Times' food critic Frank Bruni hits both New York ballparks, rates the chow, and emerges pretty unsatisfied. Though it sounds like the eats are a mixed bag, Danny Meyer seems to at least prove that mass quantity food can be served with excellent attention to quality (Shake Shack, duh), though Bruni takes him to task for the predictable thirty minute wait. Frank should know that's only five minutes longer than we waited at Yankee Stadium on Day 2 for a bleepin' Nathan's hot dog, so this blogger isn't inclined to pin this only on this one proprietor.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
Sunday, April 19th, 2009
There are a great many opinions floating around about the new ballpark in the Bronx and whether it is overpriced, but I'd like to hear from anyone who thinks it's not a serious problem that the vaunted Yankees, after an offseason of massive spending to build a contender, could fill only 74.9 percent of their 4-day-old ballpark on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Today's official attendance was 43,068. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Friday, April 17th, 2009
Saturday, April 4th, 2009
A quick design crit: The “Yankee Stadium” typography on top of the left-field scoreboard is pretty awkward. The letters are just bolted down, and the serif font chosen just isn’t designed for freestanding display at that kind of scale. It’s also redundant: if you’re sitting in the stands, you don’t need the identifier—given the prices, you definitely know where you are—and if you’re watching at home it’s pretty well unmistakably Yankee Stadium, what with the familiar dimensions, the frieze, and the team logos all over the place. In general, the Yankees use too many fonts and logos for my taste. Sometimes the name is in script, sometimes it’s in serif, the NY logo is in its own font, and the scoreboard signage around the park is in all different types. It would be nice to see a little more consistency.
So the new Stadium is open, and it's a whole new era for the Yankees. It's undeniably exciting to see this luxurious new home. Many of the improvements are undeniable in nature—better site-lines, circulation, amenities, details. To the designers' credit, it seems like it has the feel of the old place. In time it will stop feeling like the simulacra that it is, and just feel like the place. But I don't know if I will ever consider it our place, as I did with the old park, and I think that gets to the very heart of my disappointment with the new building. The Yankees, and baseball fandom in general, have always represented inclusion to me. You want to root for a winner? The Yankees. You live in New York? The Yankees. You didn't make your Little League team? Your high school team? You've got a bum knee and can't play on the company softball squad? Whatever. Maybe you just love baseball. Throw on a Yankee cap or a jersey and you're a part of the greatest team in the world, from the greatest city in the world. And then you show up at the old ballpark. It's huge. There's always a ticket for you, any price point. You're in a sea of other fans like yourself but maybe from the barrio or Jersey or the Upper East Side. You're all together, jammed in tight, and if the surroundings aren't exactly luxurious (or even, frankly, nice) it doesn't matter, because what does matter is being there and watching what happens on the field. But this new park is something different to me, though I think it pretends otherwise. It is about exclusion. The astronomical ticket prices? Exclusion. The impenetrable retaining walls separating the expensive seats from the really, really expensive seats? Exclusion. This is a place for members of a hierarchical club. And it posits baseball not so much as a season-long grind, but as an entertainment event—like a Broadway show—and is priced accordingly. It's the kind of place you go once a year. Not a couple of times a week. Also, the tacked-on "frieze" looks pretty weak. A thin sheet of punched metal? Come on. I knew the real Yankee Stadium. I served time at the real Yankee Stadium. Yankee Stadium was a friend of mine….
Friday, April 3rd, 2009
The Yanks broke in the new Stadium tonight. First impressions: the ball really carries; I suspect it will be a serious hitter's ballpark (the open concourses and reduced foul territory behind the plate will help). Visually, the big (but subtle) change is that the team has changed the blue background color of the walls, seats, and backstop areas from royal blue to a dark navy matching their caps. It's a major, major improvement—it's a nicer color, it's more historically appropriate, and it makes it easier to follow the ball. The more open bullpens are also a bonus, and the whole place has a more commodious feel. (For the price, it better.) The mechanical scoreboard is saved from hokey-ness by its clean typography. Alright. More to come.
Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Hal Steinbrenner spoke about costs at the new Yankee Stadium today, ESPN has the story here. Some interesting data is contained in the article:
- Average ticket cost at Yankee Stadium rose 76% over 2008, from $41.40 to $72.97, no doubt skewed by the crazy prices for the Legends Suites.
- Second place for average ticket price is Fenway, at $50.24. Prices at the Fens rose 0.3%.
- Major League average: $26.64, up 5 percent.
- Premium seats at Yankee Stadium average $510 (1st), at Fenway they average $162 (5th).
- The TMR "fan index" (measures cost of a game for four tix – 2 child, 2 adult, plus refreshments and souvenirs) is $411 at YS, $326.45 at Fenway. Ouch. Soxkid Isaac is most definitely getting A-ball in Coney Island for his first ever game, we're excited to say.
- Cheapest seats at Yankee Stadium are 5 bucks, and bonus! They come with a free wall.
Saturday, February 28th, 2009
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
The news broke a couple of weeks ago that the Red Sox have shortlisted five firms for the design of their new training facility in Sarasota, Florida. The list is made up of a familiar heavy hitter (HOK Sport) and a few smaller firms, all vying for the rights to create the new spring home for our Olde Towne Team. Looking through the sites of the contenders, we see proficiency and consistency in the articulation of a kind of accepted and familiar typology, a colloquial presentation of institutional and civic quaintness. Much of the work, while undeniably professional, belies a strong aversion to risk. And while we might ascribe this risk aversion to the programmatic restrictions of an athletic facility or the narrow and safe prescriptions of the client, there are clearly opportunities for innovative space-making and design, as my co-blogger documents in this fine article about the Jets' new practice facility. The Red Sox' facility is budgeted between $50-$70M, slightly under that of the Jets' cutting-edge grounds, the implication here is that there is room for invention in both form and an embrace of bleeding-edge technology.
In Europe, both big teams and humble franchises have pursued a noble vision of a progressive civic architecture, now and in the past (some recent examples follow after the jump). From Renzo Piano to Enric Miralles, cutting-edge stadium design has been viewed not as a chance to re-build the fossilized forms of history, but rather an opportunity to imagine, freshly, semi-public space in critical terms. In the US, this view of sports-related architecture has been less visionary, increasingly to its detriment. Those buildings seen as the bellwethers of stadium design in the US have been historicist in nature (think Camden Yards and Coors Field). And while there is not much to argue with the successes of these parks, their progeny articulate a significant hesitancy towards the more severe (but I would argue inventive) formalism and highly focused functionalism of modernist architecture. As an architect myself, it would be encouraging if more franchises (like the Jets, the Bears, and the Arizona Cardinals, all working at a larger scale) embraced the possibilities of progressive architecture at the small-scale and took a breather from the familiar pastiche of reiterative design. Unfortunately in Sarasota we should probably expect more of the same, a "mini-Fenway" (their terms) that comforts us but refrains from challenging the spirit.
We've suggested repeatedly on this site and elsewhere that the "cash cow" that is the New Yankee Stadium might not be as fruitful as some are advertising, given economic circumstances. Evidence has largely been circumstantial, but concrete details are starting to flow in. The team is not getting the prices it wanted for premium seats, 25 percent of which remain unsold, along with 7 luxury suites. As the NYT reports today, the team has now allied itself with the real estate firm Prudential Douglas Elliman to help move its high end packages. It says a lot that a ticket to a ballgame is now considered a real estate purchase.
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
As noted on this site yesterday, both players and fans are itching to get their sticky fingers on a piece of good old Yankee Stadium before it comes down for good. Memories! Moose wants to buy the flagpole. Damon wants the foul poles. Those orders have been getting a good deal of play in the media. Thanks to an anonymous source in the Yankee front office, YFSF has learned about some other requests:
-Carl Pavano: First-Aid kit
-A-Rod: Clubhouse mirror
-Paul O’Neill: Dugout water cooler
-Willie Randolph: A job
-David Wells: Babe Ruth monument
-Reggie Jackson: Reggie Jackson plaque
-Derek Jeter: The sound of Bob Sheppard’s voice
-John Sterling: The sound of his own voice
-Rudy Giuliani: Ronan Tynan
Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Every member of this organization, past and present, has been calling this place home for 85 years, There’s a lot of tradition, a lot of history and a lot of memories. Now the great thing about memories is you’re able to pass it along from generation to generation. Although things are going to change next year. We’re going to move across the street. There are a few things that New York Yankees that never change. That’s pride, tradition and most of all we have the greatest fans in the world. We want you to take the memories from this stadium, add them to the new memories that come at the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them along from generation to generation. So on behalf of the entire organization, we want to take this moment to salute you, the greatest fans in the world.—Derek Jeter/blockquote>