NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees will announce detailed plans Wednesday for a new ballpark, which would be built adjacent to the current Yankee Stadium and could be ready by the 2009 season.
The team has spent years planning the new stadium, which will have a capacity of about 51,000 -- approximately 6,000 seats fewer than the current ballpark. It would be constructed in Macombs Dam Park, to the north of the current stadium, and financed mostly by the team.
Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1923, is the third-oldest park in use in the major leagues, younger only than Boston's Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago's Wrigley Field (1914). Yankee Stadium was renovated extensively in 1974-75, but the team has long desired a modern ballpark with more luxury suites and wider concourses.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, New York Gov. George Pataki and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg planned to attend the news conference, spokesman Howard Rubenstein said. Yankees officials said earlier this year they hoped to start construction in 2006 and move into the new ballpark in 2009, a timetable that would be ambitious given the delays that frequently occur in construction in New York.
Just last weekend, New York City and the Mets announced plans for a new ballpark next to Shea Stadium. That facility would be used for the 2012 Olympics the International Olympic Committee votes July 6 to award the event to New York.
That plan was drawn up after last week's collapse of the proposal to build a retractable-roof stadium in Manhattan for the NFL's Jets and the Olympics.
The Yankees and New York City's government agreed several weeks ago to a memorandum of understanding for the new Bronx ballpark. The team will pay for the stadium on its own, and the cost of paying off the bonds used to raise the money will be deducted from the Yankees' locally generated revenue. That will lower the Yankees' revenue sharing payments to the commissioner's office.
The team wanted the city and state to pay for building a commuter rail stop, and other infrastructure costs.