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New York Yankees

The Takeaway

Ballpark Figures: The Life of a Ballpark Vendor

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Next up in Ballpark Figures: Ted Berg, a former stands vendor at Shea Stadium, tells us what he did when a Yankee fan spit chewed hot dog at him.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Four More Home Games to Say Good-Bye to Jeter

Monday, September 22, 2014

For Derek Jeter's final games at home, Suzyn Waldman, the first female full-time Major League broadcaster, looks back on his career and what he's meant to his teammates and his fans.

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WNYC News

Jeter To Play His Final Season

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's the end of an era in the Bronx. Shortstop Derek Jeter announced he'll retire after the 2014 season, ending nearly two decades with the Yankees.

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The Takeaway

Fenway Park's Troubled Racial Past

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox’s storied ballpark, celebrated it’s 100th birthday late last month. And in honor of the centennial, moments in Red Sox history were remembered and relived like the "Curse of the Bambino." But today, we’re talking about one element of Fenway’s history that is rarely spoken of: it’s troubled racial past.

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Schoolbook

A New Schoolyard, Decorated in Pinstripes

Monday, November 28, 2011

A worn-out schoolyard that was gloomy and dangerous is now bathed in bright colors and fitted with new basketball hoops and a baseball diamond. And for an hour, it was decorated with a splash of pinstripes: Yankees pinstripes.

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The Takeaway

Yankees Out After Being Defeated by Tigers

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Detroit Tigers are heading to the ALCS after edging out the New York Yankees 3-2 on Thursday night in a decisive winner take all game 5. Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, The Takeaway's sports contributor, gives his analysis of the game.

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Transportation Nation

Yankee Stadium Parking Woes Drag On

Friday, September 23, 2011

Empty Yankee Stadium parking garage that could become a hotel and conference center.

(New York, NY - WNYC) The New York Yankees are headed to the playoffs. But the company running Yankee Stadium's parking garages remains mired in a slump. With the baseball season just about over, the numbers are in: paying customers have filled only 45 percent of the stadium's 9,000 parking spots on game days this season.

And now development officials say they are looking to tear down one of the garages and replace it with a first class hotel and conference center. The idea is that development will bring in extra revenue and make the remaining parking spots more valuable.The Yankees argued when seeking city council approval that it's new stadium would require more parking.  But the opposite happened.

Many fans who drive to see the Yankees have been shunning the $35 spots for cheaper ones in the neighborhood. Even more fans have been taking the subway or Metro-North trains.

The Bronx Parking Development Company, which owns the eleven garages and surface lots that serve the new Yankee Stadium, built thousands of extra spots. One garage was erected on parkland that New York City, over many residents' objections, gave to the company. The city has worked since then to create an equal amount of parkland in the area, but progress has been slow: the All Hallows High School baseball team, just four blocks from the stadium, has been without a home field for five years.

Heritage Field, a set of regulation-sized baseball diamonds on the lot where the old Yankee Stadium stood, was recently finished. But they still can't be used: another month is needed for the sod to take hold. For now, they sit lushly--and idly--under the sun.

The new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009. Its extensive parking system has underperformed from the start. Now the Bronx Parking Development Company is struggling to pay back the $237 million dollars it owes in tax-exempt bonds.

The company's next bond payment is November 1. Company vice president Chuck Lesnick said he didn't know whether the company will need to dip into its cash serves to meet the obligation, a sign that the enterprise could be teetering on default. Lesnick said in an interview that he'd even be open to selling off surface parking lots around the stadium to raise extra money.

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Transportation Nation

Photos: Yankee Parking Garages Face Financial Collapse Despite $100s of Millions in Public Subsidies

Friday, May 20, 2011

(Photo: (cc) by Flickr user wyfurasko)

When the New York Yankees sought approval for this new stadium five years ago, the team insisted on adding 2000 parking spots -- even though the new stadium was smaller than the old.  As the New York City Council came under pressure from some neighborhood residents to reject the plan -- which meant destroying a local park, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration hastily added a proposed transit stop as a last-minute sweetener.

Now half the people who are going to see the Bronx Bombers are taking transit. And the stadium's parking garages are on the brink of defaulting on their financing even after $100s of millions in public subsidies to build them under the contentious plan that displaced the local high school baseball team.

To read and listen to the full story, head over to our original article.

Scroll down for some photos from Jim O'Grady's parking garage travels in Yankee land.

(Photo: Jim O'Grady)

The All Hallows High School Varsity baseball has been without a home field since a Yankee parking garage went up in Macombs Dam Park five years ago. They ride a bus to all their games, even "home games," which they play on opponents' fields.  Team members say that makes it nearly impossible for fellow students to come out and support the team. Here, they're pictured after beating Mount Saint Michael with a walk-off homer in the 10th inning.

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Transportation Nation

After Hundreds of Millions of Dollars of Public Subsidies, Barely Used Yankees Parking Garages Face Financial Collapse

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This garage was built on a park in the Bronx at behest of the Yankees. Two-thirds empty on game days, the garage is now facing financial collapse

(Bronx,  NY - Jim O'Grady, WNYC) In the far North Bronx, near the Yonkers border, right fielder Stephan Alamies of the All Hallows High School varsity baseball team is batting against Mount Saint Michael. This is a home game for All Hallows--but they’re playing on their opponents’ field. They drove 45 minutes by bus to get here. Coach Edgardo Guttierez says the team used to play four blocks from school.

“Unfortunately, the Yankees built their parking lot on the field that we used to practice on," he said.

On the team bus, the players weren't any happier than their coach. "We feel like a bunch of gypsies just traveling all over the place," said Alamies before the other players chimed in: “It’s depressing.” “People want to come see us but they can’t see us. We don’t have a home field, we don’t know where we’re at.”

The team, like the rest of the neighborhood around Yankee Stadium, is still waiting for promised replacement fields.

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But so few Yankee fans are parking at eleven garages and lots around the new stadium that the company managing them may soon default on $237 million in tax exempt bonds used to build them.  In an effort to stave off collapse, the garages recently hiked prices to $35 a game.  But as of last month, they were two thirds empty on game days.

According to public documents and two separate analyses, the Bronx Parking Development company owes the city $17 million in back rent and other payments. The city is paying $195 million to replace the parkland it gave to the Yankees. And New York State spent $70 million to build Parking Garage B. That's where Derek Jeter and his fellow players park, along with VIP ticket holders. The garage is not open to the public, and allows those who use it to enter directly into the stadium.

Bettina Damiani is project director at Good Jobs New York, a government watchdog group. "It doesn't seem to make sense to publicly subsidize the stadium and also publicly subsidize the parking garages," she said, adding it isn’t just about the money. "This is about the impact it's had on an entire generation of kids who have not had access to open public park space the way they did have."

The new Yankee Stadium is smaller than the old one. But when the team insisted in 2006 that it needed 2,000 extra parking spots, the New York City Industrial Development Agency issued 237  million dollars in tax exempt bonds for an expanded parking system--paving over the neighborhood's only regulation baseball diamonds to do it.

The Yankees insisted from the beginning that they needed 9,000 parking spots, 2,000 more than before. They even made it a legal condition for not moving out of the Bronx.

At a City Council hearing in 2006, Yankees president Randy Levine predicted additional parking garages would bring less traffic to the neighborhood. “By building the new parking spots, the cars will get out of the community, won’t circle around the community and disrupt it, and will go into parking lots," he said.  As a sweetener, the Bloomberg administration, pushing the plan, added a last-minute concession:  it would build a new Metro-North stop next to the field.

The Yankees got their new stadium -- and their 9000 parking spots.  The stadium plan passed the city council, 44 to 3.

In 2006, Speaker Christine Quinn defended the garages.

“I think it would be great if people could go to sporting events exclusively on mass transit but that’s not going to happen," she said. "So one has to, when they’re developing projects like this, have a reality sense of what the needs are as it relates to parking."

But the MTA tells WNYC that more than 50% of a typical sell-out crowd arrives by train, bus or ferry. Many fans who do drive skip the $35 dollar charge for a spot at a Yankee garage and either park on the street or at cheaper lots in the neighborhood. One local garage advertises on a flyer that says, "Don't pay 35 dollars." Its prices start at $15.

Little has changed from 2006 outside the stadium on game days. Traffic cops stand on corners directing the circling cars. By first pitch, every one of the area’s 3,200 curbside spots is filled.

Angel Castillo, a car-owner who lives four blocks from the stadium, sees it all season. “Oh my God, sometimes if I come and the game starts, I gotta wait when the game finished one hour after the game," he said. "After midnight.”

Castillo says street parking is so scarce during Yankee homestands that he’ll leave his car in a spot for four days and pay fifteen dollars each way for a car service to his job as a barbershop manager in the North Bronx.

Mayor Bloomberg says private bondholders, not taxpayers, will be on the hook if the Bronx Parking Development Company defaults on the bonds. On his weekly radio show, he shrugged off the Bronx Parking Development Company's possible collapse.

“The city has no downside," he said. "If they were to go bankrupt, it doesn't hurt us. It wouldn’t be good for the project."

But taxpayers have been hurt.

Back at the game in the North Bronx, Stephan Alamies waits for the pitch. It’s 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning. He swings…and the ball is gone. All Hallows wins on a walk-off homer. The victory helps them clinch their division. Today, they’re preparing for the playoffs.

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WNYC News

Look | The Yankees Home Opener in Photos

Thursday, March 31, 2011

PHOTOS. Fans flocked to the Yankees season home opener in the Bronx Thursday.

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WNYC News

Taking in the Yankees' Opener With a Pair Hired to Watch an Entire Season

Thursday, March 31, 2011

As the Yankees wound up for their Bronx home opener Thursday, fan Michael O'Hara and his wingman watched the game action from the comfort of a so-called fan cave in the East Village — where they will hunker down to watch 2,430 regular season baseball games this season.

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WNYC News

Sneak Peek: Yankee Stadium

Thursday, April 02, 2009




The New York Yankees hosted a special preview tour of the new stadium on April 1. Here New York Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost offers highlights of the venue, from the comfy chairs and gourmet cuisine to multimedia historical touches:

The structure: "We've readopted the gates from 1923: two, four, six and eight."

Capacity: "The capacity is 52,325 but there is also standing room within that."

Comfort: "Every seat has a five-inch cushion. Every seat on the field level will be covered when the team is on the road with tarps."

Kids keep score: "The auxiliary scoreboards you can see in right center and left center are to be operated by hand, we will have children operate them."

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