Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yankee Stadium...

Yankee Stadium was built with public money. That money went to fund a playground for corporate fat cats and other multimillionaires, with private seating and private restaurants that regular fans are not allowed anywhere near. When one hears complaints about the most expensive seats behind home plate remaining empty, keep in mind that it is you, the die-hard Yankee fan who pays for those tickets when they are occupied even though you cannot afford to go to a game.

How's this?

Let me state the obvious about how Corporate America works-they go to games and whatever money they spend is written off on their taxes as "entertainment expenses" whether they are entertaining clients for business purposes or not. They get entertained, and we the taxpayer foot the bill.

The old stadium is gone, and with it a few things that made going to the ballpark exciting.

1) The days of a father taking his son to the game and waiting by the players' entrance to hopefully get an autograph are over. Before, the players parked their cars in an outdoor lot across the street from their entrance and had to cross a small one-way street to get to the stadium. There was time and opportunity to at the very least get a close-up photo of your favorite Yankee.

Now the players drive right into the stadium through a rear entrance and you can't even see them get out of their cars.

2) The seats closest to the field, from each dugout going all the way around are off-limits to anyone without a ticket in that particular area. Like in any other stadium, you were at least allowed to walk around, snap photos, hopefully get an autograph and watch batting practice at the old stadium. But not anymore.

I went last week to a Yankee game and it is truly a beautiful stadium. A franchise of their stature deserves it, and it was long overdue. I am not sad to see the old one go at all, in fact it needs to be demolished ASAP to make room for the proposed park they plan on building. The surrounding community needs it-let's wait and see if the people who will use will be responsible enough to take care of it (yes, I too doubt it, but one can hope).

After walking through the stadium I wondered why they waited so long to build it. Yes, the old one is full of history and all that, but it was a dinosaur that lacked charm and amenities and reeked of cheap beer, piss and vomit. Ironically enough, what made the old stadium so endearing were the fans who've been priced out of the new one.

I highly doubt we'll see the rowdy fans of old, the ones who would buy seats in a certain section of the upper deck for the sole purpose of chucking beer onto the heads of the drunken louts in the bleachers And whoever went to a game in the old park and didn't see a fight wasn't really at Yankee game.

Instead of sitting next to a bunch of guys from Queens, Long Island and Westchester and having a ball listening to their uniquely working class heckling ("HEY A-ROD IT'S WEDNESDAY, WHY AREN'T YOU BOWLING?), I was forced to endure the company of a bunch of over the hill suburban broads whose faces were practically mummified from too many botox injections (whatever happened to growing old gracefully?).

They got up so many times to get food and fix their makeup I missed a towering home run hit by one of the Nationals. We had three Brits in front of us who asked why the fans weren't doing the "Mexican Wave". I told her because this isn't a soccer match, and that we were not in Mexico.

I love the new stadium. What I miss are the old fans.

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