It shouldn’t have taken anyone this long to realize the new Yankee Stadium wasn’t built for the diehard fan. Its target audience isn’t Joey from the Bronx, who taped over his wedding video to record game six of 1996 World Series (stupid pre-DVR world) and named his son after Jeffrey Maier. You know why? Because the type of guy who wears a Don Mattingly jersey to bed isn’t suddenly going to discover his passion for politics or gardening just because he doesn’t like that new field plays like Williamsport.
That type of guy will always be there, which is why it’s so difficult not to completely dismiss their bellyaching over the amount of home runs the new stadium has seen so far. The casual fan is the one the Yankees need to entice. The team needs to bring in the family of four willing to drop $150 on food and drinks and souvenirs in addition to whatever the outlandish cost of tickets is now.
And you know what can do that? Home runs.
I’ve always thought the home run was the best thing to witness in sports. It doesn’t occur as often as the dunk, so we appreciate it a little more, but it happens enough that there’s a good chance you’ll see one in any game you attend, unlike something like a hole-in-one or a no hitter, which you could go your whole life without ever watching.
So the fact that the new Yankee Stadium is being coined as Coors Field east isn’t bad for baseball, as WFAN’s Mike Francessa or the Baseball Tonight crew wants you to believe. It’s actually quite the opposite. In tough economic times like these, fans expect to be entertained if they’re going to attend sporting events and a surge in home runs will certainly help.
Especially for the casual fan.