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The House that Levine Built
April 16, 2005 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Goodbye Yankee Stadium. At least the Red Sox get it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient (29 comments total)

 
And from today's Boston Globe:
"Red Sox executives said yesterday they plan to add more than 1,000 high-priced premium seats to Fenway Park over the next three years and signed a high- profile sponsorship deal, as the team looks for ways to squeeze new revenue from the oldest and smallest ballpark in Major League Baseball."
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM on April 16, 2005


Didn't Bloomberg campaign promising no new stadiums?
posted by klangklangston at 12:24 PM on April 16, 2005


Yeah, 'cause the Green Monster didn't have a thing to do with the Sox not winning squat for over eight decades...

/snark
posted by docgonzo at 12:34 PM on April 16, 2005


The Cubs and the White Sox have gone longer than the Red Sox did without winning a World Series. It wasn't the damn wall's fault.

I went to Yankee Stadium for the first time about five years ago, and I won't be sad to see it go. The idea that the stadium retains any of its majesty after the mid-70's renovation is laughable. It is impossible to look at first base and imagine that Lou Gehrig made his speech there. It is impossible to look at right field and imagine that Roger Maris got his 61st there. It is impossible to claim that the concrete monstrosity in the Bronx bears any semblence to The House That Ruth Built. I will not argue about this.

Say what you will about Bloomberg - but the Jets were willing to pay for the West Side stadium (and any cost overruns) and the Yankees are paying the $800 million here. Sure, the infrastructure expenditures are high, but that's the price a city pays. This is a good deal for the Bronx, for New York, and for baseball fans.
posted by sachinag at 1:02 PM on April 16, 2005


Now if we can just get the Mets to build a new stadium in Long Island City...
posted by hyperbolica at 1:06 PM on April 16, 2005


Yet another reason to hate the Yankees in particular and baseball in general.

Not that I needed one.
posted by tommasz at 1:08 PM on April 16, 2005


See, I don't think there's anything admirable about the Red Sox keeping Fenway. I love the Red Sox, and my username should be all the evidence you need regarding my reverence for Boston's history. But I want to go to a game and not feel like I spent 6 hours on an A310.

People were smaller in the early 20th century. But by modern standards, I'm merely a bit tall (6'2")-- and I can't put my knees together in the Fenway grandstand. And when I get out of the row to get beer, it's a nightmare for everyone. And just moderately overweight people (and even in America's healthiest city there are plenty of them) have it even worse. A new park would make the trip more enjoyable for a lot of people. Of course, this city is baseball crazy, so we'll continue to go even if we're physically uncomfortable. The sox ownership no doubt recognizes this.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:35 PM on April 16, 2005


ericb: From the article:
"the new stadium is designed to seat 50,800, less than the current capacity of 57,478, but with 50 to 60 luxury suites."
So, less seating, but more luxury seating in the new Yankee Stadium. Fenway isn't reducing their regular seating for their regular (non luxury) customers.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:37 PM on April 16, 2005


I'm 6'7" and sitting in seats at Fenway can be difficult for me. If I was as short as Curley, I'd go to more games than I do. At the same time, I'll be sad to see Fenway go, when it finally does. I love how small it is, and I like its goofy shape. I like that it is actually in the city of Boston and in a neighborhood where people live, the neighborhood I live in every day.

If the Red Sox get a new stadium, it will probably be out in a suburb like Everett. You'll no longer get on the old style green line cars to Kenmore Sq, and you'll no longer be able to sit almost right on top of the field (despite recent scuffles with Gary Sheffield). The intimacy of the park, while a totally subjective quality, and physically uncomfortable as it may be, will be lost to me.

I won't blame the Red Sox when they leave Fenway, but I'll be sad to see them go.
posted by McBain at 1:56 PM on April 16, 2005


Whatever. Yankee stadium has changed so much since its origins that it's barely recognizable as the same place. MLB.com has a pretty good history of Yankee Stadium as well as the changes made to it over the years.
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:24 PM on April 16, 2005


Is a testimony to our wasteful attitudes that everyone has to build a new stadium now instead of renovate? As a baseball fan its scary to see the stadium go to anyone else, as for the players, it seems even worse... Yankee rookies newly called up can look at home plate and imagine the babe homering off of it...no more? Such a shame.
posted by uni verse at 2:35 PM on April 16, 2005


If I was as short as Curley, I'd go to more games than I do.

That's an absolute first for me-- being referred to as "short" in any context. But I certainly am comparitively! I don't think I'd go to games at all if I were your height.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:01 PM on April 16, 2005


looks like that long, 5-year championship drought has taken its toll on the Boss ... time for a new house? talk about a curse of the Bambino, he will no doubt be rolling in his grave.

and, for the record, I'm about 5'7" and I can *barely* squeeze into those Fenway seats.

that all said, as a Sox fan/Yankee hater (yeah redundant I know) I will be glad to see the Yankees in a soulless new shell; as a baseball fan I will be sad to see the Toilet go.
posted by LilBucner at 3:15 PM on April 16, 2005


McBain - I share the sentiment. So much charm, so much tradition.

I won't blame the Red Sox when they leave Fenway, but I'll be sad to see them go.

Nor, will I, but I'll miss Fenway just as I miss The Garden. Oh, memories of obstructed views and the lack of air conditioning, causing fog on the ice during some of the Beanpot tourneys...and sweating along with the Celts during spring time games. The Garden's replacement does indeed make for a much more comfortable experience.
posted by ericb at 3:46 PM on April 16, 2005


Yeah, 'cause the Green Monster didn't have a thing to do with the Sox not winning squat for over eight decades...

Actually, it was lack of pitching, but if it makes you feel better to blame a wall...
posted by justgary at 4:01 PM on April 16, 2005


I am happy to see that the current owners - John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino - are doing everything they can to keep Fenway Park alive and thriving. They have found creative ways to expand seating (e.g. the Green Monster seating) and revenues (by expanding high-priced luxury seating), as well as focusing on their team's fans (e.g. the Yawkey Way "experience"). Heck, just look at how accessible they were, along with Theo Epstein and most of the team, to fans on Opening Day.

In short order they've expanded the team's "community out-reach" beyond The Jimmy Fund to include other programs, such as one (with which I am proud to be affiliated) by offering the Red Sox Scholars Program.
posted by ericb at 4:07 PM on April 16, 2005


The Fleet Center, or "New Garden" is much more comfortable
posted by McBain at 4:13 PM on April 16, 2005


Actually, it was lack of pitching, but if it makes you feel better to blame a wall...

It was also just plain racism.
posted by McBain at 4:14 PM on April 16, 2005


Sorry for posting again, but I also wanted to commend the current Red Sox ownership on the improvements to Fenway. They have made very real and palpable improvements, and made the Fenway experience more enjoyable. There are more vendors offering a larger variety of concessions. There are new modern bathrooms, with plenty of facilities in the outfield. They've also made it possible to get in for pretty cheap while increasing revenue in their high end tickets. Fenway is so small, that I've actually had some of my best times in standing room tickets in the outfield. The park is vastly improved over the filfthy aging hole I first went to as a kid in 1989.
posted by McBain at 4:22 PM on April 16, 2005


I will be glad to see the Yankees in a soulless new shell

Any soul left at Yankee Stadium was squelched during the mid 70's renovations, and I say that as a Yankees fan. If done right, I'd say this is a chance to add some soul back.

And as a Boston resident who (until the birth of my daughter last year) averaged 10-15 games a year at Ye Olde Towne Fenway, I can honestly say that one can both love and loath a ballpark. Stuck in a crush trying to get through three turnstiles; cramped right field grandstand seats aimed squarely at the bullpens; dank concourses, decrepit concessions, watered-down beer, the worst hotdogs of any of the two-dozen or so major sporting venues I've visited... (but I will join the chorus and commend the new ownership - it's amazing what they've done over the last two seasons)

And yet, sitting there at dusk on a warm August evening, at that precise moment when the fading orange sky and the rising lights are in perfect balance, the scent of cut grass, popcorn and 90 years of spilled beer filling the air; an old organ toots out some cheesy classic.... it is truly a sublime moment.

So, less seating, but more luxury seating in the new Yankee Stadium. Fenway isn't reducing their regular seating for their regular (non luxury) customers.

No, but given the Sox have the highest average ticket price in baseball, most "regular" seats at Fenway are priced at what a "luxury" seat would cost most anywhere else - lower bleachers at Fenway are $23. $27 got me eleven rows above the dugout in Oakland.

Actually, it was lack of pitching, but if it makes you feel better to blame a wall...

While it was hardly the sole reason, the Wall has definitely played a part. Teams built to hit at Fenway often struggle during the 50% of the games they're on the road. Even as late as 2003, half the team was hitting 40 to 60 points lower on the road for most of the season. Most players hit better at home, but the disparity with many Sox teams was always eye-opening.
posted by jalexei at 4:43 PM on April 16, 2005


And yet, sitting there at dusk on a warm August evening, at that precise moment when the fading orange sky and the rising lights are in perfect balance, the scent of cut grass, popcorn and 90 years of spilled beer filling the air; an old organ toots out some cheesy classic.... it is truly a sublime moment.

Poetic - and better said than any words I could summon.
posted by ericb at 5:01 PM on April 16, 2005


lower bleachers at Fenway are $23

Yikes. Glad I don't live in Boston. But for those who do:
Sports Temples of Boston (courtesy of Plep).
You've gotta love the Congress Street Grounds -- so obscure and short-lived ("probably torn down in 1896") they couldn't even find a picture of it.

As a Mets fan, I couldn't care less what they do to Yankee Stadium, but I sure hope they replace Shea with a decent place to watch baseball toot sweet.
posted by languagehat at 5:17 PM on April 16, 2005


It was also just plain racism.

While certainly part of red sox history, and a shameful part, racism had nothing to do with 86 or 2003.

While it was hardly the sole reason, the Wall has definitely played a part. Teams built to hit at Fenway often struggle during the 50% of the games they're on the road.

Oh sure, but take away last years pitching, especially foulke, and you have what you have always had. A big hitting no pitching machine that loses in the playoffs, wall or no wall.

Put foulke in a boston uniform in 2003 and the yankees in all probability go home. Without him pedro stays in and the rest is history.
posted by justgary at 5:21 PM on April 16, 2005


I would like to state for the record that I am not a Red Sox fan; nos amours are gone for good.
posted by docgonzo at 5:50 PM on April 16, 2005


Poetic - and better said than any words I could summon.

Well thank you (blushes). As a Yankee fan who spends a lot of time at Fenway, my relationship with the place is complex, to say the least...
posted by jalexei at 6:01 PM on April 16, 2005


justgary, I didn't say racism was the only reason.

Lack of pitching and racism were both much bigger factors than the green wall. Building a team around the wall and losing is not losing because of the wall. Its losing because of stupid management.
posted by McBain at 6:10 PM on April 16, 2005


Its losing because of stupid management.

Yep, that's the bottom line.
posted by justgary at 8:11 PM on April 16, 2005


Good, I'm glad the Yankees will now have "insert bank/multi-national corporation name here" Stadium. That's the biggest problem I see with all of the new stadiums going up across the country (if you ignore all of the tax money being wasted). These buildings should be a point of local pride, not an advertisement.
posted by password at 4:18 AM on April 17, 2005


At least the Yankee's are paying for the majority of it (instead of demanding that the city build it for them, or they would leave). Good to see Steinbrenner figure out how to spend all that money he is hiding from revenue sharing (through the YES network) and is spending it on something...
posted by SirOmega at 9:48 AM on April 17, 2005


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