Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Our Vision For The Mysterious Grandstand Party Deck

While most new stadiums undergo some cosmetic tweaks between their first and second seasons, there has been surprisingly little talk about potential improvements to the "new" Yankee Stadium.

Back in December, River Ave. Blues caught a minor note in a the Sports Business Journal about a Grandstand level "Party Deck," which garnered a bit of buzz, but there hasn't been any news since. This vague description of a party deck was especially appealing after experiencing Yankee Stadium in 2009.

We contacted multiple sources at Yankee Stadium, and they were unable to provide any additional information about the party deck. The only improvements we could get out of them was that they were "adjusting some of the handrails in the grandstand and some of the bars/mesh in the stair areas on the terrace level to cut down on obstructions." Even without any further information, we'll still speculate.

As we mentioned at various points during the season, the new venue is extremely conducive to milling around and catching the game from different vantage points, meeting people and having a good time. Unfortunately, the only area where fans can gather in large groups with easy access to food and drink along with a view of the field is the center field "bleacher cafe area." While this could have been a great feature of the new Yankee Stadium, it is usually frustrating. Many of the fans with obstructed view bleacher seats don't en
joy seeing half of the field, so the bleacher cafe area becomes packed with fans as soon as the stadium starts to fill up.

When we first heard about the Grandstand "party deck," w
e immediately thought of the upper deck wheelchair seating behind home plate (below section
420). Yankee Stadium is extremely handicapped accessible with wheelchair seats spread throughout the structure. Because of this, the "nosebleed" wheelchair seats are often empty. The vie
w from this wheelchair section is a great bird's eye view of the field, but there are better options on lower levels.

In addition to the great view, this area is very close to the currently exclusive "Jim Beam Suite Lounge." It's no secret that the Jim Beam Suites haven't been well-received by their owners. Most feel they aren't getting the promised value out of the $150 seats and that the "exclusive" dining suite is a glorified food court. Our proposal would be to
replace the brick oven pizza with some classic ballpark fare,
serve plenty of beer and open the former Jim Beam Suite Lounge to the public.

At the end of the day, our party deck idea probably won't pan out. Owners of Jim Beam seats are in the midst of multi-year plans and the Yankees aren't going to water down the product and give them an excuse to break their contracts. Further, the Yankees will probably want to sell standing room tickets for these "party deck" seats, so the general public will likely be shut out.

Does anyone out there have any crazy ideas for the grandstand party deck? Anyone have some insider information? Feel free to let us know in the comments, and we'll be sure to post an update if we hear more.

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