New York Ballpark Madness

We wonder what George is thinking. A couple of weeks ago, as we reported here, he was all set to present his plans for Yankee Stadium Deux to the public. What a show it would have been. Neat-o architectural models, press everywhere, a smiling Derek Jeter locked in arm with Mr. Torre. But it was not to be. Politics intervened. Bloomie was having problems with his Green Giant, and Big Stein”s advisors (ie, former Guiliani aide Randy Levine) knew better than to upstage His Honor. And now look what’s happened: the hated Mets are the new stadium darlings, and—insult to injury—they’ve even stolen his architects. Worse still, the Yanks are playing like those boys from Queens.

There is, of course, a silver lining for George. Whatever the Mets get from the public till, you can be sure he’s going to draw as well (and then some). And of course it’s always nice to have attention diverted when you’re doing something dirty. Like, say, sacrificing one of America’s great public spaces for a few extra bucks. As we’ve noted here, and repeatedly, a new Yankee Stadium is a bad idea. It will have fewer seats, they will be more expensive, and they will be further from the action in a place with no history. And the public is going to pay through the nose for it. Some $300 million. Sounds like a debacle, right? Yep. But don’t tell Richard Sandomir. The Times, as we’ve reported ad nauseum in our ballparks thread, continues to misrepresent this project.

9 comments… add one
  • How patriotic can George Steinbrenner really be? At a time when cities are in great need of funds for school and mass transit improvements, not to mention properly funding the NYPD and the FDNY, a petulant billionaire who wants a second stadium expects to take precedent. Just waving a flag (or hiring someone to wave it for you) doesn’t make you patriotic. How about thinking about whats best for a great city like New York instead of whats best for George Steinbrenner’s pocketbook?
    Just another in a growing set of reasons to be a Red Sox fan.

    mattymatty June 14, 2005, 10:48 am
  • Whichever stadium goes up – they better hope it doesn’t catch on fire, because there is probably a lack of ladder companies in the neighborhood. But look on the bright side, by using any public money to build a baseball park, it ensures the educational quality of the local public schools will be right up to par with those qualites needed of a person to clean the parking lots. Yankee stadium should never be moved, and as much as I dislike it there, it’s a part of history and should remain such. It’s a bad idea all the way around. Why not give some of the money to the school teachers, cops, and other public works officials, and have George Steinbrenner hold a bake sale in a school cafeteria to finance his stadium.

    Brad-SF June 14, 2005, 10:49 am
  • Bravo Matty

    Brad-SF June 14, 2005, 10:50 am
  • Agree with both your sentiments re: the Boss and this new stadium idea. But I’m still a Yanks fan because I grew up in Washington Heights and the team’s PLAYERS have given me great memories. Can’t stand the owner. Maybe you guys can identify with Larry Luchino, but I find it hard to identify with my team’s billionaire.

    Nick June 14, 2005, 12:25 pm
  • Older ballparks are as special as the national pastime itself. When there was talk years ago about tearing down Fenway, I was irate. Even though I’m a Sox fan, I have an appreciation for all the great ball players that have made their mark at Yankee Stadium. It’s a historic landmark and it should remain one for years to come.

    Sox Fan in VT June 14, 2005, 1:38 pm
  • Ditto. Visited Yankee Stadium for the first time last year. As a baseball fan, the whole experience was humbling & thrilling. So the Stadium doesn’t have all the modern amenities? So what?
    Baseball has built a lot of lovely new ballparks in the past decade, and IMO the one thing we should have learned from doing so is that you can’t buy history. You can’t buy tradition. You can’t buy a legacy. You can’t buy memories. Nor should you trade them away lightly for the latest newfangled novelty. Maybe the Yankees know what they’re doing, who am I to naysay? But I have to wonder.

    Sam June 15, 2005, 1:11 pm
  • Well I just watch the ballpark announcement on YES. My reactions is that IF it was necessary to build a new stadium because of the significant structural problems with the old they did a pretty good job. They are recreating the original 1923 ball park as much as possible it seems. My only question is what would happen if the recreated the original field dimensions? How would you outfit the team. Not a lot of center/left field home runs… but they would still have the porch in right. Need some might speedy outfielders in that park. Fortunately Bernie would hopefully be retired by then. As an aside I am certain that whenever Bernie decides to hang it up (or not hang it up) he will be treated with respect by the organization. Even in todays ceremonies King George alluded to the shabby treatment that the Yankess gave Ruth in his later years.

    bronxborn June 15, 2005, 5:49 pm
  • First of all George is paying for his own stadium. Second, I am so disappointed that a bunch of Sox fans think it’s a bad idea that the Yankees build a new stadium. Third, I’m sure George and the Yankees do their fair share in contributing to the city’s coffers. The city is only on the hook for building infrastructure, ie, train station, road ways, things that all cities must do. They are going to build a parking garage but they are going to get the proceeds. So as far as sports deals go this is a major win for NY, a lot better than the Mets deal.

    Battingly June 16, 2005, 10:14 am
  • George is only acting like everyother owner. He has built a francise which is one of the great sports icons of all times and brings many tax dollars to the city for many years and will continue to do so for many years to come. Where would New York baseball be without George???? I hope your ansewer is not the METS :)

    Mike Curtis September 24, 2005, 9:05 pm

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