We proceeded into the so-called Great Hall, I started mentally filling out a Bank of America job application. Holy temple of awesome. Big (around 1.6 times the square footage of its predecessor, even with a few thousand fewer seats).
Shiny (lotsa glass and chrome). Bright (the old Yankee Stadium, mystique-y and aura-tastic as it may have been, was perpetually caked in grime). If this is the future of the stadium experience, I humbly request to be teleported to next April. You can have your quaint ivy walls and forbidding monsters of green; me, I'll take the laser beam turbo rocket ship.
First up was the super-super-lounge, an enormous two-floor chamber soon to feature bars, multiple serving stations and -- get this -- tablecloths. Later we'd visit the higher-deck super-lounge, which, while not quite as appropriate for christenings or jazz recitals, nonetheless affords superior field views. Both areas will eventually be wallpapered with flat-screen TVs. Neither screams "ball yard" so much as "Marriott in downtown Indianapolis," but they're nice if you're into that sort of thing.
The tour continued with a descent into the stadium's nether regions and shortcut through the oval-shaped Yankee clubhouse (nearly as big as a regulation basketball court) and the adjacent bathroom (nearly as big as the old Yankee clubhouse).
...And then we walked through the tunnel into the cruise ship of a dugout, and exploded out onto the field.
This, not the steakhouses or the Hard Rock Cafes or the post offices or the arboretums, is why the new Yankee Stadium will make hard-core, old-time, middle-tax-bracket fans very, very happy. Yes, there are modern flourishes, like the monstrous video screen and the obligatory center-field outdoor café dealie. But mostly the new field is the old field.
The dimensions remain the same, save for the elimination of chunks of foul territory around home plate and the first- and third-base lines (this won't thrill the pitchers, I imagine). Most important, the upper decks still hang tightly and imposingly over the field. If I felt somewhat claustrophobic beneath their shadows on a quiet November morning, I can only imagine how intimidated opposing players might feel on a boisterous October night.
He certainly makes the place sound great, even better than I expect it to be. Even the things he said about the upper deck - which I thought had been pushed back way too far to regain the same feel of the old stadium - sounded great.
I'm looking forward to seeing the place for myself (by the way anyone involved with the new stadium I'd be happy to take a tour) and judging the place for myself. I'm just happy that everyone who has been there has had nothing but great things to say about it.