Thursday, April 16, 2009

The New Yankee Stadium

Yankee stadium officially opened today. The New New York Yankees stadium. Yogi threw out the first pitch and stated his approval of the new stadium. His only criticism was that the clubhouse was too big so you had to walk too far if you wanted to talk to someone. It does come with plenty of big TVs and personal computers and state of the art exercise equipment, of course. The worst seats in the house were going for two hundred dollars today- that's for one game not the three game series with the Indians. I guess it was a sell out and those were scalped seats cus the Yankee website says the nose bleed section is only $30 a seat. Bleacher seats are only $14. However, the good seats, not the great seats, but just the decent seats are priced from $150 to $375. The great seats, the premium level seats go from $500 to if you have to ask you probably can't afford it. These include personal restrooms (although the new stadium has more restrooms than the old one), personal waiters serving fine dining options, cushioned seats with teak arms and in some cases a private entrance and preferred parking. Whatever happened to going out to the old ballgame? Sitting in the sun, eating a hot dog? Peanuts you can crack and let the shells drop on the concrete? What has happened to baseball when only the execs getting bailout bucks can afford a ticket?

I went to Yankee stadium once although I was a fanatic fan as a kid. My parents were not sports fans and thought it was nuts to drive into New York City (we lived upstate which is a different universe from NYC). My dad had to drive in there for business sometimes and he could not believe people actually drove in there when they didn't have to. Plus, there was no money for sports tickets even at the prices in the old days. So, I had to wait until I could take my own kids to a ballgame before I ever went to a big league park. I never took them to Yankee stadium though. I guess some of my dads prejudices about city driving rubbed off on me. Anyway, one year our son, Matt, played in his school band and they were asked to play at Yankee Stadium for pre-game ceremonies. I immediately volunteered to chaperon and then convinced the stadium security that I was a necessary part of the band entourage. That's how I fulfilled a lifelong fantasy and walked from right field to center field in Yankee stadium, retracing the steps of my childhood hero, Mickey Mantle as he tracked down a flyball.

My dream as a kid was to play at Yankee Stadium. It didn't take too long to figure out that that dream was not going to come true: I couldn't hit a curve, and flinched on hard grounders and my sidearm fastball didn't fool many hitters. With prices in the new Yankee stadium, I can only dream of ever seeing a game there, too.

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