START SPREADING THE NEWS: Fans stream into the new Yankee Stadium for the 2012 home opener.
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Yankee Stadium, New York



If the old Yankee Stadium (established in 1923) was “The House that Ruth Built,” then the new Yankee Stadium (2009) is “The House that Championships Built.” Old or new, Yankee Stadium is synonymous with history and success. It is literally a museum where games are played and historic artifacts are displayed. Call it a shrine of sacred relics — highlighted by the Yankees’ record 27 World Series trophies and championship banners, which are photographed and ogled daily during the season by the team’s adoring and sometimes loudly hypercritical fans.

The best thing about the $1.5 billion new stadium is that, visually and structurally, it looks very much like the iconic ballpark where the Babe, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle once roamed. Same imposing edifice. Same stately façade with tall and narrow arches made of the same Indiana limestone. Same sight lines from the stands and press box. Same lyrics from Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” blaring from the sound system after a win.

Yankee fans gather in Stan's Sports Bar across the street from Yankee Stadium.
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Around the stadium neighborhood, there are plenty of restaurants/bars catering to Yankees fans. The Yankee Tavern, a family-owned hangout that opened the same year as the old stadium, has not only survived but thrived. It’s the oldest bar in the Bronx, and three generations of Yankees fans have enjoyed themselves here. It’s also where the Babe himself is said to have bought (on occasion) a round for the house. Walls are plastered with Yankees photos and memorabilia (not recommended for fans wearing non-Yankees caps). Try the Burn Bernie Burn, named in honor of Yankees great Bernie Williams: a steak hero with jalapeños and mozzarella.

Another popular haunt is Stan’s Sports Bar. On game days, it’s always crammed with Yankees fanatics standing shoulder to shoulder around a giant island bar. Beers and dogs are very affordable here, and The New York Times suggests leaving Mets caps at home. The Yankee Bar and Grill, directly across the street from the old stadium’s bleacher exit, has a sports bar in the basement and is known for its inexpensive beer prices and 24-ounce Bronx Bomber Beers. And The Dugout is a two-room bar with great happy-hour deals, while Billy’s Sports Bar and Restaurant features murals of Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio and, yes, even Marilyn Monroe.



Randy Youngman wrote about Major League Baseball for more than 30 years for newspapers in Baltimore, Dallas and Orange County, Calif.