The borough president finally reveals his idea of what a new Yankee Stadium develoment could be. It's basically the same as the Yankee plan, with a better connection between the new and older stadium...
FIELD OF DREAMS
By BILL SANDERSON
October 19, 2004 -- EXCLUSIVE
Here's a sneak peek at the proposed new Yankee Stadium — and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion's plan to use the current ballpark's field and distinctive facade for recreation and private development.
The new $700 million stadium would go up in Macombs Dam Park across East 161st Street from the current stadium.
The Bronx Bombers, who lost last night to the Boston Red Sox 5-4 in 14 innings but still lead their best-of-seven ALCS 3-2 going into today's Game Six, are in the final stages of planning the much-anticipated new stadium .
Sources said this depiction of the ballpark, from Carrion's office, is consistent with what the team has proposed.
Yankee reps wouldn't tip their hat about how exactly the new stadium would look.
"The borough president has been quite helpful and we welcome his support," said Yankees spokesman Howard Rubenstein said. But he added: "We have not released any of our specific plans" to Carrion or anyone else.
The new stadium would have about 50,000 seats compared to 57,000 at the current stadium, but the new ballpark would have 50 revenue-generating luxury skyboxes, in contrast to the current 19.
Carrion, whose job gives him a lead role in economic development and planning in The Bronx, believes much of the old city-owned stadium should be preserved.
"The borough president wants to honor the House that Ruth Built," said his spokesman, Eldin Villafane.
In a statement, Carrion's office said his plan "will complement the stadium plan proposed by the Yankee organization."
Carrion says he seeks "a wide array of redevelopment improvements for the Yankee Stadium neighborhood," and will offer "a detailed plan" for the old stadium "as a destination spot."
That plan includes "infrastructure, transportation and green space development."
Besides preserving the current stadium's walls, Carrion proposes tearing down the 1970s pedestrian ramp that obstructs the historic façade behind home plate. Inside, the historic field at its current dimensions — with a shallow right field and a deep left field designed to favor Babe Ruth and other left-handed power hitters — would remain green and grassy.
Most of the seating inside the existing stadium would be removed, making space for new, privately developed buildings offering views of the old playing field.
The plan shows one such building in left field. Another would go up inside the current stadium wall, along the first-base side of the field.
Exactly what kind of business or other development Carrion would like to see in the new buildings is unclear. Carrion says he will disclose specifics today at a meeting of the Association for a Better New York.
Also unclear is whether Carrion's plan includes other elements sought by the Yankees — including a new ferry terminal on the nearby Harlem River, and a new train station. The Yankees have wanted a station on the Metro-North's Hudson line since the current stadium was built in 1922.
Carrion sees his Yankee Stadium proposal as part of the redevelopment of the entire surrounding area, including the nearby Bronx Terminal Market.
When the Yankees began discussing building a new "state of the art" stadium several years ago, the team never offered any proposal for the existing ballpark, which is owned by the city, and leased by the team.
For years after the stadium's 1970s renovation, team owner George Steinbrenner hinted about moving the Yankees to a new ballpark in Manhattan — or even, heaven forbid, to the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
But it's become clear that in the last few years, the Boss has settled on the idea of a new stadium in The Bronx. He and then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani discussed the idea in 2001, Giuliani's last year in office.
Other city officials also seem to like the idea of a new Bronx stadium, but many say it would have to be financed with the team's own money.