Yankee Stadium Opener Has Yogi, Sousa, Finger, Tommy Bahama

The new Yankee Stadium will hold its first MLB regular season game today, with the Bombers facing Cleveland. The park opened at 10 a.m. (reporters are already filing about the "Taj Mahal of baseball parks") and opening ceremonies will commence around noon with the West Point Marching Band performing Sousa marches. An hour or so later, of course, it'll all be "Cotton Eye Joe," classic rawk, and maybe some tunes by Bernie Williams. (Hopefully they have the PA speakers repaired by now.)

Other filings from journos sniffing around the stadium: Newsday's M.A. Mehta observes that the park features a large photo of the 1996 World Series celebration with John Wetteland "raising his index finger to the sky" and that "The JumbroTron in center field is jumbo."

The News' Filip Bondy, aka the Bleacher Creature, doesn't like the new cheap seats ("Frankly, this is far from an upgrade... The sightlines from Section 203 are closer to being what they were from Section 41 at the old stadium... The fenced-in walkways above the bleachers render taunting very difficult").

No doubt the journalists have already visited the new Tommy Bahama bar near the entrance, which serves mixed drinks (some may be there still). Joining such traditional favorites as La Famiglia pizza and Nathan's hot dogs at the Stadium this year are Johnny Rockets, Otis Spunkmeyer, Dunkin' Donuts, and Soy Kitchen sushi and salads.

The first pitch will be delivered by Yogi Berra, the most beloved surviving Yankee -- also the subject of what we are assured is an excellent book by our Jockbeat correspondent, Allen Barra -- but he will be joined for no less than 44 other alumni, including Whitey Ford, Moose Skowron, Reggie Jackson, David Cone, and former Mets skipper Willie Randolph, for a heritage blubberfest before C.C. Sabathia takes the mound. Photo (cc) supernova7.


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