The new Yankee Stadium first opened in April 2009, offering a similar look to its iconic predecessor that first opened in 1923 and completed a multi-year renovation in 1976. It serves as the home of Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees as well as Major League Soccer’s (MLS) New York City FC franchise.
Plans for a New Stadium
Plans for the new stadium were first discussed in the 1980’s, with team owner George Steinbrenner rejecting a series of considerations over the next decade. One of those involved potentially moving the team to New Jersey, an option that was shot down when voters rejected a plan for public financing of the facility.
In the waning days of New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s administration in 2002, a new plan was crafted to build stadiums for the Yankees and New York Mets. His successor, Michael Bloomberg, rejected the plan but eventually helped to work out a similar deal in 2004 that would build the two stadiums.
Construction on the stadium began in August 2006. One attempt to connect the new facility to its predecessor was in the use of a frieze on the roof of the stadium, a distinctive architectural concept that helped the stadium stand out. The cost to build the stadium would end up being an estimated $2.3 billion.
Opening the new Stadium
That construction was completed in time for the start of the 2009 baseball season, with the first official game coming on April 16th against the Cleveland Indians. That contest saw the Yankees go down to a 10-2 defeat.
While the capacity of the new stadium was reduced by more than 6,500 seats, ticket prices rose considerably, especially in the first eight rows of the lower bowl near the field. In addition, the close proximity of the fences drew criticism from baseball purists who claimed that the stadium had been turned into a bandbox.
Despite the attacks, the Yankees went on to win their first World Series in nine years in 2009, a feat which also took place in the original stadium in 1923. However, the ensuing decade would see the Yankees team come up short, and in some cases, miss the postseason completely.
Other Uses for Yankee Stadium
Besides the MLS team, other soccer matches have taken place on the field. In addition, 2010 marked the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl game pitting two college football teams, while other collegiate teams have battled in regular season contests. Two hockey games that were part of the National Hockey League’s Stadium Series were played on the field in January 2014. The stadium has also held many concerts featuring stars like Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Jay-Z and Madonna have also been held.
Yankee Stadium’s location near New York City and the continued stature of the Yankees’ franchise guarantees that the facility will continue to maintain a strong hold on fans and baseball as a whole. Along the way, new uses for the facility will be sought on order to continue driving revenue.