Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Yankee Stadium III to Break Ground

It won't be until 2009 when the Yankees will first play in the new Yankee Stadium. But they'll take their first step on Wednesday morning, culminating years of planning.
The Yankees will break ground just across the street from the current Yankee Stadium, in Macombs Dam Park, at 10 a.m. ET, followed by a groundbreaking ceremony.

The date, Aug. 16, is already significant in Yankees history because it's the same day Babe Ruth died 58 years ago. But it will undoubtedly be remembered for more as of Wednesday.

The $800 million project will replace the third-oldest park in baseball and is part of a larger plan to revitalize the Bronx.

"We decided we want to stay in the Bronx. We want to do the job here," Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner said when the stadium's plans were unveiled more than a year ago. "We wanted to do something for the people who've always supported this team."

The new Yankee Stadium will have 51,000 seats and will be completely paid for and maintained by the Yankees organization. New York City previously covered maintenance costs. The city will contribute $205 million to build 28 acres of recreational facilities around the stadium and build new public structures, including improved access for cars and trains.

The new Yankee Stadium was designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK), which also crafted such retro stadiums as Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Minute Maid Park in Houston and PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

While the park will add more luxury suites and wider concourses, it will also keep some of the most sacred aspects of current Yankee Stadium. Monument Park will be relocated and artist renderings showed the familiar white façade will be part of the design.

The new stadium will have the same field dimensions and bullpen placement. It will also include some of the features of the original stadium, which was extensively renovated from 1973-75.

"We lost many of the great characteristics of the original house," Yankees president Randy Levine said when the plans were released. "The new stadium will take us back to our origins. This isn't the end of the legacy, but a continuation."

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 9:00 PM


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