Traditionally, baseball is the most followed sport in the United States. It’s a slow sport, but it can be also exciting and spectacular. Known to many as the ‘American's pastime’ par excellence, it has entertained Americans for decades. Championships like the one in 1941 left a big mark on the culture of the country, and great players such as Joe DiMaggio or Babe Ruth will never be forgotten.
Having said all this, it is clear that you will not have difficulties attending a baseball game in New York City. There are two great teams that play here: The Mets (in the neighborhood of Queens) and the Yankees (in the Bronx), the latter being perhaps the most renowned worldwide team in this sport.
Who hasn’t seen a baseball cap with the ‘NY’ letters on the front standing for New York Yankees?
Needless to say, any of these teams will make you spend an unforgettable time at the stadium.
Most first-timers and foreigners wonder if it is appropriate to go to the Bronx on your own to watch a baseball game, and I can assure everyone that the route to the stadium is totally safe and policemen patrol the area on game days. The neighborhood is a lot safer than it used to be and sporting events are also normally safe because, unlike in some countries, in America sports bring people together in peace. The simple fact of taking the subway surrounded by people flocking to the game is already an experience, which far exceeds the atmosphere of watching it on television. In order to get to Yankee Stadium, people take the subway Uptown and get off at the ‘Yankee Stadium’ stop in the Bronx.
In September 2008, a final match was played at the old Yankee Stadium and that same month its demolition began. The new Yankee Stadium, built in 2009, is attached to the previous site. The capacity is somewhat lower than the older one, ‘only’ 50,000 spectators, but many elements of the old stadium were kept and moved to the new one.
The seats in the new stadium were made larger and more comfortable, hence the reduced capacity.
Since 1913, the New York Yankees played their games in Manhattan, but when in 1920, the Yankees signed Babe Ruth, the Yankees fans multiplied and the team leaders were forced to build a new stadium. After looking for lots in Manhattan and Queens, in the end they decided on a large lot in the Bronx neighborhood. In thirteen months the stadium was built, which soon received the popular name of ‘The house that Ruth built,’ in honor of the player who allowed the move of this club.
Baseball aside, the old Yankee Stadium has welcomed events such as multiple seasons of the NY Giants of the American football league and five years of high-league soccer games.
And sports aside, the old Stadium has hosted three papal masses, the official funeral for the victims of 9/11 and some amazing concerts by groups such as U2 or Rolling Stones.
Something to keep in mind at a baseball game is not to watch the clock, because baseball has no defined duration. A match can last anything between two and four hours. Here, one can truly breathe in the American atmosphere: fervent fans loaded with foam fingers, whole families singing the national anthem, hot dogs, nachos, beer, giant screens, batons, hand requests during the game, music, standing ovations and applauses.
When attending a major-league baseball game in New York it is always recommend to buy tickets as early as possible, especially when in search of a good bargain.
Another advantage of baseball is that it is the only one among the great American sports that has games in the summer. Many locals and tourists alike have more free time during the summer therefore, between July and August this is the biggest sporting show that the city can offer.