“The House that Ruth Built” has seen many history-making moments in its 85 years in the Bronx: twenty-six World Series titles, four Major League Baseball All-Star games, two papal visits by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Now that the Bronx Bombers have ended their 2008 season 8 games out of first place, finishing third behind the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays, the old Yankee Stadium will shut its doors (M.L.B. Advanced Media, “2008 Regular Season Standings”). The start of next season will bring extra attention to the Yankees due to the opening of their brand new stadium, located across the street. Their new stadium is just one of many recent parks that have been built. These “new stadiums” change the classic pastime of watching a game with a hot dog in hand. Even though the modern ballparks have amazing architectural designs with countless means of entertainment, the central sport of baseball seems to be just playing in the background.
Since 2000, twelve Major League teams have built new stadiums. The two New York Teams, the Yankees and the Mets, will both open brand new parks in the spring of 2009. Five teams have plans in progress to have completed their new fields by 2012, which will leave the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park, built in 1912, the oldest baseball stadium in the country (Grand Slam Enterprises). The new Yankee Stadium is the most expensive one in America, costing approximately $1.6 billion (M.L.B. Advanced Media, “Yankees Unveil 2009 Schedule”). The opening of two baseball stadiums, as well as the Jets and Giants new stadium, all in the same state and the same season has prices flying through the roof for local ticket holders, and the citizens of the state concerned about what their taxes are going towards since all the stadiums received some aid. The Yankees received over $200 million from the city and the state, which, even though only covers a fraction of the cost, the money still comes from the taxpaying citizens (E.S.P.N.). People that have had season tickets for years now have to sacrifice their exclusive seats because they cannot afford the prices (Sandomir). However, money aside, New York City is going to get extra sports attention in the upcoming year.
According to the teams website, the Yankees are “all about embracing the future,” and their new stadium does exactly that. The virtual tour of their new facility explains the countless number of new additions and changes, and shows how the new stadium takes the same basic design of the old one by creating the same atmosphere, but modernizes it entirely (M.L.B. Advanced Media, “New Yankee Stadium Virtual Tour”). This means that the new home of the Yankees will contain well-known features such as Monument Park, the white frieze that runs along the top border and the playing of Frank Sinatra’s famous “New York, New York” after a home game win. The Relocation Guide that all the ticket holders received opens up its 48 page description of the stadium by stating: “The new Yankee Stadium…will merge the glorious past and future greatness of the Yankees to create the ultimate fan experience by providing the latest technology, luxurious fan amenities and customer service in a setting that will feel both reassuringly familiar and surprisingly fresh.” Before going into detail about all features, it states: “the new Yankee Stadium will be all about choice, comfort, convenience and accessibility” (M.L.B. Advanced Media, “New Yankee Stadium Relocation Guide”). Notice there is nothing said about baseball.
The new house of the Yankees has many improvements. The gentler slope of the seats gives everyone a good view of the game. The stadium itself is 63% larger than the old one, yet has less seats. The available wireless Internet and major cell phone antennas around the stadium, will give fans web access and strong cell phone service, which seem unnecessary for a night at the ballpark. Do fans actually need their cell phones and laptops...
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