Friday, March 6, 2009

The Bronx is burning money

A few passages from The Wall Street Journal article today on the wretched excess found at the soon-to-open Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. (And the place where the Dallas Cowboys will play.) As the headline goes, "Three of the most expensive sports arenas in history are about to open, and the timing couldn't be worse."

When the New York Yankees throw open the doors to their new home on April 3, fans will walk into a $1.5 billion stadium filled with all the hallmarks of 21st-century sports extravagance: a steak house, a glass-enclosed sports bar and high-definition video screens in every direction.

Luxury suite-holders can access a separate deal-room for conducting business. In the sleek, exclusive "Legends Club," the high-definition screens are so ubiquitous they're even set into the lavatory mirrors. For spectators in the premium section's teak-armed seats, waiters will bring brick-oven pizza to anyone able to shell out $2,500 a ticket to watch a ballgame in the midst of the worst recession in a generation.

Well, at least we can get a cheap hot dog...Uh, right?

Citi Field will have a reservation-only restaurant and a wine bar, plus gourmet snack food -- barbecue, burgers and Belgian-style french fries -- by top New York restaurateur Danny Meyer. The Yankees and Cowboys decided no existing concessions company was good enough for their new stadiums, so they teamed up with Goldman Sachs to create their own company, Legends Hospitality Management, which will focus on high-end, locally themed food. Yankee Stadium promises food cooked up by celebrity chefs from the Food Network, while a sample menu for a Cowboys luxury suite features New Zealand baby lamb chops, Kobe beef with a cognac demi-glace and truffled macaroni and cheese.

Well, at least we can sit in the bleacher seats.

Fans can still get bleacher seats in Yankee Stadium for $5, though their view of the field is partially blocked by a glass-enclosed sports bar. Bleacher seats with unobstructed views will go for $12.


Jeremiah Moss said...

wretched excess indeed. from the beginning, these stadiums and their luxury amenities were a slap in the face to the teams' bread-and-butter fan base.

it's all hubris.

Anonymous said...

Instead of going on a week-long vacation this year, families will just go to one game at Yankee Stadium. Costs will be nearly equal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I've decided not to bother trying to go to a game at Yankee stadium this summer. The good news is that the strategy behind the new ballpark is so bad that they will have to remodel after a few years, and maybe replace the "Legends Club" with reasonably priced seats.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees fans are getting what they deserve, if you ask me.