Martini bar, other amenities help drive cost of Yanks' new home to $1.3B
"We tried to reflect a five-star hotel and put a ballfield in the middle," said Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost, who hosted a media tour Thursday.
The new ballpark, set to be ready for the 2009 season, is directly across the street from the old House that Ruth Built. The site is now a welter of cranes and construction trailers, with hard-hatted workers patrolling the infield.
The granite and limestone exterior is designed to evoke Yankee Stadium when it opened in 1923, before it was remodeled in the 1970s.
But inside there will be amenities unheard of in Babe Ruth's day -- or in Reggie Jackson's.
There will be a conference area with video conferencing so that a corporate group could have a daylong meeting and then stay for a game. A concierge will be available to procure theater tickets or restaurant reservations.
There will be 51 luxury suites, two large outdoor suites and eight party suites with seating for up to 410 people in total.
The 58-by-103-foot center field television screen will be six times the size of the video screen at the current stadium.
The dimensions of the field will be the same as at the old ballpark, which will be partially demolished.
Trost said the cost overruns included $150 million in enhancements such as the giant video screen, $138 million in food and beverage costs not included in the original estimate and $50 million from delays due to a lawsuit by community groups that sought to halt construction of the stadium.
The community groups sued because two city parks were razed to make way for the new stadium. The Yankees have said the lost parkland would be replaced at the site of the old stadium and elsewhere in the Bronx.
Asked if the Yankees had been securing additional financing, Trost said, "We will be."
The Mets' new ballpark, CitiField, remains on budget at $800 million and on schedule to open in 2009. While the new Yankee Stadium will hold about 53,000 fans, CitiField will have a capacity of approximately 42,500.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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