The House that Ruth Built
|Location ||Bronx, New York|
|Opened ||April 18, 1923|
|Re-opened ||April 15, 1976|
58,000 (1923), 62,000 (1926),|
82,000 (1927),67,113 (1928),
62,000 (1929), 71,699 (1937),
70,000 (1942), 67,000 (1948),
67,205 (1958), 67,337 (1961),
67,000 (1965), 65,010 (1971),
54,028 (1976), 57,145 (1977),
City of New York|
Osborn Engineering (1923)
280.58 ft. (1923), 301 ft. (1928), 312 ft. (1976), 318 ft. (1988)
500 ft. (1923), 490 ft. (1924), 457 ft. (1937), 430 ft. (1976), 411 ft. (1985), 399 ft. (1988)
487 ft. (1923), 461 ft. (1937), 463 ft. (1967), 417 ft. (1976), 410 ft. (1985), 408 ft. (1988)
429 ft. (1923), 407 ft. (1937), 385 ft. (1976)
294.75 ft. (1923), 295 ft. (1930), 296 ft. (1939), 310 ft. (1976), 314 ft. (1988)
Yankee Stadium is the home stadium of the New York Yankees, a major league baseball team. Located at East 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx, New York City, it originally opened on April 18, 1923 and reopened on April 15, 1976 after an extensive three year renovation. The first night game was played on May 28, 1946.
Yankee Stadium is often referred to as "The House that Ruth Built", "The Home of Champions," "The Big Ballpark," or simply "The Stadium". It was the first baseball arena to be labeled a "Stadium", and it conformed to the usage of the term in ancient Greece, where a stadium was a foot-race arena. Yankee Stadium's field was initially surrounded by a (misshapen) quarter-mile running track. That track effectively also served as an early "warning track" for fielders, a feature now standard in all major league ballparks.
Yankee Stadium favors left-handed batters because of a shorter right-field fence (once called "Ruthville"), although the field has become much more symmetric over the years. In contrast, it has been a very difficult park for right-handed batters to hit in. Under the original configuration, it was 395-feet to left field, a whopping 460 to left center, and an astronomical 490 to straightaway center.  Left center soon came to be called "Death Valley," in reference to the high number of balls hit to that area that would have cleared the wall easily in other parks but resulted in simple fly ball outs in Yankee Stadium. Although the fence has been moved in several times over the years to make it more hitter friendly (it is currently 399 feet to left center and 408 to center), the park remains one of the most difficult for right-handed hitters, as evidenced by the fact that no right-handed batter has hit 40 home runs in a season there since Joe DiMaggio belted 46 in 1937.
The seats behind center field are painted black and not occupied during baseball games; this allows batters to track the ball as it is pitched, as the "black seats" section is directly in front of them. If fans were allowed to sit in this section, it would create an unfair pitcher's advantage, as it would make it virtually impossible for batters to track the ball if a substantial number of fans were wearing white shirts.
Perhaps the best known of all baseball stadiums, Yankee Stadium is the scene of such memorable events as Babe Ruth's then-record 60th home run in 1927; tearful farewell addresses by Lou Gehrig in 1939 and Babe Ruth in 1948; Don Larsen's perfect World Series game in 1956; Roger Maris's then-record 61st home run in 1961; Reggie Jackson's three home runs in a World Series game in 1977; and countless on-field celebrations of World Series championships.
The New York Giants football team played at Yankee Stadium from 1956 to 1973. Many boxing matches have been held at the stadium, notably Joe Louis's victory over Max Schmeling in 1938. Billy Graham held large gatherings at the Stadium. The 1930 and 1931 Army-Navy Games were played at Yankee Stadium. The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League used Yankee Stadium for home games in 1971 and then again in 1976.
On October 4, 1965, Pope Paul VI celebrated a Mass at Yankee Stadium during a visit to the United States in front of a crowd in excess of 80,000. Fourteen years later, on October 2, 1979, Pope John Paul II also celebrated Mass there. The Stadium was also the site of a memorial service on September 23, 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Yankee Stadium last played host to a football game in 1987. 
One of its distinguishing features is the white facade that hangs over the outfield bleacher billboards and scoreboard (a similar frieze once hung from the roof over the upper deck, pre-renovation). Also notable is the exhaust stack that stands outside the main entrance gate, constructed in the shape of a baseball bat. (For years it bore the Louisville Slugger logo.)
While elements of the Stadium are decidely modern, its asymmetry, monuments in left-center field and exterior arches give fans a reminder of the Stadium during its most golden period. Even the blue YANKEE STADIUM letters over the main gate are longtime features; they're the same letters that first appeared there in white in the early 1960s.
Those monuments, commemorating various retired Yankee players, once stood on the playing field in deep left-center field. They are now out of play, in an area called Monument Park. In the 1992 book The Gospel According to Casey, by Ira Berkow and Jim Kaplan, it is reported that the Yankees manager, Casey Stengel, was watching his centerfielder fumbling with the ball in the vicinity of the monuments, while the batter-runner circled the bases. Stengel yelled out, "Ruth, Gehrig, Huggins, somebody get that ball back to the infield!"
One hypothesis is that the "Bronx cheer" was so named because of its popularity among Yankees fans.
On April 16 2005, the team announced plans to build a stadium on the adjacent land, to be ready for the 2009 season. Other plans have been proposed in the past, and it is yet to be seen if this one will be successful.