Why Yankee Stadium Should Still Be The Yankees’ Home
Do you remember the glory days? Because I don’t.
Born in the summer of 1998 and first intently following the Yankees in 2006, I never witnessed the Bomber’s dynasty of the late-90s. Though my suffering was rewarded with being there to watch them win #27, it wasn’t at Yankee Stadium. It was at the “new” Cathedral.
A stadium with less seating, a moat dividing the blue from the white collared, and ticket prices that make a baseball game seem like front row tickets to The Rolling Stones, has turned the experience of a day at Yankee Stadium into a day of spending, sushi, and empty seats. Don’t get me wrong, the new place is one of the better modern and beautiful sports arenas around, but this article is more of a rant on how the old house – The House That Ruth Built – should have never closed its doors in the first place.
In the past five years, New Yorkers have seen Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, and Giants Stadium close and be teared down for newer replacements. Three iconic, legendary and historic arenas, turned to parking lots and (in Yankee Stadium’s case), a high school baseball field. Some fans you talk to love the new facilities. The more space, the new scoreboards, food, shops – it’s a good argument. But what I’m really trying to figure out here, is if the Yankees can spend $1.3 billion on a completely new stadium, how much would it have cost to just renovate the old one?
I mean, it’s almost comical to think Fenway Park is turning 100, and not stopping there. Continual dedicated renovations season after season has made the 37,000 seat ballpark, according to the Red Sox, able to stand for another 50 years or so. That’s great for the game and for Boston, so, why couldn’t New York have done the same? That’s what bugs me here.
The old stadium was a place of warmth, closeness, tradition, and most of all, history. From The Bat and to the upper deck that seemingly hung over the players, Yankee Stadium was one of my favorite places in the world, if not the favorite. Yes, there were few bathrooms. The concourses were cramped and falling apart. And a myriad of other problems arose in its final decades. But it was something that could have been fixed. The old stadium, could have still been THE Stadium.
I’m no architect, but I don’t think it would have been a real challenge, realistically. Put the frieze back on top of the stadium, replace the seats, add new bathrooms/clubs/amenities, and maybe paint the stadium a tannish color to make it seem like the pre-1973 version, and basically, there you go. How much would that have cost? I’m sure not $1.3 billion. And I’m sure it would have allowed Yankee Stadium to stand for many more years to come, than to close after 85 years and let the runt of all baseball stadiums, Fenway, and the Red Sox, stay in their historic stadium much longer.
I can go on for hours, but you got things to do, people to see, as do I. But it is an utter disgrace to me that Yankee Stadium no longer stands, when it was so easy and possible to let it do so far after 2008. Oh well. See you at the World Series. Only $1,500 for a seat in the nosebleeds!