Are You Okay With This?

From Pete Abe’s mailbag:

“..we go to probably a dozen games a season and are perfectly fine with our bleacher seats. We also liked to try to get player autographs and balls during batting practice. This season at Yankee Stadium, they’re opening the gates three hours in advance of game time. Sounds great, or so you’d think. The problem is that security won’t let anyone down to the field level unless they have a ticket in that section.

Out of all the words that come to mind, “myopic” is kindest.

52 comments… add one

  • I used the term “tone-deaf” yesterday, I think it’s synonymous, Gerb. I am guessing that the Yankees will change these policies and let people filter around a bit more, if only for the PR it will bring them. It would be foolish to keep this up – one of the great experiences of showing up at a game early is being able to get the tease of the expensive seats and watch BP or infield practice.

    SF April 20, 2009, 12:35 pm
  • So stupid. The whole point of allowing people to watch BP is for them to stand near the field for a few before shuffling back to buy $8 curly fries!

    walein April 20, 2009, 12:52 pm
  • walein, you mean “fry”, that’s the price for one!

    SF April 20, 2009, 12:57 pm
  • Listen, if the Yankee fans want autographs of big name Yankees, just look around MLB, find the next huge thing (or already huge thing) nearing the contract end, and go get it there. He’s going to be a Yankee after FA anyhow. Whatever batter or hitter, having a wonderful year in the contract year is likely going to be in town next year anyhow, so just head over to watch the Mets play the Marlins, get Hanley’s autograph now, then in a year when he’s traded to NY, or bought in FA, you already have it!!

    Brad April 20, 2009, 1:00 pm
  • I’ve never been to any of the Yankee stadiums, but from what I’ve read here the past few days, people really seem to have issue with nearly everything. So far, IMHO, it’s a model of how to do things too much, or make things to gaudy. But, whatever blows your hair back. I didn’t go to the old one, and I’m certainly not going to this one, thus, I could really care less what goes on there to push out the little man (or less big man, in Rob’s opinion).

    Brad April 20, 2009, 1:06 pm
  • I will say this, they’re going to have a harder time that Colorado getting aces to come to that launching pad of a stadium in the future. Holy crap. Who would pitch there voluntarily. I guess if a player is all about the money they would, but isn’t that how you end up with what’s been there the past five years?

    Brad April 20, 2009, 1:09 pm
  • Ahhh yes Brad I forgot that the Red Sox never spend money and rarely bring in a high priced FA…
    “but from what I’ve read here the past few days, people really seem to have issue with nearly everything.”
    If I gave that idea, my apologies. I love the new place, it’s very cozy, very family friendly and a very nice place to watch a game. There are flaws, but that’s to be expected. Like SF said the other day I am sure there will be changes both during the season and after the season. It’s not an exact science and there are bound to be mistakes. At least the Yankees are not in the same boat as the Mets and the new Ebbets Field. Mets fans are all fired up about the lack of “Mets-centric” feeling in the new park. Again these things are hit or miss at first, give them a chance to adjust and make changes.

    John - YF April 20, 2009, 1:34 pm
  • > people really seem to have issue with nearly everything.
    Maybe. I am speaking specifically to the point of trying to understand the “upside” to disallowing kids from getting autographs at the edge of the dugouts at BP hours before game time. It is not some inalienable right for kids to have access, and it is not the primary reason why the great majority of people buy tickets that day. Still, stupid.

    attackgerbil April 20, 2009, 1:35 pm
  • Behind the dugout area has always been for ticket holders only to the best of my knowledge, but left field – right field they have always let you cram in for BP. In the past you could also squeeze in down both lines, near the pole. But I understand the issue of not even being able to do that in the new place. It will change I imagine.

    John - YF April 20, 2009, 1:47 pm
  • > people really seem to have issue with nearly everything.
    This is truly a complete misread of this situation here. In addition to more or less positive reviews from both myself and John, there were many positive points about the stadium from YF and SF who both have their share of issues with the building. There has certainly been a group of people in the press and among some fans to make it seem like the new stadium is an unmitigated disaster and I really feel this could not be further from the truth. For starters, we are 4 home games into the first season of this building. There are issues that need to be resolved. Some of these issues should have been foreseen (such as access during BP) and others could not have been (such as exactly how the stadium will actually play). The Yankees will be making adjustments to basically everything for the next few years to improve the mistakes. They had the game experience at the old ballpark down very well and I have no reason to believe they wont get there with the new place. In the end not everything will be perfect and it certainly wasnt at the old place, at Shea, at Fenway, or any other ballpark in baseball.
    Changes in both the Yankees’ approach, the economy, and the comfort level of fans with the place and its policies will result in an evolution of this ballpark and the experience within. Its very hard to not “review” the park during this first home stand and its only natural to do so but we need to keep in mind that things can and will change over time.

    sam-YF April 20, 2009, 1:52 pm
  • John, I didn’t say they didn’t man, if even on a much smaller and less expensive level, they certainly do. Comparisons can be drawn in what is considered “high priced” when looking at the two teams, but that’s an argument better settled never.
    And, I agree, Sam. I was more talking to the points that I’ve heard on the radio, and elsewhere. Not so much here (though, there have been some), but if you turn on the radio right now, it’s fan after fan with discouraging remarks about both Citi and Yankee Stadium. Again, I hold no feeling towards it at all (other than its certainly not a “pitching park” as many have said it is). I personally hope it’s the biggest flop of a project since the Big Dig. They’re certainly going to have to do something about the wind (my best guess at the lazy homeruns) in there. Otherwise, welcome to Coors Field.

    Brad April 20, 2009, 2:01 pm
  • Behind the dugout area has always been for ticket holders only to the best of my knowledge
    No – only in recent times. In 1985, I stretched across the dugout, with a knee in my back, to get Billy Martin’s autograph.
    This situation is a problem. But like Monument Cave, I can’t see how it won’t be addressed.
    Still, the stadium like most others today was designed to limit access. Try getting on the floor at MSG, for instance.
    I used the term “tone-deaf” yesterday
    You also used the terms “caste system” and “have-not’s”. “Tone-deaf” equally applies to you, so it’s tough to take you, or YF (who has admitted an axe to grind), seriously on this topic.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 2:08 pm
  • By always I meant “recent times” as you put it. I am 33, so for most of my life, or as far back as I can remember I was not allowed behind the dugout. I forgot how crystal clear I need to be at all times, it’s been awhile.

    John - YF April 20, 2009, 2:14 pm
  • I should have finished this thought:
    Still, the stadium like most others today was designed to limit access. Try getting on the floor at MSG, for instance. The problem is one of man power. It’s much easier to guard entrances to sections than to police every seat for interlopers. In my bag of tricks, I’ve snuck into lower level seats during the pre-game and sat there all game long. That’s much easier than waiting for a section guard to be distracted and slipping by him/her. Now, with the free food in the primo seats, there’s even more economic incentive to make sure folks are where they should be.
    That said, every stadium now has these seats. I sat right behind the plate, with the orgy of free food at PNC Park for goodness sakes.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 2:15 pm
  • Okay, John, and I agree. I was 8 in 1985. It’s one of my earliest memories, probably because the signature was on my little league for years after wards.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 2:18 pm
  • Brad, I was only giving you a hard time. I know what you meant.

    John - YF April 20, 2009, 2:29 pm
  • I think Sam gets it pretty right. And I think Brad is on his own here…

    SF April 20, 2009, 2:30 pm
  • You’re put in charge of stadium security. What do you do?
    The old “poles to bases” policy seemed to work well. I imagine they’ll go back to that. Still, how does Fenway handle it? You can’t get into the lowest sections without a ticket, right? What about Giants Stadium?

    Rob April 20, 2009, 2:35 pm
  • I sit in section 100, which is the 45 yd line behind the Giants bench, row 14. You are NOT allowed down into our section unless you have a ticket to sit in that section.
    Also, while at the Superbowl 2 years ago we tried to get down to the field for the celebration (trophy presentation, confetti, etc…) the security would not let us in, so we had to run past them (yes a 31 year old ran) to get down there. So I guess it’s pretty common that stadiums want you to stay where you belong. Not to say that is right…

    John - YF April 20, 2009, 2:42 pm
  • Rob, again, if we’re so tough to take, by all means don’t take us. You’ve had your say here.
    Let me also call attention to “josh’s” letter over on Pete Abe’s site today.
    I think we’d like to see some positive changes at the new ballpark, and that’s what this thread and the 75 percent thread have all been about. seeing as there are ENTIRE UNOCCUPIED SECTIONS adjacent to the field, i can’t imagine why kid can’t be allowed to get autographs in those places.
    given the immense public expenditure, i don’t see why there can’t be a greater effort made to open up the concourses and lower level spaces to the general public. obviously, you only have a right to sit in the seat that you purchase, but this doesn’t mean the common spaces can’t be freed up. And I really do think it sucks the life out of the building, and the telecasts, if there are huge swaths of empties so close to the field. it’s terrible. i’m not sure how this gets resolved, because it’s unclear to me how much of this is unsold tickets and how much is people not showing up or hiding in the exclusive concessions areas. and there are also physical, architectural barriers. rob may not think so, but i find them really off putting. i think a lot of fans do. it’s one thing to have the separation, it’s another to have your nose rubbed in it. tone deaf is the right phrase, though i think it’s actually much worse than that.
    i’m interested to see how the 2ndary ticket market plays out. as rob points out, there are some inexpensive tickets there if you know where to look. on the other hand, it’s all through 3rd parties, and rumors are that prices around the stadium are very high indeed. i don’t think this system has found anything like equilibrium yet.

    YF April 20, 2009, 2:42 pm
  • Sorry that should have read 110…

    John - YF April 20, 2009, 2:45 pm
  • Anyone looking for tickets should avoid stubhub (where prices are much more fixed) and check out ebay. I’ve been watching lower level seats going for significantly below face value. Like this for instance. One hour left to snap up 2 lower level seats for less than $20.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 3:01 pm
  • Not to nitpick, but 209 is not lower level, it’s 2nd level. I sat in 234 yesterday. But yes the $20 tickets are $80 less than face value, so your point is understood.

    John - YF April 20, 2009, 3:07 pm
  • Yeah, sorry, it’s lower level to me where anything lower than the 400s is too rich for my wallet! Or I thought so…

    Rob April 20, 2009, 3:13 pm
  • Rob: I just unpublished that 2nd to last comment because I’m exasperated with the derisive, snippy tone. if you think i have contributed to this spiral with some of my comments, you’re probably right, and i shouldn’t have (but, on the other hand, it’s my sandbox). anyway, you’re welcome to disent here, but you’re going to have to check the ‘tude at the door.

    SF April 20, 2009, 3:16 pm
  • The fact that there have been numerous comments on any aspect of the new stadia on this website, both positive and negative, proves that I’m not on my own, SF. I wasn’t trying to start a fire, I was just pointing out that a lot of people have a lot to say about it, and it seems that a lot of it isn’t all peaches.

    Brad April 20, 2009, 3:27 pm
  • Or maybe you were talking about the “flop” comment:)

    Brad April 20, 2009, 3:27 pm
  • You guys do know the Golden Rule. If you want thoughtful comments without the ‘tude, you shouldn’t hide behind the “it’s my sandbox”. Still, I found the other site namesake much more personal yesterday than anything I’ve ever offered on this site. I was called “stupid” and “ignorant”. All I ask: Lead by example.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 3:35 pm
  • ps: signed is as sf but that was me, yf, doing the commenting and the unpublishing.

    SF April 20, 2009, 3:37 pm
  • Wait, I didn’t unpublish anything, what the hell is going on?

    SF April 20, 2009, 3:37 pm
  • Cross posted with YF…

    SF April 20, 2009, 3:37 pm
  • That’s one easy way to have the same opinion.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 3:40 pm
  • Last I checked standing on the sidelines scouring for autographs wasn’t a tradition at NFL games, so the comparisons to Giants Stadium on this front are somewhat irrelevant.
    At Fenway even as recent as a couple of seasons ago it was possible, pregame, to get down to the field near the RF side of the dugout, but I haven’t been to a game this year and didn’t make the trip last season. As for YS, we were in the upper deck in the 300 section and the seat police were out in force: this isn’t about restricting field access to autograph seekers, it is about partitioning every single portion of the stadium into accessible/non-accessible sections based on ticket purchase. The access was being policed 1/2 hour before first pitch. It isn’t about security or tradition, it is about access. I believe the Yankees will ultimately rethink this policy.

    SF April 20, 2009, 3:40 pm
  • Again, offer solutions. Half an hour before the first pitch you damn well need 50k people in the places they need to be. Three hours before hand – not so much.
    Actually, that’s where the seat ushers were pretty good. But that’s expensive for the whole stadium.
    I agree they’ll change the policy and probably back to the poles to bases version. Moving Monument Park will also produce another avenue for field access.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 3:47 pm
  • One other thing: at Fenway, my parents’ seats are in the 100 section, and have no restrictions on them as to whether people can filter in if the seats are empty. In fact, the numbering system is so cockamamie at Fenway that the ushers are usually summoned only to help people find their way to their proper seats, not to get them to kick out interlopers. Interlopers are typically welcome and also usually more entertaining then the regulars. At YS, at least on Friday, they were policing much lower tier seats like hawks. It’s going to change, I have to believe.

    SF April 20, 2009, 3:54 pm
  • i think with a little creative thinking they could resolve many problems, but not until next year. why not put the monuments out in a more visible public space, and why not ask the players to rotate through each week at designated times and locations. wouldn’t that be a nice thing for the team to do for the fans and the city who pay the bills? why not? and you know, if they did it 3 hours before game time, they’d get even more people buying those 9 dollar beers and 6 dollar hot dogs for a longer time. but it’s like they didn’t even give a crap enough to think about this. it was just, like, IT’S GONNA RAIN MONEY!!! EXPLOIT EXPLOIT EXPLOIT!!!!!!

    YF April 20, 2009, 4:11 pm
  • I used to sit regularly in the lower sections with my upper deck tickets in the old stadium and enjoyed doing so. That said, I cant really fault the yankees or anyone else for prohibiting people from sitting during a game in seats they didnt pay for. One can argue about separation of haves and have nots but I really dont see a problem with this enforcement policy. It is really just good business. Pre-game is one thing but during the game is entirely another. Incidentally, in the old stadium getting into the lowest ring of seats in the main section was near impossible too. The “do not pass” line has simply been moved back a bit further in the new place.

    sam-YF April 20, 2009, 4:21 pm
  • I can’t either, Sam. As a frequent interloper, across many sports, I noticed that more and more stadia were moving to limit access to sections. And I understand it. It makes security that much easier. That said, it can still be done but you have to be by yourself and slip by when the guard is distracted. But that often means leaving your attendance partners behind.
    Now it really is impossible. But I can’t see how they don’t change the pre-game policies. Like you said, it’s only been four games.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 4:35 pm
  • sam: i think that’s part of the problem with the new park; inasumuch as i agree with you, but because the physical shift has moved so excessively in favor of the expensive seats (and it will be hard/impossible to undue this), the plurality of fans (who supported this thing with their tax monies and parkland) get a much worse deal in favor of corporate patrons who aren’t even showing up.

    YF April 20, 2009, 4:46 pm
  • I cant really explain why, but it really doesnt bother me that much, even if it effects me. Baseball is a business. Im just happy the yanks put lots of that money out on the field….

    sam-YF April 20, 2009, 4:48 pm
  • has simply been moved back a bit further in the new place
    Not just back, but up. Up high.

    SF April 20, 2009, 4:49 pm
  • Not just back, but up. Up high
    That’s not true. The old section was strictly behind the plate. Now it covers the areas behind the dugouts. That’s it. Every thing else has a comparable price to the old place.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 4:51 pm
  • no rob, (and this is yf) i don’t agree with pretty much anything you write. as noted, i’m tired of your condescending attitude. keep it up, your comments get removed. simple as that.

    SF April 20, 2009, 4:53 pm
  • Im just happy the yanks put lots of that money out on the field….
    Me too. They’ve done really well. But they could still compete (and still top the league) with $50 million less on salaries. That’s $1B in twenty years. It’s very hard for me to see greed. I see business. If they overstretched the prices, they’ll have to adjust. Nothing wrong with that.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 4:54 pm
  • Why are you writing under another account? And, if you want better, you should treat people better.

    Rob April 20, 2009, 4:55 pm
  • incorrect, we went down, watched BP, infield and the first 3+ innings from about 7 rows from the on-deck circle first base side. Saw Lester pitch against the Indians. Was awesome. The only reason we left is cause we got nervous. The attendent did say he could get fired with us down there.
    and Safeco field -you can pretty much move around at will in there, esp later in the game.

    dw (sf) April 20, 2009, 5:41 pm
  • That’s not true. The old section was strictly behind the plate. Now it covers the areas behind the dugouts. That’s it. Every thing else has a comparable price to the old place.
    Wrong. Just wrong. The seat police are checking tickets in the 300 section (I didn’t go up higher to check). We weren’t discussing price, but access and restricted access. I couldn’t get back into my seats after having gone out for a hot dog without my stub, which thankfully I took with me even though I almost left it in my coat on the assumption that I was in lowly enough seats to get back in without the stub. Iw was wrong (about the access, not about the decision to take the stub with me).

    SF April 20, 2009, 6:11 pm
  • In other news:
    It costs less than $25 to see the awesome Harrisburg Senators, including pretty much all the draft YingLing your stomach can, err, stomach. The seats I choose are generally in the first row, and the players don’t display annoyance with fans seated about 20 ft away. The game is good, the environment better, and everyone has fun guessing which players will ultimately hire Boras to stick up major league fans in the future.

    Dirty Water April 20, 2009, 6:44 pm
  • I don’t have much to say in general about the new Yankee Stadium because I haven’t been there, haven’t even seen it on TV and am not an architect. So I’ll just provide my experience with the Ballpark at Arlington, a newish park where you can stand in the aisles during BP seeking autographs in every section ringing the field — as long as you don’t sit in the seats. You can also stand anywhere in the bleachers in an effort to catch BP home runs.
    Once both teams are done with BP, the ushers come and ask everyone to return to their seats. Everything is done friendly, orderly and well, with no security concerns or angry fans. Seems like the best of both worlds. It’s how I got the only in-person autograph I own, one of Bronson Arroyo on a 2005 Topps Red Sox team card.

    Paul SF April 20, 2009, 9:19 pm
  • Paul beat me to describing the new ballpark in Arlington, but I can attest that Camden Yards lets you go anywhere except the center field park area for batting practice to try to get autographs. Tampa Bay’s stadium also lets you go anywhere.
    Other than that (and Fenway) I haven’t been in any other stadia in maybe 7 years. When the Sox play the Nationals I’ll be at their new park though.

    Atheose April 21, 2009, 7:11 am
  • Yeah but Ebay doesn’t offer the guarantee that places like Stubhub, Razorgator, Ticketstumbler etc have.

    Lucas April 21, 2009, 2:43 pm
  • dodger stadium (chavez ravine) is a ticket policed batting practice ball park. kinda funny how you can get mugged or stabbed on your way into or out of the stadium easily, but try moving one section down 2 hours before first pitch and be ready to get harassed.

    sf rod April 21, 2009, 4:15 pm

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