First things first – a beverage on a beautiful spring afternoon. That's forty bucks right there.
Up the ramps, and then at the top through the metal fabric, a view of the concourse and also a glimpse of the past. The concourse is the best public moment in the stadium, with people of all sorts mingling amidst banners of famous Yankees. It's a nice space, though a bit (and I don't mean this in a nasty way) pompous. This moment, where one catches a view of the old ballpark, is a wonderful one, but it is only temporary, sadly.
And a Nathan's grilled dog. Despite our supposed interest in the food selection, we ended up with hot dogs, peanuts, cracker jack, and beer. The hot dog was fantastic – YF predicted as such, but for six bucks it better be. The prices at the Stadium (six bucks for a dog, ten bucks for a large beer, five bucks for peanuts) are astronomical and unfriendly.
Supply and demand – in our view we counted NINETEEN empty luxury boxes. Nineteen, without a soul in any of them. How many below us were empty we have no clue. The expensive seats were mostly empty, the "cheaper" and cheap seats packed to the gills. Oddly, the view below is the opposite of what you expect – filled to the brim behind home plate and above, and filtering out to the perimeter. Today it was inverted – empty seats galore at the heart, full at the fringe. On TV it must look like nobody is at the game, the view from behind the pitcher showing a lot of empty blue. This pic was taken in the seventh inning and those seats behind the plate and down the line are as full as they were all day, this isn't a shot from before the corporate types showed up — the corporate types never showed up.
Hat money. For years we've been playing a game – at the start of every half inning each of us puts a buck in the hat. If, at the end of the 1/2 inning the catcher rolls the ball back to the mound and the ball sticks on the dirt then the person holding the hat keeps the money. The hat rotates each half-inning. We made it to the end of four innings today before the ball took a steady place on the hill, and I took home the cash. I also took home the cash twice more, a good day. It almost paid for my hot dogs and beers. Forget the ticket – the game would have had to go to 15 innings to cover that.
Long lines for beer, nobody cared about the poor lemonade vendors.
As an architect, I was very interested in the stadium from an aesthetic standpoint. The Stadium is caught in a strange zone, sometimes it is trying to be contemporary, but at other times it seems to be strangled by its predecessor and namesake. The shot below shows one particular moment where you can see this tension, where the left field stands insist on evoking the old field, while metal mesh walkways and speaker stands fly past these hulking pieces. Even odder, they are chamfered, terminated on the diagonal. As a designer, many of the moments in the park feel uncommitted, bouncing back and forth between a kind of stripped-down neoclassicism and a more stark contemporary feel. In the end, it suffers for this, there is a lack of stylistic cohesion.
For five bucks you get a bleacher seat, a view of a wall, and an LCD television screen to fill in the details you missed. The Vader-ish hitters' backdrop-cum-restaurant is a hideous piece of architecture, dominating both the field and also poor Monument Park below, which looks like an abandoned and to-be-avoided playground.
Different ballpark, same familiar mess. One annoyance: the cupholders are tipped at an angle, and you either have to drink a good two to three ounces of your beer before sitting down or it is donated to the concrete. Easy choice. Still annoying.
The game is on the line. Who else do you expect?
A Yankee win, and a fun first time to the new field. It has some issues – the lines for concessions were too slow and too long. The bathrooms are horrendously designed, one door for both in and out and a labyrinthine journey inside. The food is expensive, ridiculously so. But the flow through the park is reasonably nice, far nicer an experience than at the old field. The concourse is a very, very good "public" space within the park. The sight lines from up high were excellent. We were up in the atmosphere but it didn't feel like we were a
mile high in the clouds — I imagine the lower seats suffer more from their new, greater distance from the grass. And the scoreboard is great. But in the end, I can't help but echo YF's earlier sentiments that this place is really quite exclusive. And expensive. It makes me pray (and I am not religious) that stadia like Wrigley and Fenway are never abandoned due to a craving for the new.