It’s been one of the most heralded and anticipated venue openings in years, if not ever. For years and
years, the New York Yankees explored different plans for a replacement venue for their hallowed
stadium. Ideas were discussed to move the team to New Jersey; then there was even a concept
floated to build a stadium on the west side of Manhattan. At one point, the idea of keeping the team in
the Bronx, perceived as a scary and unsafe place to house the franchise, was off the table. But
eventually hoe became where the heart was. A new Yankee Stadium rose directly to the north of the
place that had been their home since 1923. And in April of 2009, the new Yankee Stadium, “The House
That Jeter built”, opened its doors for the first time.
Getting to the Venue
Yankee Stadium is located right off the Deegan Expressway, I-87, in the Bronx (Take exits 3-4-5-6).
Immediately adjacent to the stadium are densely populated residential and commercial districts.
Nonetheless, ample parking structures, lots and ramps are located within reasonable walking
distance, with the closest ramps costing $19 to park. The stadium is also served by the New York
Subway’s 4, B and D lines – the elevated trains deposit fans right along the right field entrance at the
161st St/Yankee Stadium station.
Outside the Venue
Despite the perception that this is a scary and unsafe neighborhood, the Yankee Stadium district is a
sight to behold. The area has a decidedly New York feel to it, from the smells of vending carts, the
noise of subway trains rattling high above River St, to the congested streets, to the shops and
bodegas. River Street, the road that runs beneath the overhead trains, is replete with souvenir shops,
restaurants, taverns, sports bars and other retail venues. On game day, the streets here are teeming
with fans, and it is a great place to hang out.
Directly outside the stadium is a gathering area called the Babe Ruth Plaza, with vending carts,
souvenir stands and right across the street still stands the old Yankee Stadium, which will eventually
be deconstructed and remade into a smaller “Heritage Field”. The Yankees’ “Big Bat”, a boiler stack
resembling a bat, still stands outside gate 4 of the old stadium.
Architecture and Seating Bowl
The new Yankee Stadium was designed to resemble its former venue in shape and contours, yet the
overall architecture mimics the look and feel of the original style of the stadium when it opened in the
20s. Grand. Classic. Monumental. All these words could describe the look of the new building with its
tall and sleek arches, limestone and granite face, and gold leaf marquees high above the entrances.
The stadium more than atones for the brutal 70s renovation of the old place which took so much of the
character away from the building. And it draws on the energy and vitality of the urban streetscape. At a
cost of $800 million, and that’s just the cost of the stadium itself, the building befits the storied
franchise that is the New York Yankees.
Inside, the signature scalloped frieze adorns the roof above the upper deck, and the seating bowl
bears a stunning resemblance to the former stadium. With capacity at a bit over 53,000, it is slightly
smaller than the old place.
The electronics here are fabulous – ribbon boards run across the entire upper deck balcony, running
from foul pole to foul pole. But it is the massive HD scoreboard that hang above the batters eye in
centerfield which commands attention. It is massive, bright, and is flanked by two additional boards
across the panoramic outfield, one which primarily displays ads and a second for out of town scores.
Consistent with design in most newer ballparks, the field and upper concourses have a view of the
field right from the concourses.
Let’s start with the Great Hall. A massive concourse and grand entryway, the Great Hall contains
banners of Yankees stars, huge LED boards offering directional signage, a massive HD video board,
and of course entries to one of the many team merchandise stores and elevators and escalators to
almost any point in the stadium.
One of the cool features of the field level is a mural timeline of each of the Yankees 26 world
championship, beautifully displayed above the concession stands. There is plenty of room here for fan
movement, and unlike the old stadium, bleacher patrons can meander through the non premium
areas of the building, where they were formerly restricted to the centerfield areas.
There are several features here that make this stadium unique – Monument Park, a space containing
markers and plaques to herald the best of the best Yankee greats, is located beyond the centerfield
wall, and is open for fans to tour until 45 minutes before first pitch. Then there is the Yankees Museum,
located on the main level on the right field side, with exhibits of the team’s championship trophies and
oceans of signed baseballs comprising a “Ball Wall” among the memorabilia. Get there early as long
lines form at both attractions.
Food food food… One can find just about anything here at Yankee Stadium, but be prepared to pay.
Nathan’s hots, Famous Famiglia NY style pizza, and Highlander stands featuring standard treats such
as cracker jacks. But that’s only the beginning. Philly cheese steaks at Carl’s stands, garlic fries, Boar’
s Head deli sandwiches, Johnny Rockets, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ. What really caught our eye was right
outside the Great Hall – a farmers market stand selling fresh fruits, veggies and fruit salads,
reminiscent of the NY delis displaying their fresh wares on the streets of the city.
In addition to three main merchandise stores, there is an art gallery on the main level, and also a
Yankees Steiner collectibles store.
There are several restaurants in the stadium – a Hard Rock Café near gate 6, a NYY steakhouse
offering upscale dining experiences. Then there is the Mohegan Sun sports bar, located directly behind
centerfield above Monument Park, offering pub fare and a panoramic view of the game.
This is one of the greatest franchises in all of sports – and that being said, the entire building is a
museum of sorts to celebrate that legacy. The team displays its 26 world championship titles in one
understated banner in left centerfield. Then of course there is Monument Park, where all the team’s
icons, including the 16 who have had their numbers retired – are so fittingly displayed.
The New York Yankees have totally raised the bar to separate the high rollers and the riff raff. The
“Legends Suite” are the seats closest to the field, completely walled off from the rest of the seating
areas, and at a top price of $2625 per ticket no that is not a typo, fans here have access to a two level
suite club and unlimited food and non alcoholic beverages, But that is not the only premium area –
select field level fan sections have access to the Delta 360 Suite, while the nine sections above home
plate on the Terrace Level can enjoy the Jim Beam Suite, both areas offering upscale lounge and
dining areas. 56 luxury suites run above the terrace level, with access to their own private concourse.
Home runs, Hits, Errors…
Home Run… To the game day staff, all displaying signs or buttons stating “How May I Help You?” This
team should be perched on a throne of arrogance, yet the people who work here go out of their way to
make patrons feel welcome and appreciated.
Error… Plenty of escalators, but inexplicably, they shut ‘em off in the late innings, leaving fans
descending from the upper reaches fending for themselves to get down to the street level.
Hit… Babe Ruth Plaza, Monument Park, Yankees Museum… gotta see ‘em all once in your lifetime.
Error… Since our visit, the Yankees have cut the cost of their priciest tickets to $1250. But the yawning
gaps of empty seats in the most visible location in the ballpark remain a blight on the team, and has
also taken away the home team advantage, in terms of heckling visiting players and teams from these
Error… Double cheeseburger, fries and a shake at Johnny Rockets. Total cost? $27. Small draft
beer… $9. The prices here are totally out of control. Just a sampling of the beating your wallet will take.
Hit… They still do God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch, but at least they no longer arrest or
hassle people who choose to take a walk and take a whiz or something.
Home Run… USRT Karma prevails! On both the games we saw on the official visits, the home team
Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians.
The entire game day experience here at Yankee Stadium is one to enjoy and savor, from the exciting
buzz out in the streets, to the magnificent and opulent fortress of a stadium full of amenities, exhibits,
fun things to see and experience. Everything here is designed and executed to dazzle the senses. To
adequately experience everything this venue has to offer cannot be accomplished in just one visit. Even
if you are a Yankee hater, you can still be in awe of what is one of the grandest stadiums in the world.
One that truly befits a team such as the New York Yankees.
Concessions/Team Store 8
Fan Support 7
In Game Entertainment 5
Concourses/Fan Comfort 8
Bonus: Monument Park 2, Yankees Museum 2, Fruit cart 1
Click HERE to go the venue profile for old Yankee Stadium