A Yankee Stadium Primer

by Louise, Director of Operations

Opening day was this week at both Yankee Stadium and Citifield, and now we’re in the midst of what we hope will be a very long and exciting baseball season!

While Citifield is always a more economical alternative for baseball games during your visit to NYC, most requests we get are to see the 27-time World Champions. I can’t say I blame you – I LOVE the Yankees! Based on the numerous conversations I’ve had when helping fans book Yankees packages, I thought I’d offer some of my best tips:

Have an idea of where you want to sit

Yankees1Before you go, you need tickets, right? It’s always a good idea to know where you want to sit, although we’ll be happy to offer you options. Here are some quick tips:

–          400 Level is “Grandstand”: The highest up seats, furthest from the action, and also usually the best prices (of course). There’s no bad view, so if you’re just looking for the experience Grandstand is a great option. But don’t think you can buy 400 level tickets and sneak into the field level seats – there are security guards!
–          300 Level is “Terrace”: Technically the same level as Grandstand, but the terrace level includes the seats closer to the field.
–          200 level is “Loge” or “Main Level”: Quite a bit closer to the field, with higher prices to match!
–          100 level is “Field Level”: The closest you can get to the action without being a very wealthy person who can get their hands on “legends suite” seating. But be wary – if you’re looking at sections labeled 129 or higher or 111 or lower you’ll be in the outfield, and not much closer to the action than the less expensive bleachers or 200 level seats.

If you love a specific player, you may want to choose a seat that gives you a good view:

Yankees14–          Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez both play on the third base side (I would hope you’d know that if you’re a fan!). Any section that ends in 24-27 is a good option. If Jeter’s your man and you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, right by section 117 is usually where he hangs out when he’s on deck (instead of the on deck circle), and it’s also right next to the Yankees Dugout.
–          Mariano Rivera is retiring after this season (sniff) and of course spends most of the game around the Bullpen. Section 136 is field level and still next to the Yankees Bullpen, though far from the rest of the game. Bleachers 237 and 238 are pretty economical choices that will also put you right behind the Bullpen, though you could end up being fairly far back.

So in general: a section ending in 24-27 is on the third base side, 12-16 is the first base side. 17-23 are behind home plate. Anything under 12 or over 27 is the outfield. Put a 1 in front, that’s the most expensive (At least $175, usually more). Put a 4 in front, that’s the least expensive (as low as $25 for some games).

Take the subway

Yankees2Yes, Yankee Stadium is in the Bronx. I highly encourage you to freely use the subway on your visit to New York, but I know it can be a little scary if you’re not familiar. Here are my reasons why it is extra not scary to take the subway to Yankee Stadium:

–          The 4 on the east side and D on the west side go directly there with no transfers. You can transfer from most other lines to the 4 or the D without even leaving the platform
–          The stop is called Yankee Stadium. And what’s more, basically everyone on the entire train is going to get off there. You won’t miss the stop!
–          You can see the stadium from the moment you get out of the subway. All you need to do to get there is cross the street. You can’t miss it!

So in conclusion, traveling to Yankee Stadium on the subway is easy, fast, and much cheaper than taking a taxi or booking a car in advance! However, this is an important subway tip: Make sure you have money on your Metrocard for your return trip before you go to the game. You do NOT want to be waiting in line to refill your Metrocard after the game!

Get there early, but not TOO early

Yankees3The gates don’t open until 2 hours prior to the scheduled start of the game, so there’s no reason to be any earlier than that! Guests are permitted to go right up to the front of the field level to watch batting practice for the first 45 minutes after the gate open, and after that you won’t be allowed in that section unless your tickets are there. So it’s a great opportunity to get up close to the team and the players, even if your ticketed seats are in the Grandstand!

Once batting practice is over, there’s still plenty to do before the game! Monument Park, a tribute to Yankees Legends, is open until 45 minutes prior to the scheduled start time, but go early because the line will often be closed an hour or more beforehand so they have time to empty the park before the game.

If you still have time, the Yankees Museum near Gate 6 is open prior to the game and does not close until the 8th inning, so make it your last stop.

Be Water Wary

Yankees4You’re going to see a lot of people outside the stadium selling bottles of water for $1. It’s a great deal, in theory, because water bottles once you get inside are going to be $5. So go for it, but this is important: DO NOT OPEN THE WATER BOTTLE OUTSIDE THE STADIUM. Stadium policy is that you can bring in factory-sealed water bottles (up to 1 liter), but once it’s opened, it’s not allowed, and you just wasted $1 instead of saving $4.

Get some Grub

An average game is 3 hours long – you’re going to get hungry. If hot dogs and cracker jacks with a side of bud light are your jam, I say go for it – you’ll see them at every turn! If you’re looking for something a little different, there are more food options than you might think. Take a walk around the field level to see the widest array of culinary delights. Here are some of my favorites in the stadium:

–          ParYankees5m You’re in New York City, have an authentic NYC meal, why dontcha? Parm, an amazing sandwich shop with its flagship location in Soho, is in the Great Hall between gates 4 and 6 and they serve up a delicious fresh turkey sandwich or a meatball sub. It’s the place to go.
–          Garlic Fries What more do I need to say? They are fries. With garlic. Like, a LOT of garlic. You can find them in three locations: By section 108, by section 205, or by section 331.
–          The Food Court If you’re with a large group and everyone wants something different, the food court on the field level is your best bet for diversity in one spot. It’s located near the third base line on the field level, adjacent to section 127. You’ll find all the basics there, plus stuff like sushi, noodle bowls, fried dough, and Dylan’s Candy Bar. Nearby at Gate 4 there’s even a little farmstand that sells fresh fruit, if you are 100% set against a traditional calorie-rific baseball experience.
Yankees6          Real Cocktails & Good Beer I don’t know about you, but by the time I was 21 I was already too old for giant sugar-laden slushies with a shot of vodka. When I’m at the stadium and I want a cocktail, I usually head for the Malibu Rooftop Deck near section 310. There’s a scenic(?) view of the South Bronx and it’s not usually jam-packed. The signature Malibu Rum cocktails are not a great value at $16-18 each, but regular mixed drinks are more like $10-12 and they have a full bar. They also have a couple of microbrews on tap.

Got more questions or looking for a Yankees package? I’m always happy to talk Yankees! E-mail me at lgeller@newyorkguest.com.

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Filed under NYC Sports, NYC with Kids, Out on the Town

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