In a WILD (in hindsight) announcement on December 28, 2001, then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani proclaims that the Yankees, Mets, and the city have non-binding plans to construct retractable roof stadiums costing around $1.6 billion.
First off, let’s just think back on how awful the timing of this announcement was. This was about three and a half months after 9/11, and the city was still in the process of healing. Healing emotionally, financially, physically, socially… you name it. I’m sure Giuliani wanted to use this announcement as somewhat of a ”better roads ahead” push to try to lift the spirits of the people in and around the city. But dude, read the room! Not the time.
And now that we got the obvious hindsight gut reaction out of the way…
We know this deal did not go through, as the Mets and Yankees would eventually construct new stadiums of their own that both opened at the start of the 2009 season. However, it would have been kinda fun to see this plan go through. I just have a few questions.
Would Retractable Roofs really be worth it?
Giuliani’s idea here was a pretty good one. Have both stadiums showcase a retractable roof so we can use the venues at all times of the year, for all sorts of events. Not bad considering how terrible Northeast winters are, and even how cold and rainy the first month of the season typically is. This would actually make an April game in the Bronx or Queens pretty comfortable. And sure, hosting other events like concerts and shows in the winter would be cool, but for someone who doesn’t really care for concerts and shows and just wants to catch a ball game, the retractable roof would’ve meant nothing to me. And aside from dodging a rain-postponed game 2-3 times a year, the roof would be useless. It’s not like Texas where you’re keeping the roof closed for a mid-July game because its 105 with 98% humidity outside. That I can understand. Northeast summers are awesome times to catch a game, and I want all the sun and sky available. Skies out, thighs out, baby.
Would Parking have been better?
Possibly. The original article (posted below) mentioned that there would be a major infrastructure project, specifically at Yankee Stadium, to provide parking as well as an additional train station. I’m a little skeptical on how that would have turned out. The area around Yankee Stadium, then and now, is atrocious in regards to driving, parking, and all around transportation. They would have had to do some MAJOR, MAJOR work to pull something similar to what Citi Field has now off. Citi Field (and then-Shea Stadium) in Queens has the luxury of more surrounding empty real estate. 161st St. in the Bronx, not so much. Would’ve been an impressive feat, Rudy.
Maybe the best part about this was former New York Governor George Pataki was like helllllllllllllll no. The State of New York will not help you. Do what you want, Giuliani, but we ain’t giving you shit. Giuliani mentioned that the stadium would end up paying for itself with the opportunity for year-round events outside of baseball, but even that would turn out to be a tough sell.
I’m glad they didn’t go through with this proposal. Giuliani had some ambitious ideas for his beloved Yankees and fellow New York sports teams. Don’t forget, this is the same guy who wanted a West-side Manhattan stadium for the Yankees, the Jets, and probably a Wall Street softball team. Man, stadium proposals are fun when there’s no actual baseball going on.