Well, before I get into my predictions for the 2009 lineup, I must first give my thoughts on the new Yankee Stadium after attending Friday night’s game vs. the Cubs.
I’m still shocked they were able to even play the game (Although the field seemed to drain just as advertised, as that field looked game-ready just a few minutes after the tarp was removed). All day I was staring out the window, noticing the rain stopped for five minutes and convincing myself the game was on, then it would start pouring and the game was back off, and then, finally, after reading on yankees.com that they were opening the gates on time no matter what, heading out to the Stadium, game or no game, for the chance to finally see the Stadium myself. I mean, my ticket cost $1.30. While I was excited to see the Yankees play, the main attraction Friday night was the Stadium, and it did not disappoint!
First, unless you are one of those people who are against the new Stadium on principle (Which is a perfectly acceptable point of view. The Yankees did not NEED a new Stadium. I mean, ticket sales were fine, the whole “Ruth/Gherig/Dimaggio/Mattingly/Sojo played on this field! reason ((Again, I guess I understand this point, but, hell, if you can’t knock down Yankee Stadium because Babe Ruth played there, well, he played in a ton of parks during his life. Was there rage when Braves Field was knocked down? I know that’s stretching the point big time, but how many games does Ruth have to play in a place before it’s deemed unknockdownable (((made up word)))?) Anyway, as you can tell, while I loved the old Stadium and would have probably had no issues with the Yankees playing there for another 80 years, I had no problem with the building of a new Stadium and was extremely excited to see it for the first time.
My verdict: Fan-tabulous!
It honestly looks like someone just took the old Stadium and improved everything about it. Nothing seemed gratituous, it didn’t look like they were enhancing things just for to show off that it’s new. For some reason I really like the navy blue on the seats and the outfield wall. It’s a lot sharper than that lighter blue at the old Stadium, and really gives it more of a classic look. The Great Hall is, well, great. There’s tons of classic photos everywhere, with all the World Series teams over the concession stands throughout the Stadium. The manual score boards is a minor change but, like the navy blue, gives it a more classic feel. On the other hand the gigantic screen gives it a much more modern look, and the picture quality is ridiculous.
I was in the last row of the grand stand on the third base side of the field and, outside of a small corner in right field, the sight lines were great. I could even turn around and look at the old Stadium across the street, which was a bit weird at first. Later in the game (after the great Mariano Rivera’s appearance) I went down to the area between the two bleacher sections, on top of the Hard Rock in center field, and, while I still would probably not by a standing room ticket myself, that area seems like it will be an awesome place to hang out during games if you want to leave your seats for a while. It also had the best view of the frieze stretching around the grand stand. Again, there was nothing that seemed out of place or unecessarily overdone. Just a great job. The game was fun, too.