Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
The Awful Truth
2008-01-02 06:14
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

So far, it seems as if there is nothing affordable about the new Yankee Stadium. Juan Gonzalez has the latest in the Daily News.

In 2008, Hank Steinbrenner emerged as new voice of the Yankees. He's good for a quote, though he's got some big shoes to fill. Speaking of Old Lions, dig this quote from Darryl F Zanuck, "The Last Movie Tycoon:"

"We had a great preview up to the last ten minutes. Then the bottom dropped out. It ended on a laugh and it was no comedy. The preview cards were average, mostly marked fair, but gave us no clues to the ending. (God, how I hate audiences.) Suddenly, that non-existent, invisible bug whispered in my ear, as it had done all my life. I had the answer. I started to talk. Before I was half through the first sentence, the director Michael Curtiz yelled 'Wonderful! Darryl! Yes! Yes!'

"I glared at him and said, 'For Christ's sake don't say yes until I finish talking!'"

From Don't Say Yes Until I Finish Talking by Mel Gussow

Sir, yessir!

Comments (81)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-02 07:15:34
1.   liam
how much do you think a front row seat will cost in 2020?

face value, $2000?

2008-01-02 07:37:55
2.   jkay
Real fans take the subway.
2008-01-02 08:11:17
3.   monkeypants
2 Real fans who happen to live in town take the subway. I'm just hoping that this alleged Metro North station/shuttle come to fruition, so I can do a long distance park-n-ride.
2008-01-02 08:14:19
4.   JL25and3
2 , 3 We drive in from Westchester, park around Bedford Park Blvd., and take the subway from there.
2008-01-02 08:15:07
5.   monkeypants
I thought that the city was going to collect parking revenue. So, the increased parking prices cited in the article will be determined by the city, no? Or am I misunderstanding?
2008-01-02 08:17:35
6.   monkeypants
4 I drive in from Montreal, via Binghamton (family)--let's just say a game makes for a long day.
2008-01-02 08:27:47
7.   wsporter
I hate to say this but maybe I'm part of the problem, I drive up from the DC area. $25.00 isn't going to add substantially to the total cost of the trip so I'll still park and just hate it a little more. We do sometimes stay across the river the night before a day game. I don't think the added parking cost will make the train worth it when I add the cost of training the family in to the cost of parking in NJ. I guess grin and bear it is the only reasonable strategy from my POV.
2008-01-02 08:38:06
8.   williamnyy23
5 The "$29" price is not an actual figure but an estimate determined by the consulting firm that is based on what the garages will need to charge in order to pay the city its promised subsidy. I have a hard time believing that parking prices will double over one season. Having said that, if people are willing to pay that ridiculous price, then perhaps the demand justifies it. As with concessions, there are plenty of alternatives if one is willing to make the effort.
2008-01-02 09:14:58
9.   Chyll Will
"The "$29" price is not an actual figure but an estimate determined by the consulting firm that is based on what the garages will need to charge in order to pay the city its promised subsidy."

That's absolutely right. As a rule of thumb, anytime a consulting firm makes an estimate that concerns the city, you add another billion dollars just to be safe >;)

2008-01-02 09:18:25
10.   standuptriple
I do feel bad for all the Yanks fans out there. Out in the SF/Bay Area you have polar opposites of the spectrum and it is really nice to have a relatively affordable* option when you just want to catch a game. The comforts in OAK are nowhere near what they are in SF and new new parks are so well designed that going back is almost unfathomable. OAK is a crap hole, but getting cheap tickets makes it a fun no-frills experience. I can't wait to boo the Sox on Opening Day**.

*don't believe attending a baseball game is affordable anymore, but that doesn't stop me.

**Not real Opening Day, as that will be held in across the Pacific Ocean.

2008-01-02 09:22:50
11.   Raf
3 Depending on where you're coming from, connecting to the subway via Metro-North is quite feasible. It becomes a question of whether or not people want to walk a few blocks from Fordham, Williamsbridge or 125th.

4 Depending on where I was coming from (east or west side of westchester county), I used to do the same thing. Before the run of success, I used to drive in and park on the streets, but someone put a stop to that a few years ago.

6 Wow, Binghamton is a bit out of the way coming from Montreal...

Anyway, it's not like it's a secret that parking @ the stadium is going to be expensive, look how much people are paying now. Anyway, as williamnyy23 mentioned, if people are willing to pay it, then the Yanks may as well charge it.

2008-01-02 09:31:57
12.   monkeypants
11 I exaggerate my plight. Generallly I drive from Montreal to Binghamton one Day 1 and visit family; Day 2 my bro and I drive down to NYC for the game and back in the same day (with traffic, that's a good ten to twelve hour odyssey); Day 3 return to Montreal.

The whole trip is an enormous sinkhole of cash and time, and the though of jerking around in Jersey or wherever to catch a train does not entice. Thus, I willingly (albeit grudgingly) pay the $$$ to park; so ultimately I agree that the market drives the price for those willing to pay 7 8 .

As for the cost of current Yankees parking, it's actually not that bad at around $15, given the general cost of living in NYC. The last time I went to a Tigers game, about five years ago, parking around the new stadium was already $20 or $25, and it's the same around other parks.

2008-01-02 09:35:11
13.   Charenton
It's great when all the loose ends of my life come together - I would have never ever thought that I'd find a reference to Juan Gonzalez (NOT the former AL MVP…but the apostle of democracy) whom I listen to regularly on WBAI ( on the baseball toaster ! Maybe tomorrow there will be a reference to the music of Albert Ayler and the circle will be complete !
2008-01-02 09:36:25
14.   JL25and3
Here's what got me in that article:

"The money is meant to pay for three new garages, refurbishing half a dozen open-air lots and replacing lost parkland due to construction...The city's expenditure is earmarked for new parks that will sit on top of two of the garages."

So they tear up Macombs Dam Park, which was a heavily-used community park. For two years, the people who live in the area just have to do without a park altogether. And at the end, the Yankees have a new cash cow, and the community has...two parks on top of parking garages??????

The destruction of Macombs Dam Park was one of my major objections to the entire project. I fully expected the promised parkland to be a disgrace, and they certainly haven't disappointed me.

2008-01-02 09:37:58
15.   JL25and3
13 I don't think Albert Ayler's ever come up, but we did have an extended Sun Ra discussion last year. Space is the place!
2008-01-02 09:49:12
16.   wsporter
10 Baseball games on both the SF side (AT&T now) and in Oakland are two great baseball memories of mine. The new park is a beautiful and convenient venue and what the hell it's in San Francisco and if you can't have fun there your just doing it wrong. The Coliseum, while a dump (no lie black plastic covers the outfield boxes), is home to some of the nicest people, best beer and atmosphere you can find at a ball park anywhere. If anyone gets a chance to I would recommend both experiences.
2008-01-02 09:53:57
17.   williamnyy23
10 I don't think attending a baseball game is unaffordable. Even the Yankees have numerous discount days ($5.00 days and half price Tuesdays). If one plans their trip right, a day at the ballpark is still pretty cheap relative to other entertainment options.

As for the parking, the current $14 fee is actually very cheap. I can't imagine finding parking in NYC for less than $14 (basically a $3-4/hour rate). Even at $29, the price would be relatively affordable when compared to other high demand locations/events. In many ways, the Yankees have been undercharging for so long that a jump in prices will seem so drastic.

14 Park land was definitely a casualty, but Macombs Dam Park was hardly an oasis. Let's wait and see what they replace it with. Also, I have a feeling that if given the option of keeping Yankee Stadium or Macombs Dam Park, the community would opt for the former.

2008-01-02 09:59:48
18.   YankeeInMichigan
12 The Circus Park (underground) garage (across the street from the Comerica right field entrance) cost just $5 as long as the Tigers stunk. It then went up to $10 in 2006 and $20 in 2007. It also takes about an hour get out of. My new favorite Comerica parking spot is the Opera House garage. It's $15 with easy access and a 7-8 minute walk to the park.

16 Oakland a great atmosphere? I attended a no-hitter there in 1983, and no one realized it until the 9th inning.

2008-01-02 10:12:54
19.   Raf
12 I have no problem with those who drive in and park, many cases I find it a bit odd (like those who live in lower westchester, for example). But to each their own; it's their $$.

14 There still is parkland next to Yankee Stadium, though I do see your point.

16 I'd like to attend a game in Oakland someday, I better do it before they move to Fremont. Ideally, I'd like to do it when both the Giants and A's are in town.

17 I doubt it. I'm sure if they were Yankee fans, they'd opt for keeping Yankee Stadium, but from a community standpoint, I think they'd rather have the parkland.

2008-01-02 10:15:36
20.   Jeb
OT: Did anyone catch Arod on Carston Daily's New Year's Eve show? It looked like someone from the audience threw something at his head and Arod looked a bit taken aback. Did anyone else see this? I can't find any reports about it anywhere.
2008-01-02 10:19:41
21.   dianagramr
Even more problems for Leyritz. Apparently he was driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash.

2008-01-02 10:36:31
22.   jkay
2008-01-02 10:37:20
23.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think the 1983 A's are a good yardstick to measure fan excitement by. The franchise was in trouble then and there were not a lot of people coming to the park.

The atmosphere perked up with the Bash Boys.

2008-01-02 10:42:16
24.   JL25and3
17 I'm with 19 . Unless they went to games, I doubt the people in the community cared much about Yankee Stadium. In fact, it's probably a damn nuisance to try to do your shopping when 50000 people are swarming through your neghborhood.

I'd also dispute your characterization of Macombs Dam Park. It may not have seemed like an oasis to you, but it was an important part of the community. As I said, it was very heavily used - soccer games going on all the time, for example.

I haven't seen any indications of any parks other than the rooftop ones (I work in the area), though they may be planned. Unless they replace the current Stadium with a park, though, there's really no space for anything else. Whatever they do provide will be further south and, I'm willing to bet, further west - further from where most of the people live, that is, and closer to the fumes of the Deegan. And, primarily, on the rooftops of parking garages, which won't be available on half the summer weekends.

No, I don't think the residents of the area would choose the Stadium.

2008-01-02 10:44:56
25.   wsporter
18 Wow I guess things have changed in 24 years. :-)

I don't mean it's like the Stadium where every twitch and jerk is observed. It was filled with nice people who were into watching the game, hanging with friends and family and generally acting decently. I bought 1 beers and a sausage; I ended up drinking about 4 beers and eating a bunch of food I didn't buy. Flat out the nicest people I've ever met at a ML game.

2008-01-02 11:30:04
26.   Raf
24 Even if they did replace the stadium with a new park, there still won't be much space for anything, as they're building just south of the Stadium in the Terminal Market. That seems to be a bigger project than what was already there.

Where is the Metro North station supposed to be? There was a nearby stop on the Putnam line (the old terminal, IIRC), but that has been built on; I think it's a machine shop of some sort. The framework to the old Sedgewick Ave & Jerome - Anderson Ave stations still exist (tunnels, railbed, platforms), but I can't see the powers that be restoring it, or opening it to foot traffic.

Why do you think the rooftop parks won't be available? I may be giving the powers that be more credit than they deserve, but I'm thinking the rooftop (garagetop?) parks will be similar to Riverbank State Park.

2008-01-02 11:36:22
27.   monkeypants
14 17 24 I'm withholding judgement on the replacement parks. The last university I taught at (well, small college really) had a problem with limited parking, so it was decided to cut down several acres of trees, put in an underground garage, and place green space on top. After much hand-wringing and protest, the job went through, and you know what, the new green space on top of the garage was beautiful: walking track, benches, grass, flowers, and the whole are was a heavily used green space by students and faculty. I don't know if was worse to have such a space, rather than mature trees; but everyone sure seemed to like it once it was completed.

Let's see what the parks-on-garages around the new stadium is like, before declaring it a catastrophe.

2008-01-02 12:25:49
28.   Jeb
22 thanks jkay. Personally, I didn't want the Yanks to bring him back after the opting out fiasco. But I remember when it happened I commented to my wife that it was horseshit that someone would throw something at the guy.
2008-01-02 12:45:40
29.   Chyll Will
27 That's a beautiful idea, except that if the Van Cortlandt Park Water Treatment Plant project in Woodlawn (being built underneath existing parkland) is any indication, it could be years and years of cost overruns and underdevelopment. That seems to be the rule here in the Bronx (see Ferry Point Park Golf Course)...

24 Any further west than Macombs and you're either dodging traffic with the squeegee men on the Deegan, drinking out the Harlem River or scratching your head about where Highland Park and the Polo Grounds used to be! >;)

2008-01-02 12:48:05
30.   JL25and3
26 Last I saw, the rooftop parks weren't going to be available when there were ballgames.

I work right across the street from the Terminal Market project, and yeah, it's pretty big. The original plan was to make it an upscale mall, which I thought was a silly idea. Last I heard, the plan was for big-box stores, which makes much more sense.

27 I'd have more confidence in your analogy if I thought that anyone involved really had the community's best interests at heart. I'm way too cynical about the whole process to withhold that judgment; they might surprise me, but I doubt it.

2008-01-02 13:07:36
31.   standuptriple
19 You have a couple years to visit OAK and there will be plenty of available seats (well, except for Yanks games). I actually got decent, face value ALCS tickets while they were wrapping up the ALDS in MIN. Yes, it's THAT easy.
2008-01-02 13:13:42
32.   Raf
29 Ferry Point Park Golf Course... Wasn't that supposed to have been completed by 2001? Ha! What a joke. A very unfunny one at that. Someone should've told Nicklaus, Giuliani & others about what had been going on @ Bridgehampton. They tore up a perfectly good racetrack, and built a golf course on top of it. Now they're dealing with the prospects of water pollution.

30 They aren't going to be available? Well, that's just stupid. Can't say that I'm surprised, tho'. As for the Terminal Market project, I don't see an upscale mall there, but given the supposed gentrification of Mott Haven, I could understand why there would be talk of one. Yes, big box stores make much more sense given the density of the area.

2008-01-02 13:28:38
33.   JL25and3
29 I was thinking of, say, the parking lots on the other side of the Deegan. I wouldn't be shocked if they build a garage there.

I found out a little more at the Economic Development Corporation's website: They are planning a 2-acre park - a riverfront park across the Deegan from the Terminal Market. It is further west - so there, Chyll! - and way south, a loooong way from where anyone lives.

2008-01-02 13:30:32
34.   Mattpat11
Peter Abraham is talking up Jeremy Affeldt. Because that's what my blood pressure needs.
2008-01-02 13:36:33
35.   JL25and3
34 The LaTroy Hawkins signing didn't outrage you nearly as much as I thought it might, so this might be good for you.
2008-01-02 13:50:29
36.   williamnyy23
24 I don't know...back in the days when the Yankees were talking about the Meadowlands or the West Side, there was a huge outcry from the "community leaders" about keeping the Yankees in the Bronx.

Also, it's not as if the area is starving for Parks. Macombs Damn Park is really just the end of Mullaly Park, part of which will still exist. Also, nearby are Kilmer Park and Sigel Park, both of which are pretty big. When you consider that the community is trading in two baseball diamonds, a worn out track used mostly for soccer games and an open field often used for parking, and instead getting a brand new 2-acre riverside park, it looks to me as if there is the potential for a net benefit to the community.

2008-01-02 13:55:56
37.   williamnyy23
24 Also, according to the NYCEDC, a more comprehensive greenway project is in the works. The details are below. When you consider all of the projects scheduled for the South Bronx, I don't think you can complain about losing Macombs Damn Park.

When complete, the South Bronx Greenway will encompass 1.5 miles of new waterfront greenway, 8.5 miles of new green streets, and nearly 12 acres of new waterfront open space throughout Hunts Point and Port Morris. All together, the Greenway will not only create open space, bike paths and new links to the waterfront, but also enhance transportation safety, improve air quality, and produce opportunities for economic development.

2008-01-02 14:20:47
38.   bobtaco
31 I got walk up day of game tickets for Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS, aka the Jeter Flip Game. I think they cost me $25. Definitely many nice things about living in the East Bay.

There is going to be plenty of parking, and it is going to be cheap because few people will be driving when gas is $7.00/gallon in the near future...

2008-01-02 14:30:10
39.   Chyll Will
37 Hunts Point? Port Morris?? Those are on the other side of the Bronx from Yankee Stadium, and by far not within walking distance. What do those have to do with it, especially for the people who live around Yankee Stadium? (BTW, if Kilmer Park is the one right off the Grand Concourse, that's an open space with a few trees and walkways, not a sport field or playground.

But I'm just fussing; the closest park to me is more of a wildlife expanse (Seaton Park) which is actually pretty scary-looking...

2008-01-02 14:44:35
40.   Mattpat11
35 Oh, but it did. Right before the Hawkins signing, but computer conked out on me. By the time I got my laptop up and running the next week, the Mitchell Report was the big news.
2008-01-02 14:49:50
41.   monkeypants
37 et al. William, this is an argument you'll never win. When the increased parking was announced, local activist complained that the increased parking = increased cars = increased pollution. Of course, there is no evidence that more people will drive, only that there will be more Stadium parking (that is, not forcing people to park outside of "official" parking lots, like the wasteland under the trains), parking which the city promised Steinbrenner in the 1970s but never delivered.

Ah, but one could counter that the stadium will be somewhat smaller, so fewer people will go to games, so less traffic. But then local activists complained that the smaller stadium = increased prices = blow to the common man.

One could also counter that the Metro North station and shuttle will encourage public transportation instead of driving. But then local activists complain the the city/state is paying for the public transportation. Meanwhile, others (check out the relevant posts on various blogs linked on the right) complain that the public transportation only serves the suburbanites, not the real people (i guess). So, then I guess they should drive? But that increases traffic and pollution...

Then we hear that the parking rates will be higher, which should discourage driving and generate revenue for the city. Then local activists complain that this hurts the little guy who wants to drive to the game. So, then parking rates should be lower? but that means more traffic...

So, in the end, the complainers want a bigger stadium, a smaller stadium, and the same stadium; more parking, less parking, and the same parking; more public transportation, less public transportation, and the same public transportation; the Stadium to move and stay in the same neighborhood; and so on.

I'm not sure if the new stadium is a good idea or not, or if will benefit more or fewer people (whether directly or indirectly), but the arguments over it long ago stopped making much sense to this distant observer.

2008-01-02 15:03:40
42.   Raf
41 Yeah, the arguments for a new stadium (not just the Yanks mind you) make little sense either, so it goes both ways.

Me? I just want them to pay for it. Of course, that isn't realistic.

2008-01-02 15:04:47
43.   Raf
39 No, it's part of a larger project. I'll see if I could find a link when I get home; it's closing time @ the office :)
2008-01-02 15:19:48
44.   monkeypants
43 "Yeah, the arguments for a new stadium (not just the Yanks mind you) make little sense either, so it goes both ways."

No doubt about it. Though, I find the arguments for it tend to be presented in a less internally contradictory fashion. Not a more honest fashion, mind you, just less self-contradictory.

2008-01-02 15:20:16
45.   monkeypants
44 grrr...that was for 42 .
2008-01-02 17:55:40
46.   JL25and3
41 Sorry, but that's a load of crap, and I resent being dismissed as a "complainer." I work in the neighborhood, and I work with poor families in the Bronx. Pardon me if I occasionally put them, and their needs, above a shiny new toy for stockbrokers, suburbanites and Steinbrenners.

You can look through the archives, and I've said exactly the same thing since the shiny new toy was first proposed; and my arguments have been entirely consistent. Whether the stadium is bigger or smaller, whether parking costs more or less, whether there's a Metro-North stop or not - these are completely irrelevant. The people who live there couldn't care less about those things.

The responses to my arguments fall into three main categories:

1. Macombs Dam Park wasn't much anyway. Well, it may not have looked like much to us, but it was an oasis for the local residents. They don't have much in the way of open space available to them, and this was the cream of their meager crop. It may be irrelevant to most Yankee fans, but that doesn't mean it's irrelevant to the locals.

2. They're getting other park space in exchange - and look at that beautiful waterfront park! Unfortunately, that park is close to useless for the local population, because no one lives there. Yeah, they can get there, but it's an excursion; it shouldn't ever be confused with a neighborhood park, because it isn't. And neighborhood parks are actually important.

3. Stop complaining already. People who talk about the community just complain a lot. We don't want to hear it. Stop complaining.

Well, at least that's consistent.

2008-01-02 18:03:25
47.   Raf
39 Here's the link,of a .pdf file, courtesy of "Sustainable South Bronx"

2008-01-02 18:16:19
48.   williamnyy23
41 There will always be "activists" who will complain about anything. I am not rying to win them over...just looking at what is being subtracted and added from the vantage point of a lifelong NYC resident.

46 I am sorry, but I'd need some evidence to support the notion that Macombs Damn Park was an "oasis". Compared to what will be replacing it, the loss of parkland was minimal. What's more, all you need to do is call up the google map to see how much other parkland there is in the area. MacomBS Damn Park is not the only place for the local community to gather.

The South Bronx can either move ahead with new projects and developments, or remain mired in it's current state. I don't think saving Macombs Damn Park is worth sacrificing keeping Yankee Satdium and related development. For every "activist" against the project, I am sure you can find one who thinks it will improve the community.

2008-01-02 18:27:10
49.   Raf
46 ,48
2008-01-02 18:44:00
50.   Chyll Will
47 But Raf, that's actually a long way off from Highbridge and Yankee Stadium. I've actually made that hike on several sorry occasions; let me tell you, it's not something people want to (or ought to if your elderly or carrying children) do. It doesn't benefit anyone on Jerome and 168th that Hunts Point and The Bricks are all nice and green. Heck, I love hanging out with my uncle in Yonkers, but I'm not walking down McLean and Ashburton from White Plains Road to see him >;)

There are twenty kids in a classroom, and eight of them have ice cream. The principal comes in and takes all the ice cream and replaces it with yummy, nutritious snacks. But the principal gives those snacks to eight other kids instead. That's what this reminds me of. Maybe I'm missing something here...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-02 18:46:36
51.   Chyll Will
49 Ack! no graphics!
2008-01-02 18:57:49
52.   williamnyy23
50 But that's only part of the new development going on in the entire South Bronx, not just the area around Yankee Satdium. Look at it this way, the Yankees are going to spend $1billion in subsidized money somewhere, so it might as well be the South Bronx. If the borough decided it would rather keep Macombs Damn Park and lose the Yankees, do you think that $1bn would still be spent in the South Bronx?

51 Try firefox...the graphics worked there.

2008-01-02 19:06:09
53.   monkeypants
46 I was not trying to dismiss you specifically as a "complainer," but rather I was referring to opposition to the new stadium in general, which has tended to invoke internally contradictory arguments. The article by Gonzalez is a perfect case in point: it both complains that the city will receive less revenue from the new stadium AND that the cost of parking (the city's source of revenue from the stadium) will increase.
2008-01-02 19:16:33
54.   Raf
50 Like I said, it's part of a larger project;

2008-01-02 19:17:27
55.   monkeypants
53 Con't. And frankly, a number of the major arguments frequently invoked against the new stadium (traffic, pollution) can be used to argue against the current stadium--in other words, they do not hold up as arguments specifically against the building of a new stadium. Basically, the argument is that living next to a professional sports arena is a major hassle--and that makes a good deal of sense.

Perhaps the best thing would have been for the team and the city simply to move the stadium to a more remote locale, away from any residential neighborhood. I personally would not care about this too much, once I got over the sentimentality of where exactly the stadium is located. Hell, I can drive to the Bronx or New Jersey or Connecticut to see my one or three games a year; it doesn't really matter too much to me.

2008-01-02 19:34:56
56.   williamnyy23
55 How do you think the local merchants whose business is based on the Stadium would feel? Also, they may not be great jobs, but I am sure the Yankees provide a good deal of seasonal employment for community residents. Also, for years when the Yankees threatened to leave the Bronx, local politicians and community leaders hemmed and hawed. I know you feel otherwise, but I am not so sure the residents of the South Bronx are ager to get rid of the Yankees.
2008-01-02 19:42:51
57.   Chyll Will
52 That's a valid point, but I think it's incomplete. To say you're going to spend the money in the South Bronx sounds well and good to the people who don't live there or know anything about the South Bronx. But the South Bronx comprises a large area of many disparate neighborhoods, from Mott Haven and Melrose on the low end to Morrissania, Highbridge and Morris Heights on the west to Soundview, Hunts Point and Port Morris to the East, not to mention the neighborhoods in between. The South Bronx is not all bricks and broken glass.

I believe that what people in the Yankee Stadium area are objecting to is taking away something they consider vital and replacing it with something non-vital and inaccessible at that, while remanding that vitality to an area that's almost equally inaccessible. Although he was before my time, I'm thinking that Robert Moses has a lot to do with the distrust in municipal progressiveness that permeates this issue.

53 But isn't the point that if the city's going to do a deal like this, why does it seem like the city is dealing against itself? Bloomberg was willing to give away the Hudson Rail Yards for pennies on the dollar compared to the other offers in order to make a play at the 2012 Olympics, which has not been profitable for many of the host cities for decades. Then there's the tax-free land that MSG sits on. Why does the city give away so much money in deals that affect it greatly?

2008-01-02 19:51:22
58.   williamnyy23
57 I think the fact that the South Bronx is larger than the YS area is very relevant. The Yankees $1bn is that particular area's best chance at receiving such a large cash infusion. When looked at along side the other significant projects taking place in the South Bronx, the level of development seems impressive.

If the City carries through its plan, the area around Yankee Stadium will have newer parks that approximate the acreage lost by the destruction of MDP. Also, many have criticized the fact that the parking garage top parks will be closed during Yankee home games, but they ignore that one third of the MDP area being used for the new YS was actually utilized as a parking area during home games.

If the city and the Yankees reneg on their promises, I can see the complaint, but if the plan is carried out, well, I don't see how the outcome isn't much better for the area.

2008-01-02 19:51:54
59.   Chyll Will
56 There's smoke coming from somewhere; community leaders and residents have often said that the Yankees disdain the community around it, and I don't think they're talking about why the team doesn't write checks to each of them for being there. George badmouthing the area in public forums all the time wasn't helpful, either.

55 Why not in Hunts Point or Port Morris? Or better yet, Pelham Bay? Major highways and bridges, major markets, the works!

2008-01-02 19:57:28
60.   williamnyy23
59 The Yankees bad mouthed the South Bronx for years because they were desperate to flee at the very same time the city was desperate to keep them there. As late as the mid-1990s, it seemed all but inevitable that the Yankees were not going to stay in the Bronx. Now that they are investing a $1bn in the area (albeit in a subsidized form), I find it hard to believe that the area would be better off with Macombs Damn Park and not the Yankees.
2008-01-02 20:02:19
61.   Chyll Will
58 Ah, if they renege on the promises, which many there (and I vicariously) are anticipating... If the Yankees involve themselves deeply in the development instead of leaving it to the city to manage, I can see the light in this issue, but if the city takes the lead, it might well be another boondoggle. You make some valid points, and the decision is already made, so it's a wait and see if they do what they say or if the city continues its trend of making a big mess out of something with potential.

Still, it's way too bad people who live there can't benefit from it for what it's for. That's not something to be disregarded.

2008-01-02 20:18:04
62.   Chyll Will
60 People would probably not object to the loss of park land from Macombs Dam Park if the space and its utility were replenished within the same area. And it wasn't an abandoned lot they took, it was a busy, useful park. Are they going to tear down part of what will be Old Yankee Stadium or open it to the public as a free, city-owned facility? If so then it stems the arguments against building on Macombs, but if none of that is available, they have a right to be angry. You're effectively bulldozing people out with the reasoning that it will benefit them, when it will actually benefit the people who can afford to come in after they are forced to leave. It's the Trail of Tears all over again...
2008-01-02 20:18:44
63.   williamnyy23
61 If Yankee Stadium and related development provides jobs (new hotel, convention center and Metro North station), whether permanent or temporary, how exactly do the people who live there not benefit from the project?

Also, keep in mind that the Yankees have been "residents" of the South Bronx for 85 years, which is likely far longer than most of the citizens of the area.

2008-01-02 20:18:49
64.   Chyll Will
Fine, I'm going to sleep. G'nite! >;)
2008-01-02 20:20:54
65.   williamnyy23
62 Almost 1/3 of MDP was essentially a that was turned into a parking for Yankee home games. The other parts being built on amounted to two baseball diamonds (both of which will be replaced) and one large track (again being replaced). Take a look at the map in 49 . If the plan is executed, the Park land will be replaced...and most of it will be in close proximity to the current park.
2008-01-02 20:21:17
66.   williamnyy23
64 Me too...good night.
2008-01-02 20:21:47
67.   JL25and3
I can't give evidence of the importance of the park, I don't even know what that evidence would look like. I know it was the park that was used, almost constantly - and not the part that was used for parking.

I don't know Joyce Kilmer Park (though I imagine it has at least one tree whose hungry mouth is pressed against the earth's sweet flowing breast), but I know Franz Sigel Park. Even if you cleaned the junkies out, it's a narrow park on a hill, good for a short stroll but no activities.

The whole idea that the land is being replaced with other park land is irrelevant if the new land isn't useful. The fact that it's a green spot on a map doesn't help if it's not actually in the community. Similarly, Hunt's Point is irrelevant to this area.

60 Well, you might have to show me that the new Stadium does the people of the community any good at all. It doesn't provide jobs or businesses, certainly none that weren't there already. And I'm not at all sure that moving was an option anymore - they used to use NJ as a threat, but I don't see NJ begging to put out that kind of money.

Perhaps it will work out okay - but you're right, I won't be convinced by any argument, not until it happens. I am ready to be pleasantly surprised, but I have no confidence that anyone involved gives a crap. The plans certainly give no indication of it, and neither does history.

2008-01-02 20:22:49
68.   Chyll Will
63 Oop, I though you went to sleep.
2008-01-02 20:23:02
69.   JL25and3
62 I agree completely. Good post. And yes, if they tear down the current Stadium and replace it with a community park, I'll be thrilled.
2008-01-02 20:24:58
70.   nemecizer
7 I just moved to DC. This is what I am going to do: drive up the morning of the game, get into the city via the Holland Tunnel at around 10am (no traffic whatsoever), park free on the street in Greenwich Village (e.g. Mercer Street -- always empty that time of day as the club kiddies have gone back to Jersey) and take the 4 train from Bleecker and Lafayette up to the stadium.

Since I will no longer be able to just walk out of my Bleecker Street apartment this is the next best alternative.

Anyone who drives to Yankee Stadium is crazy.

2008-01-02 20:25:21
71.   Chyll Will
66 Okay... I'm out for real this time. G'nite JL, good game >;)
2008-01-02 20:53:10
72.   monkeypants
62 "Are they going to tear down part of what will be Old Yankee Stadium or open it to the public as a free, city-owned facility?"

69 "And yes, if they tear down the current Stadium and replace it with a community park, I'll be thrilled."

The current plans, according to the NYC parks website (, call for the old stadium to be demolished entirely and replaced by a large park comprised mostly of three ball fields (baseball, softball, little league) separated (in the renderings) by trees. I am not sure if that constitutes a community park, but I would think that this area and the adjacent soccer field and running track (over the garage) will have the potential for heavy use. Perhaps this should "[stem] the arguments against building on Macombs", as 62 notes?

2008-01-02 21:04:14
73.   Raf
72 The link I provided in 49 shows before and after pics of the area.
2008-01-02 21:13:08
74.   Schteeve
Wait, they're tearing down Yankee Stadium??? ONOES!!!/
2008-01-02 21:30:58
75.   monkeypants
73 That's an outdated plan, which included preserving the dugouts and much of the lower stands as the "Heritage Field." But if you look at the NYC Parks page, which has newer plan documents and maps, you'll see that the current plan has the complete demolition of the old stadium, to be replaced by a three smaller ball fields. I assume this change in plans came about because of:

1. Pressure from local advocacy groups for replacement parkland.

2. Organizational fears of bad press that the stadium would be entirely demolished. Note how early press conferences all emphasized the survival of a good deal of structure, but no one talked about the newer plans.

Of course, these two factors need not be mutually exclusive.

2008-01-02 23:03:33
76.   underdog
Darnit, I thought this post was gonna be about Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Fooey!
2008-01-03 02:56:44
77.   SteveFlack
I could care less about parking, since there will always be a subway.

Now, what I am pissed about is the Yankees jacking up the price of my tickets. Last year, I decided to get my a Sunday Plan in the Tier Reserved. I was lucky to get seats in Section 4, at 18 a piece. Today, I finally looked at my season ticket invoice for next season, and saw that they jacked up the price on Tier Reserve Section 1-18 to $30!


2008-01-03 03:47:59
78.   debris
6 So you're willing to pony up the cost of 5 smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz's for the pleasure of parking at the new ballpark?

Personally, I'd rather take in a game at Videotron Field at de la Montagne and St. Jacques.

2008-01-03 05:14:40
79.   JL25and3
72 "I am not sure if that constitutes a community park, but I would think that this area and the adjacent soccer field and running track (over the garage) will have the potential for heavy use. Perhaps this should "[stem] the arguments against building on Macombs", as 62 notes? "

I'm not sure either; perhaps. I'm not sure why they needed to use the one big piece of accessible park land exclusively for baseball fields; I'm also not at all convinced of the utility of those rooftop parks.

I'm always skeptical, at least, and I'll believe it only when I see that the parks actually fill the community's needs. Until then, I will be critical. I don't take the attitude of "I'm withholding judgement on the replacement parks," for the simple reason that if the plan doesn't work out well, it will be too late to do anything. I assume the worst, because that's what generally happens.

63 The EDC site doesn't mention the hotel or convention center anymore. I suspect that those plans went along with the proposed upscale mall and have also been scrapped. That would make sense, because the hotel/convention center was a dumb, dumb idea. Seriously - who's going to hold their national convention in the Bronx?

I never thought a new Stadium was necessary, anyway. The threat of moving had pretty well passed - I don't see NJ begging for the chance to pony up that kind of money anymore. Renovate the old one and I would have been perfectly happy to go to Shea for a couple of years - I did it before, and it didn't hurt.

2008-01-03 08:38:58
80.   Raf
79 I don't have much experience with rooftop parks other than Riverbank State Park and Trinity High School. I haven't looked at the plans, but if the new parks are like Riverbank, I'd say that's a worthy replacement.

I have no way of verifying this, but I suspect that if MDP still existed, much of the field would've been converted to an artificial surface. The track would've been redone/resurfaced as well. There seems to be a push to convert many of the multiple-use parks to an arrtificial surface, I suppose for maintenance reasons.

East River Park, Riverside Park and Prospect Park are three parks that have been converted from natural to artificial surface and they seem to be holding up well.

Granted, none are rooftop parks, but I just wanted to point out the current conversion trend.

2008-01-03 16:41:36
81.   3rd gen yankee fan
Ugh, I was still under the impression that they were leaving the Stadium up. I hate to think it's going to be demolished... but it's cool that they're going to put three ballfields there, and not a Walmart or something... I just feel all weird inside. I'm still not sure why we need a new Stadium anyway!

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