Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New York's lavish new stadiums spark outrage among baseball fans

New York's lavish new stadiums spark outrage among baseball fans

Thousands are losing their jobs and new skyscrapers are scratching around for tenants, but judging only by its baseball, no-one would know that New York is gripped by recession.

Planned in more affluent times, the replacement of the landmark Shea and old Yankee stadiums with buildings designed to pamper corporate customers has angered fans and non-fans alike.

The projects received hundreds of millions of dollars of public money, as well as lucrative sponsorship deals with banks now being bailed out by Washington.

But ordinary fans must now compete for fewer cheap seats, while many question who will patronise both stadiums' luxury restaurants and who will buy their front row tickets costing £1,800 per game.

At the new £1 billion Yankee stadium, which opens in the Bronx on Friday, the players' locker room covers 30,000 square feet and TV screens are built into the mirrors found in the mens' toilets.

Despite receiving £31 billion in federal aid, Citigroup has found £276 million for a sponsorship deal with the Mets.

The new £700 million Citi Field stadium, previously the Shea, is now saddled with the unfortunate nickname "Bailout Park".


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