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Yankee Stadium Guide

April 1, 2014 5:00 AM

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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

After opening in 2009 and being christened with a world championship in its inaugural season, Yankee Stadium has quickly become what the old Yankee Stadium was: The Cathedral of Baseball.

Located at 161st and River Avenue in the Bronx, the stadium sits across the street from where the original once stood. With the look and feel of the original, the latest version of Yankee Stadium has taken the franchise’s rich tradition and history into the world of modern amenities to create the ultimate fan experience for spectators of the 27-time World Champions.

If you’re planning a trip to The House That Steinbrenner Built, here is a guide to help make the most of your visit.

Coming and Going

Driving

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In short, avoid driving to the game at all costs. If you are driving, leave early, very early. If you arrive in the area 45 minutes before game time, you’ll probably miss the first inning. Allow at least 90 minutes to park and get to your seats without having to worry.

Try to avoid the Major Deegan Expressway if possible, but if you find yourself northbound on it, instead of exiting at Exit 4 (East 149th Street, Stadium), drive a little bit further and get off at Exit 5 (West 155th Street, Stadium). As long as you arrive at least 90 minutes early, this exit will save you time.

Full directions to the Stadium can be found on Yankees.com

If you insist on driving, head to baseball-parking.com and pre-purchase your parking to save a bit of time. Expect to pay anywhere between $35 and $55 for parking around Yankee Stadium.

Post-game, the best route away from the stadium is the Grand Concourse. Southbound motorists take it to its terminus and get on the Major Deegan to access the Third Ave. or Robert F. Kennedy (Triborough) Bridge or the Bruckner Expressway.

Tip: To avoid congestion to the game, park across the Harlem River in Manhattan and you’ll save 10 bucks, even if it is a bit of a walk. Try the Central Parking garage at 250 Bradhurst Ave. You’ll also have an easier time with post-game traffic as well.

If you can’t hoof it that far, they have a closer garage at 162nd and River Avenue. Here’s your coupon hook-up for that garage.

The official map of nearby Stadium parking.

Subway

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Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

Plan at least 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan and up to one hour from lower Manhattan. Take the No. 4 train from the east side or the B and D trains from the west side to 161st Street/Yankee Stadium.

Tip: If you have time to spare and want to have a seat on a less crowded train use the B local train at 59th St. or below.

Bus

The Bx6 and Bx13 buses stop at 161st Street and River Avenue.

The Bx6 bus operates on 155th Street in Manhattan before crossing the McCombs Dam Bridge and arriving at Yankee Stadium. You can transfer to the Bx6 from the No. 1 train at 157th St.

The Bx13 bus operates in Manhattan from the George Washington Bridge Bus Station to Yankee Stadium. In Manhattan, you can transfer to the Bx13 from the No. 1 train at 181 St.

Ferry

Seastreak provides a different take on getting to the game. Cruises to selected Yankees games. Packages can be purchased to include an upper tier reserved stadium ticket. The ferry leaves from Conners Highlands in New Jersey.

Train

The MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Yankees-E. 153rd Street Station, located on the Hudson Line, takes you out to the ball game without having to deal with the hassles of parking, tolls, and traffic.

Tip: If you are taking the train on the weekend, use a $4.00 CityTicket. You’ll feel like a tourist buying one, but will save a few bucks over the one-way off peak ticket.

Surprise item you’ll have to leave home: iPad

Things a little dull these days at the game? Don’t bring your iPad to pass the time. Apple’s popular tablet has been added to Yankee Stadium’s existing security policy, which bans laptops at the park.

Surprise item you can bring in: Food

Food is allowed into Yankee Stadium provided it’s in a clear plastic bag. Grab one from the Banana Deli on 161st St. and while you’re there pick up a Boar’s Head sandwich for around $5. Or head over to some local favorites like the Feeding Tree, known for their jerk chicken and curried goat.

No bottles or cans are permitted in Yankee Stadium. Clear factory-sealed plastic water bottles 1 liter in size or smaller are allowed.

Where to meet at the Stadium: Gate 6 or the Great Hall

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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Gate 6 is the central meeting point at new Yankee Stadium, similar to what the Babe Ruth bat was at old Yankee stadium. The Great Hall extends from Gate 4 to Gate 6 between the exterior wall and the interior of Yankee Stadium. Pick a banner of your favorite Yankee and watch a 24-foot-high-by-36-foot-wide HD video board while you wait.

Fastest way to the Grandstand: Elevators in the Great Hall

Avoid the escalators and endless ramps to your seats. The Great Hall features eight elevators to access the Main, Terrace and Grandstand Levels.

Fastest way to the Bleachers: Gate 2

The most seldom-used entrance at Yankee Stadium rarely has a line. This is the entrance closest to the bleachers and the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, and it is the fastest way through the gates if you are running late.

Stashing your stuff: Stan’s

Soft-sided bags are allowed into the stadium. However, briefcases, coolers and hard-sided bags, or any bags larger than 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches are not. Now that Ball Park Lanes is closed, the solution is to head over to Stan’s or a few other bars on River Avenue. They will gladly check your bag (for a price) so you can enjoy the game.

Fastest Exit: Gate 6

Use the large exits of Gate 6 adjacent to right field. You’ll exit on 162nd and River Ave. There are smaller crowds and it’s a short walk to your parked car in the upper 160s or to the subway entrance at 161st St.

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Tickets

Buying tickets for a Yankees game is a daunting task. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Book early

This is an easy one. Getting tickets early means you’ll have the largest variety of seating options later and will probably pay less than if you wait. Buy tickets as soon as you know what dates you want to go.

Buying early gives you the best opportunity to get tickets directly from the Yankees and avoid wading into the murky waters of the secondary market. If you have no choice but to go this route, use every source you can to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off.

Use all available resources

If you put in some work, you can avoid fees and usually find deals a few days before the game on Craigslist. Ignore any posts that don’t list the price of the tickets and seem suspicious. And avoid paying above face value for unless it’s a premium game, or you absolutely have to.

Tip: Check out FanSnap.com and SeatGeek.com. These two aggregators search for tickets available on all major secondary markets. Both sites also use algorithms to analyze whether each ticket is a good or bad deal. SeatGeek also offers forecasts of ticket prices based on historical transactions. It sounds complicated, but they’re doing all the work. Just sign up for an alert and buy the tickets when they tell you to.

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Seating

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Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

There may not be another venue in the world with such a variety of seating costs. From the $27 face value of an obstructed view bleacher seats to the uber-pricey Legends Suites, ticket options run the gamut of price and experience. Like all modern arenas, Yankee Stadium was designed with sight lines in mind, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house. With that in mind, there are still a few deals to be had and sections to avoid. Here is what we recommend:

The bleachers are easily the best value in the Stadium. If you can deal with not having a seat back, this is where you want to be. If you are looking to take the family out for the night to the Stadium, it might be cheap to sit in the right field bleachers, but it isn’t recommended!

07 20 yankee bleachers Yankee Stadium Guide Tip: The infamous bleacher creatures reside in the right field bleachers, in Section 203. This is the best atmosphere in the stadium, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. If you are offended by some foul language and occasional brawls, this might not be the section for you.

Tip: Watch out for obstructed views. Obstructed view seating has been beat to death in most major media outlets so we won’t get into it here, just remember there are roughly 1,048 seats in the bleachers that have obstructed views of the opposite outfield. Here’s how to avoid them.

Tip: If you only go to a few games a year, the seats in sections 226-227B (right by third base) and 213-214B (right by first base) offer an incredible view and for this ballpark, they really are a great value. Even the next group of main-level seats a little further into the outfield — 228-230 and 210-212 aren’t half-bad. Thanks to 9nine9

The upper deck of the new Yankee Stadium is now referred to as the “Grandstand” (400’s section) in the upper portion, and the “Terrace” (300’s section) in the lower portion. If you purchase Grandstand level tickets, note that once you head out toward the outfield in the mid 400’s range, you are much further recessed from the action than you were in the old Yankee Stadium. For that reason, seats near the foul pole that were considered to be the worst in the house in the old Stadium might actually provide a better view than some seats “closer” to home plate.

Tip: Many of the rows in the Grandstand are covered from the elements (roughly row 7 and higher), but the entire upper level of the stadium is open air, so when the weather is bad, it offers little protection against the cold or rain.

Tip: The food on the upper deck is consistently the worst in the stadium. Get your food on another level and bring it up to your seat.

Finally the Standing Room Only seats may be the best or worst deal in Yankee Stadium. Until we get more information, you should probably avoid them.

Seating Chart

The Yankee Stadium seating and pricing chart is a good place to start to find the best seats for the game.

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At the Stadium

Monument Park

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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Although it is now partially covered by the Mohegan Sun sports bar, Monument Park is still the place to pay tribute to the Yankee greats of the past. The Park has been moved from left field to center to honor the placing of the original three monuments at the original Stadium, though they are no longer in the field of play. There are now six monuments and 24 plaques in Monument Park. On game days, it opens with the gates and remains accessible until 45 minutes prior to the game start time. Only a few dozen fans will be let in at a time.

Yankees Museum

The New York Yankees Museum is located on the Main Level near Gate 6 and tells baseball’s and the franchise’s story through various displays of artifacts and memorabilia. The Museum holds, among other things, Thurman Munson’s locker, which had remained empty in the team’s clubhouse since his death in 1979, statues of Yogi Berra and Don Larsen that pay tribute to the perfect battery in the perfect World Series game, and a Ball Wall, which features autographed balls from hundreds of Yankee players. Unlike Monument Park, the museum stays open during the game, closing at the start of the eighth inning. On non-game days, visitors can enjoy the museum as part of Yankee Stadium tours.

Bleacher Creatures

07 20 yankee creatures Yankee Stadium GuideSection 203, the most famous section of seats in professional baseball, is home to the aforementioned Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creatures. The Creatures are a unique group of fans and friends that have called the same seating area home for years. They are considered to be the “real” fans of the Yankees and the polar opposite of the suits and Wall Street types that make their home in the seats between the bases.

The members of the Bleacher Creatures are formerly of Sections 37 and 39 in the original Stadium, where the purchase of alcohol was prohibited prior to the move across the street. From the first pitch of the game, when the Creatures start “roll call,” until the last out is recorded, the crazed atmosphere and enthusiasm never lets up. If you’re looking for the most exciting place to watch Yankees baseball, Section 203 is for you. Just don’t plan on cheering for the opposition or wearing any non-Yankees apparel if you choose to sit there.

Take a Tour

07 20 yankee dugout Yankee Stadium GuideCan’t get seats for a game? You can always take a tour of the new Yankee Stadium and get a behind-the-scenes look. Tours last 45-60 minutes and include visits to the dugouts, batting cages, and clubhouse. The cost is $20 per adult and $15 for children and seniors and you can order tickets online.

If you’re lost or have a burning question: Ask a fan

There are people inside and out of the stadium holding “How may I help you?” signs. They may be friendly, but they usually can’t offer you much information of value. If you are an out-of-towner, these guys will help you with basic stadium information. If you regularly go to the stadium, you probably know more than these guys and can avoid them altogether. If you have a question you’re much better off asking a couple of fans (the sober ones anyway) and come to your own conclusion.

Still have a problem?: Try text messaging

Fans can confidentially text questions and concerns from their seats to Yankee Stadium staff at 69900.

Best bathroom you’ll never see: Legends Club

The Yankees spared no expense for the Legends Club, a special lounge for premium seat-holders. The $500-and-up club has high-definition screens everywhere, even the restrooms.

For the rest of us keep in mind that the bathrooms in the 300 level are smaller and more crowded than the field level. The men’s bathroom on the field level concourse, right near the Gate 4 entrance to the stadium features dividers between urinals, and had warm water in the sinks. This was equivalent to luxury accommodations compared to the old Yankee Stadium.

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Food and Drink

Lobel’s Steak Sandwich

Located behind the left field foul pole on the field level concourse, the Lobel’s steak sandwich is the cream of the crop when it comes to food at Yankee Stadium. Even the price tag shouldn’t dissuade your appetite for this highly buzzed about sandwich.

More: The 8 Best Eats At Yankee Stadium

The line will seem imposing at first, we guarantee you that. A line of this length at Yankee Stadium typically spells doom. The operatives running the Lobel’s stand, however, are on point. A surprisingly efficient steak sandwich assembly line is in full-gear, and you’re just along for the ride.

07 20 yankee lobels Yankee Stadium GuideWhen your turn in line comes, be sure to ask for the rarest beef you can get (more flavor), and if you’re curious, inquire about the type of beef being served that day. Regardless of the type, you only need to take one look at the butcher’s knife slicing through the bloody beef like butter to know that its being cooked to perfection.

Don’t be concerned about the seemingly small onion roll – this sandwich is filling. A beer is great to wash it down, but make it a light beer so you don’t overwhelm the flavor of the beef (or your stomach).

On a good day, the first bite of the sandwich is nearly indescribable. Envision your favorite food, favorite texture, favorite taste, favorite smell, favorite feeling, all in one bite.

This is not hyperbole, it is truly the emotion we felt during our first visit. Is it possible for the best food you’ve ever eaten to come from a concession stand in a baseball stadium? The tender, perfectly seasoned beef, and the doughy, but light roll, soaked with an appropriate allotment of au jus answer that question with a resounding “YES!”

Tip: The workers will be more than willing to soak your meat in au jus to top off your sandwich, but we recommend you pass. The beef is juicy enough and the au jus often has a strange flavor that doesn’t match the natural taste of the beef.

Garlic Fries

fries Yankee Stadium GuideNo food in Yankee Stadium is as divisive as the infamous garlic fries. Fans either love them or hate them, there is no middle ground. Many think of them as the best food in the stadium. The crisp, hot fries fresh out of the fryer are doled out onto cardboard containers adorned by the famous interlocking NY logo. A fresh minced garlic mixture is generously ladled onto the aforementioned fries. Maybe too generously. One thing everyone agrees on is that they are garlicky. Garlicky enough to not be approachable after you eat them. You’ve been warned.

Tip: When garlic, oil, parsley and salt are not enough, add cheese to your garlic fries at Yankee Stadium a small charge.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Fries

Beef Burger Sliders with Fries

The sliders were sold at the concession stand on the field level on the first base side. The fries they give you are Nathan’s. Buffalo Sliders and Fries deal isn’t bad at all. This might be the best deal in Yankee Stadium.

Tip: The food on the upper deck is consistently the worst in the stadium. Get your food on another level and bring it up to your seat.

For many people, the bevy of food options at the new Yankee Stadium are an unnecessary addition to the baseball experience. From the “just give me a hot dog and a beer” crowd, to the “bring your own food from home” fans, there are plenty of people smarter than us who know that the new menu options just mean more terrible food to choose from.

Without further ado, here is some of the most terrifyingly disgusting grub that we have wasted our money on. We recommend that you stay far, far away from these menu options on your next trip to the stadium:

The Steak Sandwich (sold at select NY Grill locations throughout the new Yankee Stadium):

This sandwich looks like E.T when he was dying… tastes like it too. Trust us – if we knew this was what this “sandwich” (sold at the NY Grill near section 434 in the upper deck) looked like, we never would have bought it. Unfortunately, we saw the $15 price point and assumed it was another outlet for the $15 Lobel’s steak sandwich that we know and love. In short – it is not. This “sandwich” consists of a dry, tasteless, overcooked mystery meat, thrown onto a tasteless hoagie roll (even though the concession stand menu says it is a garlic roll). To spare you the gory details, it tastes as bad as it looks. This is $15 we’ll never get back, and we can only hope that this reaches someone else and saves then their hard-earned money. This is an impostor sandwich and is the biggest ripoff in Yankee Stadium history.

Mac N’ Cheese (sold at Brother Jimmy’s locations throughout the new Yankee Stadium):

Egg on our faces for ever thinking that Mac N’ Cheese at a baseball game was a good idea. As the story goes, we saw it on the menu at the Brother Jimmy’s on the field level, had memories of the very good Mac N’ Cheese at the actual Brother Jimmy’s restaurant locations and took the plunge. Terrible decision. It was dry. It tasted like it had been sitting around for days. We regret not trusting our instincts and staying far, far away. The Mac N’ Cheese was “only” $8, but those who have seen a photo of it are even more appalled than the quality of the steak sandwich. The worst part? We actually tried this on the same night as that steak sandwich. $23 for two of the worst food items that we have ever purchased.

Beer

Sorry beer aficionados, you will be disappointed by the offerings at Yankee Stadium. Especially when compared to the variety of suds poured at that other ballpark over in Queens. For those interested in something other than Bud Light, here is our tip for you. Head up to an inauspicious doorway across from section 310 in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium, where you’ll find the Malibu Rum Terrace Deck. Here you can take in some dazzling views of the South Bronx and and knock back a Goose Island IPA on tap, 24 oz for $11 (same price as the draughts at the uninspired “Beers of the World” around the Stadium). And it’s only $2.50 more then the 16oz. bottles of Coors you’ll find elsewhere.

Tip: Beer offerings seem to be in flux at the Stadium. We’ll keep you posted with all the latest.

Special thanks to “Yankee Stadium Insider” Ross Sheingold who helped contribute to this guide.

Calorie Counting

Here’s a list of of what kind of caloric damage you can inflict at the park. Courtesy of haulbuns.com

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