About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tie a Scorecard Ribbon Round the IRT

So I spoke a week or so ago about Citi Field, now it's time to dish dirt on the new Yankee Stadium, which I attended for a Mariners/Yankees game on July 1.

As with the new Mets ballpark, it's very disappointing to see that the subway hasn't gotten much investment.  No handicapped access to the new park.  The main post-game entrance to the #4 train is still a block away by the old Yankee Stadium, though the front-of-train crowding is a little reduced because there are some mid-platform entrances that are along the way from some of the gates in the new stadium that take up some of the pressure.  And the entrances to the C/D trains are all still best accessed from across the street without much improvement.  However, there is a new Metro North stop a 5 or 15 minute walk depending from the new stadium that offers direct daily access to the Hudson Line and on weekends to the Harlem and New Haven line as well, and that makes getting to the park much much much more convenient for wide swaths of the suburbs North and East of NYC.

You can kind of circumnavigate the outside.  Going down the right field line beneath the #4 tracks, the stadium abuts a subway electric sub-station beyond which is a narrow parking garage, so it's not too many steps to walk around the parking garage.  That faces a park and has nice plantings in front so it's very bucolic.  And if you walk down the right or left field line you can enter the Stadium thru gate 2 or gate 8 and avoid some of the lines at the other gates that are closer to the old stadium, to the subway, and to more of the best-known parking garages.  The facade facing the subway on River Road is really ugly.  The facade facing Jerome Ave. and 161st St. is stately but doesn't relate to the buildings across Jerome Ave. at all.  Architects can debat the importance of relating to your surroundings.

Security at Yankee Stadium is much more annoying than at Shea.  You have to turn your cell phone on to prove it's a real cell phone, much pickier about allowing in any bags, no empty plastic bottles to fill at water fountain.  Doesn't make me want to go there very often.

There are some ramps to get to the upper decks, nice and wide and not very steep and in that regard much nicer than the highly enclosed stairwells and the escalators at Citi Field.  There area also elevators, escalators, etc., but I do think ballparks and ramps go together.

The Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys formed a company called Legends Hospitality that runs the concessions and vending at Yankee Stadium. Citi has better food for sure.  Shake Shack beats Johnny Rockets any day.  

I wasn't able to walk around the inside perimeter at Citi Field on my first trip.  I was impressed with the openness of the upper and field deck concourses at Yankee Stadium.

My seats were way out in right field in the upper deck.  Very far from home plate.  A large chunk of right and right center field couldn't be seen from our seats.  That's not very nice.  And you couldn't see the whole field even from the front row of our section.  We were in the back row, with nice views of the anti-bird spikes in the roof of the upper deck.

The scoreboard situation at Yankee Stadium is awful.  Awful.  AWFUL.  They have a really nice big video board, a good chunk of which I couldn't see and which couldn't be seen at all without tilting head from game.  They have this mammothly long ribbon scoreboard around the whole ballpark, but the only game or other fan-friendly information is a little chunk with the score and another little chunk with the batter stats.  I had an awful seat at Citi Field but could follow the pitches and the out-of-town scores on a ribbon scoreboard, but here, nothing.  I couldn't see an out of town score at all the entire game.  Also, the only line-up that appears is for the team that's batting in a particular half-inning, while Citi Field gives both line-ups for both teams during the game.  This makes it easier to keep track of fielding changes, like if a pinch-hitter comes in and then goes to play right field while the right fielder moves to first base, or that kind of thing.  Essentially, all that money spent to build a new ballpark and they managed to make the scoreboard situation worse.

There's less obnoxious music at Yankee Stadium.  Big plus Yankees.

We had a nice view from our seats to the north, looking over a park, and in back of us a good view of the stately courthouse atop the adjacent hill.  That was nice.  All the views from the old Yankee Stadium sucked.

In the old days, I didn't like going to Yankee Stadium very much at all because it was cramped and claustrophobic.  Now, it doesn't seem quite as cramped or claustrophobic.  But tickets are still overpriced, the experience of passing thru security is still more unpleasant, and the food definitely not as good.  I believe there is now a narrower gap between the two ballparks.  But I'm not sure with either that I'm eager to pay a mint so I can buy a better infield seat at either to experience each when they're showing their best instead of comparing bad obstructed distant outfield seats.  It's a lot of money, an awful lot of money.  I spent $47 last year to sit on the field level behind home plate at Coors Field last summer, and now in NY you can pay twice that for garbage seats.

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