The new Yankee Stadium (opened in 2009) quickly developed a reputation as a baseball park where it’s easy to hit home runs. Nicknames for the new stadium include “Bronx bandbox” (or “band box") and “launching pad.”
On April 19, 2009, ESPN blogger Buster Olney called the new Yankee Stadium “Coors Field East.” Coors Field (opened in 1995 in Denver, Colorado) almost immediately became known as a home run hitters’ park, helped by the thin air and high altitude of Colorado. The nickname “Coors Field East” (or simply “Coors East") has been applied to several other home-run-friendly ballparks since at least May 1996 and pre-dates the new Yankee Stadium.
Citi Field (the home of baseball’s New York Mets, also opened in 2009) developed a reputation of having too few home runs and has been called “Petco Park East” or “Petco East” (after the San Diego Padres’ pitcher-friendly ballpark).
Wikipedia: Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium is a stadium located in the The Bronx, a borough of New York City. It serves as the home ballpark for the New York Yankees, replacing the previous Yankee Stadium, built in 1923. The new ballpark was constructed across the street, north-northeast of the 1923 Yankee Stadium, on the former site of Macombs Dam Park. The first game at the new Yankee Stadium was a preseason exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs played on April 3, 2009, which the Yankees won 7–4. The first regular season game was played on April 16, 2009, when the Yankees lost 10–2 to the Cleveland Indians.
Much of the stadium incorporates design elements from the previous Yankee Stadium, paying homage to the Yankees’ history. Although stadium construction began in August 2006, the project of building a new stadium for the Yankees is one that spanned many years and faced many controversies. Financing for the stadium has been a very divisive issue, with New York City citizens criticizing the city’s decision to use funds to build the sports venue, instead of using it for other pressing issues. The projected total cost of the stadium is $1.5 billion, making it the second most expensive stadium in the world after Wembley Stadium.
Home run haven
Yankee Stadium has quickly acquired a reputation as a “bandbox” and a “launching pad” due to the high number of home runs hit at the new ballpark. Through its first 23 games, 87 home runs have been hit at the venue, easily besting Enron Field’s previous record set in 2000. Yankee Stadium is also on pace to challenge Coors Field’s 1999 single-season record of 303 home runs allowed, and the hometown Daily News has taken to publishing a daily graphic comparing each stadium’s home run totals through a similar number of games.
The proliferation of home runs has led ESPN’s Peter Gammons to denounce the new facility as “one of the biggest jokes in baseball” and conclude that “[it] was not a very well-planned ballpark." Likewise, Gammons’ ESPN colleague Buster Olney has described the stadium as being “on steroids” and likened it to his childhood Wiffle-ball park. Newsday columnist Wallace Matthews joined in the chorus, labeling the stadium “ridiculous” and decrying its cheapening of the home run. In the same column, Yankee great Reggie Jackson termed the park “too small” to contain Alex Rodriguez and suggested it might enable the third baseman to hit 75 home runs in a season.
A variety of theories have been posited to account for the dramatic increase in home runs at the new Yankee Stadium over the original stadium, foremost among these the sharper angles of the outfield walls and the speculated presence of a wind tunnel. During construction of the new ballpark, engineers commissioned a wind study, the results of which indicated there would be no noticeable difference between the two stadiums. The franchise is planning to conduct a second study, but major league rules prohibit it from making any changes to the playing field until the off-season.
Wikipedia: Coors Field
Coors Field, located in Denver, Colorado, is the home field of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies. It is named for the Coors Brewing Company of Golden, Colorado, which purchased the naming rights to the park prior to its completion in 1995. The Rockies played their first two seasons, 1993 and 1994, in Mile High Stadium before moving to Coors Field, two blocks from Union Station in Denver’s Lower Downtown (or LoDo) neighborhood. The park includes 63 luxury suites and 4,500 club seats.
Reputation as a home run-friendly park
Coors Field once had a reputation as a home run-friendly park that at one point, arguably, equaled Chicago’s venerable Wrigley Field, and earned it the nickname “Coors Canaveral” among critics (a reference to Cape Canaveral, from where NASA launches spacecraft). Before the introduction in 2002 of a large humidor used for baseball storage, Denver’s dry air tended to dry out baseballs, which made the balls harder and caused them to travel farther. In addition, the curveball tends to curve less with the thin air than at sea level leading to fewer strikeouts and fewer effective pitches for pitchers to work with.
Stadium designers knew beforehand that Coors Field would give up a disproportionate number of home runs because of its high elevation and dry air, and acted accordingly by placing the outfield fences at an unusually far distance from home plate; thus creating one of the largest outfields in baseball today. The result was a ballpark that, for many years, not only gave up the most home runs in baseball, but also gave up the most doubles and triples as well.
2 May 1996, Los Angeles (CA) Times, Sports, pg. C2:
Coors Field East: After hitting a 474-foot home run at Shea Stadium, Ellis Burks of the Colorado Rockies said “I like hitting in that thin air in New York.”
30 September 1997, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. E7:
Any hope that Pro Player Stadium would become a Coors Field East has evaporated. So, even as the Marlins enter the playoffs for the first time
1 April 1998, AP Online, “Tigers 11, Devil Rays 6” by Alan Robinson:
Now, the question is: Will hitter-friendly Tropicana Field, where batted balls jump so quickly it seems the hitters are wielding aluminum bats, soon become Coors Field East?
Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
June 28, 2005
The more Citizens Bank Park is unfairly labelled “Coors Lite” or “Coors Field East”, the harder it will become for the Phillies to acquire and develop good pitching.
ESPN.com: Buster Olney blog
The new Yankee Stadium’s home run problem
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sure, there are a handful of problems that need to be sorted out in Citi Field, the Mets’ new ballpark. The visiting relievers can’t really see the games from their bullpen in right-center field, and their video screen operates with a delay of about 15 seconds (by the count of the Brewers’ relievers). There is little hot water and no music in the visiting clubhouse, and they need to squeegee out the whirlpool because of a drainage issue.
But those are minor details that can be ironed out eventually. The Yankees, on the other hand, might have a whopper of a problem on their hands that could have long-term, big-picture ramifications for them. Their new ballpark is playing like Coors Field East.
Angels blog - OCRegister.com
Coors East: Is the new Yankee Stadium on steroids?
April 19th, 2009, 9:50 am · 2 Comments · posted by Earl Bloom, staff writer
ESPN’s Buster Olney thinks new Yankee Stadium might be on steroids.
CBS Sports - Community
No mention of Coors Field East?
April 20, 2009 7:16 pm
Not that Yankee fans need anything else to be concerned about, but no mention of how many home runs are flying out of the new Yankee Stadium? A line drive has a 50-50 chance of leaving the park. Tearing down the “House that Ruth Built” for this new monstrosity is going to curse this team for a century. Oh, and they can’t sell all of their $2000 seats. Almost brings a tear to my eye.
Superiorpics Celebrity Forums - Sports and Entertainment
New Yankee Stadium = Coors Field East??? Home Run Derby!!!
04/21/09 01:39 AM
Media and weather company AccuWeather said the heavy winds and angle of the seating in the new $1.5 billion baseball park that opened this season could be major factors for why Yankee Stadium is being called “Coors East” by one analyst. Coors Field is the home park of the Colorado Rockies, where the high altitude leads to high-scoring games.
One ESPN columnist called the new Yankee park a “veritable wind tunnel”.