Yankee Stadium in New York City
Yankee Stadium is a stadium located in The Bronx in New York City. It serves as the home ballpark for the New York Yankees, replacing the previous Yankee Stadium, built in . The new ballpark was constructed across the street, north-northeast of the 1923 Yankee Stadium, on the former site of Macombs Dam Park. The ballpark opened April 2, 2009, when the Yankees hosted a workout day in front of fans from the Bronx community. The first game at the new Yankee Stadium was a pre-season exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs played on April 3, 2009, which the Yankees won 7–4. The first regular season game was played on April 16, a 10–2 Yankee loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Much of the stadium incorporates design elements from the previous Yankee Stadium, paying homage to the Yankees' history. Although stadium construction began in August 2006, the project of building a new stadium for the Yankees is one that spanned many years and faced many controversies. The stadium was built on what had been 24 acre of public parkland. Replacement ballfields, slated to open when the new stadium did, have not been completed. Also controversial was the price tag of $1.5 billion, which makes it not only the most expensive baseball stadium ever built, but the third most expensive stadium of any kind (after Wembley Stadium in London and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey).
New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner began campaigning for the building of a new stadium in the 1980s, even alleging unsafe conditions around the original Yankee Stadium despite the possibility that such statements could discourage attendance at his own team's games. Yankees ownership allegedly planned to move the team across the Hudson River to New Jersey. The Yankees also considered moving to the West Side of Manhattan, which was where the proposed West Side Stadium would later be considered for the New York Jets and the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had already been instrumental in the construction of taxpayer-funded minor league baseball facilities MCU Park for the Mets' minor league Brooklyn Cyclones and Richmond County Bank Ballpark for the Staten Island Yankees. Shortly before leaving office in December 2001, he announced "tentative agreements" for both the New York Yankees and New York Mets to build new stadiums. Of $1.5 billion sought for the stadiums, city and state taxpayers would pick up half the tab for construction, $800 million, along with $390 million on extra transportation. The plan also said that the teams would be allowed to keep all parking revenues, which state officials had already said they wanted to keep to compensate the state for building new garages for the teams. The teams would keep 96% of ticket revenues and 100% of all other revenues, not pay sales tax or property tax on the stadium, and would get low-cost electricity from the state of New York. The Yankees organization then donated the retrieved jersey to the Jimmy Fund, a charity started in 1948 by the Red Sox' National League rivals, the Boston Braves, but long championed by the Red Sox and particularly associated with Ted Williams. The worker has since claimed to have buried a 2004 American League Championship Series program/scorecard, but has not said where he placed it. These attempts did not work; the Yankees won the 2009 World Series in their first year in the new stadium.
$1.5 million of New York state tax revenue will be used to build parking garages (as authorized by the State Legislature). The parking garage project would cost $320 million. City and state taxpayers will forgo up to $7.5 million annually in lost taxes resulting from the sale of $225 million in tax-exempt bonds authorized on October 9, 2007, by the New York City Industrial Development Agency (administered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation) to finance construction and renovation of the parking garages. However, if the parking revenues are not enough to pay a reported $3.2 million land lease to the city, the entity that will operate the parking garages and collect revenue will be able to defer that payment.
The new stadium is meant to be very similar in design to the original Yankee Stadium, both in its original 1923 state and its post-renovation state in 1976. The exterior resembles the original look of the 1923 Yankee Stadium. The interior, a modern ballpark with greater space and increased amenities, features a playing field that closely mimics the 1988-2008 dimensions of the old park. The current stadium features 4,300 club seats and 68 luxury suites.
Design and layout
The stadium was designed by the architect firm Populous (formerly HOK Sport). The exterior was made from 11,000 pieces of Indiana limestone, along with granite and pre-cast concrete. Sports & The Arts was hired by the Yankees to curate the nearly 1,300 photographs that adorn the building from sources including the Daily News, Getty Images, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball.
The seats are laid out similar to the original stadium's stands, with grandstand seating that stretches beyond the foul poles, as well as bleacher seats beyond the outfield fences. The Field Level and Main Level comprise the lower bowl, with suites on the H&R Block Level, and the Upper Level and Grandstand Level comprising the upper bowl. With seven-story ceilings, the Great Hall features more than 31000 sqft of retail space and is lined with 20 banners of past and present Yankees superstars.
Monument Park, which features the Yankees' retired numbers, as well as monuments and plaques dedicated to distinguished Yankees, has been moved from its location beyond the left field fences in the original Yankee Stadium to its new location beyond the center field fences at the new facility. The newly relocated Monument Park is now situated under the sports bar, this choice of location has drawn criticism as the many monuments are underneath the sports bar and not as in the open as in the previous Yankee Stadium. Fueling this criticism has been the advent of black shades that cover monuments on the back wall during games to prevent interference with the vision of the batter. The new location of the monuments is meant to mirror their original placement in center field at the original pre-renovation Yankee Stadium, albeit when they were on the playing field. The transfer of Monument Park from the old stadium to the new stadium began on November 10, 2008. The first monuments were put in place on February 23, 2009. Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera requested that the Yankees reposition the team's bullpen, as well as add a door to connect the Yankees' bullpen to Monument Park, in order to allow access to it by Yankee relievers. The organization complied with his request. Due to the design of the right-field stands and the inclusion of an embedded manual scoreboard, the right-field wall is an average of 5 ft closer to home plate. Overall, the fences measure 318 ft to left field, 399 ft to left-center field, 408 ft to center field, 385 ft to right-center field, and 314 to right field. At the old Yankee Stadium, the right field wall curved from the right-field corner to straightaway center, while at the new ballpark the fence takes a sharp, almost entirely straight angle. Along with 227 mi of wired Ethernet cable, the building has sufficient fiber-optic cable wiring that Cisco Vice President and Treasurer David Holland calls the building "future proof".
The Yankees clubhouse features 30000 ft² of space, over 2.5 times the space of the clubhouse from the previous facility. The dressing area alone features 3344 ft² of space, with each locker equipped with a safety deposit box and touch-screen computer. A "Ball Wall" features hundreds of balls autographed by past and present Yankees, and there are plans to eventually add autographs for every living player who has played for the Yankees. Plans initially called for a fourth new garage, but this was eliminated before the final approval. The garages will be built (and renovated) by the Community Initiatives Development Corporation of Hudson, N.Y., a nonprofit entity that will use the parking revenue to repay the bonds and pay a $3 million yearly land lease to the City of New York. Parking is expected to cost $25 per game. Seats within the first eight rows in the lower bowl, called the "Legends Suite", rank among the highest priced tickets in professional sports, with the average ticket in the section selling for $510 and the most expensive single game-day ticket costing $2,600. Fans were told by some staff members that the game was unlikely to resume and consequently, many fans exited the stadium, only for the game to eventually resume play.
In its first season, Yankee Stadium quickly acquired a reputation as a "bandbox" and a "launching pad" due to the high number of home runs hit at the new ballpark. Through its first 23 games, 87 home runs were hit at the venue, easily besting Enron Field's (now called Minute Maid Park) previous record set in 2000. Early in the season, Yankee Stadium was on pace to break Coors Field's 1999 single-season record of 303 home runs allowed, and the hometown New York Daily News newspaper started publishing a daily graphic comparing each stadium's home run totals through a similar number of games.
ESPN commentator Peter Gammons denounced the new facility as "one of the biggest jokes in baseball" and concludes that "[it] was not a very well-planned ballpark." The franchise is planning to conduct a second study, but Major League rules prohibit it from making any changes to the playing field until the off-season. AccuWeather's analysis found that roughly 20% of the home runs hit at the new ballpark would not have been home runs at the old ballpark due to the gentle curve of its right field corner, and its 10 ft wall height. However, the prolific home run rate of April and May 2009 that drew criticism has not sustained itself over any season thus far, and while through the first two months of the 2011 season the Yankees hit far more homers than any other team in the majors, Yankee Stadium was not the top home run park.
Before the official Opening Day against the Cleveland Indians April 16, 2009, the Yankees hosted a two-game exhibition series at the stadium in early April against the Chicago Cubs. Jorge Posada hit the first Yankee home run in the new ballpark hitting his off Lee in the same game. Russell Branyan, while playing for the Seattle Mariners, was the first player to hit a home run off of the Mohegan Sun Restaurant in center field. Like its predecessor, the new Yankee Stadium hosted the World Series in its very first season; in the 2009 World Series, the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 2. It also became the latest stadium to host a World Series-clinching victory by its home team in the venue's first season (after the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series at Busch Stadium in 2006), when, on November 4, 2009, the Yankees won their 27th World Series championship against the Phillies. The Yankees are the only team to inaugurate two stadiums with World Series wins and also appeared in the 1976 World Series following the refurbishment of the original Yankee Stadium. On October 6, 2011 Detroit Tigers in game five of the ALDS were the first team to eliminate the Yankees at the new Yankee Stadium in the postseason.
|First game|| April 3, 2009|
Yankees 7, Cubs 4
| April 16, 2009|
Indians 10, Yankees 2
| October 7, 2009|
Yankees 7, Twins 2
|Ceremonial First Pitch||Reggie Jackson||Yogi Berra||Eric T. Olson|
|First Pitch||Chien-Ming Wang||CC Sabathia||CC Sabathia|
|First Batter||Aaron Miles (Cubs)||Grady Sizemore (Indians)||Denard Span (Twins)|
|First Hit||Aaron Miles (Cubs)||Johnny Damon||Denard Span (Twins)|
|First Yankees hit||Derek Jeter||Johnny Damon||Derek Jeter|
|First Home Run||Robinson Cano||Jorge Posada||Derek Jeter|
|First win||Chien-Ming Wang||Cliff Lee (Indians)||CC Sabathia|
|First Save||Jonathan Albaladejo||Mariano Rivera (4/17)||Mariano Rivera|
Many historic milestones and records have been achieved at Yankee Stadium. In 2009, Derek Jeter became the Yankees all-time hits leader with his 2,722nd hit, surpassing Lou Gehrig's 72-year record. The following season, Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run at the Stadium, becoming the youngest player to accomplish the feat. In 2011, three significant milestones were achieved at the stadium. In July, Jeter became the first Yankee to join the 3000 hit club and collect all 3,000 hits with the franchise. The following month, the Yankees became the first team in history to hit three grand slams in a single game. As the regular season drew to a close, Mariano Rivera became the all-time leader in regular season saves, when he earned his 602nd save. That game drew the smallest crowd in the three-year existence of Yankee Stadium, according STATS LLC.
The first ever non-baseball event at the Stadium took place on April 25, 2009, with pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen holding a “Historic Night of Hope” prayer service.
A New York University graduation ceremony took place on May 13, 2009 with the address being delivered by U.S. Secretary of State and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton. The 2010 NYU ceremony featured alumnus Alec Baldwin as a speaker. President Bill Clinton will speak at the 2011 ceremony.
The promotional tour for the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight began with an event at Yankee Stadium on September 10, 2009.
On June 5, 2010, Yuri Foreman fought Cotto in the first boxing match in The Bronx since 1976. The fight was referred to as the "Stadium Slugfest." Cotto defeated Foreman with a TKO in the ninth round.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish played a college football game at Yankee Stadium against The Army Black Knights on November 20, 2010, with the Irish defeating the Black Knights 27-3. This marked the two teams' first meeting in the Bronx since 1969. Army played Rutgers in 2011 (Rutgers defeated Army 27-12), and will play Air Force and Boston College in 2012 and 2014, respectively, at Yankee Stadium.
Yankee Stadium hosted the newly-created Pinstripe Bowl, an annual college football bowl game that pitted Syracuse (3rd place Big East) against Kansas State (7th place Big 12) on December 30, 2010. Syracuse defeated Kansas State 36-34 in a shootout.
The Yankees were in discussions with the National Hockey League to have Yankee Stadium host the 2011 NHL Winter Classic. However, the NHL chose Heinz Field as the host. The stadium was a candidate to host the 2010 NHL Winter Classic before it was awarded to Boston's Fenway Park.
Rappers Jay-Z and Eminem performed the first concert at Yankee Stadium on September 13, 2010.
Paul McCartney performed at Yankee Stadium on July 15 and 16, 2011.
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, the "Big 4" of Thrash Metal, performed together for the second time in the United States at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2011.
- Official Site
- Virtual tour of new Yankee Stadium
- Newsday.com New Yankee Stadium
- Ballparks of Baseball
- Ballparks.com overview of proposed stadium
- Photographic Updates of the Construction of the New Yankee Stadium
- Metro-North Railroad station at Yankee Stadium
- Yankee Stadium Seating Chart