Here Comes the Propaganda….

Steel yourself, because there’s gonna be a lot of it. The Yanks are admitting to their plans for a new stadium to be placed adjacent to the current House of Ruth. Groundbreaking to take place in ’06; first pitch in ’09. The YES team is currently aping the company line:

-The entire $800 million cost will be funded by the Yanks
-It’s gonna be just like the original 1923 stadium, except w/ modern amenities
-The current park will be maintained as is for the community

It appears that the strategy for shoving this through is to disparage the (admittedly unlovable) ’76 reconstruction of the Ruth/Dimaggio/Mantle era park as somehow “inauthentic,” which would seem at odds with the last 30 years of Yankee promotional hyperbole regarding the continuity of tradition and the magic of the present Bronx ballpark.

As we’ve previously noted, and despite the assurances of YES’s yes men, the idea that a new park will retain anything like the atmosphere of either the current stadium or the original park is a fantasy. The proposed new stadium will have fewer seats than either the ’23 or the ’76 versions, fewer of those seats (and especially the good seats) will be devoted to ordinary fans (as opposed to corporate sponsors), and the overall atmosphere will be less “electric” and more “mall.”

We also note that the suggestion that the team would pay for the entire stadium is a bit of misdirection that elides the fact that the public is being asked to fork over at least $300 million for various infrastructural upgrades, and that the whole thing is being built on public land.

The Yankees don’t need a new stadium. A new second baseman? Absolutely. But not a new stadium. Read the Daily News’s story here.

2 comments… add one
  • Interesting dilemma. In places like Boston, where the stadium is tiny and renovations/ticket prices can be somewhat legitimized in the name of a need to increase revenues in this age of growing payroll, the Yankees have no such protection. If YES can afford to foot the bill for a new, smaller, modernized stadium then financial models had to have been built by the team and network showing this stadium to be significantly more profitable than the current behemoth, and that’s gotta be their primary motivation, nothing else. YF is right to be skeptical about this plan, but I am not sure it’s because of the public infrastructure portion of the deal – after all, that’s a reasonable part of the project for the city to contribute to, so I’d forgive the city for some of their commitment. What the paying fan should be concerned about is the most important aspect of any public-use facility, and that’s in the team maintaining affordable access for its fans to see the team they love. To be skeptical, we can all be sure that this access will suffer in a new stadium, writing a whole sector of the team’s fanbase out of the general attendance and season ticket equation.
    (On the other hand, I think Yankee Stadium is an inelegant shithole, regardless of tradition. But that’s a separate discussion altogether.)
    YF has it (mostly) right. Vive la toilette!

    SF April 16, 2005, 6:20 pm
  • Whether it’s worth it economically for the city/state to pay for infrastructure is a subject of legitimate debate, as SF notes. But the point is that YES’s presentation essentially attempts to circumvent the subject by suggesting that the entire cost of the project is borne by the team, which it is not.

    YF April 17, 2005, 12:14 am

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