Friday, April 18, 2008

Nelly Kelly was sure some fan, She would root just like any man

The baseball season has just started - The games begin in April and they play almost every day until October. Coincidentally (as far as I know it is coincidental) both local teams are moving out of their stadiums at the end of this season. The Mets' Shea and the Yankees' 'House that Ruth Built' are both being replaced and curiously both new stadiums are being built alongside the old ones.

The new Yankee stadium was estimated to cost $800 million, but when it's finished next year it is now expected to top $1,300 million dollars. It's nice to see it's not just British who are gloriously optimistic when pricing these big structures. Having thrown the occasional fit when a car repair came in £100 over the quote, I do wonder how the contractors broke the news of the price hike
"Good afternoon gentlemen, I hope you are enjoying your coffee, please try one of the little cakes. Now, I know you're eager to be updated on the stadium and I can tell you that it's coming together very well, however before we get into that I want to draw your attention to a couple of amendments to the price estimate.

"Now if you look down under the leopard-skin seat covers for the dugouts and the imported Kalahari sand for the directors' pitch and putt course, you will notice an adjustment in miscellaneous expenses from twelve thousand dollars to five hundred million dollars also we've managed to knock fifteen percent off the cost of hot-dog cabinets - proving our commitment to driving down costs."
The current stadium seats 57,000. The new stadium will seat 53,000. They are spending $1.3 billion dollars on a stadium that is in the same place as the old one but seats less fans. On the plus side, it is said that it will have a very nice bar.

Similarly the new Mets stadium will be Citi Field, with 45,000 seats rather than the 57,000 at the Shea. Admittedly there is more legroom which is a very good thing (Anyone who has sat in the away end at Sixfields and is taller than four foot six knows the pain of the curved edge of the rigid plastic seat in front as it is pressed deeply into your shins) but it seems remarkable that they don't even match the capacity in these stadiums.

New York takes its baseball very seriously. The New York Post this week ran two front-page articles about the story of a construction worker on the Yankee Stadium site who, being a Boston Red Sox fan, attempted to hex the new stadium by burying a Red Sox shirt jersey under the foundations of the stadium. The Yankees have now dug it out, but have claimed it cost $50,000 to do so and the worker has been threatened with both civil and criminal charges.

I'm hoping the the Yankees do file a civil suit just to see if they really stand up in a court-room and argue they deserve their $50,000 back because it was a necessary expense to prevent a magical curse cast by a mystical brickie.

Regarding criminal charges, lawyers suggest this case may fall under 'criminal mischief', which presumably carries a sentence of being called 'a naughty tyke' and having your hair ruffled.

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