Completed just in time for the start of the 1923 season, the $2.5 million Yankee Stadium ushered in a new era of ballparks. It featured the first triple-deck grandstand in baseball, and with a maximum capacity of 58,000 people, it was also the first to achieve “stadium” status. Yankee Stadium was also unique in that it included a decorative 15-foot copper façade along the third deck roof. The stadium became known as the “House that Ruth Built” after Babe Ruth’s influence over its' construction. It was an ideal ballpark for left-hand hitters who only had to hit the ball 295ft down the right field line for a home run. It was also a spectator-friendly ballpark with 16 restrooms—many more than the average ballpark at the time.
Yankee Stadium has been continually updated over the years. By 1937, both the left field and right field grandstands were lengthened past the foul poles on each side. In 1959, the original manual scoreboard in right-center field was replaced by the first electronic one in the major leagues. During the 1966-67 offseason, the stadium got a paint job as the outside surface went from brown to white and the grandstands seats from green to blue. However, no major changes were made until management decided to rebuild the stadium after its 50th anniversary in 1973. For the next two seasons, the Yankees played their home games at the New York Mets’ Shea Stadium while the renovation took place.
The new stadium debuted in 1976 and featured a handful of changes: escalators at each of the three entrances, 10 more rows of seats to the upper deck, and the first instant replay screen in baseball. The original roof had to be removed along with the façade, but engineers found a way to include a replica in the new design. The Yankees played at the stadium through the 2008 season, during which their new $1.3 billion home was being built directly across the street. The new stadium, also known as Yankee Stadium, debuted in 2009, and seats 52,325 fans. The old stadium had a greater capacity, but the new stadium features many more suites (56 private luxury suites and 410 party suites) and has created more comfortable seating by expanding seat width and the legroom between seats. Additionally, all seats include cup holders. The new stadium also has triple the dining and lounge options of the old stadium. Despite all of the extra amenities, the layout of the new stadium closely resembles that of the old stadium. The field dimensions are exactly the same with the left field at 318 ft, center field at 408 ft, and right field at 314 ft. And of course, the signature façade adorns the interior roof.Between the interior and exterior walls lies the Great Hall, which stretches from Gate 4 to Gate 6 and contains retail stores and banners of past and current players. Other popular areas in Yankee Stadium include the New York Yankees Museum near Gate 6 and Monument Park under the sports bar in center field. The museum highlights Yankees’ memorabilia while Monument Park includes the retired numbers and awards of past Yankees greats.