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.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"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
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Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
A distinct misstep, ostensibly to guard against missteps. But methinks I smell a lawyer...
You can finally see how the plaza will meet the street on the north side of this emergency exit tower (which will be converted to a regular entrance/exit)
Near the end of the Angels' 4-run second inning.
We'll be packed into the first five rows of section 136. Hey, Wilson! I'm bringing my glove!
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...
Typical standing room crowd which started early and lasted the entire game.
Left field bench seating
The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.
Final Metrodome baseball sight
"Original" or "Dinger" Dog
These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.
OK, it doesn't really look like that at all...
This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.
I think that's a pig up there on that vane!
For reference, here's that spot on the model.
Stairs and escalator down to the platform
It's a great view of the action, though standing here is somewhat discouraged.
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
Nuts on Clark (a couple blocks north of Wrigley Field)
Looking south (toward Seventh Street).
Trains now rumble regularly beneath the promenade.
This is the upper deck in Anaheim
The future history of Minnesota ballparks will go here
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.
The lot within the lot.
Viewed from up Sixth Street, the tip of the canopy looks like the claw of some gigantic crustacean!
A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)
Hubert's remains the only sports bar within site of the Dome after 28 years of its existence. It's a cautionary tale.
Legends Club seats feature in-seat service
The splendid view from the roof of the Minikahda building. (Click to enlarge greatly.)