Yankees change batting practice rules

May 14, 2009 6:13:51 PM PDT
The New York Yankees will allow fans to move down to the outer reaches of the lower deck during batting practice so they can get a better view. Fans with tickets for seats elsewhere in the new Yankee Stadium can move into outfield sections and corners of the field-level stands during batting practice, a change in policy the team said it made in reaction to fan desires.

Fans will be allowed to watch BP from sections 103-111 in right field and down the first-base line, and sections 129-136 in left field and down the third-base line starting with the homestand that begins Friday. Those sections start just after the foul lines reach the warning track.

Fans also may watch from the bleachers. The Yankees said fans can enter those areas when the gates open three hours before game time. They can stay there until after the Yankees leave the field following BP or for 1 hour, 45 minutes after the gates open.

However, fans won't be allowed into the Legends Suite, the 25 sections of the first nine rows ringing the infield, unless they have tickets for seats there, which cost $500-$2,625 per game.

"Fans have expressed a desire to be able to get down and catch foul balls or ask for autographs," Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion said. "So we looked at the policy, looked at the policy in the old stadium and liberalized it even more, so anyone with a ticket in the stadium can actually go to those sections."

At the old Yankee Stadium, McGillion said only fans with field-level tickets were allowed close to the field during batting practice.

McGillion said players will be encouraged to go into the corners and outfield, beyond the Legends Suite, to sign autographs for fans watching BP.

"Players naturally interact with fans, and players seem to enjoy that," she said.

The change was posted Thursday on the team's Web site.

On Tuesday, Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said no changes were planned to allow fans with tickets in other parts of the stadium from getting into the Legends Suite during BP.

"If you purchase a suite, do you want somebody in your suite?" Trost said then. "If you purchase a home, do you want somebody in your home?"

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