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Yankee Stadium - Old vs. New

''I'm sure they'll have limos or vans to take the ghosts over to the new ballpark.' - Joe Torre

For all its wonderful ambiance and matchless tradition, even old Yankee Stadium had to bow to the economic realities of sports in the 21st century. The House that Ruth Built had memories galore but not enough money-generating skyboxes; it lacked the wider aisles and concourses and other attributes of the modern ballpark, as well.

So at the start of the 2009 season the Yankees will be moving into a new $800 million home across 161st Street in Macombs Dam and Mullaly parks (the cost is about $1 billion if you include what the city chipped in for infrastructure improvements). The new ballpark seats about 52,000 and has up to 60 luxury boxes (the old Stadium has 56,937 seats and 18 luxury boxes), and will incorporate 10,000 new parking spaces. No word on how much a beer will cost. 

Ground was broken in August 2006, and it will be ready next month. Traditionalists may cry foul, but the team says the new place will actually incorporate features of the original Stadium that were wiped out in the 1970s renovation. The limestone walls on the outside will recreate the look of the original place, and there’ll be a replica of the famous copper frieze that hung from the roof of Ruth’s home. Another important point: the team says the ballpark will continue to be called Yankee Stadium, although parts of the park might be sponsored by corporations.

After years of haggling between the city and team, and threats by George Steinbrenner to move to Manhattan or even New Jersey, it must be a relief to fans to know a new Yankee Stadium has risen just a long home run from the old one … as long as someone remembers to bring along the ghosts.

Old Stadium    New Stadium

seats 57,478 51,800

luxury boxes    18 60

cost $2.5 million        $1 billion

construction        11 months 33 months

championships    26 ?

There are plans to preserve part of the existing Stadium so that high school and Little League games can be played there. And the Yankees say they’ll be donating $50 million over 20 years to area community groups, as well as 15,000 seats per year.