Tuesday, November 01, 2005

DEIS: Project description


Draft EIS states:

New stadium would have a capacity for 54,000 spectators (53,000 seats and 1,000 standing spaces) and would replace the existing 56,928-seat, outdated 82-year-old Yankee Stadium with one that can effectively accommodate a modern baseball team and provide greatly improved spectator and parking facilities.

The footprint of the stadium, at 8.5 acres, is also too small. To supply the current requirements for comfortable seating and for circulation, food, shops, restrooms, and other support areas, the footprint for a modern stadium would have to be at least 12.5 acres.

The overall building size, at 873,163 gross square feet, is inadequate. Each floor plate must be increased by approximately 45 percent in order to accommodate the seating and service demand of a modern stadium. As it stands now, Yankee Stadium cannot comfortably handle attendance greater than 35,000; at that point, the hallways are crowded, long lines form for the food concessions and bathrooms, further interfering with pedestrian flow, and the kitchens and other support facilities are inadequate to meet the demand.

Adequate practice space and batting cages are lacking, and there is only one weight room, which must be shared by both the Yankees and visiting teams.

The total built floor area for the proposed stadium would comprise approximately 1.3 million square feet.

Although its seating capacity is sufficient, there is not enough space to support the fans and players or to offer appropriate food and other services.

By any measure of a modern ballpark other than the number of seats, the existing Yankee Stadium is too small and functionally inadequate.

The stadium sits on a site of just under 10 acres, compared to the more than 13.0 acres that a state-of-the-art facility requires.

Approximately 53,000 seats for viewing baseball are planned at a split of approximately 65 percent lower bowl to 35 percent upper bowl seating, the reverse of current conditions. Sightline clearances would be maintained for all seats, and aisles that have seats on both sides would be 4 feet wide with proper hand rails. All seats except bleacher seats, which would be bench seats, would have self-rising armchairs, and most would have cup holders. Specified standing room for 1,000 spectators would also be provided, bringing the capacity of the stadium to 54,000 spectators.

The proposed project would result in the construction of a new park with ballfields, esplanade, and surface parking on the west side of Exterior Street at the Bronx Terminal Market.

In the early 1970s, the team proposed moving to New Jersey. To retain the Yankees in New York, the City signed a 30-year lease with the Yankees in 1972, the same year that George Steinbrenner bought the team and agreed to renovate the stadium.

Surrounding the proposed stadium on River and Jerome Avenues and on East 161st Street would be large pedestrian gathering areas that would include decorative paving, landscaping, and other amenities such as seating areas and sculpture (see Figures 7-30, 7-32, and 7-33).

It is intended to be a facility for the future, with the soul of the past.


The Yankees have made it clear that they want a modernized facility, with more space and more amenities, for their team. No longer will the majority of the seats be on the upper deck. No longer will the seats be too narrow for today’s expanded waistlines. No longer will the concourses be crowded with people, and the lines to buy a hot dog too long. No longer would the Yankees have to share a weight room with the opposing visiting team. The new stadium would fix all of these problems – plus you’d get a stadium that reminds you of a past stadium that was destroyed…AND you’d get a cup-holder at your seat. There would also be more parking. And the team would not move to New Jersey, a perennial threat that most New Yorkers have learned to simply ignore.

While a new stadium sounds good to a lot of people, it will come at a price – a price that will be exacted mainly from the community and local taxpayers. There are a host of alternatives that can be explored, but the DEIS has discounted all of them but one. The preferred alternative will give the Yankees exactly what they want, but the true costs must be taken into account before the decision gets made to build.

Subsequent sections of this analysis attempt to shed light on some of these costs.


Post a Comment

<< Home