For the Umptimillionth Time…

You get a review of the new Yankee Stadium on the blogosphere. I had a chance to check it out on Friday night. I bought tickets on the spur of the moment- and got a pretty good price on seats with a great view. All I can really say is beautiful. What an absolutely gorgeous ballpark. In the old stadium, the field was about the only pretty thing about it. The inside of the stadium was ugly, cramped, and on hot days, almost felt like it could suffocate you.

In the new ballpark, the open concourses mean you don’t have to miss much of the action when going to get food. Not surprisingly, many fans chose to watch bits and pieces of the game from the concourse walkways, just to see how close a view they could obtain. Most of the seats seem closer to the action; since the backstop is closer to home plate and the upper deck is much less steep, they probably are. The gigantic scoreboard actually didn’t look out of place upon viewing it in person. Oh, and I don’t think I had much of a wait in a bathroom at all. For a fan, this place is absolutely an upgrade, and the designers did a terrific job on it.

I would say that I looked over towards the obstructed view seats by the batter’s eye in centerfield. While they are pretty cheap at $5 or so, I probably wouldn’t buy those tickets myself and depend on a television screen to ensure that I saw everything. But there are some pretty good ticket values in the rest of the stadium too. I was in the Main Level between first base and the right field foul pole, which cost me $45 on Stubhub (about what season-ticket holders paid, so presumably someone was trying to dump his/her ticket); day-of-game is more but still seemed okay. From eyeballing the rest of the Main Level and the upper deck, you probably couldn’t go wrong with anything except seats right near the top, and none of them will cost you $1250; most not even $100.

Later in the summer, I hope to get there early enough to check out the new Monument Park and team museum, and maybe even try the Lobel’s steak sandwich. Despite costing $15, no concession stand had as long a line when I went to look at the food court. I stuck to some pulled pork from Brother Jimmy’s and an orange, which was okay but not special. Yes, you can actually buy fresh fruit if you want to! I just wish it was a bit more conspicuously placed and nicely presented, which this blogger seemed to agree with me about. Having little tables with views of the field to put food trays on is a nice touch in case you don’t want to carry things all the way back to your seat.

All in all, despite a 7-3 loss to the Phillies, it was a good night out (made even better by meeting up with some friends in midtown afterward, as well as by seeing LeBron’s unbelievable shot, video of which is posted below). If you have a chance to attend a game, do it!

After this weekend, Yankee Stadium has yielded 87 homers in 23 games, a new MLB record. I got to see seven of them on Friday night, most of which were no-doubt dingers on contact. Hey, if pitchers make mistakes at the big league level, hitters will make them pay in almost any ballpark. Jimmy Rollins homered on the first pitch; it was a case of blink and you just saw it landing several rows deep in the bleachers, 1-0 Phillies just like that. Anyway, I do think the Yankees can win a championship in their new home at some point. The Phillies proved last year that you can win playing most of your games in a hitter-friendly yard; your pitchers just have to hit their spots.

I saw a lot of servicemen and women at the ballpark and around New York for the annual Fleet Week festivities, which once again leads into Memorial Day. So I would be remiss if I didn’t wish everyone a great holiday, especially to those who have and continue to selflessly volunteer for our nation. Today is for all of you.

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