Next up is Jason from My Baseball Bias.
Jason is originally from Bradford, Penn., (birthplace of Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell) and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He idolizes Don Mattingly, worships Phil Rizzuto and is a classically-trained opera singer. He works for the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City as principal Cantor and serves on the music staff of the prestigious Madeleine Choir School.
Here’s his post:
Much has been made of the Yankees’ new cathedral being built at East 161 St. and River Ave. in the Bronx. We’ve heard the 1,500,000 square foot, 50,800-seat stadium will contain an Indiana limestone exterior, the replica frieze – a staple of the original 1923 structure, removed during the ’74-‘75 renovation – and the gigantic Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision HD LED video scoreboard that sits nearly a 101 feet wide and 59 feet tall with 8,601,600 LED lamps.
In true Yankee style, the Steinbrenner family promises a first-class, premium atmosphere for fans to enjoy their beloved Yankees. As Old George put it: “This new ‘Home of Champions’ will preserve the architectural integrity of the original Yankee Stadium, while incorporating modern amenities.”
And while the Yankees dazzle us, however, with “modern amenities”, it looks like they’ve failed to incorporate any bold ideas when it comes to building a stadium that is environmentally responsible. In what could have been a model for future sports stadiums all over the world, the Yankees have decided that bigger and more expensive fit their brand better than a cost-efficient, environmentally safe and sustainable structure. What a shame.
Reading through many of the public statements regarding the new stadium since the groundbreaking ceremony in 2006, one finds nary a mention of the word “environment” or “green design elements” from anyone associated with the Yankees or any city/state officials. Moreover, we learned recently that the building of new parkland in the South Bronx, as stipulated in the Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Plan is behind schedule, causing many in the community to question the commitment to neighborhood revitalization. Unfortunately, Googling “new Yankee stadium” with “green” returns more references to cost overruns than to the environment.
I’m perplexed why the Yankees didn’t follow the lead of the Washington Nationals. In March of 2008, Nationals Park became the first professional sports stadium awarded an LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certificate by the U.S. Green Building Council and became the first “green ballpark” in the nation. Even the Mets and the Giants/Jets new stadiums, while not seeking LEED-certification, have incorporated sustainable features in their plans. The Minnesota Twins are also building their new stadium to be LEED-certified. Why not the Yankees?
I attempted to contact HOK Sport, who was responsible for the Stadium’s new design, but I have yet to hear back from them. It’s rather interesting that HOK designed both the Nationals ballpark and the new stadium in Minnesota. I also reached out to Stephen T. Del Percio of greenbuildingsNYC.com, who mentioned that Turner, the contractor building the new Yankee Stadium is a prominent sponsor of the USGBC.
With all of this overlap, it’s surprising the Yankees weren’t at least interested in the idea of building a stadium that could, among other things, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and water, reduce waste to landfills and provide a healthier place for it’s roughly four million annual visitors while reducing operating costs.
What a missed opportunity.
Interesting post, Jason. Thanks. If anybody from the Yankees cares to respond, I’ll happily print their side of it.
Coming tomorrow: Dan from River and Sunset.