Food and Beverage – 3.5
$8.50 for a double Miller Lite is really not bad. Peanuts were good – roasted and salted. Didn’t have much else to eat, but the italian sausages were HUGE and loaded with peppers/onions. Yum.
Stadium Condition – 1.5
It’s old and run-down. The seats were not very comfortable.
In-Game Experience – 3
T-shirt cannons are cool. The Big Home Run Apple in centerfield is at least unique. A bigger, more informative scoreboard in the new park will be nice.
Proximity – .5
Nothing, unless you want to get your muffler repaired, and again, and again, and again. I would say that there were no less than 25 muffler/bump/auto shops ON ONE BLOCK directly across form the new Citi Field. No other real sports bars to speak of. Bummer. At least the 7 Express runs right into Manhattan from there.
Overall Experience – 2
I liked the intimate settling. Without any seating to speak of in the outfield, you get a real feel for the ball field, which is kind of nice. I realize that’s one of the things I didn’t like about Great American Ballpark last year, but maybe I need to revisit that. Otherwise, there was no life to the crowd, and really nothing remarkable about the park.
Final score: 10.5/25
Food and Beverage – 3
Most beers were $8 for a regular 12 oz bottle. I know ballparks are expensive, but at least TRY to fool me. Hot dog was good, but nothing to write (or blog) home about.
Stadium Condition – 3
About as well-maintained as any other 85-year old building. A little cleaner than Shea, but not much. No obstructed-view seats, and the views are good from anywhere.
In-game Experience – 4
There’s a certain buzz about the Yankee crowd that you don’t feel in very many places. Certainly not at Shea. There’s more interaction between the crowd and players than in any yard I’ve ever been in.
Proximity – 3
It’s hard to top Stan’s, the first ever sports bar, and also hard to top the beer prices there (they try to give you that “just like the ballpark experience” at $7 apiece). After that, there’s not really a whole lot, or at least that we saw.
Overall Experience – 5+
I’d give it a 7 if I could, but it just doesn’t work that way. This is Yankee Stadium. The House That Ruth Built. This is hallowed ground whether your a Yankee apologist, or a Yankee hater. You cannot deny the magic in the air in that building. Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home run there. Roger Maris hit his 61st homer in ’61 there. No-hitters have been thrown, and 27 World Series Championship banners hang in that building. I could go on…
Final score: 18/25
It’ll be sad to see the place close. The new ballpark is beautiful. It looks less like a cathedral, and more like a palace. It screams of the Yankee pretentiousness that you either love or hate. It’s going to be a great place to see a game, and surely a marked improvement over the current Yankee Stadium. But it will seem sterile, at least for the first few years. The grass will be green (maybe even greener), the seats more comfortable, the sight lines a little better [Editor's note: Not so fast.] , and the scoreboard and sound system will be much improved. But there will be Yankee fans who are disappointed. You can’t recreate that magic over a winter, and sadly, you can’t pick it up and move it like home plate. The sterility will go away, and after a few hundred games, the smell of the Nathan’s hot dogs being grilled will permeate the concrete walls, along with all the beer that gets spilled in the concourse. It’ll take time, but the new Yankee Stadium will get “broken in” and feel like home again. For all the nostalgia, this is a good thing for baseball.