Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some Of The Last Photos Ever Taken Inside Of The Old Yankee Stadium

If you are a nostalgist who is squeamish about the dismantling of the old Yankee Stadium, you might want to skip over this post.

Courtesy of our buddy "StationA" on Twitter, we present some of the last photos taken from inside of the stadium before the dismantling goes into overdrive. "Station A" is a systems engineer for the Yankees, so he was one of the brave last men out since he had to take the old digs offline.

Without further ado, here is his farewell to the old Yankee Stadium:

The once picture-perfect field is now stripped bare. Previously only seen from overhead helicopter shots.

The new Yankee Stadium laughs at the crappy suites of old Yankee Stadium's past.

There is no reason to transport the fishnets to the new stadium . The screen no longer covers the field level seats at the new Yankee Stadium. Just think of how many little kids were booed while failing to capture a ball in that net. What memories.

Be sure to follow StationA on Twitter if you are into tech-talk and want an inside look at the IT side of Yankee Stadium. Read the full post, after the jump

The Yankees Amend Their Policy On Field Level Access For Fans, Beer In The Bleachers

Last week's post regarding social stratification at the new Yankee Stadium caused quite a stir around the blogoverse. Apparently, Yankee management has heard the outrage and plans to amend their previously stated policies regarding Field Level access. According to a reliable source within the ticket office:
They [Yankee management] were going to keep the field level as a private concourse but management changed their minds. Access to the concourses will be open but my guess is you can't
get by the "moat" that separates the Legends from the Field seats."
It should be noted that multiple sources within the ticket office confirmed that the Yankees fully intended on enforcing the policy (which is still up on Yankees.com in the A-Z Guide), but recently decided against it. Whatever reasons are behind the change, kudos to the Yankees for not being too rigid about a downright stupid policy and doing what is best for the fans.

As always, keep in mind that while mostly good-intentioned, the ticket office is often wrong. Therefore, we won't be completely relieved until the A-Z Guide is updated.

UPDATE (3/31 1:12 PM): Late-breaking news from the NY Post that the Yankees are lifting the 9-year ban on alcohol in the bleachers. Beer vendors will not service the bleachers, but fans can bring beer back to their seats. (h/t Scott Proctor's Arm) Read the full post, after the jump

Gary Sheffield Released

Gary Sheffield, just a single home run away from hitting his 500th, was released today by the Tigers. The grouchy OF/DH is still owed 14 million dollars from the Tigers.

Sheffield is best remembered by Yankees fans for his near-MVP regular season in 2004, and his contribution during the 4-game collape in the ALCS that season. He's also remembered in the Bronx for calling Joe Torre a racist, a claim Kenny Lofton disagreed with (Although he, too, hated Torre).

Now the question is, where he deliver his 500th Sheff special? You'd have to assume whatever team signs him would only want to use him as a DH, ruling out NL teams. Maybe Toronto could be a fit for him? Whatever the case, I doubt there are going to be many teams open to the idea of signing Sheffield, whose career appears to be in a steep decline. Read the full post, after the jump

Contact Information For NOW OPEN Steakhouse At The New Yankee Stadium - NYY Steak

UPDATE (3/31 4:11 PM): The restaurant is NOW OPEN to the public. If you call the phone number below, a friendly young lady will call you back and you can make reservations. They are open until 11 PM every night, effective immediately. Be sure to let us know how it is!

Much has been made about the upscale steakhouse, NYY Steak, that calls the new Yankee Stadium its home. On the official website, the restaurant is touted as "an upscale dining experience" that will "feature USDA Prime dry-aged beef, fresh seafood and a variety of premium wines to complement your meal choice."

Unfortunately, the website does not contain any contact information, a menu, or any method for making reservations. We here at New Stadium Insider love a good steak, so we decided to do a little digging. Lo and behold, we were able to find the phone number for NYY Steak: (646) 977-8325, courtesy of the 2009 Yankees media guide. It is pretty sad that 1.3 billion dollars doesn't even get the Yankees a 718 number for their flagship steakhouse. They are stuck with the bastard step-child 646 area code. Awkward.

A Yankee Stadium systems engineer known as "StationA" on Twitter confirms that stadium employees have been given the opportunity to dine at the new establishment, but the average fan still does not have the opportunity. Upon calling to inquire about reservations, we received a recording asking us for callback information. For the record, "StationA" had a "ridiculously good" meal at NYY Steak and the lobster mac & cheese was "crazy good." Sign us up for some of that.

In other Yankee Stadium food news, Grub Street on NYMag.com reports on more exciting food options, sponsored by The Food Network - that are only for the rich people in the suites:
The Food Network stands will be located within the Delta Sky 360 Suite and in the Jim Beam Terrace Lounge, both premium areas located behind home plate, and will serve quality takes on classics like burgers, hot dogs, and fries, as well as dishes, such as Puerto Rican-style pork sandwiches, Chinese cold noodles, and soft tacos, incorporating the ethnic cuisines of New York City, Food Network's hometown.
In this economy, no amount of Chef Morimoto or Food Network are going to sell those luxury accommodations. Even with the ridiculously long lines, Citi Field has the right idea in offering their best food options to everyone in the house, and not just the suits in the suites. Read the full post, after the jump

Monday, March 30, 2009

Update On The Mohegan Sun Sports Bar Seats - Sometimes, Even Stadium Insiders Are Wrong


Shame on us for not doing due diligence in verifying our earlier "membership only" news regarding the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar area in center field of the new Yankee Stadium. According to multiple sources within the Yankee ticket office (including one who claims to be a manager but really isn't), the seats will be sold on a single game basis, and will cost "around $100."

As of now, details are still being finalized, but rumor has it the Yankees will be allowing everyone in to check out the sports bar this weekend during the exhibition games. For once it seems that the Yankees are taking the right approach to try to sell premium seats.

According to our sources, numbered, bar stool seats will face the field for people with tickets in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar. Remember, none of this is official until it appears on Yankees.com, so this information is all subject to change. We find it pretty unbelievable that the stadium opens in a couple of days and we are still relying on information from made up hospitality directors and random sources in the ticket office.

In regard to the actual seats, our opinion has certainly changed considering the above information. Why would someone pay upwards of $100 per game to sit behind glass over 500 feet away from home plate and be overcharged for drinks? Why not just go to ESPN Zone in Times Square if you want to watch the game from a sports bar? Read the full post, after the jump

Season Ticket Holders - Be On The Lookout For Your Tickets, And Some Interesting "My Yankees Account" Information

If you are a full season ticket holder, you have likely already received your season tickets. Congratulations to you. Everyone else is dealing with the yearly "cross our fingers and hope the tickets arrive in time for the first game" anxiety. Thankfully the Yankees have a link set up to track their season ticket shipment. It is important to note that the Yankees have switched shippers and are using FedEx this season instead of the usual UPS. That means you can leave the UPS guy alone, and keep your eyes on that shady FedEx deliveryman.

For those of you who have unloaded some of your tickets on Stubhub, Ebay, Craiglist, or plan on forwarding them to friends and family, you should be aware of some changes to the "My Yankees" account. The Dodgers' ticket holders experienced the same changes, and the following email was sent to their ticket holders:

Dear Dodgers Plan Holders,
As we begin another exciting season of Dodger baseball, we would like to point out some changes to the ticket forwarding process available on MY DODGERS ACCOUNT.

When Forwarding Tickets:
1. An invitation will be sent to the recipient to accept or decline forwarded tickets.
2. You will have the option to set the time frame in which the tickets must be accepted.
o An email reminder will be sent to the recipient 24 hours from your selected cutoff time.
o If the tickets are not accepted within your time frame, the tickets will not be forwarded and the original tickets will still be valid.
o You may also cancel the pending invitation as long as the recipient has not yet accepted the tickets.
3. Select who pays the $2 per ticket forwarding fee.
o You now have the option to pass the fee on to the recipient of the tickets.

As the Recipient of Forwarded Tickets:
1. Open your email notification and click Accept Tickets.
o If you do not have an existing account, you must now create one.
3. Confirm your delivery selection and select Accept Offer.
o If the original ticket holder paid your forwarding fee, then you are done.
o If they have asked you to do so, then you'll be prompted to enter your credit card number.
The option to pass the e-ticket printing fee on to the recipient and to recall the tickets are welcome changes.

Another welcome change for Yankee season ticket holders are changes involving the connection between the"My Yankees" account and Stubhub. As we mentioned previously, Stubhub and the MLB have a ticket sales agreement. Now, the two have combined to make coughing up your 15% commission even easier. A new link has appeared in the "My Yankees" account that allows the season ticket holder to sell their tickets:

Clicking the sell button prompts you to link your Stubhub account to your "My Yankees" Ticketmaster account. It must really kill Ticketmaster to send potential customers over to the competition, but everyone is making tons of money and the egos are pushed to the side.

Remember, once you receive those tickets, BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR BARCODES! Read the full post, after the jump

New Yankee Stadium Tours to begin on May 4, Cost $20

Slowly, but surely, the Yankees are ironing out all of the details about the new Yankee Stadium. Sometime in the past day or so, the Yankees added their 2009 stadium tour information page on Yankees.com.

A new stadium means a higher price, of course. When we took the tour last March, it was only $15. Now, the tour will run you $20. For that $20, here is what you get:
The Classic Tour lasts 45 minutes to one hour and includes visits to the New York Yankees Museum, Monument Park and the dugout. Guests will pass through the batting cages and Yankees clubhouse area before ending the tour in the Great Hall near the team store.
And before you freak out about the higher cost:
Proceeds from the tours benefits the Yankees Foundation, a non-profit arm of the NY Yankees organization.
Isn't "non-profit" arm of the NY Yankees an oxymoron? Such a thing exists?

$20 would have been worth it to tour the old stadium because of the history involved. Will it be worth $20 for a tour of the new digs? Only you can answer that question. We'll probably take the plunge.

The tours commence on May 4 and run through September 25. Tickets are available directly from Yankees.com the tour obviously does not run when the Yankees are at home, so be aware of the following blacked out dates: May 7, 13, 16-17, 23-31, June 4, 6-7, 13-14, 18-19, 24-25, 30, July 3-6, 15, 18-19, 22, 25-26, August 4, 8-9, 12, 21, 27, 29-30, September 7, 12-13, 23. Also know that additional blacked out dates may arise during the course of the season. Read the full post, after the jump

A Little Bit More About The Mohegan Sun Sports Bar Seats At The New Yankee Stadium

UPDATE (3/30 6:56 PM): Apparently there is no such thing as the hospitality director for the Yankees, or they were making things up. The below information has been confirmed as false by multiple ticket office sources. Please see the updated post for most accurate information (as it stands currently).

Due to the extremely slow drip of information by the Yankees, fans are still wondering how they can enjoy the view from the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, seen in the photo above. We have recently uncovered some information that while unconfirmed, may give us a better idea of what the Yankees have in store.

According to someone who has spoken to the New York Yankees' Hospitality Director, membership to the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar will cost $750 for the entire season. This does not include admission to the game, so you will have to obtain tickets elsewhere. No other details of what the $750 entitles members to are available. The Hospitality Director also revealed that Audi Club Memberships are $975, but we're not even sure where that club is.

At first glance, the Mohegan Sun membership seems like a great deal for one group of season ticket holders - the approximately 600 people who had full season plans in the bleachers and had their ticket prices lowered to $5 when the center field obstruction was announced. Those people were set to pay $972 for their 81 game package when the tickets were priced at $12. Upon the announcement of the "architecturally shadowed" seats, they were given the 81 games for a total of $405.

It would be a great way to make up for the obstructed view that the sports bar causes by throwing down the $750 for the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar membership. That would make the grand total out of pocket expense for full season ticket holders in the obstructed view bleacher seats with a Mohegan Sun Sports Bar membership $1155 per person. For $183 more than their initially planned investment, these previously obstructed bleacher dwellers can obtain access and crash the party in the climate-controlled sports bar intended for the rich folks.

On the downside, sources say that the memberships will be oversold, so the bar will likely experience extreme crowding during extreme weather conditions - the time that people will be most likely to use the membership. Depending on what else the $750 includes and what the policy on companions is, we would consider making the investment. However, we'll let the early adopters help to work out the kinks first.
Read the full post, after the jump

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Impressions of The Mets New Stadium, Citi Field

Before I break down what I saw today, I must first thank all of the Mets fans for checking out the live stream and commenting both here, and on Metsblog.com. Yankees fans and Mets fans have many differences, but share one thing - a love for baseball.

The Citi Field surroundings were highly stimulating, but as a Yankee fan, I spent much of the day experiencing the sinking feeling that the new Yankee Stadium can't possibly top the new ballpark in Flushing. Right now, I can't make that call, but I can relay my first impressions of the Mets' new home.

The Good
  • The Stadium feels huge while walking around the concourses, but tiny when you are in the seats. There can't be a better compliment for a baseball stadium. The intimacy in most seats is amazing.
  • Speaking of the concourses, it seems like a simple addition, but the wider concourses really change the entire stadium experience. Walking from one place to another is no longer a chore - it is something to look forward to.
  • There are long counters behind most seating areas which are an ingenious addition to a baseball stadium. It is now entirely possible to go to the concession stand, plop your food down on one of the standing room only "counters" and enjoy the great view. These counters are on every level of the stadium and spread throughout the stadium. If you have crappy seats, you can likely float over to one of those spots and get a much better view. You also never have to eat food on your lap if you don't want to.
  • The Caesars Club, on the terribly named "Excelsior" level is one of the highlights of the Stadium. It can best be described as an extra-cushy airport terminal in the middle of a baseball stadium. That may not sound great, but there is ample and comfortable seating, concessions everywhere, and a generally fun atmosphere. There are no views of the field, but it is a great place to kill time, meet friends, warm up, cool down, or otherwise hang out. It really changes the ballpark experience.
  • There is also a smaller version of the Ceasars Club on the Promenade level, right behind home plate. Once again, it offers a climate-controlled reprieve from the elements without demanding a membership fee. It felt very upscale, but still approachable for the average Joe. It also offers partial views of the field. I'll give the Mets a pass for the massive leak in this area that needed a large garbage can under it. I'm not sure how they never caught that leak during construction, but they will likely patch it up before opening day.
  • The "Pepsi Porch" was my favorite spot in the new stadium. The view from section 303, Row 1 is great. If you are snagging Mets tickets on Stubhub, I highly recommend choosing seats in that vicinity.
  • $5 beers. They inexplicably weren't available today, but they are on many of the menus on the field level. Beer prices are as follows as far as I could tell: $5 (12 oz.) and $6.25 (16 oz.) draft beers (Bud and Bud Light). There are also $7.50 cans of Bud (16 oz.) and $7.50 Brooklyn Brewery on draft (16 oz.).
The Not So Good
  • Getting from section 334 to section 335 in the stadium is a big pain. You have to walk up to the upper deck on a ramp, and then back down a flight of stairs to section 335. The Acela Club stands in the way, and only special people are allowed through there. Membership has its privileges.
  • The ramp up to the "Pepsi Porch" has drainage issues. There was some heavy rain overnight, but by 1 PM, there should not still have been a massive puddle taking up the entire walkway. The drainage system on that ramp was an epic fail and will need to be fixed quickly.
  • Speaking of the drainage, it seemed like an issue all around the stadium. The bathroom stalls had a gross mixture of water, urine, dirt and a bunch of other stuff that pooled up below the toilet. Along those lines, the new waterless urinals are a strange experience and smell weird. The bathrooms creeped me out as much as any other stadium bathrooms, and they were brand new.
  • The concession workers were absolutely clueless about everything. Most of them were friendly, but they didn't know how to use the registers, had absolutely no information about food offerings and generally represented a minimum wage workforce. This is probably something that will be fixed with time, when friendliness will be exchanged for competence. The one bonus here was the newbie concession worker who gave me a $6.25 beer for $5. Cha-ching!
  • The food offerings are very repetitive and typical throughout much of the stadium. Items like hot dogs, sausages, ice cream and beer are everywhere. The good news is that you should not have to wait long for those items, but it also means you will have to walk further for some variety. The non-typical stadium food is reserved for the Shake Shack/Blue Smoke area (see "The Ugly" section below) beyond the center field scoreboard.
  • Speaking of that area, views beyond center and right field of the 126th street area in Corona/Flushing is horrendous. Granted, Safeco in Seattle has crappy rail yards and Citizens Bank Park in Philly is just a bunch of parking lots, but the slummy garages are a real eyesore:

    View Larger Map
    At least now I know where to go when I need a muffler. How long until those garages are bought by fast food restaurants and sports bars?
The Ugly
  • The view from at least a couple of seats in the Promenade are terrible. I won't speak for all of the seats, but you can see in my video that my ticketed seat was an obstructed view. I wouldn't pay more than $5 for that seat. Perhaps I had some bad karma left over from uncovering all of the obstructed views back in February.
  • The lines at Shake Shack were ridiculous, and they were only offering an EXTREMELY limited menu (only the single shack burger, no shakes, etc). I can only imagine what the lines will be like when they have their full menu. Expect to spend 30 minutes on line for Shake Shack and 15-20 minutes for Blue Smoke.
For a more in depth look at my Citi Field experience, be sure to check out all of my videos on my Qik.com page. The video quality was grainy, but I was shocked at how well my HTC Touch Pro picked up my voice for narration. The battery on my HTC Touch Pro shockingly outperformed my expectations. I was on twitter, on the phone, and obviously taking and uploading live streaming video, and it lasted until I was on the subway ride home. However, if I plan to do this sort of thing every time I go to the ballpark, I will need to purchase an extended battery. Read the full post, after the jump

A Helpful Map Of The Area Surrounding Yankee Stadium, Now And In The Future

With all of the construction in the South Bronx over the past couple of years and all of the construction still to come, it is easier than ever to become disoriented while in the area.

Luckily for all of those who are easily lost, there is this helpful map:

People "meeting at the bat" are going to be in for a rude awakening when they end up meeting at Heritage Field. Its time to find a new place to meet that is adjacent to the Stadium. Any ideas? Read the full post, after the jump

Video From Obstructed View Seats at Citi Field. Horrendous View.

Firstly, thanks to everyone who has followed our live video streams today from Citi Field. It was an overwhelming success, and we hope we can do some more things to keep fans involved. Stadium Insider Ross will give you all of his thoughts on the Mets new park. He seemed to like the place a lot.

But of course, having been the obstructed-view police the past couple months, Ross' seat had an obstructed view of home plate. His seats were located in section 523, row 3 seat 1. Below is a video that Ross took from this seat:

Whoever has that seat is going to be pretty pissed when they find out that they'll be paying to watch people find their seats.

There were a lot of videos BEFORE Mets Blog linked to us, so please give Qik.com some love and head over to the Stadium Insider page over there:


Seeing the field of play for the first time was pretty cool:

Read the full post, after the jump

Live Stream Of What We See At Citi Field Today

Right now, all you will see above is an old video that we took on Madison Avenue. In a few hours, we will be at Citi Field for the first event there when St. Johns takes on Georgetown. We plan on trying out our newest foray as 21st century digital boys - live streaming from Citi Field via the "Qik" application for our HTC Touch Pro.

For more about Qik.com, you can head over to the site. We really think this can serve a great purpose for a blog like Stadium Insider . Of course, the video will be choppy at first, but as wi-fi networks expand and mobile internet speeds increase, the quality will continue to improve. We don't expect great things from this right away, but it will be fun to be able to stream what we are checking out at the new ballparks while our readers are at home watching on the web. The latest video will always be the one featured on the video player above, but if you put your cursor over the video, you will be able to choose previous videos. Feel free to check them all out.

Please feel free to leave comments on what you see, and tell us of any technical errors that you experience.

Meanwhile, here is some interesting information, courtesy of the Mets' Spring Training Game Notes:
College Baseball at Citi Field: This afternoon, St. Johns University and Georgetown University will play the first-ever game at Citi Field, the new home of the Mets. Citi Field - has has a seating capacity of 42,000 - could end up setting the Division I College Baseball record for single-game attendance. The current mark of 40,106 was set on March 11, 2004 at PETCO Park when San Diego took on the University of Houston. That game was also the first contest played at San Diego's ballpark.
So, today's game at Citi Field may take on even more historical significance. Should be fun. Read the full post, after the jump

Quick Weather Update For Those Heading Off To Citi Field For St. Johns vs. Georgetown

Taking a look at the radar, it looks as though the heavy rain has already pushed through the Tri-State area. There is another batch of precipitation near the Great Lakes that will head in later today, but for the most part the area should be dry during the late morning and early afternoon. There may be some lingering drizzle, but the Gates to Citi Field should open at their scheduled time of 10:40 AM. As Steve over at NYNJPAWeather.com points out, there is the potential for some embedded Thunderstorms this afternoon, so Citi Field may even get people lingering around the new park even longer if there is a rain delay:
While rain is racing through the forecast area via the warm front, the significantly heavy steady rainfall ahead of the cold front will not materialize due to the lack of moisture which is bottled up over the Southeast coast. This also means the atmosphere is more stable and lacking the “high octane” moisture which would have made strong to severe thunderstorms possible over the southern Philadelphia metro and central/southern New Jersey. So what can we expect for today?

Well, showers and thunderstorms will impact the forecast area as the cold front moves through the region this afternoon, generally around 12 PM to 4 PM from west to east. The thunderstorms will be capable of heavy downpours, isolated lightning, and strong wind gusts up to 40 mph

So, it may be a long day at the new ball park in Flushing.

Speaking of Citi Field, their A-Z Guide takes a completely different tone than the Yankees does about batting practice:

Fans are welcome to arrive to Citi Field early to watch players take batting practice. Fans can enter the Left Field Gate 2 ½ hours prior to the scheduled game time. Please note that batting practice does not take place prior to every game. If batting practice is in fact scheduled to take place the following is a pre-game timeline:

Gate entry times for batting practice at Citi Field.

1:10 p.m. game 4:10 p.m. game 7:10 p.m. game
Mets BP10:40 a.m.1:40 p.m.4:40 p.m.
Visitor BP11:30 a.m.2:30 p.m.5:30 p.m.
We hate to pile on the Yankees, especially as Yankee fans, but we can't help but wonder if going to baseball games at Citi Field is going to be a much more pleasant experience than doing so in the Bronx. Today, Stadium Insider will get a first look at Citi Field and we'll report back later. Read the full post, after the jump

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Will Stan's Survive The Yankee Stadium Move? What Stopped Us From Going To Find Out?

An article just published by the NY Times reminds us why we're a blog, and the NY Times is, well, the NY Times.

The article, chronicling the move of Yankee Stadium by one city block, examines the uncertainty that the owners of popular sports bar "Stan's" are facing now that the old stadium is no more.
“It’s really a big mystery,” said Mr. Dene, who bought the bar from his father, Stan Martucci, 11 years ago. “You can ask 10 people, and eight will tell you that the tradition and uniqueness of Stan’s will live on. And the other two will tell you you’ve got all this corporate competition and people will have to come to Stan’s with intent instead of stumbling upon it.”
The quote does a great job of encapsulating the feeling of defiant anxiety that the owner of the bar is feeling right now. It is also a quote that anyone could have gotten. This may just be a human interest story, but it is a human interest story that is only reported on by the mainstream media. So is this one that was also just published by the NY Times.

While reading the stories, we realized that there was absolutely no access required to gather the quotes and information. Is there any reason that articles like the ones linked above can't originate from this very blog? Katherine Bindly and Rebecca Flynt Marx did excellent work on the stories, and we try to stay humble. However, there are certain times when the journalism degree starts to rear its ugly head and we realize that perhaps we have the opportunity to help change the way people receive their news.

Blogs are hobbies - nobody is making a career out of it, not even Fake Steve Jobs - but what if we spent less time perusing our addictive RSS Feed and more time actually going out to find the news. Stadium Insider headquarters is just minutes from the 161 st. stop on the 4 train. What if some of those Google Reader hours were spent speaking to Louis Dene? A lot of us feel like in order to do something productive, we need to receive immediate compensation for it. Perhaps if more of us tested our limits more often, we really could change the world, one fluff piece at a time. Read the full post, after the jump

How Many Stadiums In The US?

Lately, I've been keeping an eye on the search queries people use to find this site. I stumbled across one today that actually made me curious.

The search term was "how many stadiums in US". To let you know, we were on page 3 of google's results for that search.

It seems this guy dug around a little bit. I hope our new reader found the answer. And if he didn't, I did. There are 1813 stadiums in the U.S., according to this site. It was the first result when I searched "stadiums in the U.S."

Okay, so maybe I'm a little bit bored, but I learned something today. And that means I learned more on the internet during the weekend than I did this past week at my college classes. Sad, really.

UPDATE (3/27 10:20 PM): We just have to post this map, linked to in the comments section by its creator, Craig. There is something spectacular, and also kind of sad about the illustration of how few baseball diamonds there are in Manhattan. See for yourself:

(click over to Craig's site to see it larger)

Read the full post, after the jump

Will Weather Be A Factor For The Opening Of New York's New Stadiums?

UPDATE (3/28 9:51 PM): Steve over at NYNJPAWeather.com paints an ugly picture of the weather for the next 12 hours:
Meanwhile, locations to the north of the warm front will have very heavy rain. The process of lifting the low level jet stream, which will supply the forecast area with plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic, along with significant lifting via upper level dynamics will support wide spread heavy rainfall over the northern Philadelphia metro and almost all of the New York City metro. Small river and urban flooding will be an issue in these areas and caution will need to be taken when driving tomorrow morning.

So while cloudy to partly cloudy skies can be expected through the rest of the day, a very active period of weather can be expected late tonight through early tomorrow morning with the potential for flooding, severe thunderstorms, wind damage, and even an isolated tornado.

Luckily, he is still referring to the active weather as "through early tomorrow morning." That means it still could be over before the first event at Citi Field is set to occur.

Anyone who has read this blog for the past two years knows that we have a strange interest in the weather. Weather isn't anything we can control. but it is extremely interesting to watch weather patterns unfold and see how they affect people.

Unfortunately for fans holding tickets to the first exhibition games at Citi Field on Sunday and Yankee Stadium on Friday, the weather seems to have some interesting things in store for us this week. For analysis of this evolving weather pattern, we will defer to Steve DiMartino, the talented independent meteorologist in charge of NYNJPAWeather.com. Lets first see what Steve has to say about how the weather will affect the first game at Citi Field on Sunday March 29, featuring the college teams of St. Johns and Georgetown:
Obviously, this should all lead to some impressive rainfall by Sunday morning. Combine these factors with the evolution of an occluded front (discussed last night in this post), and the set up is prime to produce heavy rainfall over the forecast area with the potential for some minor small stream and urban flooding. Rainfall amounts of an inch to two inches will be possible by Sunday afternoon as the cold front clears the forecast area. The heaviest rainfall is expected tomorrow morning between the hours of 4 AM and 11 AM as the cold front enhances the lifting over the entire region which will be seen as an elevated line of heavy showers and thunderstorms. Wind damage may be an isolated threat with these storms.
While that certainly is not good news for people planning to arrive early at Citi Field when gates open, it does give some hope that the game will actually be played. That being said, most people probably don't even care about the game on the field - they just want to roam around the new ballpark. One thing to keep an eye on is whether or not the Mets protect their new field and call the game early. They probably don't want college kids running around, tearing up their brand new field, if they can at all avoid it. If you are like us and plan on checking out the new park tomorrow morning, be sure to check Mets.com for any cancelation information before heading out.

For the majority of our readers who don't care about the Mets or their fancy new ballpark, we also have some early news about how the weather will affect the first events at the new Yankee Stadium. We recognize that the first real event at Yankee Stadium is the workout day on Thursday, April 2. That being said, the open workout is during a workday and most of the tickets were unattainable to the public. Therefore we will focus mainly on the early indications for the weather next Friday, April 3. For the record, Thursday's weather looks like it will be sunny with seasonable temperatures. Now, lets see what Steve DiMartino has to say about the weather for the first exhibition game - Yankees vs. Cubs on Friday, April 3:
The pattern that is going to unfold through this weekend is a typical spring time pattern as the trough that has been positioned over the East the past few months continues to retrograde to the West.

Another disturbance will move through on Friday with scattered showers and a period of steady rain, but will also move quickly through the forecast area.
It is important not to get too worked up about weather more than five days out. As Steve points out at the top of his website "Focus on 5 days at a time and you won't go nuts." Everyone should recognize that this time of year is the rainy season in the Northeast, and weather is likely to affect many of the events scheduled at the new stadiums in New York City.

Just keep an eye on reputable Tri-State weather sources such as Steve's afformentioned site, and the National Weather Service forecasts (found at great websites such as wunderground.com). If possible, avoid Accu-Weather and The Weather Channel as their model is dependent upon making money and not on giving the most accurate weather forecasts. Read the full post, after the jump

Stadium Memories: My early experiences as a kid

I can recall my earliest memory at the old stadium. We had tickets to see the Yankees play the Mariners in the 1995 playoffs. I was only 8 years old then, but grew up around baseball. I remember looking around and seeing how excited everyone was, noticing the way the bright lights set atop the tier reserved seats were almost blinding. The atmosphere was special, much different than the little league fields I often frequented. Having the Yankees return to the playoffs that season was emotional for many fans.

The emotion I experienced just sitting among 56,000 passionate fans actually turned me into one of those passionate fans. It happened to me the way baseball has captured the hearts of millions over the last century.

As much as I love the sport, my most fond memories have little to do with baseball. I can recall arriving at the stadium hours early in search of tickets back in the 90's when far fewer people would attend games. My brother Ross, co-editor of this site, found someone who worked in one of those isolated ticket booths in front of gate 6. Every game, the man who worked in the booth would sell us two tier reserved tickets for the price of one, helping us out because we were kids. These acts of kindness made me fall in love with the fan experience, especially the one at the old stadium.

Through the 90's and into the next decade, I noticed things changing, as Yankee attendance increased. There was increased security, no more half price tickets, and less and less access to players on the field.

During this time, when Ross was in high school, he would always bring a glove to games. One day during batting practice, an opposing player was warming up down the left field line and had no catch-partner. When Ross asked the player for the ball in his hand, the player said "Only if you throw it back". The player, whose name I can't remember, then proceeded to have a catch with Ross from the stands. Of course, the player made his final throw and let us keep the ball. These types of memories are unique and special, and are exactly what make fans truly enjoy going to games.

If fans do not have access to areas close to the field for batting practice at the new stadium, the youngsters will lose out, more than anyone else. Seeing these pros up close, and sometimes even getting to talk to them, is what made so many of us love baseball when we were kids.

Either way the new stadium will be filled with new memories, ones made by fans and their family/friends. For me the stadium experience wasn't always about baseball. It was about being with my best friend, the person I TRULY idolized, my brother Ross. I only hope young people still have access to the type of experiences we had, so they too can form lifelong bonds through the beautiful game of baseball. Read the full post, after the jump

If You Have 2009 Yankee Tickets, Protect Your Barcodes!

Whether you have 2009 Yankee tickets in hand already, or you plan on receiving them soon, this post contains very important information about protecting your assets. Stubhub has quietly introduced a new feature for selling 2009 Major League Baseball tickets that allows people to sell their tickets by simply entering the bar code on the site.

So what does this mean for you, the casual ticketholder who doesn't plan to sell your tickets? It means that your tickets are no longer just physical assets that are safe as long as they are within your possession. If you leave your tickets in public view prior to the event, they are at risk of being stolen, even if they don't move an inch.

This all sounds very paranoid, but we have entered a new age of ticketing where hard tickets are no longer required to enter sporting events. If someone wants to sell a ticket for 29 of the 30 MLB stadiums on Stubhub this year (Boston excluded - they didn't sign the deal), all they have to do is enter the barcode from their tickets and Stubhub takes care of the rest. They are able to hold on to the original ticket as a keepsake,or just throw it away - a buyer of MLB tickets on Stubhub will never see the hard copy.

This also affects sellers of tickets. Many times, people post photos of their tickets on internet forums, or more likely on websites such as Craigslist and Ebay. Most savvy ticket sellers will understand the importance of barcode protection, but there are also many casual ticket salesman, ignorant to the new Stubhub policies. Below is an example of what you need to do to protect your tickets, if you do post a photo of them in a public domain:

It is obvious from the above photo that you do not need any graphic design skills in order to do what is necessary. You simply need to open the .jpeg in "Paint" or any simple drawing program located on your computer. It is important to blur out the barcode and scratch out the numbers below the barcode. We also recommend blocking out your ticket account number and your seat location as well. This will protect the privacy of your account, and the privacy of the seat location for whoever purchases the tickets.

There are plenty of scammers lurking the internet, just waiting for the next get rich quick scheme. Especially in these times of economic upheaval, it is important to be vigilant and protect your assets. Read the full post, after the jump

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bernie Williams To Attend Home Opener At New Stadium, Appear On CenterStage

Found these tidbits in Newsday, in an article about Bernie's desire to play baseball, and thought this news might matter to fans:
Williams also said he will be on hand when new Yankee Stadium opens with its first regular-season game April 16.

"CenterStage" with Williams will premiere on YES after the Yankees-Orioles game April 8. It will include a musical performance by Williams and his band.
Bernie's will likely recieve a wild ovation when they show him on the massive screen in center field.

Maybe they'll be able to retire his number this year, or next year when he decides to OFFICIALLY retire. He deserves a true farewell as one of the good guys in the game, especially considering the era he played during. Not to mention, if that silly phrase "True Yankee" ever applied, it's to this guy. Read the full post, after the jump

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Forget the Exhibition Game - What About Who Starts The Yankee Stadium Home Opener on April 16th?

Earlier today, Nick excitedly posted about the previously announced starting pitchers for the Cubs vs. Yankees exhibition games on April 3 and April 4. Shortly thereafter, Joe Girardi upstaged Nick's post by announcing that CC Sabathia was starting opening day at Yankee Stadium on April 16 - idle speculation that Joba would start on opening day, be damned. According to Peter Abraham's breakdown of the first month's probable pitchers, it looks like the Yankees are already building extra off days into Joba's schedule, opening the door for Sabathia to start on April 16. It should be a memorable day in the Bronx.

Making things even more memorable, sources say that George Steinbrenner will be propped up Weekend At Bernie's style and will attend the first game at the "House That Big Stein Built." All jokes aside, he deserves to be there. Criticism over the stadium funding and the ticket prices are well deserved, but the stadium is going to be a palace - his palace.

Rounding out the day's news, Joe Girardi has apparently rediscovered his copy of Baseball Prospectus to make up for his Xavier Nady blunder. Derek Jeter batted leadoff in a Spring Training game today, while Johnny Damon followed him in the second spot of the order. Perhaps Girardi is providing the impetus that Jeter needs to stop sacrificing at bats by bunting, or hitting behind runners with disregard for his own chance of getting a hit. Jeter is still one of the best pure hitters in the league and needs to start acting like it. Wasting at bats after the leadoff guy gets on base is not the proper use of a man on pace to break the all-time hits record.

Maybe Girardi is sick of seeing Jeter hit into double plays. By batting Jeter leadoff, it is one less at bat that the possibility exists for him to do what he has recently become great at doing. Most likely, Girardi took a look at Jeter's career on base percentage of .385 and compared it to Johnny Damon's of .354. He even might have noticed that PECOTA projects Jeter to slug a measly .384 in 2009, while Johnny Damon mashes his way to a .422 slugging percentage. Whatever the reason is, Girardi got this one right. Read the full post, after the jump

Ticketmaster Bait and Switch and New Yankee Stadium Social Stratification Update

The other day, we shared the sad story of an unsuspecting Yankee fan who fell victim to a shady bait and switch technique by TicketMasterNation while trying to purchase some uber-expensive Opening Day Yankee tickets.

Today, we received word that Ticketmaster recognized their error, but was unwilling to make good on it. Here is the email that was sent:
Hello [name redacted], this is Ticketmaster Customer Service with an important alert regarding your order, [order No. redacted]. The tickets that you ordered from Ticketmaster for the New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians on Thursday, April 16, 2009 scheduled at the Yankee Stadium were put on sale inadvertently, allowing you to order tickets at an incorrect price.

We are currently holding replacement tickets for you in the price level that you had originally selected in Section 16, Row 9, Seat(s) S5.

Please call customer service at 800-653-8000 on or before 12 noon Eastern time on Monday, April 13, 2009 and you will be given the opportunity to exchange your tickets for these additional tickets to the New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians on Thursday, April 16, 2009 scheduled at the Yankee Stadium.

You are also free to decline the exchange and receive a full refund. If we do not hear from you by noon Eastern on Monday, April 13, 2009 your original tickets will be cancelled and your credit card refunded.

Please note your original tickets will be cancelled and will not be valid for entry.

We regret that we were not able to provide you with the tickets you ordered. We really appreciate your business and hope you give us the opportunity to better serve you in the future.
In other words, you can have your single, overpriced ticket for Opening Day, but it is not going to be the single overpriced Opening Day ticket that you purchased in the first row, it is going to be the one that Ticketmaster decides you can have. Hopefully this guy will give Ticketmaster the finger and let the seat rot.

Switching gears a bit, our post about the introduction of the caste system at the new Yankee Stadium drew interest from around the interwebs, and plenty of banter in the comments section. The "A-Z Guide" has not been updated, but some fans have taken it upon themselves to contact their ticket representatives for some clarification. We would never recommend trusting any information passed along by a Yankee ticket rep. Not because they are incompetent, but because they are constantly fed false information by their clueless leaders. That being said, our buddy "Legendary 23" on Twitter contacted his ticket rep who has always been good for accurate information. According to him, "people will have access to all food courts on all levels" and "the same rule applies to watching bp....you will have to leave and go back to your seat when they are done." Put simply, the guide on Yankees.com "is wrong."

We fully expect an update to the "A-Z Guide" resulting in the disappearance of the verbiage in question. Luckily we will always have the original words archived, proving just how out of touch the Yankee Stadium decision makers were prior to the fan uproar. Read the full post, after the jump

Housekeeping Note: Introducing a New Commenting System

At some point today, we realized that the built-in blogger commenting system did not have IP tracking functionality built it. We certainly don't want to collect IP addresses, but we plan on running some contests this season based on the comments, and want to prevent cheating by tracking IP addresses. We are well aware of IP masking, but it is doubtful that any of our contests will be worth all of that trouble.

That being said, we proudly present the new comments. It will now be necessary to register a username of some sort which hopefully won't be too much of an inconvenience to anyone. The website that runs the new commenting system "Intense Debate" actually claims that their commenting system ENCOURAGES conversation on blogs, but then again, why wouldn't they claim that? It should be noted that the old comments will remain on old posts, and you will still use the old commenting system if you decide to comment on those posts. Everything from this point forward will utilize the new system.

In any case, this means that everyone from myself to Fake IPK to the commenter actually named Anonymous will have to create a new username. Just get it out of the way on this post, and why not introduce yourself? We have seen a considerable increase in traffic and in comments lately, so now is as good of a time as ever to start building a Stadium Insider community.

Just keep in mind, if we ever see the first comment on a post say "first" and nothing else, we will retire from blogging. Also, it will automatically ban your IP address from ever winning a New Stadium Insider contest.

Along those lines, look out for the announcement of our first ever contest in the coming weeks. The prize will be a pair of Grandstand tickets for the Yankees vs. Orioles on May 20. No, they are not great seats, but yes you will be able to check out the new Yankee Stadium. Details will follow, so be sure to bookmark the blog, add us to your RSS reader, and follow us on Twitter for all of the latest news. Read the full post, after the jump

Probable Starters For Stadium Openers Vs. Cubs and updated information about Bob Sheppard

Enough talk about obstructed seats, ticket pre-sales and urinals. Let's talk baseball!

We're a mere 8 days away from the opening of the BRAND NEW Yankee Stadium, with two exhibition games on tap against the lovable losers, the Cubs. Ok, they're actually pretty damn good nowadays. Could this be a World Series preview?

For those of you headed to the stadium to see its first live action next weekend, here's what you can expect as far as probable starters go:

Friday, April 3: Ted Lilly @ Chien Ming Wang
Saturday, April 4: Rich Harden @ AJ Burnett (Andy Pettitte slated to appear as well)

Meaningless as the game may be, that Saturday match-up has me salivating. Those two fire-ballers are sure to make a few guys look silly. Let's hope Burnett doesn't get too "geeked"(Thanks Michael Kay) for this meaningless game.

My question for all who plan on attending is this: What are you most excited about experiencing in the New Stadium? Me? I'm just hoping we can put the "YMCA tradition" behind us. Actually, I'm hoping we can put it in a time machine, and send it back to the 70's where that annoying song belongs. Please Yankees. No one likes it anymore.

UPDATE (3/26 11:00 AM): Via River Ave. Blues there is word that Bob Sheppard will be making his triumphant return as PA announcer for the April 3 exhibition game against the Cubs. We have always criticized El Capitan, Derek Jeter for insisting on a recording of Sheppard's voice for his at bats while Sheppard was out sick. That being said, a Yankee game just isn't the same without Bob Sheppard's impeccable pronunciations. No offense to Jim Hall, who did an admirable job and will likely be the permanent replacement once Sheppard is forced into retirement due to turning 130 years old.

UPDATE (3/26 4:22 PM): Via Newsday is word from Sheppard's family that he won't be able to make it back, even for the April 16th home opener. We are aware that Bryan Hoch was merely responding to a "mailbag" question, but that was some pretty shoddy reporting.
Read the full post, after the jump

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ticketmaster For Your Car! Introducing Baseball-Parking.com

No, this is not an ad. This is just a preview of the new way to park your car at Yankee Stadium. Before just hopping into your car to head to the ball park, you better head over to Baseball-Parking.com to make sure that your car's preferred "seat" is available.

The interface seems simple enough, just five easy steps and your car is as good as parked.

Clicking the "Reserve Parking Now" button takes you to a Ticketmaster style game selection page. From there, you select the "section" of parking that you want for that game, and whether you are self-parking or splurging for valet. Here are some of the parking lot choices:

Ahh, we see where this is going. Standard Parking Company (likely partnering with the Yankees and utilizing the Click and Park system) are working toward turning the spaces for your car into the equivalent of seats for your butts. Different game choices? Check. Different "sections" or, in this case lots? Check. Illogical service fee? Check. The only thing missing right now is different prices for the lots that are "closer to the field," and lots "selling out" quickly for big games.

This is a good thing for those traveling to Yankee games by car. Instead of unprepared cars pouring in to already full lots, people will need to plan ahead of time and their reward will be knowing which lot has a space for them. It is pretty strange that a system like this was not already in place. It probably has something to do with the addition of many new parking lots that were built along with the new stadium. In the past, their probably weren't enough parking choices to facilitate a system like Baseball-Parking.com offers.

In addition, season ticket holders can buy "season parking packages." Why take care of your own seat, and not your car's for the entire season? Baseball-Parking has you covered, but doesn't even offer a discount from the per game rate, actually charging $19.40 per game instead of $19. Then again, only one service fee of $5 is added on top, instead of a the $324 in $4 service fees that would be added if each game was purchased individually.

If anyone can figure out how this could possibly be perceived as anything but a huge postive for the Yankee game experience, please feel free to let us know in the comments. We'll withhold judgement until we have proof of how smooth the entire process goes. For now, Baseball-Parking should probably be paying "Stadium Insider," since we are typically more skeptical about new features related to the building of the new stadium. Read the full post, after the jump

Yankee Full Season Ticket Holder Number "Was An Internal Team Miscommunication," Actual Number Considerably Lower

According to the NY Post, Lonn Trost shared false information that the equivalent of 39,393 full season ticket plans had already been sold for the new Yankee Stadium back in January. As it turns out, only 36,000 full season ticket plans were sold in total, and the 39,393 number was a mistake based on "an internal team miscommunication."

That would be an acceptable error, except very similar information was shared with a journalist from the AP by Lonn Trost back in March 2008:

As for the regular seats, the Yankees hope to send out a relocation plan in April. Through Thursday, the Yankees had sold 39,141 full-season equivalents.

Trost said there will be about 11,000 non-premium seats at field level and 12,000 at the main level. He said 25,000 seats from the final year of the current ballpark won't be increased for 2009.

In other words, we have all witnessed an absolute vintage Lonn Tross tactic right there. Make up a large number of tickets already sold to scare the crap out of people and force them to upgrade to the highest possible ticket plan.

As it turns out, the higher season ticket holder number was from the old Yankee Stadium. Now, the truth has been revealed - the Yankees have sold less full season equivalents this year than they did last year. Along with the high percentage of the most expensive seats remaining unsold (you know, the ones that were planned to subsidize the money lost by keeping the lower ticket prices unchanged?) and the Bank of America deal crumbling this means that the Yankees may not have such an easy time of paying for this 1.3 billion dollar luxury home. Lets hope a foreclosure is not in the future. Read the full post, after the jump

Yankee Stadium Field Level Seats Behind Home Plate Will No Longer Be Covered By a Screen

A memorable feature of the old Yankee Stadium was the on-again, off-again mesh wire screen that ran from the backstop up to the mezzanine level. It seems that the Yankees were never sure whether or not it was necessity, as it disappeared without notice during certain seasons. Luckily, the screen has been there lately, especially when a drunk kid jumped off of the upper deck back in 2005.

This screen served the obvious purpose of protecting the fans in the seats behind home plate, in the main level of the old stadium. Player's families sat back there, and it was important to keep them covered. The screen also added a bit of fun into the stadium. When balls were hit onto the screen, the momentum would carry the balls up the screen and directly toward the seating area of outside of the few suites at the old stadium. The rich kids who were lucky enough to be sitting in those seats always had huge fishing nets ready for these foul balls, and were booed loudly if they didn't capture them before they rolled back down the screen.

All of that fun is in the past, as this photo from inside of the new stadium reveals the view from behind home plate, complete with the permanent "Be Alert For Bats And/Or Balls" sign:

Photo Courtesy of Newsday

The seats back there should be a hotbed for foul balls in the new stadium. If anyone ponies up the big bucks and decides to occupy those seats, they better bring a glove and be ready to flash some leather. The balls that are fouled straight back usually don't lose much of the velocity of the pitch by the time they are on top of you. That being said, all it will take is one Yuppie getting smacked in the face by a foul ball and the screen will be back. Read the full post, after the jump

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Purchase a Urinal From The Old Yankee Stadium

You really can't make this stuff up.

The old Yankee Stadium will be chopped up and sold to fans in little pieces as part of a $10 million-plus deal the team struck with the city, The Post has learned.

The payment will give the team the right to sell city-owned portions of the ballpark, including all 57,000 seats, the foul poles, dugouts and even the urinals sources familiar with the deal said.

Hey, at least if we get one of those urinals for our home, we will finally be able to relieve ourselves in peace, without being "splashed" on.

So, what would YOU pay for these beautiful, urine-soaked urinals?

On a serious note, we can totally envision a sports bar purchasing these urinals as part of a bathroom theme. The free market is a beautiful, but strange beast sometimes.

For those of you out there interested in buying a pair of seats from the old park, be aware that pairs of seats from the now-demolished Shea Stadium sold for $869. The Mets were smart and started those sales earlier, so the recession was not as deep as it is now. We'd expect seats from Yankee Stadium to start out at a higher asking price, but eventually settle down to the Shea Stadium price. Who has expendable income for stupid stuff like this anymore? Read the full post, after the jump

New York Yankees Introduce The Caste System: Only Allow Field Level Ticket Holders To Roam The Field Level Concessions

The Yankees have finally updated the official "A-Z" guide to the new Yankee Stadium on their website. There will likely be many nuggets that we are able to draw from this comprehensive guide to the stadium. For now, the most glaring change is the following:
Field Level Food Court

The food court located near Section 126 on the Field Level offers guests a taste of New York with a variety of concessions, including Boar¹s Head deli sandwiches, Famous Famiglia pizza and Asian cuisine. Please note that only Field Level and Legends ticket holders have access to the Field Level.

We have mentioned before that one of the most enjoyable aspects of going to baseball games is roaming around the stadium and checking out all of the nooks and crannies of the ballpark. Never before have we been to a ballpark that does not let fans explore the concessions on an entire level of the Stadium. We have been to Camden Yards in Baltimore, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and Safeco Field in Seattle in the past few years and NONE of those stadiums have this policy.

To prevent us from using the facilities or making purchases on an entire level is really creating social stratification in the new Yankee Stadium that we are not comfortable with. This also means that the middle-class family coming to Yankee Stadium to see their heroes suit up in the pinstripes will not be able to watch batting practice from the Field Level or try to procure autographs from their favorite players.
Batting Practice

Guests are welcome to watch batting practice from their seat location. Yankee Stadium gates will open at 10 a.m. for regular-season day games and 4 p.m. for regular-season night games. For Saturday Fox games during the regular season, gates will open at 1 p.m.

All of this is completely out of line with most other sporting venues where fans are encouraged to congregate close to the action during the pregame. We can only hope that the Yankees enforce the new A-Z guide as well as they did the old one, meaning hardly at all.

Don't get us wrong, the suddenly non-existent big spenders who normally snatch up those Field Level seats deserve special amenities. That is why there are membership only clubs in the stadium such as the Audi Yankees Club on the H&R Block Suite Level and the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar above Monument Park in center field. That is also why they can order food from their padded seats. These people who are spending a minimum of $95 for game day tickets do not need their own level of concessions. It is completely understandable if the Yankees don't want fans milling around or sitting in the actual seating area of the "Field Level" and that is what security guards/ushers are for.

According to the 2009 Yankee Media Guide:
Approximately two-thirds of the Stadium’s seats are in the lower half of the building, which
reverses the arrangement of the old Stadium, which had roughly two-thirds of the seats in the upper half.
Since the "lower half" of the building is split between the "Field Level" seats and the "Main Level" seats, it is fairly safe to assume that less than one third of attendees will have access to any of the offerings on an entire level.

This might be some sort of ploy to ramp up demand for the "Field Level" seats that remain unsold. In that case, all the Yankees are going to be left with is the most visible area of the stadium looking empty in TV clips. Meanwhile, just like on the Titanic, the "lower-class" people in the upper reaches of the stadium will be packed in tightly, but also having the most fun. This also might just be an "official policy" that is never enforced and therefore a non-issue. We can only wait and see.

As is the case many times on our blog, this post was inspired by the passionate Yankee fans on the NYYFans message board. We don't have much experience with discussing actual on-the-field action on NYYFans, but their "Out of Play" forum is one of the most informative places on the internet when it comes to breaking down all aspects of being a Yankee fan. Read the full post, after the jump

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

UPDATE: No All-Access Statium Tour For NSI

Apparently, some higher-ups at Turner caught wind of unimportant Yankee bloggers being given the All-Access Tour of the new Yankee Stadium, and have nixed it. There are no hard feelings toward the kind engineer who was willing to take us on the tour, but this just reeks of unprofessionalism on the part of Turner Construction. Just because we have a blog does not mean that we don't have plans or professional lives that we had to alter in order to make this happen. As a working professional, we had to move meetings around in order to leave work in time for this tour, and we told colleagues about the exciting opportunity. Now, all we are left with is embarrassment.

For the record, we were informed of the possibility of having to sign some sort of NDA regarding the tour and were told we would not be able to post photos. This was fine by us, as we were extremely excited about the opportunity to tour the stadium. We were under the impression that this was not a "secret" tour, as the engineer openly asked us if we wanted to take the tour on the public domain of Twitter. Therefore, we posted on our blog about the tour last night, encouraging the submission of questions for the engineers.

At the end of the day, it appears that this engineer was planning on taking us on the tour as personal guests, and not as members of the media on behalf of Turner Construction. We were misled into believing that this tour was arranged because of admiration for our blog, and that we were being encouraged to ask questions. We had plans to write a feature, just as if we were journalists from a newspaper invited on the tour.

If the intentions of this tour were clear from the beginning, this awkward and unprofessional situation would have never occurred. We didn't ever expect to be given this opportunity, so we don't have any illusions of entitlement. We just didn't want to tell our family and friends about it, only to have to suffer the embarrassment of telling them the tour was canceled, because we are bloggers. Read the full post, after the jump

NSI Cuts Through The Hype: Six Dollar, 12 Ounce Beer At New Stadium: Not A Better Deal.

Ross seemed surprised when the Yankees unveiled quite the "bargain": a six dollar 12 ounce beer. He noted that he didn't remember seeing a deal like that in the old stadium.

I'm here to burst his bubble. Just last season the Yankees were selling 24 oz beers for 12 dollars, with even Heinekens available for that price. So maybe there wasn't the good deal on 12 oz'ers, but if you went super-size, you'd be drunk in no time for that same "bargain" price.

Instead, this season we could go to Tommy Bahama's Bar, which will serve mixed drinks. Perfect for those who have whiny, beer-hating girlfriends in need of a buzz. Sure, the drinks will be expensive, but hey, it's the price you have to pay to get... I won't go there. Read the full post, after the jump

2009 Yankee Tickets Go On Sale For The General Public Today - Beware Of The Bait And Switch

Today at 10:00 AM the general public finally gets their crack at Yankee tickets without any preconceived notions of licensee status, lottery winner or anything else. All you have to do is be a human being (or a cleverly written computer program that knows how to read CAPTCHA), and you can log on to Ticketmaster.com to see what is left after the three separate presales. The good news for everyone not lucky enough to have been included in a prior presale is that the Yankees have created pools of tickets available for each presale. In theory, there should be close to as many Opening Day tickets for today's sale as there were for the other presales - or at least an incrementally lower number of tickets available.

That being said, everyone clicking away at Ticketmaster this morning should be aware of bait and switch tactics that we were alerted to by a tipster. This story is pretty unbelievable, but the screen grabs are there to prove it.

A well-off friend of one of our readers happily plopped down over $900 for a single ticket in section 24B, Row 5 for Opening Day against the Indians. Apparently these tickets are directly above the visitors dugout and $900 was in his budget. More power to him. This is the ticketfast confirmation of the purchase:

Order confirmation number redacted for his safety

Excitedly, he clicked on the "pick up your tickets" link, but to his dismay he was shown that he was assigned a ticket in a different section. Suddenly, his ticket was no longer directly above the dugout, but in section 24, and four rows further back. Here is what currently shows up in his Ticketmaster order history:

Sadly, this isn't even the worst part of the story. Not about to let this go, the poor guy who dropped nearly a G, only to have his tickets switched went back into ticketmaster to investigate. He searched for similar tickets and found that Ticketmaster had the audacity to put his original seat back up for sale, and was now charging $2,625:

As we mentioned, this entire story is almost too far-fetched to believe. However, when following the progression with the screen grabs, it is apparent that all of this actually happened. It looks like Ticketmaster made some sort of error selling that original ticket as a single seat, or selling it for the $900 price. Instead of alerting the customer, they just decided to switch out his ticket and put them back for sale - for $1,600 more.

So, what is this guy supposed to do now? It is likely that he splurged for a $900 ticket because he would be on top of the dugout for the first game ever in the new Yankee Stadium. Now he is sitting in the ridiculously priced box seats all alone and not even where he wanted to sit. It is unlikely that Ticketmaster's useless customer service will understand this complicated situation, so an easy resolution is not in the cards. Can anyone offer suggestions on the next steps to take for this poor guy? Read the full post, after the jump

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Ice Cream of the Future - we'll miss you

With New Yankee Stadium just a few short weeks away from opening to sell-out crowds every game, and the buzz of a new ballpark that hasn't been felt since before most current Yankee fans were born, Yankee fans may get so wrapped up in the hoopla that they may not even notice the loss of an ahead-of-its-time treat that served them well for so many years.

I speak of course about Dippin' Dots: The Ice Cream of the Future.

As the Yankees released an extensive list of all the wonderful new dining options the upgraded new stadium will feature, conspicuously absent was the cryogenically frozen snack, which did not make the cut among the seemingly random list of vendors like Johnny Rockets, Carl's Steaks, or Famous Famiglia Pizza.

After a quick peak on their website or their Wikipedia page it actually seems like Dippin' Dots is doing OK--did you know that in 2007 they had a revenue of $46.4 million? True story!

I guess people get nostalgic in different ways. While the "true Yankee" fans clamored for one more year at Yankee Stadium, I said good riddance. Of course I recognized the history of the old place, but knew that it could no longer service the hordes of people who waited on VERY long lines to enter the stadium, buy $12 beers, and go to the bathroom--and dry their hands on their shirts, because there were no paper towels by the time May rolled around.

But today I realized why I'm so nostalgic about Dippin' Dots: I've never even had them. My parents never bought them for me when I was a kid (they're disproportionately more expensive than regular ice cream) and a small helmet-shaped cup is hardly big enough for an adult. I thought that--like the future--the Dippin' Dots guy and his little stand would be waiting for me on the day I finally decided to fork over my $5 in exchange for the cold, beaded treat.

So what's the moral of the story? Don't wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today. Carpe diem. The Ice Cream of the Future waits for no man--not even a Yankee fan. Read the full post, after the jump

More about the Food at the New Yankee Stadium, Ticket Sales, Stadium Tours and More Monday Night Yankee Thoughts

If we didn't have a day job, this would be spread across multiple posts. Here is a day's worth of thoughts neatly bullet pointed for your reading pleasure:
  • We happened across one of the engineers working for Turner Construction (the company building the new Yankee Stadium) on Twitter, and he liked our blog. Next thing you know, we're being offered an All-Access tour of the New Yankee Stadium on Tuesday evening. We're told that posting photos from the tour are a no-go, but that is likely only for the "backstage" areas such as the clubhouses. There will be a full report up tomorrow night, and we'd like to give you all the opportunity to participate in some way. We are collecting questions that you would ask one of the engineers who worked on the new Yankee Stadium. Questions about any construction delays, obstructed seats, or anything else that someone from Turner could answer are fair game. We need to send the questions off tonight, so please fire away in the comments section.
  • The food options at the New Yankee Stadium are pretty amazing. When my girlfriend utters the words: "I'm starting to like this new Yankee Stadium," you know they are doing something right. We knew the food would be an improvement over the old stadium, but selection is truly surprising. It sure does make us look forward to embarking on our New Stadium Insider food tasting series.
  • Also from today's release, the revelation of $6 beers is a pretty big deal as well. As far as we can remember, beers hovered around the $9 mark for the past couple of seasons. Perhaps with the increased numbers of points of sale, the Yankees can afford to lower prices a bit. Bud Light or not, it will cost less to get intoxicated at a Yankee game. We've never understood people who likes to spend a small fortune to go to a baseball game just to not remember it, but to each their own.
  • Some people get pretty riled up about the Coke vs. Pepsi debate. Anyone paying attention to the photos that have been leaking out from the interior of the stadium noticed the Pepsi ads plastered all over the place. Today, Legends Hospitality Management confirmed that the "House That Big Stein Built" is a Pepsi palace. We'll stick with beer and water. What else do you need in life?
  • This morning at 10AM, the lucky Yankee fans who won the public presale lottery got their F5 on (the refresh key for those not privy to internet language) and tried to score tickets to the premium games. Sadly, it seems that the luck ran out for most of them. Many of these formerly lucky souls were greeted with the all too familiar $2,625 seats right above the Yankee dugout. Astute commenter "HorseRun" points out that if the Yankees can't sell these seats for the first ever game in the brand new stadium, when will they sell them?
  • Never has the crass term "if there's grass on the field, play ball" seemed more appropriate. There is no longer grass on the field at the old Yankee Stadium, and they will no longer be playing ball there. Back off, Chris Hansen, its just an expression.
  • We'd get all stat-heady and uppity about Joe Girardi's revelation that Xavier Nady is the opening day right fielder, but driveline mechanics did all of the work a couple of week ago and Kevin Goldstein piled on today. Some will base their argument on the 2008 season and claim that it is a coin-toss. We would like to point out Swisher's terrible luck on balls in play last season and his history of being a masher. Bold prediction: if Nick Swisher gets 500+ ABs in 2009, he will approach 30 home runs. Scott Boras must somehow be involved in this. Last year we learned that Joe Girardi reads Baseball Prospectus, now he is picking Xavier Nady over Nick Swisher in a position battle. Something is fishy here.
  • We posted on Twitter about this earlier, but since when do hookers have the right to run to the press with stories? There is something seriously wrong with our culture when newspapers provide a platform for people who have sex for money to air their secrets about superstar athletes like Alex Rodriguez. We don't condone ballplayers cheating on their wives, especially with paid whores. However, women have been making tons of money in the world's oldest profession since Wooly Mammoths were roaming the earth (OK, maybe not that long). Everyone's favorite Yankees of yester-year like Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Jason Giambi (ha) all frequented prostitutes. This Eliot Spitzer/A-Rod hooker is clearly trying to get out of the game, but all she is doing is putting the entire profession at risk. Athletes are going to start paying non-professional whores and just make them sign an NDA. Journalism isn't the only field undergoing major change.
Don't forget to give us some ideas for construction-related Yankee Stadium questions to ask tomorrow. This may be the last time to ask these types of questions, as Turner Construction will soon be on their way to building a 2 billion dollar stadium somewhere else in the world. Or they just won't be in the Bronx anymore. Read the full post, after the jump
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