A new era in the history of the New York Yankees began in 2009 when the team moved from the most famous and historic stadium in the world to their new stadium across East 161st Street. The name, Yankee Stadium, remains the same, and it appears that ghosts of the old Yankee Stadium moved to the new one as the New York Yankees won their 27th World Championship in 2009. For over eight decades the Yankees played at the old Yankee Stadium. When it opened in 1923, it was the largest and most magnificent stadium in baseball and was home to many legendary players and teams.
Due to its deteriorating condition in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Yankee Stadium was renovated and rebuilt between 1974 and 1976. Since that renovation, nearly every team in baseball either renovated or had a new ballpark constructed. While many fans and traditionalists would have preferred the Yankees to remain at Yankee Stadium, the team wanted a new ballpark built in order to generate additional revenue and to offer fans more amenities and luxuries. After years of discussions and rumors, the New York Yankees officially announced plans for a new Yankee Stadium in June 2005. Constructed adjacent to the old Yankee Stadium, groundbreaking occurred on August 16, 2006. The Yankees financed the $1.6 billion project and the City of New York spent $220 million for infrastructure and other improvements in the area.
On April 16, 2009, the New York Yankees played their first game at the new Yankee Stadium against the Cleveland Indians. Tradition and the look of the original Yankee Stadium prior to its renovation in the 1970s is incorporated into the new stadium. The new Yankee Stadium seats approximately 52,000 fans as the main grandstand consists of four levels stretching from foul pole to foul pole, with nearly 30,000 seats in the first two levels.The third level contains 56 luxury suites and the fourth level features a split level upper deck. Fans who enjoyed sitting in the bleachers at the old Yankee Stadium can continue to do so at the new stadium as it has the same number of bleachers and includes a food court. Many elements are incorporated into the new stadium that were lost when Yankee Stadium was renovated in the 1970s. The stadium consists of two separate structures. The exterior wall, consisting of limestone and granite, constructed to replicate the original Yankee Stadium facade, built in 1923, is known as the Great Hall. It features 31,000 square feet and serves as the concourse before entering the stadium. The interior stadium itself rises over the top of the exterior. From the outside, the structures appear as one building almost identical in materials and design to the original stadium. Cavernous concourses give way to open spaces with sight lines to the field from nearly every vantage point in the stadium.
The signature copper frieze and the lattice work that once rimmed the original stadium roof and was recreated in the outfield of the renovated Yankee Stadium, is now replicated in its original location at the new Yankee Stadium. Monument park is located beyond the outfield fence in centerfield below a restaurant that makes up the batters eye. The new stadium has the same dimensions and bullpen placements as the old Yankee Stadium. A 56ft. by 101ft. high definition video scoreboard is located in the outfield. Hand operated auxiliary scoreboards are incorporated as part of the right-center and left-center fences. There are many amenities at the new stadium including luxury, outdoor and party suites, club seats, a martini bar, steakhouse and picnic areas. A Yankees Museum that displays memorabilia of great Yankee teams and players from the past, along with a Hard Rock Cafe is located in the Grand Hall.
Since its opening, there have been few enhancements at the stadium. The largest and most recent change at Yankee Stadium occurred before the start of the 2017 season. A $20 million project eliminated 1,100 obstructed-view seats in the bleachers and 600 in the Terrace Level. Replacing the bleachers are gathering and socializing spaces that include the MasterCard Batter’s Eye Cafe and the Budweiser Party Decks. Additionally a children’s zone, the Sunrun Kids Clubhouse was added on the 300 level in right field. The 2,850 square foot area is outfitted with a mini-baseball field, Yankees-themed playground equipment and over-sized baseballs and bases.
In 2009, the Yankees were able to accomplish the same feat that the 1923 Yankees did when the original Yankee Stadium opened, by winning the World Series. Like its predecessor, Yankee Stadium hosts many events other than baseball. It is the home to the annual Pinstripe Bowl (NCAA), has hosted Notre Dame and Army college football games, boxing and soccer matches, concerts and two New York Rangers hockey games as part of the 2014 NHL Stadium Series.
Yankee Stadium Pictures