Sunshine and high humidity led to sweating and baseball at Yankee Stadium today, and it was a great experience. I am truly glad I went.
Though I'm back in Minneapolis, I only have enough time to give some quick impressions. Many of you have probably been there and can back me up (or not).
The place is pretty impressive, but nowhere near as iconic up close as it is in photographs or on TV. It's a stadium, with all of the very familiar hoopla surrounding it, and it's just kind of worn out. The concourses are terribly cramped, the seats are faded and rusty, the amenities are squeezed into spaces much too small.
I think that if I were a Yankee fan (which I was for just this one day -- left a bad taste in my mouth, and not just because they stunk up the place), I would have preferred that they rebuild on the same site rather than moving up the road.
There was a time when the Red Sox had HOK design a Fenway clone which could be built just to the southwest of the original. But then they wised up. It would look a little like Fenway, but it wouldn't actually be Fenway. Better to gradually rebuild the original (which they have done beautifully) than to bulldoze it.
The new Yankee stadium bears some resemblance to the current, and a passing (though not exactly faithful) resemblance to the original, but it will never be "the house that Ruth built." (To be fair, old-timers say that the renovations in the 70s killed that park anyway.)
One thing that must move with the team to the new park, and probably will, is the rabidity of the fans. I sat in an upper box surrounded by people -- even kids -- who spent the whole game talking about baseball. Things like why A-Rod wasn't playing but Giambi was. Or where Joba would be next year: rotation or bullpen? And where did all these new guys come from? (The kid behind me, about 12 years old, could answer any question and talked like a 45-year-old fan. Probably his dad.)
I also heard it on the subway, and at the Sbarro stand out at the airport where the cashier, seeing my hat, asked me what had happened in the game. When he heard that Mussina got rocked, he just shook his head. Then he muttered some unkind words about Sidney Ponson, who was scheduled to start the second game.
I guess that The Team makes The Fan, and they, together with History, make The Stadium a special place.
It's the direct connection to History that you lose by moving up the road, but if the other elements hold strong, I suppose there will be plenty of new History created over time.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)
The mounds have grown seating supports
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Just think: It could look like this!
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
This is why I get it, even if I don't like it.
The wooden louvers are in on Fifth Street
The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002
Outside the Metropolitan Club, photos of all the other major league ballparks
Oh no! Beach ball! But click to enlarge so you can see the wide range of expressions on people's faces. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
A sign that your mall is all but dead: roped off escalators. (This is at about 4:00 PM on a weekday.)
Town Ball Tavern balcony
Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.
Auxiliary scoreboard (note to TF principles: this is a very good idea)
You can't get there from here.
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.
Note the speakers hanging beneath that deck
One of the many supports being built over the tracks.
A new address for the Admin building
Note reflected sunset (7:30 PM). Could be a worry...
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
The Overlook, as seen by outfielders
This looks like a Twins Pub, but is actually the scoreboard operations.
The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)