spamspamspamspam Posted October 7, 2008 Share Posted October 7, 2008 I wrote this on September 24. I just never got around to posting this.Obituary for Yankee StadiumBy Tedd Heide This Sunday marked the last game at historic Yankee Stadium. Next year, the Yankees will be moving into the $1.3 billion new Yankee stadium, located directly across the street. Yankee Stadium was built in 1923, after the New York Yankees were kicked out of the Polo Grounds by their rivals, the New York Giants. Built by the Cleveland firm of Osborn Engineering Co., it was the first sports venue to call itself a ?stadium?. During the 1970?s the ballpark went under major renovations. These included shortening the distances, reconfiguring the seating, and making general repairs to the structure. During its 85 year existence, ?The House that Ruth Built? hosted 36 World Series, 4 All-Star games, and 3 papal visits. In many ways, you could say that the end of Yankee Stadium marks the end of an era. Not just the era of Yankee Stadium, but of this modern era of baseball too. With the new retro ballpark craze, it seemed like baseball was finally going back to being a fans? game. But with the Yankees vacating the most historic place in all of sports, it appears that, in the Bronx at least, baseball is becoming a business again. Although I applaud the Yankees for making the exterior of New Yankee look like the original exterior of Old Yankee, I have seen the renderings of the new ballpark and I must say, there is nothing retro about it whatsoever. I?ve also seen what the Mets? new park looks like and I must say that it?s a sign of the impending apocalypse, along with this year?s Rays, that the Mets will have the better park in New York. Not only that, but I also don?t think the Yankees will have as many people come to the new stadium. I mean, Old Yankee was ridiculously expensive and wasn?t all that great of a place to see a game. But the reason every true baseball fan had to go there was the same reason why people go to Gettysburg: because of the things that happened there. When you get down to it, Gettysburg is not much more than a field and Yankee Stadium is not much more than a ballpark. But it?s the ability to point and say, that?s the place where Pickett?s Charge occurred and that?s the place where Don Larsen pitched a perfect game. Or there?s where Lincoln gave The Gettysburg Address and there?s where Lou Gehrig said ?Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth?. Or to able to say that this is the place where the greatest battle on American soil happened and that this is the place where the most World Series have been played. But New Yankee Stadium won?t have that. It will probably take years for New Yankee to have any great event happen there. I never thought I?d say this, but I sort of feel sorry for the Yanks. I mean it?s a shame that the old Stadium won?t get to have one last World Series. But then again I never thought I?d be rooting for the Red Sox to lose (Go Rays!). Years from now, people will ask ?What was wrong with old Yankee Stadium?? Some people, mostly those in charge, will say it?s because it was old. No. Wrigley Field is old. Fenway Park is old. Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, built in 1910, is old. Yankee Stadium may have been built in the 20?s, but it pretty much got rebuilt in the 70?s. No, the real reason the Yankees are leaving such hallowed grounds is luxury boxes, and the low numbers thereof. This is the same reason the Brewers left perfectly good County Stadium. There is and was nothing wrong with these parks, in fact County was said to be one of the best, but management got the idea that it would be better to court businesses with more luxury boxes, rather than the actual fans. This is not just a problem at the Majors, as many minor league teams are riding the new ballpark craze and leaving such perfectly good old parks in favor of newer ones with, you guessed it, more luxury boxes. The aforementioned Rickwood is an example. Chattanooga and Arkansas, as well as next year Columbus, have all left there old ball parks for newer ones. In many ways the new ballpark trend is a good thing, but if left in the wrong hands, it may lead to ballparks being built for business, and not for the fans. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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