The Yankees spent over $1.3 billion to build a new stadium in the Bronx to replace one of the most hallowed grounds in all of sports. But was it worth it?
Some Yankees fans couldn't wait to set their eyes on the gleaming new park, while others may have had some reservations about visiting the Bronx Bombers new home because of their sentimental ties to the old stadium.
Fans can still get a good glimpse inside the old stadium through the opening near the right field bleachers if they look out the window of the No. 4 train as it pulls into the 161Street station. Most of the stadium still stands intact, but you can see the field has been ripped up: dirt and construction trucks occupy the spots where some of the most decorated baseball players in history once played.
Across the street, the new Stadium sits as a grand and beautiful piece of eye candy, for sure. It's clean with gorgeous photos of Yankees’ legends from the past all around the concourse. The facade around the top of Yankee Stadium is pleasing to the eye and a nice homage to the original ball park's design. The concourse is wide open with giant TV screens everywhere, which allows fans to watch the game action even if they're grabbing some food at one of the upgraded concession stands.
The concessions are a definite upgrade. There's a bevy of tasty options to please the mouth and fill the belly, including Philly cheesesteaks, Mexican burritos, BBQ and a delicious Lobel's steak sandwich. The prices are a bit high, but the quality and plethora of options are a real boon for Bombers fans.
The seats are more comfortable than before and the sight lines are more than adequate, but the stadium just didn't feel the same. It's tough to place a finger on it. Maybe it's the newness, but you get the feeling like you're visiting a strange place, rather than being at a historic baseball home away from home in the Bronx. Sure the crowd gets into every big at bat and A-Rod still struggles to hit in the clutch, but something is a little off.
It's tough to compare two parks when you've seen hundreds of games, including some classics, at one and only a few at the other. Monument Park has made the move across the street, but the new stadium doesn't have the glorious history of its predecessor. It's yet to host a playoff game and the Bronx Bombers haven't celebrated a championship on it's field. Babe Ruth never hit a home run in this ball park and Lou Gherig never made a speech there that resonated through the decades. It's a clean slate, a hollow shell.
Yankees fans certainly have a beautiful new piece of eye candy to show off. Meanwhile, the old stadium has become a discarded ex-girlfriend. Sure she gave fans decades of great memories, but after years together they've upgraded to a younger, more luxurious model. It'll take some time, but maybe they'll learn to love her too.