Sizing up the new Yankee Stadium
Prices notwithstanding, new Yankee Stadium does a lot right
The crowd was subdued for the opener, though David Wells caused a stir
Right fielder Nick Swisher endeared himself to the Bleacher Creatures
There is no history. No charm. There are no memories. But new Yankee Stadium is still a great ballpark. The main reason is because when you are in your seat, you don't think you are in new Yankee Stadium. It looks so much like the old one. You feel like you are in a refurbished version of the empty stadium across the street.
Here are 10 more random thoughts and observations after attending Thursday's opener:
1. Workers holding signs that said "How May I Help You?" greeted you upon arrival. This should be done at every ballpark in the country. The only problem was that from what I observed, the only thing fans asked these people to do was take pictures of them.
2. I don't know if this was done everywhere, but I was in section 211 and the seats are angled toward home plate so you can see everything without having to turn your neck 90 degrees. Well done!
3. If apparel and souvenirs are your thing, you're in luck because the Yankees' clubhouse shops are spectacles. You could probably spend an hour in one and still not see all the merchandise.
4. The concession prices are beyond outrageous. Bottle of water=$5. Soda=$5. Beer=$9. I even saw someone buy a bucket of popcorn for $12. How does a parent take two kids to a game without going into debt?
5. Having said that, you'd never know there was a recession if you were at Yankee Stadium. The lines for EVERYTHING were always extremely long. People were buying food and drink like there was no tomorrow. They even ran out of cheese at the concession stand I visited, which caused the person behind me who wanted a cheeseburger to have a fit.
6. The place was quiet throughout the game. The reasons? Most people were in line for concessions, checking out all the bells and whistles (Hard Rock Cafe, Mohegan Sun sports bar, Yankees museum) or in shock over the price of everything.
7. Early in the game, there was a major stir in the left-field bleachers. I assumed it was a fight. Nope. David Wells, who's been known to fight, entered the area and took his seat.
8. Nick Swisher is the perfect player to patrol right field in Yankee Stadium, where the Bleacher Creatures sit just a few feet away. Swisher rocked a HUGE fist pump when he ran out to his position at the beginning of the game. He also saluted when the Creatures yelled his name during roll call. And then there was the loudest moment of the day -- a "We Want Swisher" chant after the Yankees' bullpen imploded.
9. They're still doing that god-awful YMCA routine. Not surprisingly, Swisher participated.
10. I was at Yankee Stadium for five hours. Not once did I hear a single fan say the name "Alex Rodriguez." Not even when Cody Ransom made out five straight times.
Bonus observation: I saw someone wearing a Cody Ransom jersey. Seriously.
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