Saturday, May 16, 2009
My Trip To the New Yankee Stadium
I went to my first game at the new Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, April 22, a day game against the Oakland A's. I'm still blown away that the place is already open for business. It seems to have all happened so fast. Over the last couple of years I've literally seen this place rise as I've passed it on the Deegan Expressway.
Parking is still a bitch (and expensive—$19), especially with the old Stadium still standing, and other construction still ongoing. A new Metro-North train station is almost complete, and will be my mode of transportation in the future.
Literally across the street from the old Stadium, you enter the new Stadium into the Great Hall, highlighted by two-sided banners of Yankees legends. This hall leads to different locations: the official Yankees store, Monument Park (get there early to see this. We didn't make it in time), the Yankees Museum, and the lower level of seats. The old Stadium is visible through the windows.
The Yankees Museum is a new feature, and includes the expected memorabilia like bats and balls and uniforms highlighting the different eras of Yankee dynasties. The latest era is called the "Derek Jeter Era" (I wonder what Mariano, O'Neill, Pettitte, and Torre think of that) and includes the championship trophies. Overall the museum was a little disappointing; hopefully they will continue to update it.
The most impressive part of the new Stadium is that everything is so open. While you are walking to your section, you can actually see the field. If you get up to buy a beer or hot dog, or to use the bathroom, you can just turn around and still watch the game. You don't feel like you've left the building, as you did in the old place.
Once in my seats I was reminded why I stopped going to games in April. There was a steady rain until probably around the fifth or sixth inning. Never hard enough to delay the game, just enough to keep you soggy.
We explored a bit during the game (we had time, it ended up going extra innings), and were happy to see that the bleachers section can now be reached from the rest of the Stadium. The Bleacher Creatures are no longer segregated. As with the rest of the Stadium, the walkways are wide and open, and the bleachers offer a good view at a cheap price:
We went back to our seats, and after the top of the 14th, we explored again, and made our way down a level and closer to home plate. Here we got to see Melky Cabrera, one of my favorite players, hit a walk-off homerun. Here is the resulting celebration:
Because of the rain and the extra innings (not to mention it was a day game), by the time we left, the Stadium was already half empty. It STILL took us an hour to get out of the parking lot and onto the Deegan. This, I guess, was in case I needed any further proof that I should take the train from now on.
All in all, and despite the rain, it was worth every penny of the $2,500 I spent on the ticket. Just kidding. Really, it was just 50 bucks.