When the New York Yankees opened their new stadium across the street from the old one, something was abundantly clear. The organization wanted to upgrade their stadium, so dramatically, a renovation simply would not do.
Yankees fans reacted with mixed feelings. It was designed beautifully, rigged with all sorts of high-end technology and decorated with all the pinstripe pride you could expect. But it just cost more, and there were bleacher seats with obstructed views to boot.
Compounding their accessibility issues, the Yankees had a highly publicized feud with ticket resale website StubHub. Making it all worse, there was that time the team’s COO, Lonn Trost, insinuated the organization didn’t think StubHub customers had any business sitting near people who paid full retail for premium seating.
Video Courtesy of the YES Network
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Heading into the 2017 season, the Yankees took steps to remedy both issues. I got the opportunity on Tuesday to see firsthand the enhancements the organization made to the fix the bleachers and get more average (and younger) fans through the door.
Where the centerfield bleachers with an obstructed view once were are now two standing room terraces, complete with several drink rails, outlets and USB ports. On the left field side is the Frank’s Red Hot Terrace and on the right field side is the Toyota Terrace.
In addition to the Masterpass Batter’s Eye Deck in dead-centerfield, both are accessible to Pinstripe Pass holders. The Pinstripe Pass, which starts at $15 and includes one drink, will be available in limited quantities – though there will be $10 standing-room-only tickets available at every home game.
Also new in 2017 is the AT&T Sports Lounge. This area, situated in the 134 section, was designed to turn a small corner of the Stadium into a sports bar. Unlike the terraces, the lounge will provide cover and will have TVs showing other games.
While the subtraction of all those bleacher seats may have depleted the Stadium’s official seated capacity, the standing room attendance will add some of it back. These standing room tickets won’t initially get factored into the overall capacity, but that could always change.
The organization seems more interested in changing the atmosphere of going to games. The standing room admission may not come with a seat – you’re explicitly restricted from virtually every seat in the building – but it fosters a more social viewing experience.
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The Yankees have also eased up on their tickets being resold, and are going into their first full season in cooperation with StubHub. These measures prove the organization is willing to make the Stadium more accessible to a fanbase that mirrors its current roster.