The tradition of baseball is changing rapidly – and Yankee Stadium is among those leading the way.
On Monday, New York Yankees fans can see the newly remodeled stadium that includes social gathering areas, a play area for children, and an amped-up food menu.
The remodel is a response to younger customers seeking experiences they can share on social networks like Instagram and Snapchat.
“The experience is kind of focused on creating an environment for every type of fan to enjoy the game at the stadium,” Kevin Dart, the vice president of ticket sales, service, and operations for the Yankees, told Business Insider.
Teams like the Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians have also created social spaces to encourage more fans to gather within the stadium without shelling out hundreds of dollars for tickets.
Take a look at the remodeled areas for old and new baseball fans alike:
When it comes to reaching new millennial fans, providing experiences they can share with friends and post to social media is hugely important.
The MasterPass Batter’s Eye Deck removed seats with obstructed views in center field to create spaces with better views where everyone can enjoy the game.
The MasterPass space includes views of the entire stadium, drink rails, and specialty food options, like a French dip and a fresh mozzarella sandwich.
On either side of the MasterPass Deck is a bullpen terrace. Each features specialty food items, like bao buns, a buffalo chicken sandwich, and Yankees Dingers, a nod to traditional baseball-stadium food.
Yankee Stadium is trying to elevate the experience of eating there.
“We never shy away from just basic burgers, right?” Angela Tassie, the vice president of marketing and business development for Legends Hospitality, told Business Insider. “Everyone loves a burger and loves to have traditional baseball food. We keep just trying to move the bar on those items. We added the Yankee Dingers this year, which is kind of a throwback to your White Castle burger.”
With all the socializing and posting food pictures to Instagram, you’re bound to run down your phone battery. Knowing that this is something younger generations are worried about, Yankee Stadium added charging ports to the terrace spaces.
In addition to the specialty items in the social spaces, Yankee Stadium wanted to bring the flavors of New York City to the ballpark.
“We wanted to evolve the menu in such a way to incorporate local brands in the community as well as reflect the tastes and wants of the fans,” Tassie said.
Lobel’s, a New York City staple, is known for its prime meats. Lobel’s will serve a few select sandwiches as well as a fan favorite – fries topped with steak and gravy.
While planning the remodel, Yankee Stadium took fans’ opinions to heart. One thing that was missing: some stick-to-your-ribs barbecue.
Tassie and Matt Gibson, the senior executive chef for Yankee Stadium, told Business Insider that making the food look appealing was a priority.
Gibson “tries to use items that have a lot of color,” Tassie said. “Specifically with the baos, there are some that are red, there’s some that are pink and have their pickled vegetables on them, so he’s done a good job of making sure everything that we have this season that’s new is something that is Instagram-able so that we can get more people to share it.”
But gaining fans goes beyond making the stadium an Instagram foodie’s destination. Baseball teams across the country have begun providing passes that allow people to enjoy the game without paying the hefty price of season tickets or a single-game seat.
Progressive Field in Cleveland offers a pass for the Right Field District, a place where fans can pay $13 to enjoy the game and a cold beer.
Dart said the Yankees would roll out a Pinstripe Pass.
“The $15 Pinstripe Pass, that’s kind of for younger fans to get them to enjoy the experience of the ballpark,” he said. “Fifteen dollars gets you in without an assigned seat, but you are allowed to walk freely around the stadium. Obviously, we would love to have them hang out in the social spaces, but it also comes with a beverage, so you can enjoy a drink while you are at the game as well.”
Dart said there would also be another affordable option: $10 seats in the grandstand area.
And if you need a place to hang out and sip a cold one, the Budweiser Party Decks are the perfect spots to indulge.
On the 300 level, the shaded bar areas can provide solace from the summer sun as well as a relaxed, casual setting to enjoy the game.
Like the Colorado Rockies’ Clocktower Bar, the Yankees offer a more sophisticated beverage experience in the AT&T Sports Lounge.
The AT&T Lounge is ideal for fans of all sports. The area has several large-screen TVs for you to check the score of other games while grabbing a drink. The bar also provides a place to charge your phone throughout the game.
Yankee Stadium felt it needed to find more of a balance with kids and baseball. The SunRun Kids Clubhouse gives families — kids especially — a break from sitting through a three- or four-hour game.
It’s a good outlet for restless youngsters to run around and their parents to refuel.
Yankee Stadium wanted to be sure that with the remodel they reached all types of fans: baseball purists, fans using social media, and, of course, families.
From incorporating places for groups to gather to offering food for the Instagram generation, baseball stadiums are going through a transformation.