Yankees general manager Brian Cashman readied his offer to free agent pitcher CC Sabathia over the past few days, and the proposal will sit in the $140-$150 million dollar range for the portly lefthander. How can the Yankees possibly afford such a luxury in these tough times? Well, unlike most companies, they have plenty of cash reserves between the lucrative YES television network, record attendance, and two insane brothers who hate each other running the whole thing. The lavish new Stadium won't open until it hosts one of Sabathia's former teams, the Cleveland Indians on April 16th, but here's a look at the glitzy excess of the $1.6 billion dollar new structure well in advance:
Designed by HOK Sports, the architects behind almost all the new stadiums of baseball's building craze over the last twenty years, new Yankee Stadium can't help but be a much-needed improvement on the own. Credit the Yankees for holding the experience of their fans and the lure of the almighty dollar over the pull of the old stadium's nostalgia. The new Yankee stadium has had plenty of breaks from the government, including a new Metro-North stop, but the result of the final structure is purely in the hands of the organization.
The facade is reminiscent of the first Yankee Stadium facade, before it was redesigned in advance of the 1976 season. The lovely coloring and view of the structure down its third base line makes for a pleasing enough exterior, and the original lines of the ballpark will remain the same.
The new Yankee Stadium will be over 63 percent larger, allowing for a far more pleasant fan experience than the concrete and trash milieu of the original. One of the main reasons that teams were so quick to bail on their old stadiums was the absence of luxury boxes, a lucrative cash cow. Despite corporations curbing their greater excesses, everyone from the City of New York to part owners Goldman Sachs will have their own unique vantage point from which to view the game.
On the stadium's ground floor, fans will be able to snack on better food at insane prices. The Hard Rock Café and new joint-venture steakhouse, NYY Steak will be open to fans with tickets and fans who just want to watch the game on TV...inside the stadium.
Backstage, the amenities for the players will be insane. As revealed yesterday, manager Joe Girardi has a three-room suite, and there's even — shock! — a bathroom for the news media. (The photo here is from Peter Abraham of the Journal News' detailed report.)
For the players, fans and the franchise, New Yankee Stadium will be a tremendous boon. If the economy impacts Major League Baseball, the downturn is sure to affect the fans before all else. That means high ticket prices and the same massive player salaries for the foreseeable future. Though the Yankees had more trouble moving memorabilia from the last Stadium then they thought — they even had to chance the Stadium's planned closing ceremony for this month — the appeal of the new ballpark will mean open wallets and busy cash registers. At least in the Bronx, we know that good times will come again. More Photos of New Yankee Stadium [The Journal News]