After the first game of this now triumphant series against Boston, Ross from New Stadium Insider penned a guest post for RAB about the acoustics in the new ballpark. He wrote:
At the old Yankee Stadium – and other great home parks such as Fenway – crowd noise builds in anticipation of a big moment. So far in 2009, the new Yankee Stadium has had small bursts of overwhelming crowd noise, but those have typically been in response to a big moment. The wall of sound that engulfs you and makes you feel like you are a part of something truly special conspicuously absent.
We are left wondering whether that wall of sound will ever return. Is the significantly further recessed (and partially covered) upper deck to blame? Are the fans that can afford to attend games at the new Yankee Stadium even more corporate than the fans at the old one? Did the 6,000 – 7,000 extra seats in the old place make a huge difference in terms of crowd noise? We probably need to wait until the new Yankee Stadium hosts a playoff series to draw any reasonable conclusions, but as of now, we’re disappointed.
While I opined at the time that I had not noticed a huge acoustical difference between the two parks and thought the sentiment resulted from the mythologization of the old ballpark, Ross’ feelings about the New Yankee Stadium were shared by many. However, one night later, everything changed. The Yankees and Red Sox played a game for the ages, and as Mike Vaccaro eloquently noted, all the new home of the Yankees needed to prove itself was a game of the proper import and tension:
Look homeward now. Look to The Bronx. Look to the familiar old neighborhood. And cross the street. Yankee Stadium II made its bones last night, proved it can be a fair acoustic heir, and maybe approach the experience the old joint used to specialize in: feeling like you had a stake in things. Feeling like everyone on the field could hear you. Feeling like a 10th man.
And being one. The games that came before didn’t have any of that. This one did. This one lasted until close to 1 in the morning, but when it ended everyone was ready. Everyone was prepared. The best game in the new ballpark, and they screamed as the ball soared, and it sounded sweeter even than Sinatra.
In one night, the new ballpark in the Bronx went from a foreign place where our favorite team happened to play to the Home of the Yankees. If there had been any doubts about the Stadium’s suitability as the site for a big postseason game, it was erased Friday night when Alex Rodriguez sent that ball deep into the summer night. Yankee Stadium is ready for a long October.