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Yankees Fans Enjoy Citi Field More Than the Stadium?

By Mike Silva ~ May 24th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

I had some Yankees fan friends I know go to the Subway Series this weekend. One of the surprises was how much they enjoyed Citi Field. This is a far cry from the days when Yankees fans would complain about the inferior accommodations at Shea Stadium.

“Citi Field is like a real ballpark,” they told me. We compared the two and the consensus was that Yankee Stadium is more like a museum honoring history and tradition. There is nothing wrong with that, as it fits with the Yankees brand, but this was a younger Yankees fan crowd I was talking to and their priorities might be more on entertainment than a history lesson.

We can criticize the Mets for a lot of things about the way they run their organization. They blew the inaugural season of Citi Field with the lack of tradition and history throughout the stadium. With that said, it’s a great ballpark and it will attract the casual fan because of the outside entertainment and eateries. That may anger the hard core baseball fan, but in order to run a profitable business it’s a necessity in the modern era. I don’t believe there are four million “hardcore” baseball fans in a town with the diversity of New York. A successful sports team has to be good on the field as well as provide value added services at the event. If you don’t you can’t consistently draw at a high level.

On Saturday I was sitting behind a family whose kids were playing some sort of Nintendo Gameboy contraption the whole game. They probably were in the 8 year old range, it’s understandable, but the days of kid’s attention span for a three plus hour game may be gone. Not all kids, but a vast majority in the smart phone era. Those kids probably would rather be hitting a wiffleball out in the picnic area versus watching K-Rod’s five out save.

This actually could be good news for the Mets in terms of their long range branding prospects. The Yankees have the brand name now, but things can change. It wasn’t too long ago that rooting for the Yankees wasn’t cool. Having a ballpark that is more engaging to the fans, versus an elitist one, may be a strategy that can work long term. Of course, the product on the field has to cooperate or it won’t work.

Just a random thought from a casual conversation. It’s something for Dave Howard to take away after the pounding the organization has taken (rightfully so) for the execution of Citi Field 2009.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Yankees Fans Enjoy Citi Field More Than the Stadium?

  1. Greg

    I am a diehard Yankee fan that wasn’t too thrilled with the new Stadium when the design was unveiled. I thought Citi’s design looked way more nostalgic, and most importantly, it looked completely different than Shea. I have since grown to love the new Stadium, what with its ease of access to bathrooms and concessions from anywhere in the building, and I am finally going to visit Citi for the first time on 9/14. Of course, I will be wearing my Yanks jersey, but I will root for the Amazin’s. Hopefully Citi Field is as nice inside as it looks from afar.

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