Experiencing The Stadium
September 13, 2008 11:56 PM
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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Integrating the administration building was really a great idea. Actually, there will be more things inside than just offices, but that will probably be some sweet space.
OK, it doesn't really look like that at all...
Louver samples on display.
The Pro Shop
Kirby Jr. set to take down the last number
Note the gigantic -- and very permanent -- M's on the gates at the base of these stairs.
A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.
At one point, we thought these windows might represent one of the so-called knotholes. But nope. Nothing to see here. (Nearest I can tell, there will be no view of the playing field whatsoever from the Seventh Street sidewalk.)
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
7:32 PM Glare begins at about the left field foul pole.
This maze of scaffolding is something you'll probably never see again.
The sculpture on which millions of kids will one day pose.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
A view from up (and in) the street.
Another look at the outfield stands (Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune)
The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)
The finished product.
Work on one of the side panels
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.
Circulation building with construction team on top
The flowers don't have quite the fullness depicted in the original sketches (where they were positively overflowing), but they are quite lovely -- a great, subtle touch. And that's probably a very challenging place to grow anything.
Uh oh. Schizophrenia.
Click to enlarge.
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
I believe that the truck is parked in one of the curb cutouts which are being installed to facilitate ticket sales and traffic calming.
Oh, a flag pole will be so much more...dignified
Pile driving in progress
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures