The Oakland Athletics ply their trade in the O.co Coliseum, a building configured to the whims of the more important tennent, the NFL’s Raiders, and one the current owner, Lewis Wolff, would love to leave in the dust. This Autumn’s playoff run aside, Oakland residents have found the venue’s baseball charms somewhat elusive in recent years, which makes the assertions of CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto all the more galling for the likes of Bronx consumer advocate Randy L. Taking note of the large quantity of empty seats at Yankee Stadium during the first two games of the Detroit/New York ALCS, Ratto opines the A’s fans, ” throw a cooler party than the people at Yankee Stadium, just because they’re there to make it happen.” (Ratto link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Yankee Stadium has been a monument to the outer limits of greed from the moment it was imagined. Its parking company is going broke because people discovered that it’s easier to take the train. The deafening noise that once poured down upon visiting players in the old park flies off into the stratosphere in the new one.
You can have all the pretty colonnades and displays and $40 beer kiosks and platinum-inlaid urinals and waiters for every seat to take your grub order and the tax breaks up the nostrils to make it all a windfall for the owners. But a ballpark is a useless waste of public space if not for the show on the field, because a ballpark is still ABOUT THE BASEBALL.
Which, in his own way, was what Quentin Berry was saying all along. Atmosphere is not dictated from the board room, and never has been. Building plans may excite the kids down at the union hall, but they mean nothing if what you’re putting on inside the building is not consistent with its mission, which, in the case of a ballpark, is ball.