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June 17, 2011

Ballpark #13: Yankee Stadium

I come from a long family history of Yankee fans.

I don't ever remember being at my grandfather's house without a Yankee game on. My grandfather loves the New York Yankees. One of the first things he did when he came to this country was go to a Yankee game.

I, unfortunately for my Abuelito, am not a Yankee fan. But that makes for good fun sports rivalry at family events.

I wish I could write an awesome post about how great Yankee Stadium is. With 13 out of 31 ballparks down, I think I have a good sense of how a baseball stadium works and operates. Unfortunately, my trip to Yankee Stadium was terrible and left me incredibly disappointed.

See, at every ballpark, I've been collecting pins. I love browsing through the Team Store and finding the perfect pin and adding it to my MLB pin collection. So when I found out that they were giving away Special Edition Yankee Stadium pins at the ballpark this Thursday and that the Yanks were playing my favorite AL Team, the Texas Rangers, I knew I was in.

My mom is a huge Yankee fan, so we decided to take the trip to the Bronx together. Even though I'm not a Yankee fan, I was really excited for the game. It was a perfect day for a ball game and I love baseball. I wasn't about to sit and sulk at a baseball game just because I don't like the team playing!

We weren't sure if we were going to make it to the game since I had an early appointment to get my Indian visa so we didn't buy tickets in advance. But we ended up getting there at 11:45 for the 1:05 game. I walked up to the counter and said, "What've ya go?" The guy says the cheapest thing he's got are $95 tickets. I was ready to turn around but my mom said that she knew what Yankee Stadium cost and had planned for it to be about that so let's go. I was really hesitant about it but my mom was all about it and, she being the Yankee fan, I decided to go for it.


So we walk over to enter the stadium, they scan our tickets and then they check our bags. The guy pulls out my Kindle and says, "You can't enter with this, you have to go put it back in your car."

My car??? This is New York City. No one has a car.

The guy then proceeds to give me about 700 different reasons why I can't enter with my Kindle. He was so unbelievably nasty, I was biting my lip to keep myself from crying and I don't cry. I'll list his reasons in order of which he gave them.

1. Kindle is not affiliated with the Yankees Organization.
2. If I get hit in the head with a foul ball while reading my Kindle, the Yankees are responsible. (But if I get hit by a foul ball while texting, it's ok).
3. No electronics are allowed inside of any MLB Stadium.
4. When I refuted this by telling him that I've been to most of the MLB stadiums, he said that he's 'heard that before' and that it wasn't true. Umm are you calling me a liar? Then he said well the Yankees are different and then proceeded to tell me why the Yankees are different from every other team in the MLB and how the Yankees make their own rules (emphasizing the Yankees the whole time).
5. When you buy tickets, you sign a 'contract' with the Yankees Organization which can be displayed on the back of your ticket and explains all the rules. (Despite the fact that the font was a size 2, I still read it and it said absolutely nothing about electronic devices)

Then he tells me that if I go down a few blocks, there are lockers which I can store my stuff in but that they aren't safe and if anything happens to them, the Yankees aren't responsible.

Umm we're in the Bronx. Are you kidding me? Yankee Stadium isn't exactly in the nicest area in New York. In fact, it's in one of the worst.

Supervisor comes over and says the same thing, again emphasizing that the Yankees are different than everyone else, and we finally just ask for our money back and say thanks, but no thanks, this isn't worth the hassle. Here's the catch: Once they scan your tickets, that's it, you're in the game. No refunds, no nothing. Umm then why did you scan my tickets before you checked my bags?

Because that's what the Yankees do.

Finally, after dealing with the 4 biggest assholes I've ever met in my life who were so freaking arrogant about the  Yankees Organization,  (I swear, I never want to hear that word again in my life) an extremely polite lady cop comes explains that everyone leaves their stuff at the bar a few blocks down and that they have a baggage check, it's not lockers and it's very safe. So that's what we do. The people there were very nice but they charged us $10. So now, Moms and I have spent $200 and we still haven't set foot inside the ballpark.

We go back to the stadium and get inside the park. By this time, it's 12:40. We had been dealing with this shit for an hour. Game time was 25 minutes away and guess what? They were out of pins. The entire reason I went to that game on that day was to get a f*cking pin. So then I had to dish out another $10 to buy one from the stupid Yankees Organization. Mind you, they're $8 everywhere else.

To review the stadium, since that's why I'm doing this whole visit every MLB stadium thing, here's my list of pros and cons.

Pros
-It's actually really pretty. I was pleasantly surprised and it reminded me a lot of The Ballpark at Arlington (TX Rangers). But that was all it had going for it.
-We had really good seats.


Cons
-The line to get into the Hall of Fame was a solid 2 hours long which was disappointing.
-The stadium doesn't go all the way around which is ridiculous for a stadium built 3 years ago.
-The stadium isn't completely open, so you can't walk around the stadium and watch the game the whole time.
-The food was mediocre at best. There were no special food items that distinguished them as being specific to the Yankees. (Examples: Rally Fries in Seattle, the fries at CitiField, Fenway Franks, etc.)
-The prices. Everything cost on average $1-$3 more at Yankee Stadium than at any other ball park. $6.50 for ice cream? No thank you. $12 for beer? Definitely not. I know ball parks are expensive but this was pathetic. They weren't joking when they built the new stadium and said that Yankee fans were going to have to start deciding between taking the kids to Disney World or to a ball game.
-The fan experience. There's no fun music being played between innings (except the YMCA during the 6th), there is no t-shirt launch or mascot race, no one sang 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game.' The game was a ball game and that was it. There was nothing to enhance the game, you go to Yankee Stadium to watch baseball, not to have fun. 
-The people. The entire experience was a nightmare. I was so upset the whole time and I tried so hard to have a good time but there wasn't a single person in that stadium who was friendly. No one smiled and welcomed you to the park, no one who worked there looked like they were having fun, and they were all so nasty.

We ended up leaving during the 8th inning because I had to go to class but the game went on for 12 innings before the Yankees beat the Rangers 3-1 which was disappointing.


I really wish I had a better report to write about Yankee Stadium but it was really disappointing. When people are paying $200 for baseball tickets, they should at least be respected and feel welcomed at the ballpark. I felt awful. I wanted to go to the game and have a good time with my mom and instead, I just felt disappointed.

Next year, I'm supposed to graduate at Yankee Stadium. I'll have a smaller graduation from my program and a much larger one for the entire school at the stadium. To be honest, I don't think I want to go. I don't want to be disrespected and made to feel unwelcome on the day I graduate with my Master's.

We'll cross that bridge when we get to it though. At least now I've been to every stadium in the AL East.

There you have it, 13 ballparks down, 18 to go.

11 comments:

  1. oh man that's terrible! that's just one of the many reasons i dislike the Yankees!! they think they're above everybody else cause they're the yankees! at least you won't have to go back anytime soon (and who reads a kindle at a baseball game?!)

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  2. How awful! I knew I hated the Yankees for a reason....

    Sorry you had such a bad time, though. I hope your other stadium visits aren't that bad!

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  3. I actually have had a similar experience in Yankee Stadium. They are extremely rude and I will NEVER go back. I'm from Ohio so we have the Indians and the Reds, and their tickets are a lot cheaper but you get greeted by happy people who are willing to help. Nobody wanted to direct us anywhere when we went to the Yankee Stadium. And I am not surprised they gave you problems about your Kindle... they make a big deal about everything.

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  4. That is horrible! I hate the Yankees and this just reminded me why! I can't believe that a kindle isn't allowed in, that is absolutely crazy to me!!!!

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  5. Ugh. Seriously? Isn't baseball supposed to be America's pastime? A place to bond with friends and family and enjoy a game? It's no wonder everyone hates the Yankees. They are actually in town playing the Cubs right now, and I hope they get their ass kicked.

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  6. Wow, I can't believe how rude they were! That excuse about being hit by a ball is absurd. I'm sure they wouldn't confiscate a book if someone had it in their bag!

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  7. Yikes, what an awful experience! I haven't been to Yankee Stadium in about 10 years, and now I have no desire to go back...

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  8. I am not a Yankees fan either and have had a couple of very similar experiences up in the Bronx. The employees are rude, arrogant, and unhelpful. A lot of the fans tend to be extremely hostile if you are a fan of the team playing the Yankees. I don't know if you've been, but Citi Field is an absolutely fantastic stadium! The atmosphere is happy, family-friendly, and there are welcoming staff and fans (even if you aren't a Mets fan). That's where I go when I'm craving baseball in NYC!

    P. S. Graduation at Yankee Stadium isn't so bad. The Yankee staff were certainly not in charge of proceedings and weren't really anywhere to be found.

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  9. im not a fan of yankee stadium either. booooo. i cant remember if i shared my baseball website with you or not... ill make sure and hold off on the mets until next summer! bummed we couldnt make it happen this year. stupid surgery! http://emersonfamilymlbparktour.blogspot.com xoxo

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  10. My hubbs is a Yanks fan, he will find this post funny. We actually saw something a few weeks ago (PBS I think?) that did a story on the rediculous prices at Yankee stadium- especially the tickets. I can't believe you had such a bad experience! We live in Georgia and have never been to either stadium, but I can only imagine that they are not friendly there at all. I'm sure it didn't help that the whole thing started off bad too!

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  11. wow that is pretty bad! what jerks! that (and many other reasons) is why i dont like the yankees at ALL.

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