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Take me out to the ball park……………… before we can’t afford to go

April
1

The opening days for New York’s new baseball parks are still a year off, but one thing is obvious when you get past the gorgeous renderings – the stadiums are too small. For the sake of all New York baseball fans, construction needs to stop and new plans drawn up for bigger stadiums.

The people who run the Yankees and the Mets are smart people, so how they came up with these schemes is beyond me. Baseball draws more people every year, while New York City and its suburbs are growing. So what do our baseball teams (with the approval of New York City and state officials) do? They shrink the size of the ball parks.

The new Yankee Stadium will hold about 52,000, down from the current 57,500. The Mets’ new Citi Field will hold 44,000 people compared with Shea Stadium’s 55,700. This is a bad for baseball fans and terrible for parents, kids and grandparents, too.

A baseball stadium is a place where lasting family memories are made. I won’t forget the first time my father took me to the stadium in the Bronx one sweltering August night when I was seven. The Yankees beat the Kansas City Athletics 4-0 in a game that didn’t last two hours. And then there was the first game I took my oldest son to: He chanted “Let’s Go Mets” so loud I feared he had been permanently imprinted a fan of the city’s National League team rather than the Yankees.

Not only will these ball parks have fewer seats, but the ticket prices will be shocking. If you are planning a game or two next year, start saving up by skipping lunch now. A low-cost ticket will go for about  the price of Broadway show ticket.  A top-priced field-level seat at Yankee Stadium will cost $2,500,  about the price of a used car. Ouch.

Don’t get me wrong. The new ball parks look beautiful, especially Citi Field. They will be better places to watch games – much better than the upper deck seats at Shea. Pilots landing at LaGuardia are closer to home plate than my seat near the foul pole a few years ago.

Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost recently told our sport writer Sam Borden that the new stadium could have had more seats, but they would have been further from the field. “We didn’t want to do that. We wanted to make sure that each fan had a great view and could truly enjoy the new park as much as possible.”

No disrespect meant, Mr. Trost, but Yankees fans – and Mets fans, too – won’t be able to enjoy their new stadiums if there are too few seats and if the tickets are priced far beyond their means.

Do you think you’ll take your kids to see the Yankees or the Mets as often in their new stadiums? Do you remember first game with a parent, or with your own child? If so, tell us about your memories.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 at 9:15 am by Len Maniace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Activities, Baseball, Fatherhood, Mets, Sports, Summer, Yankees

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2 Responses to “Take me out to the ball park……………… before we can’t afford to go”

  1. Pat McL

    You’re right to worry about the effect of size – but the price appalls me even more. When I was a kid in Milwaukee, you could get the day off from school if you had an opening day ticket—and believe me everyone made sure they had one.
    There was also a Knot-Hole Club – cheap tickets for kids.
    It was great and it fostered community among those of us in the “cheap seats.”
    Let’s hope they don’t do what’s been done on Broadway—make the seat so narrow only a five year old can sit comfortably and Mom and Dad are stuck in a no-leg-room, 13 inch wide torture device. So much for the wonders of Broadway.

  2. Len Maniace

    You’re right about the prices, Pat, but I think I read the seats won’t shrink in size and even may be roomier.

    I worry that the smaller supply of seats, however, will push up prices even more – the old law of supply and demand (I guess I remember high school economics).

    I recall being able to go Shea or Yankee Stadium on game day and picking up decent seats that were not in the bleachers or nose bleed territory.

    I fear baseball is going to become more and more like professional football where, due to the shortage of tickets and their high prices, most people don’t even dream taking their kids to a game.

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About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE



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