The original legendary Yankee Stadium ballpark was closed down after the 2008 Major League Baseball season. Like many classics, it was forced to give way to something shiny and new. New Yankee Stadium hosted its first season in 2009. I got over to the Bronx ballpark to check out a game between New York and the Los Angeles Angels this past weekend.
I had been to the original Yankee Stadium, known as the House that Ruth Built, several times, including for a series in that final season of its existence before the wrecking ball came. The old site is a park and ball fields for the community, which is a good use. They were busy on the Saturday morning we arrived to spend a day at the new stadium.
I've compiled some tips for how you might best navigate your game day at Yankee Stadium.
We took a train from our home in New Jersey to Penn Station and then caught the Subway up to the Bronx the B/D trains go there, and the stop is 161st street. You'll pay about $2.75 for a ride and get to mingle with the regulars all decked in their Yankees caps and jerseys. We got our day started kind of early, so the cars had ample space, but I have traveled to and from games when it is crowded with fans all fired up for their beloved team.
If you aren't a regular and are knocking this ballpark off your list, get to the stadium a couple hours early. (We are trying to get to a game at every park.) You can tour the grounds outside, which have plenty of vendors selling souvenirs and displays showing off Yankees history. You also can also visit "Monument Garden" before the game. Be warned: Lines get long for this, and the attraction opens when the main gates for the stadium open and closes 45 minutes before game time. Only a few fans at a time are let in to go through Monument Park. We also like to head to one of the bars in the adjoining neighborhood for a meal and a few beers before the game to get us in the spirit.
Check out Yankee Tavern, Billy's or the Dugout. These places also fill up as game time draws nearer, so it's good to arrive a little early to stake out your space.
The Yankees are the most successful and iconic team in MLB history, probably equally the most hated and most loved. Baseball fan or not, you should take the time to drink in the atmosphere as you sit in your seats and watch the action. Consider the team's championship banners and retired numbers that hang from the walls (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson are honored among dozens of stars). You also can tour the on-site Yankees Museum and the Great Hall (a spacious concourse featuring large banners of former players).
The masses emerge after the final out, and the roads and Subway get crammed. So, it's good time to mill around the neighborhood and check out one of the bars you missed pregame. You'll also find plenty of souvenir vendors lining the streets directly adjacent to the park if you want a memento from your game day.
Note: Ticket prices for the game are pretty darn expensive. You can find tickets for $30 that will get you the cheapest seats. I'd do this to just get in the building and wander the concourses for sightseeing while keeping an eye on the action, too. You can see the field as you walk around the stadium, which is nice. We got seats for our game down the right-field line for $70 apiece.
Have a great day at the stadium.
Check out a video of our day at the game ...