The New York Yankees cathedral, Yankee Stadium, is prim and proper just in time for the 2017 MLB season. 

There was a time when going to a ballgame was just that … going to a ballgame.

But this is 2017 and the tendencies of fans have changed over the years. It’s hard for many fans of any age to sit in their seats for three or four hours and watch all nine innings or more without getting up and walking around. These days, modern stadiums have more than just the game to offer ticket holders, especially young fans so having some alternative experiences in the ballpark is essential.

On Tuesday, the New York Yankees unveiled some enhancements that fans will experience in the Bronx for the first time during the 2017 season and it starts with this Monday’s home opener.

“The experience is really focused on creating and environment for every kind of fan to enjoy the game at the stadium,” said Kevin Dart, the Yankees’ Vice-President of Ticket Sales, Service and Operations.

Peter Schwartz

The first stop on the media tour was the brand new Budweiser Party Deck on the 300 level which is located in both left field and right field. It’s a first come first service social gathering area for all ticketed fans that includes drink-rail and barstool seating. There are also stand alone bar areas that serve beer, cocktails, and food.

One of the things that I’ve always like about Citi Field, the New York Mets home in Flushing, is that there is an area behind the centerfield seats for kids. Both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, but now the Yankees have finally given kids a place to roam in the Bronx with the Sunrun Kids Clubhouse.

“A little bit of a diversion,” said Dart who said the Yankees listened to feedback from their season ticket holders.

Peter Schwartz

A typical issue was that children needed something, other than the game, to occupy their time for three or four hours. With this new area, kids can play on Yankees themed playground equipment while the parents can sit in a dugout or watch the game on television monitors.

It’s a chance for the whole family to get out of there seats for a while and not miss any of the Bombers action.

“To have an outlet in the Sunrun Kids Clubhouse is a good break in the day and gives you the opportunity to move around,” said Dart.

A problem with the stadium since it opened was the presence of obstructed view seats in both the left and right field bleachers. What the Yankees did, at the direction of managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, was to create more social hangout areas in the stadium. So, the obstructed view seats were ripped out and replaced with more practical uses for the stadium.

The Yankees built the MasterPass Batter’s Eye Deck on the 200 level in center field where a $15 dollar ticket gets you a great view of the game and there’s a beverage included. Also new for 2017 are the frank’s RedHot and Toyota Terraces on the 100 level that offer drink-rail locations as well as specialty food and drink and power/USB outlets.

It was out with seats that didn’t give you a full view of the field and in with areas that make more sense.

“Those seats were considered obstructed view seats so by introducing the Pinstripe Pass, it allows us to offset the seating we may have lost from those areas and put back an affordable priced ticket inside the building,” said Dart.

Peter Schwartz

The media tour concluded with a tasting of new food items that will be available to all ticketed fans including delectables from Lobel’s, Mighty Quinn’s, Bareburger, and Jersey Mike’s. There’s also the AT & T Sports Lounge by section 134 where you can enjoy some out of town games on multiple televisions.

Even a new ballpark has to get with the times and with the enhancements at Yankee Stadium for 2017, the Bombers have hit a home run with fans young and old.

Peter has been working in the New York sports media since 1989. He is currently an update anchor for CBS Sports Radio and WFAN. Peter is also the public address announcer for the NY Cosmos of the NASL and is a play by play announcer for high school sports on News 12 Varsity. An avid Islanders, Jets, and Yankees fan, Peter resides on Long Island with his wife Sheryl and their sons Bradley and Jared who side with their mother in rooting for the Mets!