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Yankee Stadium is a staple of New York City. Located in the Bronx, it is the home of the New York Yankees. The team recently build a new stadium on the site that Macombs Dam Park once stood, which replaced the 1923 Yankee Stadium. The new version of Yankee Stadium first opened on April 2nd, 2009. There was no game played on that day, but the Yankees did host an open workout for fans in the Bronx community. When the first real game was finally played at the new ballpark, it was an exhibition game that was played against the Chicago Cubs the day after the park opened for the public workout.
The owner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner had lobbied for the new stadium for quite some time. His earliest attempts started in the 1980s, and at one point was even willing to risk losing patrons at his games by claiming that the conditions around the previous Yankee Stadium were not safe. The team had been rumored to be considering a move across the Hudson River to the New Jersey area, and also considered moving the team to Manhattan.
After decades of lobbying, the groundbreaking ceremony at the stadium took place on August 16, 2006, which was also the anniversary of Babe Ruth’s death, the most popular player in franchise history. Famously, one Red Sox fan who was working on the site tried to bury the jersey of David Ortiz in the concrete underneath the stadium. This was an effort to get back at the Yankees, who many Red Sox fans believed were at fault for the famous “Curse of the Gambino.” The story is that the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees, and at the time had not won a World Series since, while the Yankees had gone on to have untold successes, and currently have 27 all-time World Series wins, which is more than any other team in baseball. $1.5 million of New York tax money was used to help build the parking garages, but the stadium had its largest contributions from private investors.
The stadium was controversial when it first opened. The ballpark saw a record number of home runs to right field during their opening home stand and some fans of other teams suggested that the way the wind whirled through the stadium made it too easy to hit a home run over the right field fence. Although the pace has slowed down since those first few games, the right field fence is still the easiest place to hit the ball out of the ballpark.
The stadium was designed by the architect firm Populous. The outside of the stadium was made using over 11,000 pieces of limestone, along with concrete and granite. It is a beautiful building that serves as a reminder how important the city of New York is to the national pastime. The previous Yankee Stadium was the home of the most successful baseball team on earth, and the team is hoping to make the New Yankee stadium stand for the same traditions.