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.
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".
The food selection is excellent, with many New York-flavored options. Hebrew National and Nathan's Famous hot dogs both make an appearance, as do corned beef sandwiches and knishes. There is also a sushi bar, barbecue, and other options, and while prices are high, the taste is better than the typical ballpark.
The Yankees justifiably took some flak in early 2013 for their beer selection. The "Beers of the World" stand features all the best of European macrobrews like Stella Artois and Heineken, whereas their new "Craft Beer" stand only features imitation craft beers that are owned by MillerCoors. Actual craft beer isn't present.
The "NYY Steak" restaurant on site is probably the most upscale in baseball, and there are many other sit-down food options available to the moneyed crowd.
As mentioned above, the new stadium is beautifully designed. It cost over a billion dollars to build, and it shows. Marble and copper are everywhere, and the "feel" of the old Yankee Stadium was faithfully replicated. Yet the ballpark is the most segregated and stratified in baseball. The "Legends Suite" area in the lower level immediately behind home plate is completely inaccessible to ordinary fans, not just by security, but by a concrete moat protecting the rich from ever interacting with Vinnie from Jersey.
The rest of the lower and second deck seats are fine, and the upper deck grandstand is actually pretty good - the new stadium is far smaller than the old one and so views from the grandstand are excellent. The biggest seating flaws in the new stadium come in the bleachers - the batter's eye at the new stadium is a restaurant, and it cuts off huge sections of the bleachers from seeing the game.
What surprises many first-time visitors is that the Yankees don't take themselves as seriously as many would expect. The team has the same tacky scoreboard promotions as every other team, and the grounds crew famously dances to the Village People's "YMCA" in the sixth inning of every game.
Unfortunately, the Yankees have never scored high on customer service, and the poor guest relations have also moved across the street into the new stadium. In the lower decks where the hoi polloi sit, uniformed ushers cater to your every will. Upstairs, there are no ushers at all, only uniformed security guards. More than one security guard we interacted with didn't know where the bathrooms were, or the closest Hebrew National concession stand, and every single one of them refused to take our picture. The strangest part is that there was no reason for all the security - the Diamondbacks were in town, the upper deck was mostly empty, and the fans around us were mostly normal folks watching the game.
We left with a bad taste in our mouths. The Yankees are happy to take anyone's money, but of the 27 MLB parks I've visited I've never felt less welcome than in the Bronx.
Back in the 1970's, Yankee Stadium was an oasis of normality surrounded by sports bars and souvenir stands, but walking one block into the South Bronx in any direction was risking your life. Things are far better now. While the Bronx still has a rough reputation, it's mostly undeserved these days, as gentrification has pushed the middle classes out of Manhattan and into the surrounding boroughs. Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are all in far better shape than they once were, and wandering around the area on gameday isn't unsafe anymore. That said, the Bronx still isn't Kenmore Square or Wrigleyville or China Basin. Poor tenement houses and projects make up most of the area.
The completion of Heritage Field on the site of the old stadium, just across 161st St. from the new Stadium, gives an almost bucolic and open-air setting to the area.
Yankee fans... any baseball fan already has an image in mind. Front-running glory-hunters from Peoria. Gold chain and muscle shirt-wearing guys from Jersey. Families from Westchester. Grandfathers from Morningside Heights who've been coming since the 1940's. The Yankees, somewhat surprisingly, don't sell out most games, though most people would argue that this is more a function of the team pricing itself out of the market than a lack of passion among the faithful. The bleacher bums still do the roll call at the start of every game, chanting each player's name in turn until the player acknowledges them.
The most surprising thing about the Yankee fans to a first-time visitor, though, is just how normal they are. For the most part, they're not obnoxious or difficult; they're just ordinary baseball fans cheering on their team. They make noise well and aren't afraid to get loud. If you're a true neutral (which is rare when it comes to the Yankees), you'll probably find them welcoming and passionate. Just don't try to cheer too loudly for the Red Sox!
New York once had three, competing subway lines - the IRT, BMT, and IND - and as a result, transferring between the two of them can be difficult. Yankee Stadium is built at one of the rare conjunctions of the lines (where the IRT 4 train meets the IND B and D trains) and as a result, Yankee Stadium can be easily accessed on the subway from any point in New York. There's also a Metro North station nearby for visitors from the northern suburbs and Connecticut.
If you insist on driving, you've got lots of options as well - the Major Deegan Expressway and Cross-Bronx Expressway are both close by, and exit right near the stadium. Parking is as expensive as you'd expect in New York, but as long as traffic doesn't hold you up, you can get to Yankee Stadium relatively easily from nearly any point in the metro area.
If you decide to drive and park, then we highly recommend using Gotta Park to purchase parking in advance near Yankee Stadium.
It has been noted repeatedly by many commentators how expensive Yankee tickets are. Yes, they're pricy. But the low ROI score isn't because the Yankees charge a fortune. It's the fact that the Yankees are alone in MLB in waging war on secondary market resellers, even as MLB as a whole has a signed agreement with Stubhub. The Yankees have the unbridled arrogance to think that somehow their tickets shouldn't be subject to the laws of economics. They're so expensive that it's affected attendance, and rather than doing the sensible thing (recognizing that prices are too high and lowering them to a level the market can bear), the Yankees have instead elected to fight against the season ticket holders who sell unused tickets at market value, undercutting box office prices.
Upper level tickets can usually be found for well below face value, but if you want good seats, you'll have to pay through the nose for them. It's simply not worth it as a casual distraction when compared with similar seats at Lincoln Center or on Broadway (or Citi Field, for that matter). Yes, going to see the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium is worth it for every baseball fan to do once. But at those prices, it's not something that ordinary fans can do often.
In spite of everything, you should go anyway. Check out the souvenir shops on River Avenue and run the bases at Heritage Field. Browse through the Yankee museum behind the plate. Arrive as ridiculously early as you can and go see Monument Park in center field. Stare at the copper frieze and watch the 4 train rumble by every few minutes through the gap in right field. Marvel at being in such a luxurious stadium and soak up the atmosphere. The Yankees' customer service is terrible and everything is ludicrously overpriced, but it's still worth it to go to a game, feel the weight of history, and be part of the Bronx tradition.
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.
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.
997 Brook Avenue
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