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Opening day for the new Yankee Stadium is not too far away now; while for eager fans, it may seem like an eternity, Spring 2009 will soon be upon us and fans will be able to see and experience the latest chapter in Yankees history for themselves. While there are some who are of the opinion that with the old stadium an important piece of New York history will be lost; and indeed Yankee Stadium has seen a lot of changes in the South Bronx in the last 86 years, the new stadium promises to be something which fans new and old alike will enjoy. The new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium will be a worthy addition to the Yankees and to the up and coming South Bronx.

The idea of moving the stadium is not a new one - in 1980, the owner wanted to move the stadium to an area considered safer than the South Bronx was at the time. Ideas were talked over and discarded over the following years; in the meantime, the team acquired a legion of new fans and the neighborhood improved considerably. The idea of a new stadium remained - but it was now to be built in the Bronx.

The largest hurdle faced by the Yankees organization in building a new stadium was finances. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was in favor of the city supporting new stadiums for both the Yankees and Mets with $800 million in construction funds and a $390 million investment in improved public transportation. The Mets would also receive $80,000 in the form of debt forgiveness and along with the Yankees, would receive $25 million in funds for planning and logistics. Giuliani's plan also included a waiver on sales and property taxes for both teams, in addition to low cost, state subsidized electricity. Both teams would also receive 96% of ticket sales and 100% of parking fees for the new stadiums and other revenues.

The plan would not come to fruition however as Michael Bloomberg would take office and decide to exercise the escape clause built into the contract. Unfortunately, for Bloomberg exiting mayor Giuliani had built in a clause that stated the teams could look for new homes elsewhere if the city backed out of the deal. Fortunately, for fans new plans were agreed upon that left the city footing much less of the bill and plans for the new parks forged ahead.

Much planning has gone into designing the new Yankee Stadium. The exterior will be built of Indiana Limestone and will encircle the perimeter of the entire property it will look a lot like the original park did before renovations in 1974. Keeping with the theme of the original stadium a replica of the copper frieze that adorned the first stadium will be built. Along with the original feel will come better amenities and two new restaurants that will be open year round.

Whether you support it or feel like many do that a piece of history will be lost forever, it is safe to say that the new Yankee Stadium will keep with the tradition that brought the old Yankee Stadium, one of progress and financial risk taking. It paid off the first time, we will soon see if it will a second time.

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