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The new, updated Monument Park is just that, a park of
monuments to the greatest of Yankees. It is located beyond center field in the
new Yankee Stadium. The only real advice I give about seeing it is: get there
But see it.
Look, you may not like the Yankees. You may have a problem
with the crowing of their fans, their buying championships, or the
Steinbrenners. Maybe Reggie Jackson’s ego got under your skin, or Hideki Irabu
annoyed you by wanting to only pitch for the Yankees (that worked out great for
them, didn’t it…heh heh). Or you had a favorite player that the Yankees stole
from your team through free agency: C.C. Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Mark
Teixeira, and Nick Swisher are just a few names on the current Yankees roster
that were on their way to becoming household words in other towns.
Growing up in a family of Orioles fans, of course we hated
the Yankees. But that didn’t stop me from reading a few books about America’s
team…like Sparky Lyle’s “The Bronx Zoo” and “The Year I Owned The Yankees”,
Billy Martin’s “Number 1”, and Ed Linn’s “Steinbrenner’s Yankees”. Whatever
they were, they sure as heck weren’t boring.
When you step away from the hurt of the pinstripes beating
your favorite team, you realize that the Yankees mystique is like no other. Just
about every other team in baseball proudly displays championship banners, no
matter how few or relatively noteworthy. Winning a division or a pennant is,
after all, a great achievement. Only the Yankees consider any season that
doesn’t end in a World Series victory a failure.
Standing in Monument Park in center field of Yankee Stadium,
of course the names Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle jump out at you.
you see Martin, Berra, Dickey, and Ford and you remember that those guys
weren’t too bad either. Reggie Jackson, boy I hated him as a kid, but man,
could he pound the ball. Don Mattingly–was there a better player who never
played in the World Series? Elston Howard–the first black player on the Yankees,
because they wanted the best. Rizzuto–always thought he was overrated, then I
saw his numbers. Ron Guidry – Louisiana Lightning. Now that guy could bring it.
And now there’s that big bust for Big George. George
Steinbrenner, for all his flaws, embodied the demand for perfection that is
both the gift and curse of being a Yankee. He never accepted failure, and all
of his players and managers always knew it. Say what you will, when all was
said and done he put seven more championships on the board for the Yankees…but
this was all in a day’s work, as he saw it.
Someday names like Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Cano will be
And when Yankee-haters visit and think back, they’ll realize that
these were home-grown guys, and the Yankees didn’t just win with big name free
agents after all.
So check out Monument Park at the new Yankee Stadium. You
won’t regret it.
But yes, get there early.
Ballpark E-Guides uses many, many sources for its information. I figure if I’m asking customers for a fin, I can’t be cutting corners on getting as much information as possible.
But it’s rare that I find a source that contains so much information that I start to sweat whether people could just go there as opposed to buying a (still inexpensive!) Ballpark E-Guide.
One such website is a blog called “NYY Stadium Insider“, run by a (now former) season ticket holder by the name of Ross. (I couldn’t find his last name.) Ross updates his blog on a fairly regular basis with deals, bargains, and his own experiences attending games at Yankee Stadium. His latest post is a diatribe about his forfeiting season ticket privileges after what he rightly believed to be unfair treatment by the Yankees.
Most useful is the section called “Stadium Tips”, a list of insider tips on enjoying the game at the new Stadium…some of which have been included in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide. He even goes so far as to mention a security guard by name while talking about the best places to stand and watch the game.
Ross also was a source of information on how to avoid the obstructed views in the bleacher seating at the new stadium, although I did verify it on my first trip. You can either read my earlier post about this or check out one of Ross’s many posts here.
NYY Stadium Insider is such a well done blog with so much great information that it made me question whether people would still find the Yankee Stadium E-Guide worthwhile. Well, aside from the fact that I’ve included information from plenty of other sources, and of course the Yankee Stadium E-Guide is a wonderfully colorful and interesting handbook, I did search to see if Ross mentioned a very good tip that the E-Guide shares for saving money on tickets…and I did not find it.
So without denigrating NYY Stadium Insider in any way, the Yankee Stadium E-Guide is still well worth the five-spot! (Whew!)
Of course, I could probably find some other things, but the fact that I had to search nervously should tell you something about the quality of this blog. Check it out.
It’s difficult to explain how a new stadium that cost $1,500,000,000 could still have obstructed view seating.
It was only discovered after the fact that the new Yankee Stadium has a major design flaw. The Mohegan Sun Sports Bar that takes up the batter’s eye in center field is a rectangular building placed smack in the outfield bleachers. As a result, people sitting in the wrong parts of Sections 201 and 239 may have of a portion of the field blocked from view by a bar for people who pay more because they can. The blocked portion of the field can be pretty large…up to a third of the action.
In response to this, the Yankees leapt into action. Certain seats were determined to be “possible obstructed view” and the prices of such seats were lowered to $5. On top of that the Yankees mounted hi-def TVs on the sides of the Mohegan Sun, so that any action taking place in the blocked portion of the field can be seen. Heck, I’ll pay $5 to watch a game on a hi-def TV near Yankee Stadium.
But even at this, it isn’t much fun to be at a game and not be able to see most of left or right field. But if you know how the seating is arranged, you can score a cheap seat without much of a limited view at all.
There are 24 rows in both sections 201 and 239, the higher the row the worse the visibility. Similarly, the closer to the Mohegan Sun you are, the worse your view. Here is a key bit of knowledge: in Section 201, the low-numbered seats are closer to the Mohegan, while in Section 239 it’s the high-numbered seats. I don’t know how many seats are in a section, but knowing this should help greatly. In seat 1 in row 15 or below of Section 239, or at least in that general area, you should not only be able to see most everything just fine, you’ll be able to afford a Lobel’s steak sandwich with the money you’ve saved buying a bargain basement seat.
I was looking at tickets for the May 5 game against Baltimore on StubHub, and saw a ticket in row 2 of Section 201 listed for $4 (keep in mind that you’ll still pay Stubhub’s fee, which is usually around $5). Even though it says “possible obstructed view” (which in most parks should be avoided at all costs), in row 2 it can’t possibly be that bad. Granted, it’s a weekday game against the “once proud” Orioles, but it’s still likely you can get a great deal on a bleacher seat if you know what you’re doing.
I’m not a bleacher seats type–not because I want to avoid overly raucous fans, but because I don’t like not having a panoramic view of the entire park, scoreboard and all. But if you just want a cheap seat and don’t mind the bleachers, or you want to be in long home run territory, or you just want to get into the place, this is an absolute steal.
Especially in New York City.
I have tentative plans to go to the new Yankee Stadium on May 5th, provided my boss lets me have the day off and my wife doesn’t notice.
Being a New Jersey native my whole life, I’ve learned to find ways to beat a system that is designed to be unbeatable, that being avoiding any extra charges for tolls and parking that can be avoided without a great deal of effort.
I state in my Yankee Stadium Guide (to be finished soon!) that if New Yorkers cared about the price of anything at all, they wouldn’t be New Yorkers. And that a winning baseball team can more or less name its price. How else could it cost $23 to park at a Yankees game without anyone batting an eye?
But likely being by myself, I get to experiment with alternatives, so I’m going to try using the Staten Island Ferry and then taking the 4 train from the Battery Park area of Lower Manhattan.
Just for kicks I figured out the difference in cost between driving and parking at the Stadium and using the Ferry and the 4 train:
Driving and parking at the Stadium:
NJ Turnpike from Exit 7 (where I would get on) to George Washington Bridge: $12.70 round trip
George Washington Bridge eastbound: $8
Parking at Yankee Stadium: $23
Additional Mileage: 18 city miles, about 2 gallons of gas or $6
Total to drive and park at the Stadium: $49.70
Driving to the Staten Island Ferry and using the 4 train:
NJ Turnpike from Exit 7 to Goethals Bridge: $6.20 round trip
Goethals Bridge eastbound: $8
Parking at Ferry Station: $5 per day
Ferry ride: free (!)
4 train round trip: $4.50
Total using ferry and train: $23.70
In addition, the Staten Island Ferry offers great views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan and there is inexpensive food and even beer served on the boat (which I probably won’t partake of given that I would be using it in the morning, but who knows). The ferry runs all day and all night, so one needn’t worry about extra innings. It gets crowded, but that is to be expected with a free tourist attraction in New York City.
If there is a downside to saving $26 and the aggravation of dealing with NYC traffic to get to a Yankees game, I’m not sure what it is. But I’ll update this if I have any problems.
Staten Island Ferry’s website: http://www.siferry.com/