In spring of 09 Yankee, fans will get a chance to see the newest addition to the team, a new stadium. This modern baseball stadium has some serious shoes to fill to win the hearts of dedicated fans. The Old Yankee Stadium has stood the tests of time and adversity reigning in New York City for eighty-six years. All good things must come to an end to make way for new good things. The new Yankee stadium promises to be just that with a 1.3 billion dollar price tag.
Since 1980, the idea of a new Yankee Stadium has been kicked around. Originally, the owner wanted to move the stadium given the state of the South Bronx at the time. As ideas were brought up, discussed and discarded, the neighborhood turned around and the team gained in popularity. By the early 1990s, the Yankees organization were still interested in building a new stadium – but right there in the Bronx.
Financial considerations were now the biggest obstacle to building new Yankee Stadium. During the last part of his term, the Mayor of New York came up with some plans to aid both the Yankees and the Mets to build new stadiums. Giuliani wanted to support the teams building desires by paying for half of the construction to the tune of eight hundred million dollars as well as an additional three hundred and ninety million for more transportation. The Mets would receive eighty thousand more in debt forgiveness and both teams would receive twenty-five million more for planning. To make the deal even sweeter the teams would have no property taxes, no sales tax and receive low cost electricity from the state. In addition, they would be allowed to keep 100% of parking fees, 96% of ticket fees, and 100% of all other generated revenue.
The plan also waived sales and property taxes on the teams, would have provided both stadiums with state subsidized low cost electricity and allowed the teams to keep 100% of parking and other revenue brought in by the stadiums, with the city receiving a mere 4% of the ticket sales. Things looked a little less rosy for New York’s ball clubs when current Mayor Michael Bloomberg too office. Mayor Bloomberg decided to exercise the escape clause provided for in the contract – however, the contract also included a provision allowing the teams to leave the city should the escape clause be used! Happily, the city and the two teams came to a new agreement and planning for new Yankees and Mets stadiums kept moving along.
A lot of care has gone into the design of the new Yankee Stadium. Built of Indiana limestone which will circle the entire facility, the park will look quite a bit like the old stadium did prior to 1974 renovations. A replica of the copper frieze which was present on the former stadium will be featured. While the new park will look much like its predecessor on the outside, the interior will feature a number of new amenities for fans, including two new restaurants which will be open all year.
Whether you are a fan of the new Yankee Stadium or fear that a vital piece of Bronx history will be lost, it can be agreed upon that the new home of the Yankees will be one which preserves the character of the old while offering the comfort of the new. The construction of the first Yankee Stadium was a risk taken by the team; one which paid off for the team and the city – and it looks like history just might repeat itself in the Bronx next spring.