Welcome to the costliest MLB ballpark ever constructed. Yankee Stadium represents the pomp, splendor, and mighty of baseball as a game. Home to 27-time world champions and 40 AL Pennants holders the New York Yankees, the stadium exudes an aura of magnificence that makes it an icon for baseball fans. With the second-highest seating capacity after Dodgers Stadium, LA, it stands as the successor to the historic 1923 Yankee Stadium and the most recognizable symbol of the baseball world today. The New York Yankees were rated as the most-valued MLB team and the second most valued sports franchise in the world in 2020.
Yankee Stadium was inaugurated in 2009 replacing the old stadium of the same name built nine decades ago. The 1923 stadium was extensively renovated in 1976. But it was found inadequate for the all-conquering Yankees and the franchise owner started to look for a more majestic ballpark in the early 1980s. An attempt to relocate to New Jersey led the NYC mayor to offer the Yankees financial support to renovate the existing ballpark in 1988. Five years later, the New York state administration proposed a new stadium at West Side Yard, Manhattan, for the first time.
In 2002, then New York mayor Rudy Giuliani announced stadium agreements with the Yankees and their cross-town rivals the Mets. It offered $1.2 billion in subsidies to constructing two stadiums –the Yankee Stadium and Citi Field – costing $2 billion. The new mayor Michael Bloomberg withdrew from the deal. However, the failed 2012 Olympic bid forced him to favor building new stadiums in New York City for both MLB franchises.
The construction of the new Yankee Stadium started on August 16, 2006, adjacent to the existing 1923 ballpark. Despite many controversies surrounding its funding and delays, it was thrown open to the public on April 3, 2009.
Design and Features
The exterior and the playing field of the Yankee Stadium resemble the old stadium. However, interiors and the seat arrangement adorn a distant new look and feel, which included 68 luxury suites, gold-leaf nameplates above gates, and over 4,000 club seats.
More than 11,000 Indiana limestones and granite blocks were used to build the stadium’s exterior. The designer freely borrowed the iconic frieze-lined roof that symbolizes the old stadium until 1976 renovations. However, it is made of zin-coated steel instead of copper in the original one.
There are over 2,000 photos inside Yankee Stadium showcasing the immensely successful history of the New York Yankees. Contrary to the old stadium, the seating arrangement follows an outward-spaced pattern in a bowl, and about two-thirds of audiences have their seats in the lower bowl. It has 56 luxury suites compared to less than 20 in the earlier stadium. All seats have cup holders and many have cushions.
On the southern wall of Yankee Stadium, there is the Great Hall, a 31,000 square feet giant concourse with a capacity to host 1,500 visitors during receptions, concerts, and dinners. The impressive hall has on display larger-than-life posters of the 20 most famous Yankees. The stadium hosts the Monument Park, a tribute to its distinguished players, ever since it was moved from the old to the present stadium in 2009.
Facilities and Amenities
Yankee Stadium represents the new generation of ballparks that focus on offering facilities to baseball fans. The focus on improving viewer experience led to the stadium adding a 500,000-square feet area, almost 63% more than the 1923 ballpark. At any given time, Yankee Stadium has $10 million worth of merchandise for fans to buy.
SunRun Kids Clubhouse at Yankee Stadium has a themed mini playground for fan kids. There also many social spaces for fans with tickets. The New York Yankees Museum is another attraction at Yankee Stadium. Housed close to Gate 6, it has on display an array of memorabilia associated with the home team. It also has a “Ball Wall” signed by many players.
The 30,000-square feet Yankee Stadium clubhouse has a video room, therapy room with an underwater treadmill, gym, lounge area, and electronic lockers. Its center field scoreboard is the third largest in the United States after ones at AT&T Stadium and Kauffman Stadium. The baseball stadium boasts more than 1,100 HD monitors and about 230 miles of fiber-optic cable wiring offering seamless game enjoyment and fun for the audience.
Yankee Stadium is a paradise for foodies with 25 fixed-concessions stands, a sports bar, and more than 100 movable ones. Often celebrity chefs prepare the food for those access to premium seating.
The Hard Rock Cafe and NYY Steak restaurants remain open to outsiders throughout the year. The ballpark also boats terrace, party decks, and open-air dining facilities overlooking the field.
Purely Baseball Things To Know
- The New York Yankees won the 2009 World Series at the stadium in its inauguration year.
- Playing at the new Yankee Stadium, the home team won one World Series, one AL Pennant, four East Division Titles, and five Wild Card Berths.
- The field design makes Yankee Stadium a batter-friendly arena and fans find this more entertaining. In its first season, it broke the 2000 record of Minute Maid Park with 87 home runs hit in the first 23 games. With 216 home runs in 2009, it became the sixth most homer haven. The home team scored 108 home runs. In 2015, there were 219 home runs with an average of 2.70 a game.
- On Sept. 30, 2017, Yankee batter Aaron Judge hit a 496-ft homer against the Blue Jays bettering his 495-ft homer hit in July against the Orioles.
- The New York Yankees have the unique feat of winning two world series in the very year of opening their two stadiums – in 1923 and 2009.
- The first year of Yankee Stadium also witnessed Derek Jeter making his 2,722nd hits. It made him the home team’s all-time best hitter surpassing Lou Gehrig’s record set in 1937. Jetter went on to have his 3,000th hits in July 2011 at the same place.
- In 2010, Yankee great Alex Rodriguez had his 600th home run before the home crowd.
- On August 25, 2011, the Yankees achieved the unique distinction of hitting three grand slams in one game at their home stadium.
- Between May 14 and June 1, 2009, the home team played 18 consecutive games with error-free balls. It is a record to date.
- Yankee Stadium saw the home team scoring their second triple on April 12, 2013. It stands as a unique accomplishment of the New York Yankees till today.
- The first game at the stadium was an exhibition match between the Yankees and the Chicago Cubs.
Yankee Stadium is the home ground of New York City FC. It also regularly hosts soccer matches between top European clubs.
Since 2010, university and college football teams play Yankee Stadium. It also organizes the annual Pinstripe Bowl.
Yankee Stadium had its first NHL game in 2014 and it was attended by over 50,000 spectators.
Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye West, Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and the Metallica band were among the top artists who had their concerts at the stadium.
- The New York University selected Yankee Stadium as the venue for its 2009, 2010, and 2011 graduation ceremonies.
- In 2009, it played host to a Christian prayer service organized by the Lakewood Church.