Three years ago, the Yankees announced their plans to build a new stadium across the street from the current one. Now, with the new stadium getting ready for its debut, the old one is going to be torn down.
For most teams, a new stadium is no big deal. It's a new place to play that's probably filled with more amenities and conveniences than the old one.
However, Yankee Stadium is a lot more than a building. It has been the home to some of the greatest players to ever play the game. It has housed boxing matches, Papal masses, and concerts. Not to mention some of the most incredible games in the history of baseball.
All of those variables have made people feel, including myself, very torn on the whole concept of a new stadium.
Truth be told, Yankee Stadium is more than run down. The seats are uncomfortable, and the inside is narrow and more reminiscent of a sewer than a ballpark. It seemed more than time for something new.
The new design is everything a great ball park should be. It's modern, yet it has a lot of the little things that the original stadium had like the facade all the way around the building. There are going to be several restaurants to choose from, and the design eliminated a level so that the fans could feel like they were closer to the field level.
But it's still not the same.
In the past five years, I've been to Yankee Stadium about 30 times, and every time I've walked in there, I've gotten goosebumps.
There is just something about walking out of one of the tunnels, and looking out to the field, and knowing that at one time Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle stood on that same field.
Yankee Stadium was a place where magic was real, and ghosts made a home for themselves. Some people may not believe it exists, but if you've ever had the privilege of being at Yankee Stadium, you know that almost every night you could feel the electricity in the air.
And now, they are going to take it down.
First, the seats will come out, and then everything else will follow before the building itself is destroyed.
It's pretty hard to imagine the old stadium not being there. Sure, for the past two years, the new ballpark has been rising in the background, but the old one still stood.
The new stadium will probably be as state of the art as the organization has promised. Still, it's going to be strange walking into Yankee Stadium knowing that the Babe, Gehrig, Joe D, and the Mick never played on that field.
We all knew that the day would come when we couldn't watch a game at 161st and River Avenue, but now that it is getting torn down, it makes all of that even more real. However, that empty space is going to leave a lot of people feeling somewhat sad, no matter how fabulous the new stadium is.
Hopefully, the ghosts have moved over with the rest of the stuff to the new ballpark, and the magic will find a way to work in a new setting. More importantly, here's to hoping that similar great baseball moments can be achieved on the new field.