Monday, October 19, 2009

Watching a Road Game at Yankee Stadium

[Because there is so much about today's game to digest, I will do so in two posts, one talking about watching the game at Yankee Stadium, and the other about the game itself.]

As you likely know, Yankee Stadium opened its gates to the general public to watch today's game, free of charge.

Being otherwise unoccupied, I decided to go. The idea is one of which I am a fan--it gives fans a place to enjoy the game together without feeling obligated to purchase drinks or having to worry about being the only one interested in the game.

There were a large number of people that had the same mind set as me--many with young kids who arrived straight from school.

At the start, only the field level sections along the right field line were opened, but so many showed up that they eventually opened up the field level sections behind home plate, too.

They played the game on the large screen, and instead of commercials, we got DiamondVision shots of the crowd.

Out of all the fans there, the most striking man was a Johnny Damon lookalike, whose resemblance was so strong other fans were asking him for pictures. When Damon made a great catch late in the game, the section started chanting Johnny's name. The poor fan took it all in stride.

In the interest of his privacy, I won't post his picture, but, damn, he had me fooled.

At any rate, for your enjoyment, some pictures from this afternoon-turned-evening

No long lines, just the Stadium against an azure sky.

The Great Hall, in a late autumn light.

They also played the game on the TV in the great hall, but with the cushioned field and even Legends seats open, most opted to watch the game from the Stadium proper.

Our view of the screen. We--that would be Brent, RAB legend TSJC and I--sat in the section furthest right. 109, row 14. The seats filled up fast and we were lucky to get the ones we did.

You can sort of see how all of the seats were filled. I don't think they anticipated this many, although for an evening game they would have likely had to open all field and main seats, at least.

Some watch in the Great Hall. I went to the team store to get one of the gray sweatshirts the team's been sporting, but they only had them in sizes extra large. Maybe it's G-d telling me not to by a sweatshirt just yet.

The one criticism of the experience I could find, besides, you know, the game itself, was that there were not enough open concessions, and thus lines for beer and food tended to be extremely long.

It's a very minor caveat; the experience itself outweighs that one negative.

Anyway, getting a few thousand people to chant "Lets go Yank-ees" and "Mar-i-a-no" is a pretty cool thing.

Stay tuned for a post about the game itself, and what, exactly, went wrong.