Shea Stadium vs. Yankee Stadium
I've been to both Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium a lot. I have not been to Yankee Stadium much since I was kid, but I've been there at least one time in each of the last two seasons. Can I fairly evaluate both Stadiums with my complete bias towards the New York Mets? Probably not....
Tale of The Tape
The House that a Blind Architect Built
Built in 1964
Max Capacity: 56,749
Cost: $28.5 million
The House That Ruth Built
Year Built 1923
Max Capacity: 57,158
Cost $50 million
Parking: Edge - Shea Stadium
This category is not even close. You drive to Shea, park your car and feel safe. You will not have anyone come up to you and offer to "watch" your car for five bucks like when you park in the Bronx. There is also parking a plenty at Shea unless it is Met/Yankee game or if the Mets happen to make the playoffs but even then you'll have parking, just far away (but you probably need the excercise anyway). You can even come early park by the Marina, play catch, or do whatever else strikes your fancy.
Ladies: Edge - Yankee Stadium
If you are going to try and pick up girls when you go to either ballpark, then you might want to reassess your priorities when you come to watch a baseball game. However, if you must, Shea nor the Mets are particularly cool or interesting to fair-weather fans especially female fair-weather fans. Not that it is a bad thing, but if you are going to Shea in hopes of seeing some hot girls not there with their boyfriends, you will be disappointed. Going to Yankee game is more of a social, party-type atmosphere that gets girls otherwise uninterested in sports to go with their pink Yankee hats and Jeter t-shirt jerseys.
Bars Scene: Edge - Yankee Stadium
This one is a victory by default by Yankee Stadium. The are no bars outside Shea Stadium and if you want to have some pre-gaming activities, then you need to sneak beer in the parking lot, meet up NYC before hoping on the subway, or brown bag it on the subway. As for Yankee Stadium, the bars are a plenty, you can get food at bars/restaurants, get meat on stick from vendors outside, and tons of people pre-gaming at the bars.
Class, Tactfulness, and Intelligence of the Fans: Edge - Shea Stadium
I guess this is kind of part II of the bar scene. By the time most of the people actually get into Yankee Stadium, they are inebriated. When I was there in 2003 one guy was passed out drunk and sleeping in his seat before the game even started. I'm not saying you won't see this at Shea Stadium, after all, Yankee fans poison the place three times a year. Yankee fans tend to get verbose think rooting for their team makes them supreme beings. Their also fail to exhibit any ability to carry on a intelligent conversion or debate about baseball. Most confrontations end up with the phrase "26 World Championships", or previously "1918" (if you were a Red Sox fan), "Mets suck!", "every city needs a JV team", etc. If rooting for a team that wins with a payroll that has successively broke the record for payroll in professional sports every year since 1999 is exciting while almost doubling the next highest payroll in this upcoming season, then I'm missing something. Aren't they supposed to win if their team's payroll looks like the GDP of a small country?
Hot Dogs: Edge - Shea Stadium
We can get into the arguments of whether Nathan's or Kahn's hot dogs taste better, but the fact is, they are both industry giants in the art form of squeezing lips, assholes, hooves, tails, and other left-over pig parts into a tube form. However, I'm not really sure what the Yankees think a jumbo hot-dog should be, but whatever they call jumbo is not it. I realize they may need to cut corners where they can to be able to afford to bring in fantastic values like Steve Karsay, but c'mon. Sure less sometimes translate into more, but not in the case of tasty hot dogs at a baseball game. The Shea Stadium hot-dogs are bigger and better, although I guess it does not matter since Yankee fans are too drunk to taste their food by the time they get into the game and a piece of crap on bun with some mustard would taste good at that point.
Beer: Edge - Yankee Stadium
The Mets have some interesting beer on the Field Level, but unless you have tickets down there, you are not drinking it. You can look down from your seat on watch people more fortunate than you drink out of a yard or have some micro-brew, but it is just not the same. At Yankee Stadium, you can get the likes of Bass and the 23-ounce (I think it's 23-ounce) Fosters' can amongst other beer anywhere. I unfortunately have to give the edge to Yankee Stadium on this one. Brooklyn Lager is interesting as it gets for Shea patrons not on the field level.
Scoreboard: Edge - Shea Stadium
The city upgraded the Mets main scoreboard and their two side ones with color. At Shea Stadium you can see the score to every baseball game out there and that is not a luxury you have at Yankee Stadium. But how cares? Baseball that does not include the Yankees is worthless anyway!
The Shea Stadium scoreboard is infinitely better than the hunk of junk scoreboard at Yankee Stadium and is a pleasure to look at in comparison with the Yankees scoreboard despite the fact it is still very, very ugly when compared to just about every other scoreboard in the country. I guess it is the lesser of two evils.
Seating: Edge - Shea Stadium
Shea is fixing some of their field level seats so that they face inward towards the action as opposed to centerfield. They also have an upper deck that you do not have to fear for your life in while inhabiting the seats. Walking to your seat in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium has the same feel of hiking to the top of Mt. Everest. I've seen people set up basecamp on their way up. The Mets also added some new boxes on the infield a few years back to bring the fans even closer to the game. The Yankees have a better bleacher situation, but not enough to overcome the overall negative aspects of the regular seats.
Intangibles: Edge - Shea Stadium
People would give the Edge to the Yankee Stadium in this category because of the history in the building and it is a rite of passage, blah, blah, blah. I just do not buy it. I went into Bigelow's Pharmacy on Tuesday to get a prescription filled. They claim to be the oldest apothecary in NY. Yes, they are so old that they still use the word apothecary instead of pharmacy. The point is, old and storied does not make it good. Old just makes it that, old. Old, smelly, run-down, in need of new digs, etc. Besides me not caring that it is old and that it housed so many great players, they play Cotton-Eye Joe during the seventh inning stretch and that has to be one of the most irritating customs of all time. On top of that, Bob Sheppard does not amuse me and why him being on the PA excites people is beyond me. You can find hundreds of people that do a better job and probably sound better. Just because he was around when Babe Ruth was in pinstripes means nothing to me. The place stinks. I mean it really literally smells funny. The seats are uncomfortable and the hallways are dank and narrow and give off the feeling of being in a coffin. Perhaps the biggest negative comes in the form of sobriety. Not drinking is OK by me, but let the patrons choose. No beer in the bleachers? C'mon now. It's ball game. People come out to enjoy a beer and hot dog and should not be deprived of that right if they could only land some bleacher seats. As a byproduct of not being able to wet their whistles, they've developed horrible habits like chanting each player's name until they turn around and wave.
"Jeter, Jeter, Jeter, Jeter..."
Then Jeter waves....
"A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod..."
Then A-Rod waves. Is this fun? Is it REALLY fun?
Shea Stadium is a place that people go to and say, "hey, this is not that bad." Shea wins not by having more intangibles, but having less negatives. It may not be pretty, but it gets the job done. Sure the ugly neon ballplayers outside the stadium do not help, but they do not detract from the overall experience. The air traffic flying over the Stadium is certainly the worst thing about Shea experience, but there are simply not as many things that detract from the Shea experience like going to Yankee Stadium, which is a truly forgettable time out in my book.
It's a landslide. Shea Stadium has it. Despite most of the baseball community hailing Shea as the worst of all the current ballparks, it beat out Yankee Stadium in terms of enjoying a baseball game in my book. I don't buy the history argument when it comes to why Yankee Stadium is so great. It may very well be a mecca, a mecca of over-rated baseball parks. Yankee Stadium is just simply is not great, nor is it good. You can enjoy watching a game at Yankee Stadium because you like Yankee games, but Yankee Stadium adds nothing to the experience for me. ESPN's Eric Neel and Jim Caple did a review of all the ballparks and really did one of the fairest evaluations I've even seen.
21 Yankee Stadium
22 Bank One Ballpark
25 Shea Stadium
I think they were too kind to Yankee Stadium because of their Wild Card rating, but I'm fighting an uphill battle with my argument. I’m one of the few people who are not in awe walking into that ballpark and without that, it's nothing special.
* Views are in this post of solely those of The Metropolitans and not all Met fans. Unauthorized reproduction of this post without implied oral consent from The Metropolitans is strictly prohibited.
"I almost caught it, but it was coming at me 187 miles an hour," Strickland said. "All I saw was a dot and it struck my glove. And he was running 187 miles an hour, too."
....but the highlight of the game:
Philip Humber worked a scoreless inning and struck out a pair. Humber finished the game by striking out Miguel Cairo with a wicked 3-2 curveball. That had general manager Omar Minaya, who was seated behind home plate, crowing. "A 3-2 curveball? You're not supposed to do that," he said. Added Cairo, "That was a good curveball."
I know it is nothing to get excited about, but who gives a crap, I am.