Thought the whole country was enamored of...

JUST WHEN YOU

March 30, 1994

JUST WHEN YOU thought the whole country was enamored of the retro-look of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is being emulated at new ballparks opening in Texas and Cleveland, comes this headline in the New York Times:

"Yankees Show Little Interest in Old-Style Stadium Renovation."

A recent article in the Times began, "New York City's plan to restore Yankee Stadium to the look it enjoyed in the days of Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio appears headed for a formidable roadblock: the Yankees do not seem interested."

The piece went onto describe New York City's $270 million package of stadium improvements and other inducements aimed at keeping the Yankees in the Bronx after their current lease expires in 2002.

"The look [of the stadium] wasn't Mr. Steinbrenner's focus," said Yankees official quoted in the story, referring to team owner George Steinbrenner. "He didn't say I don't care, but he asked questions about the luxury boxes and parking and other things that get people more easily into the ballpark and out."

The city's proposal, among other things, called for restoring the Gothic roof facade that ringed the stadium roof and to put back into deep center field the tombstone monuments of Yankee legends.

Both of those architectural flourishes, ironically, were trimmed back in a "modernization" of the stadium not quite 20 years ago.

From the story, we can conclude that someone forgot to tell Mr. Steinbrenner than the Orioles at their nostalgic home outdrew his Yankees and the Mets combined last year. Also, that making a new stadium look old is probably less trouble than re-making an old stadium to look old.

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