Name: Yankee Stadium
Location: Bronx, New York
Opened: 16 April 2009
Architect: HOK Sport
Cost: $2.3 Billion
Capacity: 50,287 (original)
Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
There's not much we can add to what has already been said about Yankee Stadium.
It's YANKEE FREAKING STADIUM.
Love the Yankees or hate them, there is only one New York Yankees. Like the city they represent, they are bigger than life. And so is their stadium.
We have elements that we like and dislike about baseball architecture. Things that a ballpark must possess to be considered "great". Yankee Stadium checks many boxes on our list. It misses others by a wide margin. And, you know what?
Yankee Stadium doesn't care about our list. Yankee Stadium would like to tell us, in graphic detail, exactly where we can stick our list.
It's big. It's grandiose. It's not even a ballpark. It's a STADIUM. It says so right there in the name. And it gets away with it, because it's . . . well, Yankee Stadium.
Built in the second half of the 2000s, New Yankee Stadium took "The House that Ruth Built" and refashioned it for the new millennium. Visually, it is a "replica" of the original Yankee Stadium, but bigger, bolder, and newer.
You really have to give the Yankees credit. Imagine the uproar if the Red Sox just announced they were going to tear down Fenway Park and build a brand-new version of Fenway Park instead. Oh, wait, they DID:
And how did that work out for them? Anyone remember? They were lambasted, and the idea never got off the ground. (The renovated/refurbished Fenway Park is a landmark and an icon and God Bless Them for not tearing it down.)
But Yankee Stadium was just as iconic. It was, literally, the House that Babe Ruth Built. It hosted 25 world championships. But they announced it was being torn down for a brand-new replacement with very little opposition.
In some ways, that was because the true "Old Yankee Stadium" was lost during the massive re-build in the 1970s, when the whole structure was basically gutted and re-built. Much of the charm and beauty of the original structure was lost, and -- to their credit -- replicated in the new building.
The new park is meant to replicate the old park, and does a pretty good job of it. If you are sitting in the same seating area in the new place, with a little imagination, your view is not that different than in the old ballpark.
It's all just . . . nicer. Newer. Bigger. Fresher. More expensive.
But that's all part of the experience. To their credit, they kept the old playing field from the original Yankee Stadium and turned it into "Heritage Field", where kids can play ball where Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter played, in the shadow of the new place.
That's pretty cool.
Should you go to Yankee Stadium if you get the chance? Abso-freakin-lutely. It will cost you an arm and a leg (and maybe a couple of internal organs), but it's absolutely worth it.
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