New Yankee Stadium: The $1.3 Billion Debacle
At 9:13 pm, the Yanks were losing 3-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays. At the New Yankee Stadium. In New York. Again.
In fact, let's look at some of the highlights (and I use that term very loosely) from the first month at the new ballpark:
- At their first ever game at the new park on April 16, the Yanks and their $161 million man (CC Sabathia) lost to the Cleveland Indians 10-2. Sabathia walked five in 5.1 innings, while Cliff Lee got his first W of the year after an abysmal start.
- Only two days later, the Yanks went down 22-4 to the Indians. Saying the Yanks went down is debatable, however, because one could argue they never even showed up. The top of the second inning, which took 37 minutes, yielded a club record 14 runs for the "Injins," who hit six home runs on the day.
- The entire four game series between Cleveland and New York saw Cleveland hit 20—yes, 20—home runs. The new stadium also set a record for most home runs hit in the first 10 games at a new ballpark. Remember the Coors Field debate? They are no longer the barometer of mashing anymore.
- There have already been two games rained out at the new park. Last year, only one game was postponed due to rain, and that was the home opener vs. Toronto.
- With ticket prices being completely over the top, single game attendance has not hit 50,000 fans once this season. Think about that, that includes the inaugural game at the New Yankee Stadium, a game which no doubt should have been a sell out. In case you were wondering, the capacity of the new park is 52,325, not including "standing room only" tickets.
- Garlic fries cannot be substituted for regular fries in "value" meals. And boy, is the term "value" highly controversial. (For more on the garlic fry saga, check out my post from two days ago, just scroll down).
- On May 4 and 5, the Bronx We-Give-Up-Tons-Of-Bombers lost the first two games against the hated Red Sox ever played at the new park. To make matters worse, David Ortiz began to look like, gulp, David Ortiz.
- And, of course, the Crème de la Crème. On that May 4 night, thousands of fans were denied readmission after stadium employees told thousands of fans that the rain delay at the end of the game would lead to the game being postponed. When the tarp came off two hours later and thousands of fans—who most had eagerly been waiting for the game to start either at a bar across the street or in their cars—were told they could not get back in due to their re-entry policy. Every stadium has the same policy, but given the situation and how it was handled in addition to the awful stadium attendance to begin with, the Yankees embarrassed themselves Monday more than they ever could playing on the field.
This new stadium has been a disaster for the Yankees. You don't mess with the Bambino. Ask the Red Sox. Mr. Ruth's humble abode was more than adequate for the Yanks. Just look at the legacy that they built there. But when you mess with the Babe—especially his house—the Babe knocks you back twice as hard.
The greed of the Yanks has finally caught up to them.
Get ready for a long 2009, folks.
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