Opening Night at Yankee Stadium

Thanks to a very rainy nasty day, there were a lot of tickets available for Opening Night at the new Yankee Stadium, and at about 5pm, a free seat came my way.  It was not that cold out, and rain or not, how could I miss the first game at the new park, even if it was against the Cubs and didn’t count.

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The facade is one of the highlights of the new Yankee Stadium

After meeting in a completely new spot (the McDonald’s walk up window instead of The Bat), and skulking past the old park like it a forsaken friend, I entered the great hall and found our seats.  They were smaller, about the size of Fenway’s (I haven’t gained that much weight since last summer).  A lot of folks were having trouble finding their way around, and security is much tighter, but it is definitely a lot less crowded in the non-seating areas.

I miss Bob Sheppard and I didn’t see Freddy with the frying pan.  It would have been almost impossible to hear him though.

The amount of advertising and “dot race!” type stuff is an assault on the senses, and I actually called the front office twice during the game to complain that it was too loud.  Everyone was shouting over the pa.  Not to mention the fact that the stentorian tones of Bob Sheppard have been replaced by someone who is much to YOUNG! and EXCITED! about SUBWAY!

The first time I called they couldn’t hear me.  You should be able to make a phone call at the game.  Damn.

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Scoreboard of the new Yankee Stadium

So this is what we are paying double (at least) for: new bathrooms (which still have unenforced non-smoking rules), bigger concourses, better food at higher prices and a mind-numbing aural attack.

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Someone upstairs still thinks they should be called Freedom Fries. By George, that's some old thinking.

Of course I remember Yankee Franks made by Colonial, but this must be the only place in America that still thinks “French” is a bad word.  Why not just call them Freedom Fries?  (Not to mention $8 buys a lot more potatoes and grease everywhere else)  Along with Ronan Tynan‘s “God Bless America” (and Kate Smith’s cd), it seems like Steinbrenner’s old fashioned and xenophobic Republican values have made the trip to the new park too.  What an embarrassment. Strangely, the American Flag itself is stashed in between the scoreboard and the left field foul pole, probably so the scoreboard and its ads wouldn’t be obscured.  But that is a weird spot for it.  And someone stole the bat shaped weathervane too.

I’ll be going back.  If you want to check out all my pictures and video from Opening Night at the new Yankee Stadium, please visit flickr here or YouTube here.  Pretty funny feeling, I spent the last few baseball games of last year doing a similar sort of photo documentary.  I’m looking forward to going back and just hanging!

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