clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Black & Gold View: Maybe playing in baseball stadiums isn’t such a good idea

New, 1 comment

The view from Yankee Stadium shows complexity of non-football venues.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It was a great match and to watch Los Angeles Football Club come out of New York with a point via a 2-2 draw is pretty good, this early in the season.

But, one thing of note … and I’m certainly not the only one who noticed … Yankee Stadium seems awfully small for a football match.

Views from all around the field seemed to show fans right on top of the pitch with little maneuverability for players, coaches and other staff on the sideline.

Look, I get it … playing in an iconic stadium presents interesting headlines and allows players, coaches and fans to see a different view of things.

But that view shouldn’t be right on top of the touchline.

With regards to Yankee Stadium, in terms of baseball lore, it is one of the most talked about stadiums in the game. The original stadium was constructed in 1923 and saw legend after legend come through the home locker room.

In 2009, it was rebuilt and made more modern – and by that, I mean a lot of shops and special lounges were added to make more money for stadium owners.

In fact, if you compare the dimensions of the old and new Yankee Stadiums, you can see a difference.

In the old Yankee Stadium, the seating capacity was 56,886, according to the Yankees’ website. The new stadium cut that capacity to just 47,422. Another notable change was the distance from the backstop to home plate. The 1923 stadium had a distance of 72 feet, four inches while the new stadium has a distance of just 52’4” – a difference of 20 feet.

Now, while the field dimensions are the same (318’ to left, 399’ to left center, 408’ to dead center, 385’ to right center and 314’ to right), that means builders had to accommodate for a tighter venue by moving fans closer to the field.

That was certainly noticeable Sunday.

The other thing to take into account is that baseball stadiums are not rectangular like football pitches or American football fields. The field is more like a triangle with the points being home plate, left field and center field.

In order to hold matches like Sunday’s or the New Era Pinstripe Bowl (American football), the dimensions have to be adjusted. That, in the case of Yankee Stadium, means the pitch takes over the outfield while from the pitchers’ mound to home plate is vacant.

See this video posted by The 3252 which shows that distance discrepancy:

Doing that means fans near home plate have a much longer vantage point to the match while fans seated in the outfield are much closer to the match. In this case, it seemed like fans were a little too close.

The stated dimensions of the pitch at Yankee Stadium is 110 yards by 70 yards, which is the smallest dimensions allowed by FIFA guidelines. Most pitches are around 120 yards by 80 yards, which is close to Banc of California Stadium dimensions.

In the case of Banc of California Stadium, the venue was built for a singular primary purpose: hosting football matches. Sure, it can hold concerts and other things, but football is why it was built. Just like Yankee Stadium was built for baseball, not other sports.

While the closest seats at the Banc are about 12 feet from the pitch, most seats are between than that 135 feet from the field.

Of course, it isn’t very likely that Banc of California Stadium could host a baseball game, so why is a baseball stadium hosting a football match?

I understand that NYCFC is working on a new stadium, but seriously? I would think the smaller pitch would have an impact on playing style because of how narrow and short it is.

All that said, while it may not have an impact on how NYCFC and its opponents play, it certainly does have an impact on how fans view the match.


M.A. Clark writes the Black & Gold View weekly for angelsonparade.com. If you have a topic or question you would like him to address, leave a comment below!