet up with people who are at the game separately but still want to see the action, your best bet is on top of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar in center field, though that area gets crowded and is not very spacious to begin with.
The neighborhood immediately surrounding Yankee Stadium looks tough, but is not actually dangerous. The Bronx has a reputation that can precede itself, but the areas around Yankee Stadium are much nicer than they were in the days of the old stadium. Helping the cause is a large park where the old stadium stood, which is often used by little leagues and high school teams.
Most of the businesses in the immediate vicinity of the stadium are t-shirt shops, dollar stores and fast food restaurants. Food options outside the stadium are fairly sparse, but Billy's Sports Bar and Stan's Sports Bar, both within sight of Yankee Stadium on River Avenue, are great for pre and postgame drinks. Billy's in particular is very spacious and generally has an inviting vibe. If you're looking to get a bite to eat before the game to avoid stadium prices, you're better off eating elsewhere before you head to the stadium unless you're ok with McDonald's.
The fans are probably the biggest downside to Yankee Stadium. Because tickets are so expensive, the crowd is generally made up of yuppie 20-something Manhattanites who are there to drink heavily and put pictures of the stadium on Instagram, not necessarily to watch the game. By the late innings, especially at weekend games, a handful of fans are so intoxicated they have to be guided out by their friends (or security). Additionally, every game is littered with tourists who often have no interest in either team and spend more time adjusting their selfie sticks than watching baseball happen directly in front of them. While New York certainly owes a great deal to its juggernaut tourism industry, this doesn't translate into the people at the game actually cheering.
Furthermore, the Legends Suite wine and cheese crowd spends much of the game hiding out in the dining area of the suite rather than watching the game from the best seats in the house. Even when they're actually in the seats, so many of them appear to be entertaining clients or otherwise in work mode that there's rarely any actual cheering going on. The Legends Suite seats are separated by a literal moat from the rest of the stadium so no proles get any ideas of getting to close to the fancy folk or sitting in one of the countless empty seats. Much has been made of the "real fans" getting priced out by the new stadium, and a visit to Steinbrenner's Castle doesn't do anything to dissuade that notion.
The famed Bleacher Creatures in right field provide the best fan spirit, chanting the names of each player during introductions until the player acknowledges them. These are generally the most passionate fans in the stadium, but don't wear opposing colors on certain weekend nights unless you're willing to endure some verbal abuse (this is an improvement over their behavior from years past, which involved regular fights and slurs).
One of Yankee Stadium's biggest selling points is its accessibility. On the subway system, the 4 train runs from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, makes express stops up the East Side of Manhattan and heads directly to Yankee Stadium before continuing farther into the Bronx. The D train runs from Coney Island, through the Lower East Side, up the center of Manhattan and up Central Park West before reaching Yankee Stadium and eventually terminating just beyond Fordham University. The B train also runs to Yankee Stadium on weekdays, following the same tracks as the D until reaching deep into Brooklyn, where it terminates at Brighton Beach. All Metro North lines east of the Hudson River (Harlem, Hudson and New Haven) stop at Yankee Stadium on game days and are a short walk from the stadium. All three major airports (LaGuardia, JFK and Newark) are accessible to Yankee Stadium via public transportation.
The stadium is located near the Cross-Bronx and Major Deegan Expressways, and there are several parking lots and garages nearby, though they are not cheap. Traffic is also a concern, as New York City rush hour usually extends well past the typical 7pm start time. By far the best way to get to Yankee Stadium is via public transportation.
When approaching the stadium from the subway stop (as most fans do), your best bet is heading left to find the shortest security line rather than simply using the one right in front of you. Stadium security uses a fairly free-form queuing system that allows for quite a bit of line-cutting and general chicanery, so keep your head on a swivel and you may be able to skip the line entirely if a barricade is left out of place. There does not appear to be a coherent system, but the lines typically move pretty quickly. For a regular weeknight game, you'll likely have your ticket scanned within ten minutes of disembarking from the subway.
Electronic tickets are new to Yankee Stadium for the 2016 season. Following the embarrassing TicketMaster fiasco early in the season, the Yankees ended their years-long feud with StubHub and struck a deal allowing fans to use electronic tickets to enter the stadium. Printed PDF tickets are no longer allowed, though card stock tickets still exist and are largely available from the scalpers assembled near the subway station. When your electronic ticket is scanned from your phone, a light blinks and allows you to enter the building. You do not receive any kind of hard copy receipt to show to the stadium ushers, so make sure your phone has plenty of battery life remaining. You cannot currently use Apple Wallet to store your purchased Yankee tickets from StubHub, so anyone wishing to transfer tickets to a friend must take a screenshot and text it to them.
Check out Parking Panda for some of the best parking options for the game. Use the promo code STADIUMJOURNEY10 for 10% off your first transaction.
Yankee tickets are extremely elastic products and prices on the secondary market vary widely. Bleacher or nosebleed tickets for a non-Red Sox game in April or May can be had for $15 or less, while tickets for summer evenings generally run for at least $30. Most cheap tickets still give you a good view of the field. That said, if you're looking to sit anywhere other than the bleachers or 400-level, You're not getting in for less than $50. If the game hasn't already started, don't even bother with the scalpers. They're complete professionals and are generally working together. There's always a tourist willing to pay more than you and they know it. You probably won't get a good deal.
If you're planning to eat and drink at the park and buy merchandise, you're going to pay New York prices. If you show up full and don't drink much, you can be in and out for relatively cheap (again, by New York standards). Getting to and from the stadium on the subway costs only $2.75 in each direction, so there's savings there over paying for parking in most MLB cities.
On the other end of the spectrum, face value for Legends Suite tickets can be as low as $250 per game and as high as ten times that, but most are assumed to be corporate seats and the tickets generally re-sell for $500 or more. Unless you're willing to spend several hundred dollars, the best way to get Legends Suite tickets is to know somebody. As remarkable as the Legends Suite experience is, it is not worth paying for out of pocket.
This is an area in which Yankee Stadium really shines. The Yankee Museum is incredibly well-curated with artifacts from the uniquely decorated history of the franchise. The crown jewel of the museum is the wall of baseballs autographed by players from ranging from Stephen Drew to the Sultan of Swat himself. The balls are signed by players from all over baseball, not just Yankees. Any fan's first visit to the museum is a true kid-in-a-candy-shop moment.
If you arrive early enough, Monument Park in right field contains plaques for nearly 40 past Yankee greats, as well as signs noting the franchise's myriad retired numbers. Monument Park closes 45 minutes before game time.
The Great Hall entranceway, though a bit gaudy, is still quite impressive and gives an excellent first impression. Images of Yankee Legends are plastered all over the walls and give you a sense that, while this iteration of the stadium isn't where the magic happened, the pinstripes did not change.
Yankee Stadium is one of the crown jewels of Major League Baseball. It houses the sport's most iconic franchise and is located in the league's biggest market. It is a must visit for any baseball fan, but start saving your money now.
Follow all of David's journeys on Went to That.
The new Yankee Stadium is from top to bottom an amazing, modernized, well thought out ballpark. The outside structure is reminiscent of the original 1923 ballpark, while the inside is very spacious. No longer are you forced to squeeze through the narrow hallways or walk up/down the overly crowded ramps to go from one level to the next.
The new stadium is full of escalators, wide staircases and ramps, as well as elevators. Aside from the structural changes, the new stadium is full of great restaurants, a wide variety of concessions, with a multitude of tributes to the great Yankees and Yankee teams of the past and present. It is modern, luxurious, but it still looks like the old Yankee Stadium, which makes you feel right at home.
Yankee Stadium was built in 2009, after the franchise spent nearly nine decades in the now-extinct stadium located across the street bearing the same name. Though the previous Yankee Stadium lost much of its charm during the 1974-1975 renovation, there was sadness by many fans as they said goodbye. The change was inevitable as one of the most popular franchises in the world is also one of the most profitable and there was just no way to add all of those money-making features in the old stadium.
Enter the new Yankee Stadium, a ballpark that gave me mixed feelings. Prices have skyrocketed in this stadium, keeping the common fan well away from the diamond. Those high prices include the insanely expensive “Legends” Suites, the seats closest to the infield, which are typically half-empty. This has created an embarrassing scene during playoff games. Secondly, the atmosphere and general noise in the new stadium just feels different.
On the other hand, this is a ballpark with a ton of great features and the whole place feels like a museum to the Yankees. Designers looked back to the old stadium (pre-1970s renovation) and included the iconic frieze, Monument Park, the Bleachers, the short porch in right, and the beautiful entrance way. Combine this with the modern luxury of wide concourses and many good food options and the ballpark is a great home for Yankees fans.
One of my favorite things about Yankee Stadium is the bowling alley (Ball Park Lanes) outside the stadium. It's nothing special, just a divey place, but a good place to spend an hour post game while the traffic dies down.
My excitement about seeing this mammoth stadium was tempered a bit by the security checkpoint. The subway access is great...much like Wrigley. However, it took about 20 minutes to get through security, and I barely got to my seat in time for the game. The food was pretty poor...the pizza I had was on par with most junior high cafeterias, hot dog was lousy too. Beers at $11 a pop made me nauseous. My seat neighbors let me have some garlic fries, which were good. Fans are great...very into the game and their team. They showed a veteran with one arm on the jumbotron, and the standing ovation lasted minutes. It is an awe-inspiring view...the jumbotron is huge and the field still has a sense of history in its second year in existence. Get there very early to see Monument Park...I didn't have a chance before the game, and they close it during the game. I was disappointed by the neighborhood...maybe I didn't know where to look though.
Yankee Stadium is an undeniably beautiful structure and was an absolute treat to experience in person. Its gargantuan rotunda make moving around the ballpark a breeze and the scintillating bigscreen is one suited for kings. There are a lot of cool things to check out around the ballpark including the Yankee Museum and Monument Park. Though on the website it says Monument Park closes 45 minutes before the game, you MUST get there at least 90 minutes before first-pitch as the security guard informed me it takes a while to get everyone out (I couldn't help but feel if I was wearing a different hat I may have been granted entry).
All sorts of food are available ranging from traditional ballpark fare to sushi and even what looked to be a fine dining restaurant...my girlfriend and I literally laughed out loud when we saw it. Regardless, there is nourishment for everyone!
My one complaint about the beverages is the lack of craft beer (clear west-coast beer snobbery here) options with only imported or macro options. I figured if there was a market for sushi at the ballpark, there ought to be one for India pale ales.
The fans were quite impressive (and that is tough for me to say). They were clearly knowledgable, applauded great defensive plays by the visiting team and honored a former World Series MVP in Hideki Matsui. They were engaged with the game until the final pitch. Talking to one fan who has had a partial season ticket plan for a decade, he said "[the fans] aren't like at the old Yankee Stadium". I might be an outsider or naive but I had no complaints.
We took the subway to the game from midtown Manhattan and it was easy. Each ride is $2.25 and you don't have to worry about parking. We were able to purchase tickets through someone unable to attend the night prior. $15 per ticket sat us in the second to last row in sec 417 (a $20 value). Many prefer to sit in the grandstands instead of the bleachers as a large dining/box club area in center field creates a partial obstruction.
Overall, it was a great experience and was an important place for me to cross off my list. I was not disappointed with the structure, experience or fans.
The old Yankee stadium had history, and a little character. Yes, the upper level was steep, and the food was terrible, but it had character and history. Unfortunately, take away that, double the costs, and you have the new Yankee Stadium. I was expecting a lot from the new Yankee Stadium. It's one of the most expensive in Baseball, and sure one would expect a team such as the Yankees to pull out the stops. Sadly, it appears their only concern was how to maximize profits. And it starts before you even enter the stadium. Parking outside the stadium was $35. Almost TWICE what it costs to park at nearby Citifield. The backless metal bleachers remain, and, to make things worse, the view from most of them to Center Field is obstructed. Ticket prices are sky high. The food, while better than at the old stadium, is still nothing to write home about, and typically overpriced. What's worse, you often have to visit several stands to complete an order as most are limited in what they sell. The two main attractions other than the field are the museum and Monument Park. Unfortunately, fans can't see both in a single visit as they only open 2 hours before game time, and close off the lines an hour later. My biggest complaint, however, other than the costs, is that for a new stadium, it simply lacks any character. Of all the new stadiums I've been to, this one is as bland as the team.The museum is ok, and Monument Park is a nice tribute to Yankee greats, but other than that, the park offers NOTHING. If you're not a Yankee Fan, skip this one. It's a huge disappointment
The New Yankee Stadium is nice, but it just doesn't wow you with it's mystic or history like the old Yankee Stadium did.
It was $10 for a mug of hot cocoa and the fans were not there for the game, it was just about talking business. Bad outfield seats were $85 face value! The same seats with a better view are $12 in Pittsburgh.
The stadium is easy to get to with the public transportation, and if you know where to park just three blocks away, you can get parking for $18 for the day instead of the $35 lots.
Overall, the new Yankee Stadium is just middle of the pack, maybe the 20th best stadium in the major leagues. A real shame they ever built it.
Unfortunately for fans of New York I think they got screwed when it comes to the new stadiums as they got 2 of the worst. Yankees Stadium just doesn't offer anything mind blowing. There are a couple cool items to the park but overall very overrated in my opinion.
(disclosure) I am a Yankee fan.
WOW, what a beautiful job they did, and it is big but comfortable. I do miss the old, but ya gotta roll with it. Food is great but prices inside can tend to be a little steep,
A small disclaimer or two. As a Red Sox fan, I'm not disposed to reflect positively on anything related to the Yankees. Also, my visit focused on the game and I didn't do a whole lot of walking around the stadium. Food: The other reviews are very positive. I wouldn't know since we ate before the game. The atmosphere was exactly what you would expect for the final game of the season against the Red Sox. The place was raucous and loud. The fans were hostile (I was wearing a Sox jersey and cap) but not excessively rude and not violent at all. I thought the surrounding neighborhood was pretty lousy. Not Detroit bad but not as nice as Pittsburgh. About the same as Boston or Flushing. Overall, the fans were great. I don't mind them giving me crap, I deserved it. There did seem to be a lot of drunk fans after the game so I'd hesitate to subject kids to that. Maybe it was an aberration. We spent the day wandering around Manhattan (Times Square and points south) and took the subway to Queens. I like the subway and it makes Yankee Stadium very accessible. I'd give a higher rating on Extras except that the memorial area closed long before we got to the park. I'd like to go back and check it out.
I forgot to give my impression of the stadium itself. I think the Yankees missed a great opportunity here. I understand that the sun affects how the field must be oriented but the view of the city from inside the stadium was just awful. All I could see from my upperdeck seats were a bunch of dilapidated buildings. Bummer. Also, on the walk to the upper levels, the stadium is closed off and doesn't offer any view at all. It reminded me of the old Veteran's Stadium in Philly. That's not good. I'd rank the stadium as the worst of the new stadiums.
Yankee Stadium 2 fails to emulate the atmosphere that the first Yankee Stadium was famous for. The fans that can't afford $500 tickets are either WAY up in the 400 level or in the bleachers. The bleachers aren't bad seats, and are the way to go if you're going on a Tuesday when they're five bucks. Check ticket brokers like Stubhub for decent prices for any other game.
If you smoke, all of Yankee Stadium is smoke free. However, go through the Hard Rock Cafe on the 1st base side and there is an outdoor area where you can light up. Bring your ticket stub with you.
The history of the Yankees speaks for itself but when I first went to the "new" stadium all I could think of was mausoleum. There were many opportunities to knock it out of the park with the food and in the Champions Club they do ... BUT ... You don't get the same bang outside the private club ... Oh well
Tickets were too expensive, seats are in a bad viewing position, fans in center field can't even see that well because of the giant protruding wall. Bad experience except for the food. Fans are abusive, and that's saying something since I'm from the North and I am very tolerant of Northerners.
The old Yankee Stadium was an American icon. In spite of the 1970’s renovation that sucked some of the charm out of the old building, attending a game there was still a commune with baseball’s history. There was the field that Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio all played on. There was the copper frieze in center field, and the icons to Yankees past in Monument Park. And the history and spiritual nature of the old stadium was a necessary part of the experience, because truth be told, it was also a dump. Somehow cavernous and cramped at the same time, unfriendly, and with an odd smell in the concourses that never quite went away, the old Yankee Stadium, in spite of its history, was at the end of its useful life when it closed. Its replacement by a billion-dollar palace in 2009 was welcomed by many Yankee regulars.
To get it out of the way right away: the new Yankee Stadium is beautiful. No expense was spared in constructing a high, handsome and gleaming white marble stadium that towers over the same Bronx neighborhood that once held the old stadium. The icons of the old stadium – the frieze, the bleachers, Monument Park, the architectural style – were all transposed to the new stadium, along with all the luxurious club seats, team store, and food options expected of a modern ballpark.
Yet many Yankee regulars have started pining for the old stadium. The twin flaws of the new Yankee Stadium are a sterile, corporate feel at the high end and a complete lack of customer service at the low end. Neither of these things should prevent fans from enjoying their experiences at the stadium, but the result is a ballpark that feels like a government building or a museum: a beautiful building that’s meant to impress and intimidate, not to welcome.
Not much to add here. Place is no longer iconic after being rebuilt a few years ago, but the cynical pricing is terrible. Bottles of beer are $9.75. Fans are OK, but still too many front-runners. Try to get tickets from secondary sellers and avoid giving the Yankees any of your hard-earned money.
I spent a wonderful evening with my partner taking in a Yankee game last summer and we absolutely loved it..We took Metro North into Yankee Stadium..
Concessions are very expensive but you get what pay for..Yankee Stadium has some of the best concessions that I have ever seen in a baseball stadium..
Tickets are expensive($125 per person for Section 223 for a non premium game) and can be hard to get..I tried to get tickets for a game for six weeks and finally managed to get some off of Stubhub after being told by the box office that my game of choice was sold out
Would I go back?? Being a Yankee fan for thirty years the answer is an big YES
Possibly one of the most overrated experiences in all of MLB. Since the Yankees are viewed as the be-all, end-all in the majors, you would think their experience would match ... not so. Tons of gaudy advertising in the view from the seating bowl, sightlines that are not the greatest and obstructed in some cases ... a return on investment where the investment is so high, the return has no chance. If the highlight of the stadium is Monument Park, then it needs to be accessible longer than an hr or so before game time. Employees are not welcoming. With some minor adjustments, the Yankees COULD be in the top experiences in the league, but the arrogance exuded by the franchise preclude that. One simple statement sums up the Yankee experience ... "the Yankees make it seem that you are lucky to be there, rather than the other way around."
In 2009, the New York Yankees opened the second iteration of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and tore down their old home, which had served them since 1923. The old Yankee Stadium was an American icon. In spite of the mid-1970’s renovation that sucked some of the charm out of the old building, attending a game there was still a commune with baseball’s history.
There was the field that Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio all starred on. There was the copper frieze in center field, and the icons to Yankees past in Monument Park. And the history and spiritual nature of the old stadium was a necessary part of the experience, because truth be told, it was also a dump.
Somehow cavernous and cramped at the same time, unfriendly, and with an odd smell in the concourses that never quite went away, the old Yankee Stadium was at the end of its useful life when it closed. Its replacement by a billion-dollar palace was welcomed by many Yankee regulars.
Six years on though, and some of them have started pining for the old stadium. The major flaw of the new Yankee Stadium is an overpriced system on tickets and food that leads to a sterile setting and empty seats through much of the summer. The result is a ballpark that feels more like a museum. It’s a beautiful building that’s meant to impress and intimidate, not to welcome.
This is my favorite ballpark to visit because I'm a Yankees fan. The stadium has an abundance of food options but pricing is high. The atmosphere, fans, and the history of the Yankees organization makes going to the stadium unlike other ballparks or stadiums. The cost of a trip to Yankee Stadium, although on par with the rest of the New York City, keep the return on investment low.
On the corner of 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx, across the way from the footprint of its predecessor, lies Yankee Stadium. Ruth did not build this house, nor Gehrig, nor Mantle, nor DiMaggio, nor any of the other immortals whose visages smile back at you as you walk the stadium’s broad concourses. This is the House that Steinbrenner Built. Even a half-decade after his passing, his spirit lives on in this temple of capitalism and Yankee Pride.
Yankee Stadium, like the city it calls home, is both a melting pot and caste system, simultaneously gritty and gilded. A fan can enter 1 East 161st Street and have a vastly different experience from the person they sat next to on the train from Manhattan. One’s experience at the House that Steinbrenner Built is as bare bones or as lavish as one’s W-2 permits.
Opened in 2009, the Yankees’ nearly 50,000-seat, billion-dollar stadium is, in many ways, more tourist destination than ballpark. Like the home of its rivals in Boston, Yankee Stadium has become as much a place to see and be seen (by your Instagram followers) as it is a place to watch the New York nine take on a visiting squad.
This is a bit of a shame, because underneath all the $9.50 beers and the empty Legends Suite seats behind home plate is one of baseball’s crown jewels, as iconic a sports venue as this country can boast. To watch a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, whether from the wine-and-cheese sections along the baselines or among the Bleacher Creatures in right field, is to feel part of something special. On a warm summer night, few stadiums carry the gravitas and damn-near piety of the House that Steinbrenner Built. To many, that justifies the price of admission on its own merits. The rest varies by pocket depth.
Food & Bev: Great food selections, but an absolutely poor beer selection; especially for such a grandiose facility.
Atmosphere: Ballpark lacks the charm of the original Yankee Stadium, and it can be felt. It is so corporate, that unless there is a sell out, or the Red Sox, Mets or Orioles are visiting it becomes hard to get into the game.
Neighborhood: Plenty of bars and park space surround the neighborhood. A much better neighborhood than most think.
Fans: The Steinbrenner Family has completely priced their core fan base out, which makes for a pretty pathetic experience unless you are in the bleachers.
Access: Easy to get to by subway, but an absolute disaster to leave. Make sure you buy your return fare in advance.
ROI: The Yankees attendance is down, fan morale is down, and for the moment they are the unquestioned number two team in NYC. The team has been in a downward spiral since the 2009 World Series victory, which to most Yankee fans feels like decades ago.
Extras: The Yankees Hall of Fame, Monument Park and Great Hall are the only places that will truly give you chills. These three features save this ballpark from being a total embarrassment.
997 Brook Avenue
Bronx, NY 10451