Friday, May 22, 2009

Out Of Town Fans Unable to Watch The Visiting Team Take Batting Practice From The Field Level At The New Yankee Stadium

We thought this debate ended last week, when the Yankees announced revised batting practice policies, allowing fans close to the field during batting practice. Unfortunately, according to reports from the stadium, security guards have been instructed to kick fans out of the field level sections at 5:45 - Nearly an hour and a half before the game begins.

The policy is stated as follows according to the official fan guide:
Those fans who take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy batting practice and infield workouts from the Field Level and/or the Bleachers may remain until the players leave the field following the conclusion of the Yankees batting practice or 1 hour and 45 minutes after the Gates open. At that time, all fans will be asked to return their respective seats.
It is unbelievable that we didn't notice this when the new policy was announced last week. Allowing Yankees fans to see Yankees batting practice from the field level sections should have been a given, but it was still appreciated when the Yankees saw the error in their ways and changed the fan guide. However, we didn't even think about the fact that some people, unable to afford expensive seats, might want to see the visiting team take batting practice as well. Yes, even Yankees fans.

Nick is at the game right now and would love the opportunity to snag a batting practice home run hit by Ryan Howard or Chase Utley, or even just see superstars of that caliber up close. Unfortunately, 5:45 PM arrived and security swept the field level sections, rounding up people who belonged in the cheap seats and rudely telling them to leave.

It is a shame, because during the last few games we attended at the stadium, we really started feeling at home. Security guards seemed to be in better spirits, the overall flow of the building had improved, and of course the Yankees were winning.

It makes absolutely no sense that the Yankees would risk more bad PR and not just let fans stay in the field level sections until the conclusion of batting practice. At the old stadium, once batting practice was over, everyone knew that was the time to leave those sections and headed to their own seats. There was no need for overzealous security guards - everyone acted like mature adults and acted on their own volition. There was always plenty of time left before first pitch for those who belonged in the field level sections to get comfortable in their surroundings.

Once again, the people making the policies at the new Yankee Stadium can't get out of their own way. Is anyone surprised?
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