Lieutenant Island Views : Commentary About Finance, Politics and Baseball

The New Yankee Stadium-Redefining the Term Visitor Friendly

April 19, 2009
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Have you heard that the new Yankee Stadium is extraordinarily visitor friendly? After scoring 22 runs yesterday, the Cleveland Indians certainly would agree! (Note: they were but inches away from 26 runs on a Travis Hafner fly ball to the wall in the 9th inning)

It has great amenities and should be a money maker for the Yankees. For all of the lucre it may generate, it is also possible that the stadium really has sacrificed a bit of the “home field advantage” that it once conveyed to the Bronx Bombers. As Joel Sherman points out in the New York Post, this is not your Granddad’s cacophonous House that Ruth Built:

• No more upper deck virtually hanging over the field. The upper deck is now set back and is much less directly above the action
• Bleachers and their fanatic fans are much further from the field and much less of an annoyance to visiting outfielders
• Field level pricing that would make Marie Antoinette blush! At $1,000 + per seat, one now finds soft spoken plutocrats, a few mild mannered expense account recipients and a lot of empty seats (as was the case yesterday in the Indians blowout.) You can be sure that Carl Pavano was a happy Indian that the down close seats no longer felt like the seats held by “the Mob” at the Roman Coliseum. In any case, he sure was not fed to the lions like Yankee fans in the far away seats had hoped.

Reducing the crowd effect at Yankee Stadium will undoubtedly reduce the home field advantage that the Yankees once enjoyed. Their hard core fans remain loud and lunatic. They are just far away from the field of play and in a lesser position to intimidate opponents. Fortunately for visitors, including those few in the expensive seats and on the field, the place is a lot more visitor friendly!

http://www.nypost.com/seven/04172009/sports/yankees/bronx_cheer_for_this_quiet_new_ballpark_164874.htm

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About author

Mr Thaler is currently the Managing Partner of Lieutenant Island Partners, an organization providing corporate finance advice and general consulting to corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Mr Thaler retired as Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank Securities in early 2008. His background includes experience as an investment banker, senior manager, business builder, college professor, not for profit board chair and trustee. In his thirty plus years as an investment banker for Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers, he has been involved in numerous significant debt and equity financings, mergers & acquisitions, leverage buyouts, restructurings and cross border transactions. Of particular note, Mr Thaler has been one of the most active participants and strategic advisors to the homebuilding industry. In a period of significant turmoil and losses, he was one of the few active bankers to the industry who did not have either a loss or credit write down. He is currently advising several public builders on strategic matters and is an adjunct professor of finance at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Though he lives in New York, he is a life long Red Sox fan! www.LieutenantIslandPartners.com

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