Friday, August 25, 2006

The House That $800 Million Built

posted by: Mr. November

My esteemed colleague has me down 2-0 in the "posting to the blog" category, so I'd better get crackin'!

I was going to use this opportunity to talk about how much I love Yankee Stadium and how I'll hate to see it go in 2009. But, why be schmaltzy when I don't really mean it? Of course I love the Stadium, but that goes without saying. Loving your team's home field is not a passion only Yankee fans can claim as their own (I've been to Shea only once and, though it's an eyesore, I know many Met fans who have a little place in their orange and blue hearts for it). So, really, there's no reason to go on and on about nostalgia, history, or my dad took me so blah, blah, blah. Let's face it: we'd all love a new Yankee Stadium.

I'm certainly not looking to downplay the importance of the current Yankee Stadium. It's rich in tradition, history, and championships. But let's remember, in it's current form, it's only 35 years old. There's not much need to preserve a building that can't even collect social security. The white facade is coming along to the new location, as is monument park. So, if you're a stickler for finding memories and traditions in stone and paint, please don't fear.

However, if you're more interested in keeping your memories and traditions in your heart, and if you're looking to make more memories with every trip to the ballpark, then a new Yankee Stadium is just what the doctor (or the Boss) ordered. The Stadium is rich in tradition because the team is rich in tradition, not vice versa. As free agency and Steinbrenner's wallet run wild, we tend to root more for the idea of the Yankees, as opposed to each and every actual "yankee". So the team, the real tradition, is still going to be there come 2009. The players may be different, the coaching staff may change, and the stadium will definitely be new. But the memories will still be there.

I'm not denying the greedy reasons for a new stadium - one only needs to compare the number of seats in the new building to the number of luxury boxes. But realisitically, is a new stadium a bad thing? Will fans suffer from nice restaurants, cleaner and newer restrooms, more parking? Of course not. And I don't buy the "it's going to be too expensive" argument either - if you bought a ticket and have the means of getting to the Bronx, you're most likely not on food stamps. So, please, enjoy the new Yankee Stadium. And remember - you don't need to forget the old one.

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