In A New State Should I Keep My Old Number Visiting Yankee Stadium (The "New" One)

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Visiting Yankee Stadium (The "New" One)

When I mention Yankee Stadium, I am often asked: “Have you been?” and “What did you think?” Of course, I have to make sure we’re talking about the same place I was in the original Yankee Stadium and the “new” or “newer” or “current” Yankee Stadium… or whatever people call it. (They don’t have that problem in Boston.) However, while I appreciate the historical significance of the original park and have visited there many times more than the newer version, I’m pleased to say that Newest Yankee Stadium it’s good in my book. It’s solid, it’s beautiful, it’s clean, it’s spacious and it’s modern. It had to be built – the old country was struggling. But even though the structure is magnificent, the experience of attending a game is unlike that of the old Yankee Stadium, and some aspects make me long for the old days.

The newest Yankee Stadium opened in April of 2009. I had my first experience there in June of that year, when my wife, Evelyn, took me there (and the rest of NYC) for a numbered birthday ( which will remain a mystery ) celebration. She decided everything: ticket, parking permit, hotel, etc. It was an amazing gesture on her part, since she’s not the biggest baseball fan (or big city lover) on the planet. As the day progressed, I began to feel guilty and surprised to learn what this Yankee Stadium experience had cost Evelyn in both dollars and sanity.

We arrived at 10:45 for a Thursday afternoon game at 1:00. Evelyn prepaid a week ago for parking in a garage on River Avenue. I could see Yankee Stadium! Excellent! All we had to do was go around the block to the other side and we’d be good to go. Not so fast. When we tried to pull up a block needed to get to the parking garage, there were barricades blocking the road… and every other intersection in the Bronx, it seemed. A three minute drive turned into a 45 minute nightmare as we basically had to leave New York State to get back to our parking spot which was right across the street from the stadium!

I started to remember how parking at the old Yankee Stadium was $8 for a long time and then $10 not too long ago and now it was $24 at the new place. I told my wife that tickets for seats in the first rows of the upper deck between third base and first were never more than $19. They were now $40 at the newest Yankee Stadium.

So we eventually parked and entered the “New” Yankee Stadium. The Great Hall was impressive; a ton of space and very high ceiling made me feel small. Our seats were in the upper deck behind the visitor’s dugout and the view was great. The weather was sunny and warm (but not hot) and everything was perfect. Then Evelyn got thirsty. Being gentlemen, I made my way down the 999 steps and down the hall to the concession stand. I won’t deal with the price of a large drink and a bucket of popcorn even if it costs more than a good steak dinner at home. Why? Because the drink came in a plastic Yankee cup and the popcorn came in a souvenir ice bucket with the Yankee emblem on it. I got to bring home a little piece of the new Yankee Stadium that day. I still have both memories in my kitchen. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Yes, leaving the stadium was difficult: the foot and vehicle traffic gave Evelyn great anxiety and her sense of direction is not good. But overall, our visit had far more positives than negatives. If you plan to go to Yankee Stadium, I can advise you the following:

  1. Do not drive if possible. Traffic jam and parking fee will annoy you. Take a subway if you live where it is available. If you are coming from out of town, get to the ballpark at least 5 hours before game time… maybe 7. Or camp overnight in the parking lot. (Do they allow that?) Hey, at least you’ll see the players coming. (I’ve done that – not the camping part – the getting there early part.)
  2. Find your tickets on a trusted website or get them from a friend. High retail prices are one reason attendance is down. I think $19 for a seat on the upper deck is a good price, don’t you?
  3. Eat and drink forward there you go… unless, of course, you want a Yankee Stadium souvenir ice bucket full of popcorn. Or an $8 bottle of beer.
  4. If you go on a warm and sunny day, apply sunscreen. Evelyn is of Irish descent and I would be completely burnt out without her.

I hope you have a great time at Yankee Stadium. I always have … in both versions. But old Yankee Stadium gets my sentimental vote.

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