Can You Bring Food Into Yankee Stadium?

Yankee Stadium


Can You Bring Food Into Yankee Stadium?

Posted by Kurt Smith

The short answer to whether you can bring food into Yankee Stadium is yes, you can. The Yankees allow a 16*16*8 soft-sided bag with just about anything you want, save for alcoholic beverages and anything that can be used as a projectile. Slice your apples.

But since Ballpark E-Guides always takes the extra base for readers, I’m offering a few suggestions here for getting your pre-game feedbag on before going into Yankee Stadium:

 

bring food into yankee stadium bullpen deli

The people in the Legends seats pay four digits to eat like this.

Bring Food Into Yankee Stadium, Tip #1: The Bullpen Deli. The Bullpen Deli has a terrific selection of food stuffs for your sandwich or wrap, and some of the sandwiches have Yankee-themed names like the Steinbrenner Blast or the Yankee Fajita. The sandwiches/wraps are very affordable, and if you want you can order a container of pepper steak or something like that. Good salads by most accounts too, and good portions all. Boar’s Head meats, just like in the Stadium, but for much less.

The Bullpen is the home of the Twin Donut shop, so you can add donuts to your bag. The donuts aren’t anything super special (I’ve read the Crown Diner is better for sweets), but if Dunkin or Krispy is good enough for you, these should be just fine.

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bring food into yankee stadium court deli

Yes, there is sufficient “B” in the Turkey BLT.

Bring Food Into Yankee Stadium, Tip #2: The Court Deli. The aptly named Court Deli (it’s near the Bronx Courthouse) was recommended to me by the inimitable Gary Herman, money-saving sports fan extraordinaire. It’s not what you’d call gourmet dining in any sense, but you can get a pretty good-sized pastrami sandwich for far less than what you’d pay inside the ballpark.

The Court Deli is about a block and a half away from the Stadium…just enough so that it gets a little but not too crowded on game days. You can get your sandwich here without too long a wait before gametime.

 

bring food into yankee stadium new stadium gourmet deli

Breakfast is an unfairly overlooked component of baseball fan sustenance.

Bring Food Into Yankee Stadium, Tip #3: The New Stadium Gourmet Deli. Catchy name, eh? If you’re going to a day game there are breakfast sandwiches in this place, which are good-sized and built on croissants, bagels or whatever. But the lunch sandwiches are no slouch either, with fairly hefty amounts of meat in a submarine or panini roll.

Again, all for an affordable price. I might prefer the Bullpen or Court Deli for lunch, but if you’ve got a hankering for an authentic NYC bagel breakfast sandwich before a day game, this might be your spot.

 

There are also plenty of hot dog and halal food (!) carts, including a couple of carts selling honey roasted almonds and cashews, as good a ballgame snack as any. By all means get your bottled waters out here at one of these…they’re usually a dollar compared to a finski inside. Get a few of them, you’ll be thirsty.

There’s a few ways for you to eat cheaply at Yankee Stadium, but you can also eat very well inside the ballpark too. For the full lowdown of what to eat at the home of the Bronx Bombers, get yourself this handy and inexpensive guide.

 

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Yankee Stadium With Kids – Three Things To Know

Posted by Kurt Smith

Visiting Yankee Stadium with kids is easier than it once was; there are more cheap Yankees tickets options and more things to do for the young ones. If you’re making a day of a Yankees game with the family, here are a few things you should know.

 

yankee stadium with kids clubhouse

Featuring the Yankees Shrink-a-tron to reduce ushers to 1/10th their actual size!

Yankee Stadium With Kids, Tip #1: The Kids Clubhouse. It’s not as big and fun as some ballpark kids’ sections, like the ones in Philadelphia or Cleveland, but the Yankees did finally add a spot with a lot of soft surfaces and games and slides for the little ones. Kids can throw pitches, run bases, and put their faces in photos. The kids area is in right field in the upper level, and you can usually find cheap tickets for nearby sections.

In a recent visit I took my kids and this was their favorite part of the venture (they’re too young yet to appreciate a well-executed sacrifice). There’s also a nursing area. Not a bad view of the Bronx from there, if you like looking at the Bronx.

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yankee stadium with kids macombs dam park

Lots of play space before the area fills up.

Yankee Stadium With Kids, Tip #2: Park Close And Arrive Early. Yankee Stadium is shoehorned into a very congested area, and it’s the urban part of New York City that completely lacks the glamour and glitz of Manhattan. Trains going by are loud, and as game time approaches it gets very crowded.

It’s definitely not cheap to park close to the stadium, but if you don’t have the option of using Metro-North or the MTA, you won’t want to be too far away, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.

You can let them play on Macombs Dam Park for a while to burn off some energy before the gates open, and if you use the River Avenue garage, you’ll be close to souvenir shops that are much cheaper than inside.

 

yankee stadium with kids tickets

So, can I get Yankees tickets here?

Yankee Stadium With Kids, Tip #3: Take Advantage of Specials. The Yankees, believe it or not, do make some tickets affordable for families. There are discounted tickets for kids on weekends, Yankees Universe memberships for kids that include tickets and fast track entry into the Stadium (which is NO small thing here), and frequent discounted tickets available in the Yankees newsletter.

If you want to take the kids to just one game, I highly recommend looking into Yankees Universe memberships especially. It can save you quite a bit of cash.

 

There’s three tips for making a Yankees game with the children a more fun and affordable experience; it’s never too soon to introduce them to baseball.

If you’d like to know more about all things Yankee Stadium, check out this indispensable and informative guide.

Click here for more great Yankee Stadium tips!

 

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Three Yankee Stadium Parking Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

There isn’t much in the way of cheap Yankee Stadium parking, at least not anywhere close to the ballpark. You’re usually better off using the MTA or Metro-North trains to get there; even with a group this is often cheaper and easier.

But if you do decide to take a car, here are three Yankee Stadium parking suggestions from Ballpark E-Guides, and if you’d like to know more, have a look at one of these.

 

yankee stadium parking bronx terminal market

Enjoy a Yankees game and shop for furniture for one great parking price!

Yankee Stadium Parking, Tip #1: The Bronx Terminal Garage. The Bronx Terminal garage is about a half mile south of the Stadium, which isn’t too bad, and for day games you probably won’t mind the walk. If you’re unfamiliar with the Bronx, it could make you uneasy, but there should be plenty of people heading towards other lots.

Other nice things about this garage is that you can book it ahead of time on ParkWhiz, often for significantly less than only-slightly-closer Yankees lots. And there are some eateries and a Target market here, so you can pack some sandwiches and peanuts ahead of time.

One caveat about this garage…it isn’t the easiest to exit on a Sunday afternoon with other shoppers leaving. Park closer to the exit if you can.

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yankee stadium parking river avenue garage

Recoup some of your parking costs with far less expensive souvenirs…

Yankee Stadium Parking, Tip #2: The River Avenue Garage. It’s the most expensive garage at Yankee Stadium ($40 as of this writing), but it’s also right across the street, good for families who are concerned about the large crowds around the ballpark.

It may cost a lot, but it’s not much more than other nearby Yankees-operated garages that aren’t as close. The River Avenue garage is also right next door to some terrific and much cheaper than inside souvenir shops, along with the McDonald’s right across the street from the ballpark. Extremely convenient at least.

The River Avenue garage can be booked through the Yankees website and Quik Park, and booking ahead is generally a good idea. You don’t want to be searching for another lot in this area on game day.

 

yankee stadium parking concourse village

Unfortunately, you can’t use the 1/2 hour special. Unless you only plan to stay for a couple of pitches.

Yankee Stadium Parking, Tip #3: iPark Garage at 771 Concourse Village. This is for people who want to go cheap and are okay with a little bit of a walk in the Bronx. You can book this one on ParkWhiz as well, for less than half what the Yankees are charging for lots that further away. You’ll also pass by the Court Deli, my favorite place to load up on cheaper sandwiches to bring in.

This lot is covered and attended, and they valet park your car, meaning they will have to move other cars to get yours out. (Be sure your battery is good!) Again, though, the Bronx is the non-glamorous part of New York City, and even though this is a residential area it’s not pretty to look at and can be a little unnerving at night.

 

There’s three options if you do decide to bring a car; but as I’ve said, between parking costs and driving, it’s almost always easier and cheaper to use a train or subway to get to the Stadium.

If you want to read about more parking options, or if you’d like the full skinny on every route to the big stadium in the Bronx, order yourself this handy little guide.

771 Concourse Garage photo courtesy of ParkWhiz.

 

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Three Ways To Score Cheap Yankees Tickets

Posted by Kurt Smith

Well okay, I won’t say that it’s easy to land cheap Yankees tickets, especially if you would like to sit closer to the field with the wine and cheese crowd. You know, the people that Lonn Trost thinks don’t want you anywhere near them.

But I will tell you that before you pay face price for tickets through the team, take a look at specials that they offer first. Some very good bargains to be had. (And there’s more where that came from in this very handy booklet.)

 

cheap yankees tickets newsletter

Just in case you didn’t know the web address.

Cheap Yankees Tickets, Tip #1) Use The Team Newsletter. You should subscribe to any team newsletter if you would like to see a game, but the Yankees newsletter especially is full of terrific offers.

The team offers half-price tickets, discounts for kids and seniors, and even some $5 tickets for low demand games. There’s also specials on tickets for clubs like the Jim Beam Club behind home plate, and you can sometimes pay half the price for entry into the Jim Beam and other stadium clubs.

Always pay attention to the newsletter before paying face price.

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cheap yankees tickets yankees universe

A key benefit of fan club membership: ushers won’t pretend they can’t see you.

Cheap Yankees Tickets, Tip #2) Yankees Universe. The Yankees have several levels of Yankees Universe fan club membership, with varying prices, but they all include tickets to a game that make it well worth the cost. The MVP level membership includes those nice padded field level seats, and the membership price is much less than the face price of the tickets would be.

You get extra stuff with membership too, like a separate entrance to use (which is no small thing here, believe me), gear and bobbleheads, and deals on available premium tickets. And proceeds from membership sales go to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, so you’re helping your fellow humans too.

 

cheap yankees tickets pinstripe pass

Standing room, showing the last year you were able to get a Yankees ticket this cheap.

Cheap Yankees Tickets, Tip #3) The Pinstripe Pass. If all you want is to get into the stadium and socialize, the Pinstripe Pass is for you; it’s an inexpensive ticket and includes a free drink…which at Yankee Stadium drink prices, makes the ticket almost free.

It’s a standing room ticket, but if you need a place to sit, the Bud party decks have some barstool seating, and the ushers aren’t too strict if you manage to find a spot in the upper Grandstand. There are also some bars throughout the stadium where you can sit, but you won’t likely have a view of the field. But hey, for the price, it ain’t too bad.

 

There’s three ways to save a few bucks on Yankees tickets, but there’s a lot more to know if you want a less expensive Yankees game. If you’d like to read more tightwad tips for tickets, parking and food, check out this handy and comprehensive guide to Yankee Stadium.

 

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Visiting Yankee Stadium – Five Tips For Newbies

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time, there are, of course, a few things you should know…about getting there, getting tickets and what to eat. There are lots of choices with all of it, but here are some recommendations for newbies.

 

visiting yankee stadium mastercard

So that the batter doesn’t get distracted by the MasterCard specials.

Visiting Yankee Stadium, Tip #1: Get a MasterCard. A MasterCard is a great thing for Yankees fans to have; if you’re planning on attending a Yankees game you should get one too. The Yankees offer great deals to MasterCard holders, including two for one deals and $5 tickets. If you can, get a Citi card…that will help you score a bunch of discounts with the Mets if you’re planning a game at Citi Field while you’re in town.

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visitin yankee stadium obstructed view

“Who’s winning?”

Visiting Yankee Stadium, Tip #2: Avoid the higher rows. In the higher rows of the Field Level, the overhang of the main level can block views of the scoreboards and skyline and other things you might want to look at. If the choice is a high row in the Field Level (say, 20 or above) or a low row in the Main Level, take the Main Level seat. Similarly, the high rows in the Terrace level are significantly more costly than the Grandstand seats just behind them, and the highest rows of the Grandstand level are definitely up there and acrophobia-inducing. The Yankees have a nifty virtual seating map on their website; you can see which rows are the higher ones with this.

 

visiting yankee stadium metro north

A special station built just for Yankee fans.

Visiting Yankee Stadium, Tip #3: Use the Metro-North or MTA. You can drive to Yankee Stadium if you plan ahead and anticipate traffic, but if it’s your first time, it’s probably better to use public transit. The B, D, and 4 trains all stop at Yankee Stadium/161st, so it’s very easy to reach from the five boroughs that way, just know whether you should use the B or D (MTA’s website will explain if you need it). The Metro-North Yankee Stadium-153rd Street station was designed just for the new stadium; it’s a nice way to get there from the northern suburbs. The Hudson Line especially features a nice view of the Hudson River.

 

visiting yankee stadium court deli

Corned beef too. Just in case.

Visiting Yankee Stadium, Tip #4: Get cheap eats at the Court Deli. There’s a lot of great food at Yankee Stadium, like Lobel’s steak sandwich, garlic fries, Jersey Mike’s cheesesteaks and the Barnyard Wedding, but if you want to get a cheap sandwich to take in (yes, you can do that), the Court Deli on 161st is ideal and just a block and a half away from the Stadium. They sell sizable, tasteful and very inexpensive sandwiches, knishes and deli items, and you can put them in your knapsack to take into the ballpark. There are peanuts and bottled water sales on 161st Street too, so you can save a bunch on that.

 

visiting yankee stadium ruth poster

In the days before Facebook ads.

Visiting Yankee Stadium, Tip #5: Get there early to see the history. Yankee Stadium never lets you forget that it’s the home of the most successful franchise in sports, but that’s to be expected. If you’re a baseball history buff, definitely take the time to see Monument Park and the Yankees Museum. You’ll want to get to Monument Park early; it gets very full. The Yankees Museum features artifacts throughout the team’s history, Thurman Munson’s locker, and statues of Don Larsen throwing the final pitch of his perfect game to Yogi Berra. You can visit the Great Hall and the Babe Ruth Plaza too…the Yankees will always be happy to tell the stories.

There you go; five tips for visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time. There’s also a new kids’ play area and a nursing room, so you have a great opportunity to sell this to the new mom.

And if you really want to maximize your Yankee Stadium experience, get yourself one of these!

More About Yankee Stadium:

Two Useful Yankee Stadium Seating Tips

Yankee Stadium Food: Three Things to Try

Three More Yankee Stadium Tips

 

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Yankee Stadium Seating: Two Useful Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

There are, of course, choices all over the economic spectrum on the Yankee Stadium seating chart, and I go over them in detail in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide. But here are just a couple of tips, one good choice and one bad one.

yankee stadium seating panorama jeter day

A nice view of everything, including the 4 train.

Yankee Stadium Seating Tip #1: Grandstand Behind Home Plate. Now, of course, if money was no object, I’d want to be sitting in those Legends Suite seats behind home plate, which go for upwards of $1,500 a game. Then again, if I had that kind of money to throw around, I’d have Cameron Diaz feeding me popcorn at the Super Bowl.

So here I’m going to say your best deal is the upper level grandstand seats, and the closer you get to home plate the better. Yes, these seats are fairly high up as they are in most ballparks with a level of suites and open concourses, but for some reason it doesn’t seem as bad here. Perhaps it’s the large crowds that show up for Yankees games despite the prices for the higher level tickets.

The upper level is sectioned into two parts, the 300 Level Terrace and the 400 Level Grandstand. The 300 Level Terrace seats are considerably more expensive and you’re not going to feel like you’re much closer to the action.

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And behind home plate the 300 Level Sections are the “Jim Beam” seats; these include some nice bonuses (like entry into the climate-controlled Jim Beam Club) and can be had for a fairly reasonable price for some games, but they are still a bit more pricey than I like to shell out for a ballgame.

yankee stadium seating frieze

Frieze!

The price of the Grandstand seats decreases as you get past the baselines, but the view gets considerably worse. There aren’t too many rows in the 400 Level sections, so it doesn’t get too high. The frieze will be prominently in your view at the top, which is kind of cool to look at. Finally, there is a roof over the higher rows of seats, which is nice for shade and for rainy days (although I usually get out of high areas during a storm).

The Grandstand seats behind home plate are my first choice for Yankee Stadium seating on a limited budget, which is more limiting at Yankee Stadium than it is at most ballparks.

yankee stadium seating standing room barstools

Standing room with bar stools and a counter isn’t so bad.

Yankee Stadium Seating Tip #2: Avoid Terrace Standing Room. Standing room isn’t cheap at Yankee Stadium. You can pay $60 and up for a spot that doesn’t include an official place to rest your behind. The Yankees do provide countertops and barstool-style chairs in many of the field level standing room areas, and the countertops are actually marked to designate your spot. But all the same, standing room still costs too much.

However, there will be times, such as when a Yankee approaches a big milestone, that standing room will be your only option. There are several levels of standing room areas; should you end up with Terrace Standing Room, you’re best off just looking for another place to stand (or, if you’re lucky, an empty seat).

yankee stadium seating standing room terrace

Anyone have a four-foot stool?

Terrace standing room is angled in such a way that you will lose a good portion of the field, and if you’re in the wrong spot, that portion will be the infield where much of the action happens. In order to have less of your view blocked, you would have to move to the outer edges of the upper deck, where you will be rather far from the action.

It’s as if the Yankees know that no one is going to actually stand in a designated spot in the upper level and will more likely search for an empty seat. Which you can, and so long as you don’t try to upgrade too much. But then there’s the stadium equivalent of looking over your shoulder; people coming into the stands that could possibly be the rightful owners of your seat, and it isn’t the most fun way to enjoy a ballgame.

If you pay more for the lower level standing room, you may well have a barstool to sit on and a counter to place your food and elbows (without regard to the social faux-pas), and so it’s not entirely a bad deal especially considering how much the seats in front of you cost. The Yankees do block people from swiping those stools if they don’t have specific tickets for them.

So if you don’t mind what sounds like a hefty charge for standing room, go for the Field Level SRO tickets. But unless you want to search for a seat to poach in a packed house, avoid Terrace Standing Room. Pick another spot from the Yankee Stadium seating chart. If you need help picking a seat, you should definitely consult this handy little guide.

More About Yankee Stadium:

Visiting Yankee Stadium – Five Tips For Newbies

Yankee Stadium Food: Three Things to Try

Three More Yankee Stadium Tips

 

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Get To Yankee Stadium: Use The 4 Train

Posted by Kurt Smith

There are many ways to get to Yankee Stadium, some expensive, some cheap. If you’re being economical and coming from Manhattan, try using the 4 train.

The MTA runs a pretty tight ship. Yes, trains get crowded, but they’re pretty efficient and relatively clean considering the traffic boarding on and off of them. There is an elaborate subway network in New York City that can get you from just about anywhere in the five boroughs to Yankee Stadium in two train rides and the transfer is usually free.

get to yankee stadium 4 train

Should I use the B or D? Hmmm…use the 4.

Like many Yankees fans, I would be coming from New Jersey, so it’s likely that I would be using some sort of public transportation to get to a main transportation hub in Manhattan. Using the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor Line, for example, would drop me off at Penn Station.

Three MTA Lines—the B, D, and 4—that take riders to Yankee Stadium from Manhattan and Brooklyn. They all stop at the 161st St./Yankee Stadium Station, which is right on top of the main entrance of the ballpark. All of them get the job done just fine, but I prefer the 4 for a few reasons:

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1) The View. 4 becomes elevated in the Bronx, as opposed to the B and D which remain subway trains. Until you exit the station, you won’t see daylight from the B or D. From the 4 platform you can see the Stadium come into view, which is as it should be.

2) Less confusion. The B and D lines don’t always stop at the Stadium; both lines run the same route but get to Yankee Stadium only at certain times of day.

I think I have this figured out but I’m never sure: the B goes to Yankee Stadium during rush hour on weekdays, and the D goes there at all other times. At any time you can use one of them, but I’m never sure which one, and it doesn’t take long to walk a few blocks to a 4 station. Yeah, I can figure it out, but I like Grand Central too.

get to yankee stadium view from 4 platform

Unlike from the B or D, you know exactly where to go!

3) Speed. The 4 line has more stops but is an express train most of the time, including when you will likely to be headed to the game and need it most. From Grand Central to 161st is 13 stops, but on an express train it is only five. Not so the B or D.

4) Great Pizza. Finally there’s one last thing I don’t mention in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide: The 4 and 6 trains share the same line (Lexington Avenue), and using the 4 after a day game allows you to hop off and get on the 6 to Little Italy and Lombardi’s Pizza. It may not be a valuable get to Yankee Stadium tip, but I’m not just just a one-trick pony…

One last thing; if you’re coming an hour and a half before game time or less, the train will start to get packed with Yankee fans. If you can, try to hop on somewhere south of Grand Central Station, for a better chance of landing a seat.

That’s just one way to get to Yankee Stadium…there are also Metro-North trains, buses, even ferries…not to mention inexpensive and even free parking spots. This handy little guide will tell you everything you need to know. But if you’re going economic, the 4 is as good as any.

More About Yankee Stadium:

Visiting Yankee Stadium – Five Tips For Newbies

Two Useful Yankee Stadium Seating Tips

Yankee Stadium Food: Three Things to Try

 

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Yankee Stadium Food: Three Things To Try

Posted by Kurt Smith

Elsewhere on this site I’ve already covered some Yankee Stadium food, like the amazing Lobel’s steak sandwich and the cheaper sandwiches you can get at the nearby Court Deli, so while those may be great options, you still have some other great choices in the Bronx ballpark.

Here are three that seem to go over pretty well with most fans:

 

yankee stadium food el matador burger

I am only holding this for one photo. Make it count.

Yankee Stadium Food, Tip #1: The El Matador Burger. The Bareburger people have installed a stand at Yankee Stadium; Bareburger is a local chain that started in Queens and made grass fed beef burgers before it was cool.

The El Matador is a bison burger (leaner beef, or so I’m told) topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, pico de gallo and habanero mayo. That sounds like it would blow out the back of your brain, but as long as you can handle spicy food you should be fine; it’s manageable.

If it’s too spicy they have regular burgers too, and they make a decent black bean veggie burger.

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yankee stadium food parm sandwich

Yes, sir, we’re open.

Yankee Stadium Food, Tip #2: The Parm Meatball Sandwich. It’s easy to miss the Parm stand; it’s tucked away in the right field corner, but you’ll see it if you get in the long line for Monument Park.

Parm is a Little Italy-based specialty foods shop run by some popular downtown chefs. They don’t have many offerings at the Stadium, but the ones they have are terrific, especially the meatball sandwich. It’s got lots of texture with a spicy tomato sauce and basil leaves on a seeded roll. Can be a bit messy but worth it.

Parm is something of an unsung hero here, like Mama’s of Corona across town in Citi Field. But it gets high marks from people who try it. Their eggplant parm sandwich is popular with vegetarians too.

 

yankee stadium food garlic fries

Not recommended on a date unless you’re sharing.

Yankee Stadium Food, Tip #3: Garlic Fries. They aren’t any particular brand of special potatoes, and by accounts that I’ve heard they’re not as good as the Gilroy garlic fries at AT&T in San Francisco. But if you’re not on a date and you like garlic, these are for you.

The garlic fries at Yankee Stadium are drowned in olive oil and covered with tiny little pieces of garlic…not garlic powder mind you but real minced garlic. You can smell them, believe me. Again, not recommended if you’re on a date, but they’re plenty tasty.

The garlic fries are fairly expensive, so it’s better to get value with the larger version. You can get cheese on them if you want, but don’t get too conflicted in your flavor.

There you go; three very worthwhile food items you can try in your next trip to the home of the 27-time World Champions. But there’s lots more, like the Mighty Quinn burnt ends sandwich, the Johnny Rockets cheeseburger, noodle bowls, party nachos, the list goes on…be sure you know what to get when you download one of these.

Visiting Yankee Stadium – Five Tips For Newbies

Two Useful Yankee Stadium Seating Tips

More Yankee Stadium Grub Options: Three BIG Sandwiches

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Yankee Stadium Food Options: BIG Sandwiches

Posted by Kurt Smith

The Yankees caught me off guard in 2016. It’s not that they didn’t have any unusual Yankee Stadium food options in the past, but they hadn’t yet offered some of those extreme Man vs. Food types of challenges like the Bacon Challenge in Cincinnati or the Wayback Triple Triple in Philly.

But recently, Yankee Stadium has become the destination for eaters who love a challenge. Or at least like to share, as the Yankees like to advertise it. This being New York, the Yankees are required to show the staggering calorie counts, which makes their latest food additions that much more impressive.

Anyway, here’s just three of the monster food challenges now available in the Bronx:

 

yankee stadium food options tape measure

This is why we don’t use the metric system.

BIG Yankee Stadium Food Options, Tip #1: The Tape Measure Cheesesteak. Jersey Mike’s replaced Carl’s Cheesesteaks in Yankee Stadium, but they still serve Philly-style cheesesteaks with onions, peppers and the ubiquitous Cheez Whiz if you’re looking for Philly authenticity. I’ve had one before and was perfectly happy with it, even being a Philly native.

The Tape Measure is a two-foot monster that clocks in at 1,795 calories; it’s “perfect for sharing” as the Yankees and Jersey Mike’s say. It may be, but one wonders why people wouldn’t just buy two of them. It’s not like you’re saving much money here.

Personally I might be willing to take this on myself, but I don’t know if I could handle that much Cheez Whiz in one sitting. Think I might go for the American cheese with that.

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yankee stadium food options barnyard wedding

You’re all invited!

BIG Yankee Stadium Food Options, Tip #2: The Barnyard Wedding. Cool name for a sandwich that includes “custom-blend” beef with a fried chicken cutlet. Can’t imagine what the children would look like. Oh, and don’t forget the hash brown too, with aged cheddar and BBQ sauce mixed in.

Greg Kirkland of Pinstripe Alley wrote an in-depth piece about his experience taking on the Barnyard Wedding. I am fairly certain he is correct when he describes it as a delicious and unhealthy monstrosity worth trying once. You might want to balance this one with some roughage.

As you can see though, not too bad on the calorie meter. That’s not much more than a Double Whopper with bacon and cheese.

 

yankee stadium options GOAT burger

In a Stadium with few goats in its history.

BIG Yankee Stadium Food Options, Tip #3: The G.O.A.T. Burger. The “Greatest Of All Time” burger brings in pork products New York-style along with the burger. It’s patty of custom-blended beef (like any burger should be), and topped with bacon (SOLD!), pastrami (SOLD AGAIN!), American cheese and something called G.O.A.T. sauce. I haven’t tried it, and I don’t yet know what the G.O.A.T. sauce is, but it’s yellow so I’m guessing it’s some sort of mustard or mayo.

The G.O.A.T. is actually almost a diet option at least as new Yankees sandwiches go: it’s “only” 1,050 calories. I wonder if you can get it without the sauce. This one is also at the Triple Play Grill…I’m refraining from heart-related jokes.

That’s three totally insane additions of food at Yankee Stadium as of 2016. Personally, I’m not sure if these sandwiches will last more than a year or two…I can’t imagine any of them being consistently big sellers. They’re still listed on the menu as of 2017. But that’s just me…and I hope I’m wrong.

And if you want to learn all about the rest of the Yankee Stadium menu, be sure to get yourself one of these.

More About Yankee Stadium:

Visiting Yankee Stadium – Five Tips For Newbies

Two Useful Yankee Stadium Seating Tips

Yankee Stadium Food: Three Things to Try

 

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What To Eat At Yankee Stadium – Two More Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you still are not sure about what to eat at Yankee Stadium, I have two tips here for you…at both ends of the economic spectrum. Both are worth a look in your next trip to the Stadium.

what to eat at yankee stadium lobels

I assure you, it’s fresh before it’s frozen.

What To Eat At Yankee Stadium, Tip #1: The Lobel’s Steak Sandwich. OK, you’re probably going to want to partake in something that is offered at the Stadium, even though the cost of it will make you grumble. There are cheesesteaks, garlic fries, noodle bowls, and popular names like Nathan’s, Johnny Rockets and a Hard Rock Café.

So if you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for a quality sandwich, take a walk down the left field line on the field level concourse, and find the Lobel’s stand. It’s not difficult; look for the long line.

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The Lobel family has been purveying beef for longer than even the Yankees have existed, and their name has been associated with quality beef in a town where steakhouse competition is pretty stiff. There is actually a window next to the Lobel’s cart where you can watch butchers cutting cuts of meat for their famed steak sandwich.

The Lobel’s steak sandwich isn’t a steak sandwich in the Philly sense, meaning chopped to bits and mixed with onions (you can get one of these at Carl’s, and they’re just fine). It is closer to a roast beef sandwich, with the meat soaked in au jus and served on an onion Kaiser roll with an insanely good horseradish sauce.

Watching them put all of this together made me forget that I was supposed to take a picture of the sandwich—it was gone pretty fast!

It isn’t cheap; it is one of the most expensive single items available at Yankee Stadium. But relative to what you pay for anything here anyway, you’re getting some real value for your money.

Grab some napkins, though.

 

what to eat at yankee stadium court deli

What is ‘Rastrami’?

What To Eat At Yankee Stadium, Tip #2: The Court Deli. The Court Deli isn’t actually in Yankee Stadium, although I kind of think it could be. The Court is on the corner of 161st St. and Walton Avenue, near the Bronx County Clerk (hence the clever name).

There are a few places near Yankee Stadium to fill a goody bag to sneak into the ballpark; in the area east of the ballpark are a McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway. But this is New York City, an area of the world that you can’t spend time in without trying a pastrami sandwich or a knish. You can get a Big Mac anywhere.

The Court Deli was recommended to me by my friend Gary Herman, who has forgotten more about saving money at sporting events than I will ever know. That’s one thing you get at the Court Deli…value. You get a decent sized sandwich at a price competitive with any of the fast food joints and their dollar menus. You walk in and can order your food to go; they’ll prepare it pretty quickly.

But there’s nothing wrong with the food either; my breakfast sandwich and knish were tasty, and Gary tells me that you can’t go wrong with a pastrami sandwich at the Court.

The Court Deli does get crowded on game days; if you can’t get there early you’ll be waiting in line, and you probably won’t have a place to sit and eat in the small restaurant. But the line moves fairly quickly, and it’s worth the wait.

Be adventurous, don’t go for the easy Whopper. In fact, when you want to know the full Monty of what to eat at Yankee Stadium, you’d do well to get yourself one of these.

More About Yankee Stadium:

Visiting Yankee Stadium – Five Tips For Newbies

Yankee Stadium Food: Three Things to Try

Yankee Stadium Food Options: BIG Sandwiches

 

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Why Do People Hate The Yankees?

Posted by Kurt Smith

Why do people hate the Yankees? It’s a rhetorical question of course. Everyone knows why.

Even though I grew up a hardcore Orioles fan though, believe it or not, there are times when I actually feel for Yankees fans.

Not the frontrunners, the so-called fans who decided to become Yankees fans because they want to dish out trash. I’m talking about people who grew up rooting for the Yankees, who at least have something of a palpable justification for their blasphemy (grin).

The reason I sometimes—not very often, just sometimes—feel for Yankees fans is because they’re the only fans whose team never accepts anything less than total victory.

why do people hate the yankees lou gehrig

Lou Gehrig and Joe McCarthy engage in a game of “Make The Owner Uncomfortable”.

Go to almost any other team’s ballpark and you’ll see flags for the seasons where they won the wildcard spot, or a division title in a four or five team division. I don’t think the Yankees have such flags visible in Yankee Stadium…to them that’s a loss of a season.

Even as 27-time World Champions, the Yankees fall short of a championship more often than they win it. That’s heartbreaking for any fan, but to come close many times and lose the most important games at the end—which believe it or not, the Yankees have done quite a bit since 2001—is rough on a fan, no matter how many rings your team has won.

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why do people hate the yankees monument park

The largest monument in Monument Park. George wouldn’t have it any other way.

And as much as Yankees fans crow about their team being the most successful in any major sport, they know it’s going to come back at them whenever they fail to win a World Series.

The Yankees win more than anyone else—a lot more than anyone else—and that is of course the main reason why fans of every other team hate them.

Oh, their fans play a part; ask any Orioles fan who’s been to Camden Yards while the Yankees are in town. But you don’t often see fans of another team get riled up over those $%&@!(# Phillies, with the possible exception of Nationals fans. Being the first baseball team to reach 10,000 losses makes the Phillies a far easier target.

why do people hate the yankees real women

True. It’s just never gonna work out.

Hating a sports team is probably not a productive emotion. But it’s a powerful one, and I’m as susceptible to it as anyone. Besides, it makes for great excitement watching the game.

Orioles fans and Red Sox fans and Rays fans especially love to see the Yankees get beat. Fans of other teams don’t seem to mind it too much either. I have talked to many, many fans who don’t care who wins the World Series so long as it isn’t the Yankees, and that beyond the entire Boston metropolitan area. If you aren’t seeing your favorite team win, the next best thing is seeing the team you dislike the most lose.

And it’s great for baseball. One need only look at NASCAR these days to see why. NASCAR has been in a continuous and steady decline. One reason, in my opinion, is the loss of rivalries.

why do people hate the yankees dale earnhardt

I loved to see this car crash.

The most popular drivers in 2015 were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon (who is now retired), Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart (who is retiring in 2016), and they were, for all intents and purposes, teammates. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., especially in the years following Dale Sr.’s death, was the last great rivalry in NASCAR. Kyle Busch vs. Brad Keselowski just doesn’t come close.

Add to that an extended push from the heads of NASCAR for parity, and no one driver dominates anymore. Jimmie Johnson may have won seven titles, but he hasn’t won any of them in convincing, dominating fashion…in many cases he simply got hot during the “Chase” playoff (another strong reason for the sport’s decline). It’s not the same as when Dale Earnhardt or Jeff Gordon were the dominant drivers in the sport.

That’s why the Yankees are great for baseball. Baseball has its problems with competitive balance, but they’ve been smart enough not to go overboard going for parity in the sport, and as a result the Yankees spend whatever it takes to build a team that is nothing short of championship caliber.

Is that a reason to want more than anything to see them lose? Perhaps. But we’re watching.

More About Yankee Stadium:

Visiting Yankee Stadium – Five Tips For Newbies

Two Useful Yankee Stadium Seating Tips

Yankee Stadium Food: Three Things to Try

 

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Mr. Smith Goes To New Yankee Stadium – Part 1

Posted by Kurt Smith

Some time ago I announced on the website that I was going to illustrate the benefits of a Ballpark E-Guide with the new Yankee Stadium Challenge… meaning finding cheap Yankees tickets, cheap Yankees parking (or other cheap means of arriving at the ballpark), or cheap food at the shiny and expensive new Yankee Stadium.

Cheap at Yankee Stadium? Am I being serious? Yes, I am.

new yankee stadium view from metro north

The new monument to lots of money.

As I stated, you don’t often hear the word “cheap” associated with anything baseball, Yankees or New York City. Most people groan at the thought of what it will cost them to see a game at baseball’s majestic home of the most successful team in North American sports history.

Yankees tickets can be over $1,500 for one game, parking at Yankee Stadium as of this writing is $35, and a beer will run a fan as much as $11. And that’s not counting having to drive on Turnpikes and to cross bridges that often require ridiculous tolls, if you’re coming from anywhere but inside the city limits.

new yankee stadium right field seats

The shade away from the bleachers costs about $50.

Most fans just think they need to accept this or maybe think that it’s worth it to see the Yankees. For all of this supposed gouging, the seats and parking lots are still full, and there’s still lines at the concession stands.

But I decided to take on the challenge of seeing a Yankees game as cheaply as possible, using tips from the Yankee Stadium E-Guide and on the Ballpark E-Guides blog. Little did I know what a challenge it would really turn out to be.

I picked the absolute worst game of the season to try this. The challenge was actually planned months ago. Sometime in April, July 10 became the date, which I then revised to July 9 for family matters.

And as you all know, on July 9, Derek Jeter clouted a home run to etch his name on the 3,000-hit list that day, the first Yankee to do so.

Folks, long story here, but it’s a great story, and it includes a lot of advice, so stay with it and I’ll try to make it worth your while.

A few days before the game, I had not yet bought a ticket, not having anticipated that the Captain would be returning to the lineup and closing in on history. Even so, I was following Ballpark Savvy’s advice, and waiting until just before game day to buy a ticket.

Generally this works fairly well; as game day approaches, the supply increases and the price usually comes down. But as stated in the E-Guide, you can’t count on this, for precisely this reason.

I decided $40 would be as high as I would go for a ticket. On Friday afternoon a ticket became available on StubHub for $41.

new yankee stadium derek jeter

The last single digit Yankees number.

I was encouraged by the drop, but refused to pull the trigger. Then, as I thought might happen, late in the afternoon people began coming home from work and buying, and tickets below $60 disappeared.

Then Friday night’s game was rained out and postponed, leaving Jeter stuck at 2,998 hits, and me now really in a bad way. Ticket prices for Saturday’s game soared. StubHub’s cheapest ticket was now $90 for standing room and even more for obstructed view, and would remain at that price all night.

Yankee Stadium Tightwad Tip #1: When using StubHub or other third-party broker, set a realistic low that you want to pay, and when you see something you can live with, grab it. For high-demand games, expect the price to rise in the evenings, when folks are home from work and online.

Well, okay. Here I am, ticketless. I’ll get back to that. But now let’s talk about actually getting to Yankee Stadium on the cheap, also no easy thing.

new yankee stadium george washington bridge

You won’t often see this few cars on this bridge. Must have been 5 AM.

If I were to drive straight to and park at Yankee Stadium, coming from South Jersey, I would have used I-295 to exit 7A of the New Jersey Turnpike, and then crossed the George Washington Bridge into the city. That route is, according to Mapquest, a 118-mile drive from my front door.

The bridge is $8 (free into NJ). Turnpike tolls total $12.50. Gas would be about $45, assuming no traffic…ha ha. Parking at Yankee Stadium is a whopping $35. That’s over $100 for round trip and parking.

So if I try taking the NJ Transit train from Hamilton to Penn Station, that at least takes out the absurd parking fee.

This is just a 50-mile ride, with no Turnpike tolls. Parking at Hamilton Station is $7, and the train to Penn Station is $30 round trip for an adult. From there the B or D train to the Stadium (or the E to the B/D, which is a free transfer) is $4.50 round trip. So with gas being about $19 now, that’s a total of just over $60. Much better.

new yankee stadium bolt bus philly

The Thunder Bus!

Fortunately there are cheaper bus options, most notably Megabus and Boltbus. Both services offer great fare prices to get from one big city to another; Megabus is a bit cheaper and has a wider reach, but for some reason Yelpers seem to think Boltbus is better about service. I can’t say, but I do know that I saw two Megabuses show up while waiting for the Boltbus, so they can’t be that bad.

The Boltbus I used was $23 round trip, including the booking fee. Add to that about $7 for gas getting to a train station in New Jersey, and $7 for the round trip train ride that took me to the bus stop. Then the $4.50 for the E-D train brings the total to about $42…not much more than parking at Yankee Stadium, and less than half what the original plan would have cost.

Believe it or not, people do pay twice what they need to.

Yankee Stadium Tightwad Tip #2: If you’re coming to New York City (or Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) from out of town and you’re close to another metropolis, by all means look into Megabus or Boltbus. The savings are large, and it’s not a bad ride at all.

Now, obviously this wouldn’t work as well for more than one person; if you want other options for getting to the game, there are plenty in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide. You can save money bringing others, too.

So of course now you’re thinking, Kurt, this is all fine and well, but what good is getting there cheaply if you don’t have a ticket for the game?

Stay tuned.

Did our hero make it inside Yankee Stadium? Was he able to witness in person a first in Yankees history? Did he finally cave in to reality and go deeply into debt for a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Click here for Part 2 of Mr. Smith Goes to New York City!

 

 

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Mr. Smith Goes To New Yankee Stadium – Part 2

Posted by Kurt Smith

Previously in this narrative, I shared the story of seeking cheap Yankees tickets online for Derek Jeter’s big 3,000th-hit game at new Yankee Stadium, to no avail.

But despite my lack of success, I decided to get on the Boltbus to New York City and further push my luck. As documented, yours truly at least managed to get to New York City inexpensively, in no small part by avoiding parking at Yankee Stadium.

new yankee stadium boltbus

Get to NYC on a comfortable bus for four quarters…

But the larger problem of lacking a ticket to enter remained.

Upon arriving in Manhattan I decided to try Modell’s in Times Square. Modell’s and the Yankees have jointly found a way to unload some unsold seats, by offering them at half price on game day. (This tip is included in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide.) They are based on availability, however, meaning my chances of landing a ticket for under $40 were, of course, slim.

As I reached the ticket counter, someone was signing the credit card slip for tickets he had just bought. As soon as the transaction was completed, I asked the gentleman behind the counter, “What’s the most inexpensive ticket you’ve got?”

Before he could answer, the customer informed me: “One hundred and eighty-five dollars.”

Well, at least I got a picture.

new yankee stadium mo-saver

Get a $400 ticket for $200!

Yankee Stadium Tightwad Tip #3: The Modell’s in Times Square does indeed have Yankees tickets available on game day, even for prime games, but you will not often find the lower priced seats. But, if you do want the premium seats, there will probably still be plenty available, and at half of the extensive price. For that, Modell’s is worthwhile.

Plan C now. I took a walk over to 6th Avenue to get the D train, the weekend express train that flies north to the 161st St.-Yankee Stadium station. I exited the subway and there the gorgeous monument to baseball dynasty stood. Already people were setting up shop…parking signs were being put up, hot dog carts were already peddling, and the beautiful hot morning already had the air of a day of baseball.

The first stop was at the game day window at Gate 4…or more correctly the line for the game day window, which stretched a good half a block to Jerome Avenue. Evaluating the situation, I decided that this was not worth the risk, and that other avenues needed to be exhausted first. Which they would.

new yankee stadium court deli

I’ll have the hot steam please.

By this point hunger was setting in, a condition inexpensively cured with a sandwich and a knish from the Court Deli, a couple of blocks east of the ballpark on 161st.

And somewhere around this time a new camera card became a necessity, and following the directions of some nice Bronx folks, I was able to locate a nearby Target and fix the problem, finding some less expensive parking I hadn’t noticed before. All a plus, at least for my readers…

So while passing the time I took a photo-op at the 153rd Street-Yankee Stadium Metro-North Station, which was built along with the new Yankee Stadium to provide a rail option from northern suburbs. The new station is impressive, with a great view of the Stadium, and is just a short walk through Macombs Dam Park to the House That Jeter Built.

new yankee stadium metro north

This sign probably cost about $1 million.

Unfortunately, fans had not yet started arriving on this route. I thought this might be my best chance to find unhardened suburbanites eager to rid themselves of extras, but found only a few folks headed to the game. Still early.

At the bottom of the platform exit stairs were two attractive women representing Stan’s, the nearby sports bar that is a favorite of ballgame goers. They handed me a card advertising their specials– $3.00 drafts during the 7th and 8th innings of the game. All well and good, I said (actually I think my exact words were “Woo-hoo!”), but does Stan’s have extra tickets?

The ladies wordlessly turned their heads in the direction of a scalper standing right there. Who, of course, seized on the opportunity to skin the vulnerable dreamer alive, showing me a ticket he just happened to have for sale.

new yankee stadium stans

More than one Happy Hour!

The correct date, a decent seat, and he made sure I recognized that this was a valid ticket. The face value was $45. “How much?”, I asked, solely to get a sense of the market.

“A buck and a quarter.”

For a second I was tempted to pull a dollar bill and a quarter out of my pocket, the same way Mel Gibson does in “Lethal Weapon”, acting like an incredibly stupid drug buyer. Instead I just chuckled and walked away over his loud objections: “How much were you expecting to pay?” “It’s only gonna be more closer to the stadium!”

Well, at least he was looking out for me.

Ballpark E-Guides Tightwad Tip #4: Try to find someone looking to get rid of extras before you patronize scalpers. Scalping is illegal in most states, so you shouldn’t be doing it anyway, but people with extras are far less likely to gouge you.

The scalpers in NYC especially are professionals, they do this every night, and they know exactly what they can get for a ticket from an eager fan. Someone with an extra usually just doesn’t want to eat it, so offer a fair price for it…don’t insult them. They may be doing you a big favor.

Now at least I knew where the market stood: three times above face value, and not likely to go down before the game started.

The next order of business was to do a lap around the Stadium, every so often shouting “anyone got an extra?” in as inoffensive a manner as I can manage to folks beginning to pour in. No luck. But I did find some free street parking nearby…the location of which (Warning: shameless plug coming!) has been added to the Yankee Stadium E-Guide

new yankee stadium kurt with gary herman

Gary Herman has been to more Yankees games than I’ve been to games.

About this time I met up with Gary Herman, he of Royalty Tours USA. Gary has seen an average of 350 sporting events a year for many years now, and he documents his experiences on his blog, including some helpful tips that have found their way into E-Guides.

If there’s a Guinness record for this kind of thing, Gary has to be a candidate, and most amazingly of all, he pulls all this off while working a full time job and not being independently wealthy.

By this time, somehow, the game day window crowd was separated from the exchange window, and now the line was down to only about 20 people. Gary stood with me in line, both of us knowing that it was a long shot for me to get a ticket, and Gary promising that he could get a ticket for me next time if I need it.

I arrived at the window in short order, and asked the agent what the most inexpensive ticket was. Brief punching of keys on the computer. “I have a wheelchair seating ticket, on top of the batter’s eye in center field. One hundred and twenty-five dollars.”

Before I could begin working on Plan D, Gary taps on the window and pesters the agent a bit. “I just saw two kids leaving with 30-dollar tickets. You don’t have anything?” The agent tries again.

The clouds part. The sun shines through. Choirs sing. “OK, this just came up. Standing room, upper level in the left field corner. Thirty dollars.”

new yankee stadium ticket stub

Check the date…check the date…

I am ecstatic. I gleefully hand over the credit card, take the ticket, sign the receipt, thank the agent profusely, and Gary and I leave the window and head for the food joints on 161st, ear-to-ear grin on my face. I’ve won.

Nothing could go wrong now…right?

Uh-oh…what’s with the ominous tone at the end of what should have been a triumphant victory for the tireless author of Ballpark E-Guides? Did Kurt get carsick? A hangnail? Second thoughts? What could have gone wrong?

Click here for the third and final episode of Kurt’s Derek Jeter Day Adventure!

 

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Mr. Smith Goes To New Yankee Stadium – Part 3

Posted by Kurt Smith

In Part 2 of this mini-series, yours truly shared how I managed to somehow secure a $30 ticket for the July 9 game at new Yankee Stadium, just hours before gametime on a day with higher demand than many playoff games. As miraculous as that was, it turned out things weren’t so rosy after all.

After landing a ticket with what could only be described as ridiculous luck, Gary and I took a walk over to the nearby McDonald’s to meet up with both the King of Royalty Tours and Gary’s cousin Andy, who was celebrating his birthday with a Yankees game.

We blended in with the pre-game crowd, buying water bottles and picking up sandwiches at the takeout restaurants. Finally, with the ticket quest over, I was able to relax and soak in the scene of hundreds of fans clad in Yankees gear and of outside vendors selling snacks and drinks.

new yankee stadium vendor water outside

Why DO you pay five dollars inside?

Ballpark E-Guides Tightwad Tip #5: Before Yankees games, there is (or used to be, anyway) a gentleman who sells very large and ice cold bottles of water on 161st Street east of the Stadium, for $1 each. You can’t miss him; listen for the “one-dollar ice cold water, one dollar water”, punctuated with a periodic “Why you pay five dollar inside!” It’s baseball at its best.

And yes, you can bring them into the Stadium (so long as they are sealed), and save mucho cash.

About an hour before the game, we head towards the ballpark, with Gary promising to take me through the Royalty entrance and avoid the mob scene at the gates. Having written the book on how to get around the Stadium, I knew about this, but in fact I’d forgotten about it. The entrance with virtually no line is detailed in the E-Guide.

new yankee stadium lines outside

Everybody form one line!

We reach the double secret entrance, and sure enough there is no line at all. The Ticket Scanner Guy scans Gary’s and Andy’s tickets and sends them through. Then he scans mine.

Beep-beep-beep! Invalid barcode.

He tries again. Beep-beep-beep! Nope.

Scanner Guy looks at the ticket, and then shows me that it’s for the September 22 game, the makeup game for the Friday game that was rained out. The guy behind me shouts, “Oh boy, one of those guys!”

Scanner Guy tells me to take it back to the box office. Gary, witnessing this from the good side of the gate, has a look of distressed shock on his face. I tell him not to worry, even though I expect I’m probably really screwed now.

new yankee stadium help sign

Always there.

I head back to the box office, and I’m asking for Divine Help now, because my company’s reputation can be at stake here. “God, I know there are bigger problems in the world, so it’s okay if I don’t make it inside. But any help from up there would really be appreciated!

I arrive at the ticket agent’s window and explain. I deliberately am as nice as can be, knowing that this was just a mistake. The ticket agent already knows, apologizes and gives me a refund. I somehow work up the nerve to ask if there is anything now. The ticket agent punches it up, and amazingly, finds another standing room ticket, this time on the lower level, for $60. I hand over my credit card.

And then, in a moment of chutzpah that I am not often known for, I change my mind, ask for my credit card back, and request that the agent keep checking for something under my rigid $40 price. The agent promises to keep trying and asks me to wait against the wall.

Twenty minutes pass. On the television in the office, the starting lineups are announced. I can hear the crowd at the announcement of Jeter’s name. The national anthem is played.

I stand and wait, along with several others, wondering if they are in my boat and I’ll end up in a bidding war that I would surely lose. Other agents–who had previously been shouting that $375 tickets were all they had–begin to pull down the shades on their windows. The game is now absolutely, unquestionably, really, really Sold Out.

new yankee stadium jeter souvenirs

I hear the band is pretty good.

My agent gets up and walks away. I am actually worried now that this doesn’t cause the agent any heart trouble, because I understand it was just a mistake and I knew going in that this was a very long shot.

Five more minutes pass. The agent returns and motions for me to come to the window.

“OK. I’ve got a standing room, field level on the third base side. Looks like someone just turned this in on StubHub.” I prepare for the price and wonder what I am going to do.

And the agent says: “No charge.”

I can’t believe it. “Really?” I nearly shriek. “Yeah”, the agent says. “I screwed up, and you’ve been really patient about it, so no charge.” I stick my hand as far as I can underneath the tray so the agent can give me five on my fingers, which gets a smile.

Ballpark E-Guides doesn’t deal in intangibles. An E-Guide isn’t going to tell you how to suck up to your boss or befriend someone you ordinarily wouldn’t because he has season tickets. But this is something I should share. If a ticket operator or agent makes a mistake, by all means try to stay cool and be as understanding as you can.

new yankee stadium parking rates

You should see what it costs to park an actual car!

Many New Yorkers might have loudly fumed obscenities at this agent, not because they are bad people but because they live in an expensive city filled with scam artists, and they often have to be on guard about being ripped off.

If you can manage to hold it together and not get upset, a person used to nothing but the opposite reaction may just go the extra mile for you. Or the extra ten miles.

I have done it again. Every single stupid, arrogant, unreasonable gamble has paid off. I head over to the nearest gate now, hearing that the game has begun. I scan the ticket at the turnstile.

Beep-beep-beep! Invalid barcode. I try again. Beep-beep-beep!

new yankee stadium gate 8

In case you’re wondering, no, this isn’t the secret gate that accepts invalid tickets.

The usher tells me to try at the next gate over, but from recent experience I know this won’t work. The ticket’s been used or something and the barcode has been voided. If there was any doubt before, there can’t be any left that I’m done now.

I head back to the agent’s window and explain what happened. The agent laughs in disbelief, takes the ticket and walks away. Five more minutes pass. The agent returns and says “The ticket is still valid, it should be good, all I can tell you is try again.”

I walk over to the same gate again, and try to scan the ticket.

Beep-beep-beep! Denied.

Again, the usher tells me to try the next gate over. At this point, I have nothing to lose, and I move over one turnstile. Another usher looks at my ticket and says “this is standing room”. He scans the ticket with his handheld scanner. Beep!

“Go ahead.”

I float into Yankee Stadium, and make it to a standing room spot just in time to see Derek Jeter crack a base hit into left field for hit number 2,999, and share in the moment with delirious Yankees fans.

I found Gary later and shared the whole story. He was, as he said in his blog post about the day, impressed.

After all of this, it turns out I would be handed one more piece of good luck: it turns out Derek Jeter hits Tampa Bay pitching pretty well, and not only clouted a no-doubter home run for his 3,000th hit, he went 5-for-5, scoring number 3,001, 3,002, and finally 3,003—which turned out to be the game winner. I thought he might hit 4,000 that day.

Well done, Captain.

new yankee stadium jeter 3000

The only career Yankee with 3,000.

I went to New York City on July 9 with a modest goal: to demonstrate the money-saving benefits of a Yankee Stadium E-Guide to potential customers and hopefully gather some pictures and helpful tips. I came back to South Jersey someone overwhelmed by an astonishing lesson in faith, patience, and perseverance. Everything imaginable seemed to go wrong—and somehow turned out right.

If you had told me the night before, the hour before, or even the minute before I walked through the gate that I would not only make it inside Yankee Stadium on that day of all days, but that I would do so for free, I would have pronounced you certifiable. I still would. I still can’t believe it.

In the ninth inning, Mariano Rivera comes running in to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”—another Hall of Famer, another great tradition—and shuts out the lights on the Tampa Bay Rays. Yankees win.

new yankee stadium kurt with jeter

We both got into the Stadium for free.

And Ol’ Blue Eyes’ voice booms through the PA singing “New York, New York”. As Sinatra sings, I suddenly realize that, for one day at least in New York City, I have Made It There.

Damn, I love baseball.

 

Ballpark E-Guides free ebook

FREE PDF for traveling baseball fans! (That would be you.)

Do you love to visit ballparks and see live baseball? Subscribe to the Ballpark E-Guides e-mail newsletter today, and fill your scorecard with useful and entertaining info about your favorite ballparks, money-saving “tips of the week” for frugal fans, and of course, specials on the incredibly informative Ballpark E-Guides!

You’ll also score this PDF, listing some of Kurt’s favorite sites for traveling baseball fans, absolutely free of charge…just for stepping up to the plate and subscribing.

Get on base without swinging the bat…sign up today!