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Today, with my lil’ red in tow, I visited the new Yankee Stadium for the first time and I was floored at how beautiful it looks and the way it resonates majestically.

It truly is a shrine for everything that resembles the New York Yankees.

The Great Hall is fit for a king and his court. Banners everywhere celebrating Yankees past and present. The Yankees Store is huge, the food court is amazing. The Hard Rock Cafe is part music, part baseball.

The field is beautiful. The lights around the field are bright and welcoming.

Even for me, as a deaf person, I was pleased to see the real-time captioning happen in between innings. I do wish I could have captions of the play by play announcer and other voices in the Stadium.

I do have some qualms…not everything’s perfect. I’ve read from other bloggers about the shortcomings.

I hate Monument Cave. It is ugly.

I hate the prison-gray walls in the bleachers. Paint them navy blue for goddsakes!

The larger-than-life video screen is…H-U-G-E. Wow. I could practically see Mark Teixeira’s nose hairs.

We sat in the grandstand seats, section 428, $30 a pop. But good views and definitely a good place to sit — not necessary to pay $1,250 or $375 or whatever it costs for field level.

Enjoy the photos!

DSC00808The entrance to Hard Rock Cafe from outside the Stadium.

DSC00809A view of the old Stadium, sans the faded royal blue seats. *sobs*

DSC00810Babe Ruth Plaza outside the Stadium.

DSC00813An example of the captioning available everywhere. That is so awesome!

DSC00815Part of the collectibles from Steiner Sports from the old Stadium. The outfield padding, if you want it, will set you back $20,000. I think I will settle for a brick ($145) from Monument Cave Park.

DSC00822The giant video screen in centerfield. Umm…I can see Tex’s nose hairs.

DSC00824Me and my lil’ Red at the game…


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Wow.  What a letter from Daily News writer Bill Madden to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.  Although big George has transferred day-to-day operations of the Yankees to son Hal, George is still viewed as the owner.  This letter, which I recommend you read in full, really summarizes a lot of the complaints about the $1.5 Billion new Yankee Stadium.

I have included one strong excerpt below and make sure you get a chance to check out the full length letter.  But I wanted to point out although I too am upset about the overpriced lower-bowl seats, for the most part I am very much happy with the rest of the stadium.  There are policies that need to be changed and I think the Yankees will address them in the offseason.  Policies such as not allowing fans to walk to into sections where they don’t have tickets to, or the general huge price of tickets in the lower bowl.  I just think that they want to wait on addressing the policies until after the season is completed.

That being said the Yankees do need to address the fact that the common fan, who makes up probably 98% of the overall team fan base, feels unimportant to the Yankees – and that is a HUGE problem.  Kids who are growing up Yankee fans need the opportunity to feel the way we did growing up – as a part of the Yankee feeling.  Otherwise, all the Yankees will do is push fans to the crosstown Mets, who are much more amicable towards the average fan these days.

Excerpt from Bill Madden:

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So consider this a letter on behalf of the modest income common fan, Boss, the ones you always championed in the past – the bus drivers, bartenders, construction workers, cops, firemen, secretaries and even journalists – who made up the core of your Yankee constituency and to whom [COO Lonn] Trost is now essentially saying:

“You can still come into our ballpark because we have to provide a certain amount of modestly priced tickets, but you must know your place, which is the upper deck. We don’t want you in our high-priced restaurants and we don’t want you getting anywhere near our players or our rich friends.”

_________________________

Speaking with Peter Gammons at Southern Conneticut State University on Wednesday, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the team plans to monitor the high consistency of home runs hit at the new Yankee Stadium.

In the first six games the Yankees and their opponents, the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics hit a record 26 dingers.  The previous record of 25 was set in 1955 when Kansas City opened Municipal Stadium.

“It’s something we’re going to have to keep our eye on because clearly the numbers don’t lie,” Cashman said.

Cashman also said he thinks it might be part of a wider phenomenon, telling Gammons that home runs are traveling 8 feet farther on average this year then last year.  “It’s possible that the ballpark is a home run-type park,” Cashman said. “We’ll see. The ball is going farther in every park, not just ours.”

Cashman was at the university to deliver a scheduled message and spoke with Gammons in an interview before his talk.

From Accuweather, hat tip to Sliding Into Home:

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The abundance of homers is raising concerns that the new stadium’s design may favor fly balls, which should be alarming to the baseball team that invested $243.5 million on pitching last winter, according to the Daily News.

The wind on Saturday during the Yankees’ 22-4 loss against the Cleveland Indians was mostly from the west at 15-20 mph. Given the layout of the stadium, the wind could have had an effect on fly balls in right field. Six home runs were hit by the Indians in the second inning alone.

Although the field dimensions of the new stadium are exactly that of the old stadium, the shell of the new stadium is shaped differently. AccuWeather.com meteorologists also estimate that the angle of the seating in the new stadium could have an effect on wind speed across the field.

The old Yankee stadium had more stacked tiers and a large upper deck, acting like a solid wall in effect, which would cause the wind to swirl more and be less concentrated. The new Yankee stadium’s tiers are less stacked, making a less sharp slope from the top of the stadium to the field. This shape could enable winds to blow across the field with less restriction. In addition, the slope of the seating would also lead to a “downslope” effect in the field which, depending on wind direction, would tend to cause air to lift up in the right field. Fly balls going into right field during a gusty west wind would be given more of a lift thus carrying the ball farther out into right field.

If the stadium seating tier shape is indeed the issue, games will only be affected during times with the winds are from a westerly direction and above 10 mph. This typically occurs during the spring and the middle to late fall. The calmer weather during the summer should lead to a smaller number of home runs. In the meantime, the home run derby may continue.

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This is interesting news and sort of folows the idea of what I was thinking might be the cause due to the open windows in the shell.  I did not consider the different sloping of the seats and how that would create a downward draft with a lifting effect into the right field stands. 

In celebration of the new Stadium, which will host its first regular-season game today at 1:05 p.m. with CC Sabathia’s pitch to Grady Sizemore…here are a few links to peruse:

  • Derek Jeter has spent most of his adult life calling Yankee Stadium his place of business. Starting today, the shortstop has a new place to go to work. Mark Feinstand writes more
  • Says Mike Lupica: “The official opening of the new Yankee Stadium will be a monument to everything the Yankees are and everything they used to be and everything they still want to be.”
  • We cannot live without the Bleacher Creatures, and they aren’t too happy with section 203, says Filip Bondy.
  • George Steinbrenner has been seen in the public less and less the last two-three years. Today he’s making an appearance, and deservedly so. Bill Madden has more…
  • Berra will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Thursday afternoon to open the new Yankee Stadium. Joe Lapointe has more about the 83-year-old former backstop.
  • No feature of the original Yankee Stadium defined its architectural look more than the gently curving frieze that crowned the upper deck. And it’s back in the new Stadium. Read more from Richard Sandomir.
  • MLB.com will start its live programming of the unveiling of the Yankee Stadium at 10:15am.

For those of you who can…make sure you can watch the game online or in person, or on television. I’m just pissed off I cannot because I’m a high school teacher in Baltimore Oriole country and my school’s internet firewall prevents live video streaming. I’ll have to check the score updates online instead.

Goooooo Yank-ees!

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