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*** NY YANKEE STADIUM HISTORY - BRONX HISTORY ***

 


Yankee Stadium History: Concourse Neighborhood Bronx

A Bronx Institution Since 1923 was Rebuilt in 2009 with Taxpayer Funds on Public Parkland

October 8, 2017 /South Bronx Neighborhoods - Concourse / Bronx History / Bronx Things to do / Bronx Parks & Sports / Bronx Buzz NYC.

yankee stadium history concourse neighborhood bronxIn 1901 the New York Yankees baseball team originated in Baltimore as the Orioles [no relation to present day team]. In 1903, they were purchased by casino man Frank J. Devery and former police chief William S. Farrell, and moved to New York, where they were renamed the Highlanders, because of a Scottish reference and because they played in Hilltop Park which is in present day Washington Heights. Today Hilltop Park is occupied by New York Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center at 165th Street and Broadway.

The New York Giants baseball team had reportedly tried to keep the Highlanders out of New York, by disallowing them the use of the Manhattan Polo Grounds as a venue. The Manhattan Polo Grounds was located in East Harlem at 112th Street west of 5th Avenue [and just north of Central Park], and it is where the New York Giants baseball team played.

In 1911 the Manhattan Polo Grounds burned down, and for a time, the NY Giants used Hilltop Park. While the Manhattan Polo Grounds was being rebuilt, relations between the two teams warmed. So, in 1913 the Highlanders baseball team started playing at the Manhattan Polo Grounds where the team was again renamed- this time as the New York Yankees .

The New York Yankees shared the Manhattan Polo Grounds Stadium with the New York Giants baseball team until the opening season of 1923, when they moved into their new stadium.

Click here to read our report about the history of Yankee Stadium in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx.


In 1915 Jacob Ruppert, a businessman and brewer, along with an engineer Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston, purchased the New York Yankees in 1915. In 1919 the New York Yankees signed Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox - which is the origins of the near century old rivalry. With the signing of Ruth, the New York Yankees began outdrawing the NY Giants in attendance.

In 1922 Ruppert bought Huston's shares and started building the New York Yankees Stadium in Grand Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. The Hilltop Park seating originally accommodated about 16,000 two decades earlier, the new Yankee Stadium eventually would seat 56,000.

Yankee Stadium is nicknamed 'The House that Ruth Built' because baseball homerun hitter Babe Ruth, was quite a spectacle to see, and his fame regularly attracted tens of thousands of baseball fans to Yankee Stadium to watch him score. The NY Yankees went on to many victories in the 'House that Ruth Built' until it was torn down in 2009.

During the interim the ownership of the NY Yankees changed hands three times. In 1940 Ruppert died. After Ruppert's estate was settled in 1945, Dan Topping Sr. became the new President until the club was sold to CBS in 1964. CBS later sold the Yankees in 1973 to George Steinbrenner and the rest, as they say ... is history. George Steinbrenner died in 2010.

In 2006 the Yankees broke ground on a new stadium, on the block north of where the original stadium once stood. The new stadium was opened in 2009, and the Yankee's stadium and parking now occupy 25 acres of public parkland. The original Yankee stadium occupied 8 acres of public parkland and I'm not certain how much of the adjacent land was previously made available to them.

According to Wikipedia, the new Yankee stadium has 6,600 fewer regular seats than the prior Yankee stadium - but it has 4,300 more 'Club Seats' and 37 more Luxury Boxes / Suites. There is also about 5,000 more square feet of retail space in the new Yankee stadium.

The new Yankee stadium appears designed to enhance the Yankee's profits more than serve the surrounding Bronx neighborhood communities, as Yankee tickets are reported to cost more, on average, than for any other franchise in the league. Taxpayers - in addition to providing the Yankees with public parkland - also provided $1.2 billion to build Yankee Stadium. The total cost of the stadium was reportedly $2.3 billion, so it appears the taxpayers picked up over half the tab.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who reportedly called former Mayor Giuliani's concessions to the Yankees 'corporate welfare' - went on, in 2004, to unveil a plan for the replacement of both the Mets and the Yankees stadiums. The total cost of these two stadiums was reportedly $3.1 billion and together they cost taxpayers $1.8 billion - so again, it appears taxpayers picked up more than half the tab.

Did the former billionaire NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, use his office to enrich other (b)millionaires at the expense of the taxpayer?

To help sell the new Yankee Stadium to the surrounding neighborhoods and Bronx borough, the Yankees started the new stadium and simultaneously a new charity in 2006. As a follow up, a NY Times story on June 27, 2017, reported the following,

"The Yankees created a charity, called the New Yankee Stadium Community
Benefits Fund, which it intended to distribute almost $40 million in cash grants
and sports equipment, along with 600,000 baseball tickets, to community
organizations in the borough over four decades."

Since the charity was created, the story goes on to report, there have been complaints that the fund appears not to have been serving the nearby surrounding Bronx neighborhoods.

"Ten years later, however, an examination of the fund's public financial records
and interviews with community members and a former administrator of the fund
show that it has operated with little oversight or public accountability, neglecting
those who live near the stadium and instead sending money to other, often
wealthier parts of the Bronx that were not affected by the construction."

Stay tuned.


NY Yankee Stadium History - Concourse Neighborhood - Bronx News

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