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New Yankee Stadium

Opening day for the new Yankee Stadium is not too far away now; while for eager fans, it may seem like an eternity, Spring 2009 will soon be upon us and fans will be able to see and experience the latest chapter in Yankees history for themselves. While there are some who are of the opinion that with the old stadium an important piece of New York history will be lost; and indeed Yankee Stadium has seen a lot of changes in the South Bronx in the last 86 years, the new stadium promises to be something which fans new and old alike will enjoy. The new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium will be a worthy addition to the Yankees and to the up and coming South Bronx.

The idea of moving the stadium is not a new one – in 1980, the owner wanted to move the stadium to an area considered safer than the South Bronx was at the time. Ideas were talked over and discarded over the following years; in the meantime, the team acquired a legion of new fans and the neighborhood improved considerably. The idea of a new stadium remained – but it was now to be built 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 would not come to fruition however as Michael Bloomberg would take office and decide to exercise the escape clause built into the contract. Unfortunately, for Bloomberg exiting mayor Giuliani had built in a clause that stated the teams could look for new homes elsewhere if the city backed out of the deal. Fortunately, for fans new plans were agreed upon that left the city footing much less of the bill and plans for the new parks forged ahead.

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 or not you are in favor of the new Yankee Stadium, we can all agree that the new Yankee Stadium will pay a sincere homage to the original stadium and offer amenities which will make for a more comfortable day at the ballpark for fans. The original Yankee Stadium was something of a gamble – one which paid off; and history looks poised to repeat itself in the South Bronx.

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