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Newsday (New York)
From nameless jerseys to clean-shaven faces, the Yankees have long sought to be a model of tradition in baseball.
But as franchises around MLB look for non-traditional ways to draw fans, the Yankees have made a few adjustments of their own.
The team unveiled a series of new amenities and enhancements to their game-day experience on Tuesday, highlighted by various social gathering spaces accessible to all ticketed fans on multiple levels around Yankee Stadium.
"The game has changed and our fans have changed, our fans have evolved," said Michael Margolis, Yankees team spokesman. "The things you see today are a reflection of that evolution."
Margolis said many of the modifications were made based on suggestions the team received from fans and season-ticket holders. The enhancements have been in development for the past year, according to senior vice president of stadium operations Doug Behar.
"We're always thinking about what kind of enhancements we can do, and certainly the ones that we rolled out this year were in play last year," Behar said.
For the first time, Yankee Stadium now includes a children's play area. The Sunrun Kids Clubhouse is a 2,850-square foot area in the 300-level that includes a playground and interactive exhibits. The playground is complete with Yankees-themed equipment, including a six-foot World Series trophy slide, and has a retractable shade for warmer days. The area also has two family restrooms and private spaces for nursing mothers, as well as televisions for parents to see the game.
"Baseball can be three-plus hours," Behar said. "It gives us a space to now have our young fans go and enjoy those spaces, play with some interactive games, be out of the sun or stand in the sun as well."
Among the most visible changes to the stadium are new gathering spaces in the centerfield bleachers. About 1,300 seats, many of which had obstructed views, were cleared from sections surrounding the 1893 Club to create the new areas. The Masterpass Batter's Eye Deck has been expanded to 3,500 square feet and now includes drink rails overlooking the field fitted with power and USB outlets for convenient mobile phone charging. On either side of the club, the Frank's RedHot Terrace and Toyota Terrace overlook the leftfield and rightfield bullpens, respectively, both featuring drink rails with power outlets as well.
On the field level, the new AT&T Sports Lounge featuring DirecTV service will serve as a sports bar for fans keeping an eye on games outside the stadium. On the 300-level, the Budweiser Party Decks replace stand-alone concession carts in two sections, providing new bar areas and seating.
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