"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Back from the Stadium: Initial thoughts

Picture taken by me from Grandstand 420B.  Click to enlarge.

Just got back from YS III.  Here are my initial thoughts.

I left school this morning at 8 a.m. so I could get there a little before the gates opened.  Andrew and I entered through Gate 4 and immediately were greeted by Bob Sheppard's voice after the barcodes on our tickets were read.  "Welcome to Yankee Stadium," the voice said.  Kind of creepy if you ask me.

We then stood behind the plate in the concourse.  We started taking pictures before the security gurads asked us to move.  They actually put up a black curtain to block the view a few minutes later (pictures later).

We walked around a bit - went to Monument Park, the bleachers, etc.  Speaking of the bleachers, the obstructed seats are truly awful.  I spoke to a security guard and he said the TVs cannot be angled toward the fans.  If you're in Section 201, you want your seat number to be higher rather than lower, and vice versa in Section 239.  If you're seat one, I'd suggest standing.  The rest of the bleacher views were terrific.  I'd highly suggest sitting - or standing - there.

There are other obstructions that haven't really been mentioned.  The points of the frieze actually block out half of the giant screen in centerfield if you're sitting down (pictures later).  Also, if you're sitting in the back rows of the Field level, you'll probably miss some fly balls, as the overhang from the Main level is on top of you.  There is a sheet of plexiglass in front of Row 1 of the Grandstand level for no good reason.  If you lean back, some of the infield is lost.

The Stadium, while nice, doesn't seem like home.  It felt like I was at an away game.  The interlocking NY, blue theme and Yankees players didn't do much to make me feel I was at a Yankee Stadium.  I don't think there is any excuse to have any obstructions in a ballpark that cost over $1.5 billion besides the necessary evils (i.e. foul poles).  The names on the lineup screen (to the immediate left of the giant TV) were small and hard to see from the Grandstand.  Oh yeah, the sound system completely died halfway through the game too.

I liked how the concourses were wide and opened, but the lines at the concession stands were long and intrusive.  I thought the wide array of food options was supposed to combat this?  I liked how the main shade of blue is darker in this incarnation of Yankee Stadium.  What's strange, however, is that the bleachers are still gray.  Compared to the adjacent blue seats, it looks unfinished.

All in all, I was impressed by some things and underwhelemed by others.  It'll take a while for me to truly believe it's "home."

I'll have more thoughts, including more pictures, later tonight.


Frank said...

Not gunna lie, Fletch, I have only been to Citi Field so far, but I would say that from what I can see the Mets might have finally done something better than the Yankees. I honestly could not complain about one thing at Citi Field and I think it just looks better than the new Yankee Stadium.

Andrew Fletcher said...

I think you may be correct.

Ross said...

You make a lot of great points here, and somehow touch on stuff I didn't even touch on in my overly wordy post. Awesome job, I'm going to link to it in my post.

Anonymous said...

Great work with the photo, and I think I can actually see myself (and my two friends) in the bleachers.

How did you like Citi Field?

Andrew Fletcher said...

Citi Field was very nice, and certainly has a different feel from Yankee Stadium. The security guards didn't seem as cold, the concourses were easier to maneuver (I'll write about this later), the prices weren't as high if I recall correctly. From Shea, it was an obvious step up.

Iconoclast Jones said...

How could it feel like home on your first day there? Have you ever moved? New places never seem like home at first -- because they're not. Also, not sure how many other venues you have been too, but the first row in upper levels is almost always obstructed unless you lean forward. That goes for football stadiums, broadway theaters and just about anything else.

Andrew Fletcher said...

There was already some protection before the protective glass. I can understand having it at the bottom of the row (which they did), but going across all the rows seemed a little excessive.

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