The New Yankee Stadium

If you thought the American Pastime needed more meatpacking district influence – here’s your baseball stadium.

A couple of days ago I received an amazing investment opportunity in the mail.  If I invest the GDP of a small country I can receive some entertaining sports surrounded by all the bells and whistles of a Manhattan club delivered in the form of a product that has had diminishing returns over the last decade.  That’s right I received my Yankees prospectus a/k/a ticket information and fan guide in the mail.

Like General Motors the Yankees have cost the American taxpayer more while providing less over the last several years.  There are several problems I have which were only augmented by the mailing I received.

The Prices

The Yankees, my second favorite team in all of sports, belong up there with the executives who received bonuses from AIG.  The ticket prices are absurd – it literally feels like what a night out to a Broadway play was before Broadway had to sell out to get seats filled in the theaters.  Baseball was not supposed to be high society  – it was supposed to be a day or night for families and working class folks who could enjoy entertainment with superstars without a bank loan or a blow job being involved.  There are now six (that’s six) special tiers of tickets for which the prospectus does not even list prices.   Presumably because they are so special and elite that only people with American Express black cards can even hear the prices without going deaf.

The Bronx

The Stadium was completely unnecessary and with the economy as it is , completely irresponsible.  What’s worse is that with the hollow promises brokered by the Yankees and the city and in part by former Bronx Borough President Adolpho Carrion, the Yankees got a subsidized stadium and in the process destroyed a massive, well-attended park with no equivalent replacement in waiting.  In one of the poorest communities in America, do you think destroying a quality outlet like a park with softball/baseball/soccer fields, a track and all sorts of other amenities is a wise decision?

The other promises that are often made – pumping money into the community, a school structured for high school students interested in sports management, etc.  seem to not be panning out.  Even worse is that all the restaurants (NYY Steak, Hard Rock Cafe) will actually probably take from the local businesses that thrived with the extra customers coming in for games.  Why would a tourist try local fare when they can go to the more familiar and ethnically-cleansed Hard Rock Cafe.

I would also love to know if Bronx residents were given priority for jobs created by the stadium and all its surrounding new businesses.  The Bronx has the highest unemployment rate in the city and this could have been an opportunity to make a small dent in it (very small, but at least meaningful as a step that says the Yankees will give something back – even if it is only salaries earned).

The Stadium

This thing looks beautiful.  Plush lounges, high end suites, a sports bar in centerfield, numerous quality food retailers at the stations in the stadium are just a few of the upgrades.  Hell, there’s so much at the Stadium that if they have a store producing Latino people they could render the Bronx completely obsolete.  However, isn’t this a fu-king baseball game?

Will there be a cover charge on top of tickets and techno blaring as you enter the stadium and some giant black dude frisks you and some sleazy grown-up prep school kid asks you if you party?  The American pastime should not be so slick and corporate looking.  People used to go to baseball games for the game – but now it seems that Manhattan spirit of needing to be seen has officially immersed itself in the Bronx, even if that immersion does not spread 20 feet outside the Stadium.  Now you can say “I have tickets to the Yankees” and it can mean more than “I like baseball and the Yankees.”  Now it can mean “I like status symbols and high fives.”  It won’t be long until Yankee fans become, due to financial restrictions and character depletion, like an LA Dodgers Crowd – famous for arriving in the 3rd inning and leaving in the 7th inning.

The old stadium used to be called The House That Ruth Built.  This one seems to be destined for The Club That Douchebags Inhabit.  Or maybe in the spirit of its apparent inspiration, just call it Stadium.  Or Douche.

I have my tickets for May 18th.