Yankee Stadium’s previous iteration was as close to hallowed ground as many of us will ever see. Its rich history of all the incredible franchise players that played there made it feel like a special place that most non-Yankee fans would never be able to have replicated by their favorite team. When you’re a kid attending games there, it’s easy to believe in the magic of it all.
There was nothing like the loud roar of the crowd, or how the upper decks would rock when the Yankees were doing particularly well. Being there meant it was hard to resist falling in love with the team and the atmosphere. As fan living far from New York, attending a game has always felt special. The old stadium made it feel especially so.
Business is business, though, and with that comes the desire for the newest and biggest. New Yankee Stadium was an inevitability, and not always in ways for the better. There are real, legitimate complaints about various aspects of the new ballpark. The moat and the front office’s distaste for anyone not sitting there may be chief among them.
Still, it’s hard to not appreciate Yankee Stadium when you’re there. Maybe that’s coming from someone who doesn’t actually get to be there that often. I’m still the person who can’t help but take it all in every time, no matter how many times I’ve seen it all before.
The Yankees have put a better product on the field this season, and that has resulted in the overall atmosphere of the stadium being better. I was there for the home opener when Aaron Judge cranked a home run and Michael Pineda flirted with a no-hitter. The crowd was loud and invested in a way they haven’t really been in a couple of seasons now.
Hopefully this is the turning point for the organization in terms of getting back to where Yankees fans feel like they belong. Yankee Stadium is still an amazing place to hang out with 40,000+ friends who are in awe of Judge dingers and Didi Gregorius’ defense and how good David Robertson is.
There are aspects of Yankee Stadium that we cannot change, but the atmosphere is definitely one that we can. It seems like we may be on our way to doing that. A loud crowd can make up for a lot of things, and it can make the entire experience better for everyone. Here’s hoping that continues.