I wanted to share with you some memories of my trip to Yankee Stadium yesterday. It was my second trip to the new Yankee Stadium and in general I highly recommend the trip to other Orioles fans.
The Cost of Tickets
The ticket prices at Yankee Stadium are markedly higher than at OPACY. Unless you are independently wealthy, you can forget about field box seats. We settled on two seats in right field, section 105, 20 rows from the field. The cost of each seat was $95 face, with $7 in ticketmaster charges for a total of $102.
The Cost of Getting to the Stadium
This was planned as a day trip with me and a friend of mine. The two of us left Baltimore at about 8:00 a.m., wanting to make sure we arrived in plenty of time for the 1:05 p.m. start time. Traffic was virtually non-existent on the Sunday before Labor Day. We made one stop for food and the restroom, yet parked our car at a lot near 153rd street at exactly 11:00 a.m. It was $25 for parking at a lot approximately 3 blocks from the stadium. Driving to Yankee Stadium is actually very, very simple. All you have to do is take I-95N to New York, across the George Washington Bridge, and then take I-87 South. Once you get on I-87 South, the first two exits (5 and 6) provide access to Yankee Stadium and parking. The total cost of tolls was about $36 ($4 MD, $6 DE, $14 NJ, $12 George Washington Bridge). So with the cost of a tank of gas being about $45 for me, the total cost for getting there and parking was $106 for the two of us. If you don't want to spend that kind of money, I believe there is a Megabus that you can take for around $20.
As with my first trip to Yankee stadium, I was thoroughly impressed with the vast vast majority of Yankees fans I encountered. Most were very knowledgeable, friendly, and even encouraging with respect to the Orioles' recent success. It was almost paternalistic, which I found to be both annoying and understanding given the last 15 years. The stadium got VERY loud when Dickerson hit the home run in the 2nd, and it also got loud when Adam got robbed of extra bases.
There was one fan in the bleachers who was pretty loud and if I had to guess I would say he got a nice start on his buzz Sunday morning. His heckles were pretty good-natured, and including things like "Markakis You Suck" and "Nobody Likes You" when my buddy and I were standing and cheering the Reynolds' home runs. The only fan who really irritated me was a Derek Cheater fan about five rows in front of us. After the second Reynolds bomb he started a dialogue with us which was seemingly friendly. In the midst of it, he decided to tell us we were "really annoying and obnoxious," because we had loudly cheered the Reynolds bombs. I told my buddy to stop talking to him. He did, but he also asked the other Yankees fans we were talking to the whole game whether we were annoying. To their credit, they said no (because we weren't) and pretty much told grumpy Jeter fan as much. So, the Jeter fan was the only one I have something negative to say about. Quite a contrast to the Yankee fans who show up in Camden Yards, who actually ARE for the most part "really annoying and obnoxious."
After the game, we went to Stan's Sports Bar and continued interacting with Yankees fans. Even though everyone was drinking and the Yankees had just lost, not one person said a bad word to us, even though I had my orange Hardy jersey on and my buddy had his road Wieters jersey on. In fact, Tricia from the Jersey shore (a Yankee fan) actually bought us drinks! No small gesture considering Stan's charges $6 for a Lemon Drop.
One other observation I will make about Yankees fans. After Markakis hit the two-run single to make it 8-3, there was a mass exodus from the stadium. I would say about half of the stadium got up and left, which of course made me smile.
My friend and I were pretty much the only Os fans in section 105, but I did see a fair number of Orioles orange throughout the stadium. We are certainly a long, long way from being able to call Yankee Stadium "Camden Yards North."
Since I was driving back to Baltimore after the game, I didn't drink much. My wallet was thankful. An 8 ounce snifter of beer is $6. You can get the souvenir cup which I think is 16 ounces, but it's $11. The cotton candy was $4.50. I didn't even bother investigating the food prices. I'm sure they are outlandish.
I won't spend a ton of time talking about the game, because we have the game thread and there are professional sports writers who have covered it. Big picture, it was awesome. What looked like a lackluster loss turned into a glorious triumph. Mark Reynolds' second home run is probably the third best moment I have ever experienced in person at a baseball game. The only moments that were better were #1) last year game 162 and #2) a game at the old Yankee Stadium that I attended where Chris Ray struck out Hideki Matsui with a back door slider to preserve the O's one run win with the bases loaded.
This is a very special year to be an Orioles fan.
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board