From a New England perspective, Fenway Park is to the old and decrepit Foxboro Stadium as the new Yankee Stadium is to the world class Gillette Stadium.
I have been of the opinion for quite some time that Fenway Park is past its day and should be demolished, and with a recent trip to see the New York Yankees take on the New York Mets on June 13, 2009, I'm not quite sure I can happily attend another Red Sox game at Fenway.
It's that bad. Attending Patriots games at Foxboro Stadium was fun, this cannot be disputed. But after experiencing Gillette Stadium, do any Patriots fans really have any desire to return to the former facility? Not a chance.
Color me highly impressed with what the Yankees have done. In spite of the historic factors involved with moving on from the old stadium, the new digs are nothing short of fantastic.
The new Yankee Stadium's grand entry hallover three stories in height with dramatic sky lights and floor to ceiling banners of Yankee greats is the perfect entrance to this spectacular facility.
Fans can enjoy standing room areas at the rear of all three seating decks, with standing room being high enough where your feet are at the level of the fans heads in front of you. Standing room areas with unobstructed views of the field, even when the crowd is on its feet. What a novel idea.
This in comparison to Fenway, where a standing room ticket means you might be able to see some of the game so long as the crowd is sitting, you walked in well before the game started to avoid being in the third row of standing room, and nobody is walking past you in the tiny walkways.
The concourses at the new Yankee Stadium are wide enough to handle capacity crowds, and include field views and sight lines of the game from throughout the concourse due to the open air style. This detail was very similar to Gillette Stadium. Bathrooms and concession stands are on each level which meant lines were very reasonable throughout the afternoon.
Most importantly, beer runs did not encompass standing in a line of 40 people and missing innings at a time like at Fenway, as the deepest line encountered on the Saturday afternoon of our visit was five people.
Our seats were in the third deck in right field (grandstand), and the view was decent of the entire field, save for the right field corner.
Seating areas are also roomy, with plenty of space in the wide seats to avoid any shoulder-on-shoulder contact. Aisles are wide, cup holders are attached to each seat, and in the grandstand, the person in the row in front of you is at your foot level, so again, there is no chance of having your view obstructed by a tall or large-headed individual (like myself).
While the streets and bars outside the stadium will never compete with Fenway in their current state, the interior of the ballpark is outstanding and shows off all of the advancements made in the last 100 years of the planet Earth.
I certainly need no further convincing that Fenway needs to go. Let's hope the Red Sox ownership group makes a trip out to New York and is convinced of the same.
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