COMMENTARY | The new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, is more spacious and fan-friendly than the old Yankee Stadium, which was known for its tiny corridors, awful bathrooms and obstructed views.
The park may not have the character of the old place, but it does offer a fun, albeit costly, experience. Oh, and it's got some obstructed views as well.
The Good: The History
As a brand, the Yankees are built on history and tradition, and the club barrages fans with reminders of the team's history throughout the ballpark, two of which -- Monument Park and the New York Yankees Museum -- are testaments to some of the team's greatest moments and players.
Monument Park, which sits behind the center field wall, contains a collection of plaques and monuments honoring the team's greatest players, coaches and executives. The museum, which dubs itself "a museum within a museum," is on the main level and houses team memorabilia, a wall of autographed baseballs and trophies, and Thurman Munson's locker. While Monument Park closes 45 minutes prior to game time, the museum is open free of charge on gamedays through the end of the eighth inning.
The Bad: Concessions
For food, hit Lobel's of New York (Section 134) for a steak sandwich. Yes, $15 is expensive for meat on bread, but it's still cheaper than two cups of Budweiser beer.
Speaking of beer, when it comes to suds, as I wrote about last month, the beer selection is mediocre. The team recently began offering its first local craft brew -- Bronx Brewery's Bronx Pale Ale -- but you can only find it at two spots. Other than that, food and drink concessions are hit or miss, although most are misses. For example, on cold days, vendors will offer "hot" chocolate for $5 a cup. (Hint: It usually isn't hot.) There's a reason most fans bring food in from the outside or buy their hot dogs from local vendors parked outside.
When it comes to bringing home memories of your trip, the Yankees offer some great mementos, including dirt and grass from the old stadium, but most are expensive. Speaking of which…
The Ugly: The Prices
If you're dumb enough to pay full price for tickets, the cheapest seats in the upper deck run for $27 (including taxes) -- almost as much as it costs to park your car. (That is, if you're dumb enough to drive, too.) Everything, it seems, it overpriced at Yankee Stadium -- from the cotton candy to the tub o' popcorn that will cost you $15 and nearly 2,500 calories.
Sure, you can find bargain tickets online, but be sure they're not for the stadium's awful "obstructed view" bleacher seats. (See picture.)
Howard Z. Unger is a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, New York. For the past 15 years, he has written about sports, media, and popular culture. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, New York Post, and New York Times.
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