New stadiums

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I know, as a sports guy, I’m supposed to be all giddy and euphoric over my two hometown baseball teams opening new stadiums. I’m supposed to go all Joe Morgan here; blather on about the amazing facilities; the attention to details; the food options; the perks; the Grand Canyon-sized clubhouses.

Alas, I can’t.

I have yet to visit either stadium, but I struggle with the very idea of them. In my eyes, both reflect the evil turn of professional sports; the over-the-top greed that decays an industry dependent, first and foremost, on its fan base. To me, these stadiums represent the continued dismissal of fans. Think about it: The death of double headers, because why would ownership want to give paying customers a freebie every now and then? The death of early playoff games, because why would ownership want to surrender the high advertising rates that come at night? The death of hat days and bat days and program days, because why would ownership want to give away what it can sell at a 400-percent markup?

And now—stadiums. The ticket prices, of course, are a joke; aimed exclusively at corporations and the grossly rich. But everything about these joints oozes greed; oozes a let’s-milk-the-little-people-out-of-every-possible-dime. When you hear the Wilpons and Steinbrenners speaking of “Providing a memorable experience for our fans,” well, c’mon.

It’s not about the fans.

It’s about the dollar. Your dollar.

One more thing: I looooooooed Yankee Stadium. Loved it. Sure, Shea was a dump. But Yankee Stadium was a palace that served its franchise well. I’m not naive—I know this is a business, and the business is making money. But as tax money is spent on these buildings, we need to check our priorities.

3 thoughts on “New stadiums”

  1. As a Red Sox fan I can’t help but feel a slight bit of jealousy when looking at all the state of the art parks. You don’t see any fans sitting in uncomfortable seats for three hours, and the struggle to find tickets is lessened by the size of these new venues.

    But… For every ounce of that jealousy there’s some pride in having one of the most historic parks, not just in baseball but in all of sports. Fenway Park may be small, it may be somewhat uncomfortable, but it’s also very unique.

    All these new stadiums may have all these great amenities, but they’re also so damn similar. None of them have anything as unusual as the green monster, hold the rich history of the old monument park at Yankee Stadium, or have the very unorthodox ivy lining a brick outfield wall.

    I really have to hand it to the Red Sox ownership for making the preservation of Fenway work to it’s maximum. The upgrades they’ve made have added some extra years of life to one of the few remaining “museums” of baseball.

  2. I’m gonna go out on a limb here. Background, I’m a Mariners fan so take my comment for what its worth. But — Yankee Stadium was a worthless dump. Worst aisles and concourses ever. Impossibly hard to navigate around during a game.

    Shea was far superior. Shea actually had some charm with its team colored seats and constant 747 fly-bys.

  3. I strangely feel the same way. Although I should be happy about a new stadium, I’m not. I can never relive being a ten year old sitting in the red upperdeck, squinting to see if that is Darryl Strawberry coming up to bat. I watched the openers this weekend, and Citi is missing something…oh yeah…Blue backgrounds…now everything is green. So I’m off to become a New Britain Rock Cat fan full time, until this greed passes over.

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