Have you seen news reports that ramps at the new $1.2 billion dollar Yankee Stadium are already in bad shape and will cost millions of dollars to fix? (Here’s the NY Times story)
It makes you wonder if the Big Papi jersey that the Yankees spent $45,000 to dig out of the concrete was the only Red Sox jersey that was buried during construction.
I’m guessing that my man Hyder is chuckling at the Yankees misfortune, but PawSox President Mike Tamburro is sympathetic.
“Having to live in a facility as old as McCoy, you understand the issues that come along with facilities,” Mike told me. “As a facility operator, your heart goes out to people who have the problems that the Yankees seem to be having with the new Yankee Stadium.”
McCoy Stadium – which was erected in 1942 and renovated in 1999 – is still going strong, but the PawSox spend a considerable amount of money every year to insure that it doesn’t show its age.
“You have got to be dedicated to staying on top of all types of repairs in a building like this year-round,” Tamburro said. “It’s certainly a big budget item for us, but it’s one that we’re happy to do to keep the facility in the shape that it is.”
“Every year we try to our very best to improve the facility,” Tamburro added. “Right now we’re taking care of some of the concrete repair. There is a new traffic coating in the food court area. There’s probably going to be some painting done up and around the stadium. And we’re adding cup holders in all of the grandstand seating area.”
(photo courtesy of the Providence Journal)
McCoy Stadium has become the Fenway Park of the International League. While 10 of the league’s 14 teams are playing in parks that have been built since 1995, the visiting broadcasters always tell us that no I.L. park has more charm or is a better place to watch a game. Pawtucket fans share those sentiments.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Tamburro said. “If we go back to the late 90’s when we were talking about whether to build a new stadium or rehab McCoy, all of the surveys overwhelmingly showed that the fans in this area wanted us to rehab this stadium and that’s exactly what did.”
“I think there are some tremendous new facilities out there, but personally, I love this old building and I think there’s something magical about this place that makes it special and unique,” Tamburro told me. “They can build all the new facilities in the world, but they can’t build what we have at McCoy Stadium.”
In the Bronx, they can’t even build ramps.