19 April 2010
In 2009, outfield sections of the "Legends Suite" were completely empty (photo courtesy of HowFreshEats.com)
Editor's Note: In 2009, much was made of the Legends Suite at Yankee Stadium (better known as the seats beyond the moat). Seats were constantly empty, especially toward the outfield, where the sight lines were worse. In an attempt to combat poor sales in 2010, the Yankees split off three sections down each of the lines, rebranded them as the "Champions Suite" and considerably dropped the prices and amenities. They even broke up the seats and started selling them in plans as small as 10 games. Below, you will find a seating chart from Yankees.com, illustrating the section (and lower prices) that we're referring to:
A regular NYYSI reader recently upgraded from the Jim Beam Suite to the newly formed "Champions Suite" and has filed a complete report. You can find it after the jump (complete with photos and video).
Although you can use the “suite entrance” near gate 4 to enter the stadium, there will no longer be direct access to the moat for Yankee Stadium "Champions Suite" ticket holders. The suite entrance leads directly into the Legends restaurant which only "Legends Suite" ticket holders have access to. From the suite entrance, you head directly to the field concourse and enter at a special station set up for "Champions Suite" ticket holders. There is a table set up to give people their wristbands and rescan their tickets. You then walk straight down into the moat area via the field level seats - probably not that appealing to the people in the back rows of 113/114a on the first base side or 127b/127a on the third base side. Below is video of this special entrance :
The Yankees have installed a fence right down the middle of the stairwell between section 13 and 14a on the first base side and between section 27b and 27a on the third base side. Champions suite ticket holders have separate colored wristbands and will not be allowed to wander around the moat area except for the 3 sections on their respective side of the field. If you are a first base side "Champions Suite" ticketholder, you have access to the "Ketel One Lounge" and cannot go to the lounge for the third base side "Champions Suite" ticket holders which is now branded as the "DKNY lounge." "Legends Suite" ticket holders can still go to these lounges, but will be encouraged to go inside to their own "Legends Club" lounges. Everyone has different colored wristbands with the game number on them for their respective sections.
I have sat there 2 games so far and overall I like the experience. Hard to say if there is “value” there. Probably depends on whether someone gave you a ticket or you spent your own money. I spend my own money so I will not likely go to many.
The “grab and go” complimentary food consists of pizza, hot dogs, sausage, cheeseburger, chicken fingers, cookies, salads and ice cream. The food is in heating racks cafeteria style, and you just take what you want. There is also self serve fountain soda machine and large coolers of bottled water. Finally, there is a small cooking area in the lounge with fresh-cooked food. Pulled pork sliders and a penne with vodka sauce were on tap while I was there on different days.
There is no “in-seat waiter service,” per se. They will take alcoholic drink orders, however, and deliver them. There are also some workers walking around with the food in small coolers, handing out the items that you can get in the lounge. The noticeable change from when it was part of the "Legends Suite" is the food selection. No more Carl's cheesteaks, lobster rolls or pretzels.
The fan atmosphere is good - sitting in the section is relaxing and congenial. You're always chatting with the workers when they come by and no one bothers you if you want to move around to different seats (all within your 3 section zone of course). Overhearing the Yankee sales reps walking around, they do indicate that they are mostly sold out in that area. From looking around, it did seem that most of section 11/12/13 was sold. Not so sure about the other side.
I like the views from the "Champions Suite" sections, even though the sight lines are a bit tough on ground balls to the left side. I like these seats better then Delta Suite (behind home plate on the suite level) because I like seeing the grass, plus the free food. Delta has great sight lines, but I am surprised that they can still charge $350 to $500 up there without free food. Delta did look packed when I was there on 4/15 so my guess is that the Corporate buyer is back and buying seats.
Since I don’t go to that many games (maybe 20 all year), whether I keep these seats or not will depend on resale in the secondary market and whether I can come close to breaking even on games I can’t attend. In the meantime, I will enjoy them when I can and I’ll be back in the section for the May Red Sox games.