Yankees May Abandon Stadium

For Luxury Digs Across the Street

The House that Ruth Built may be turned into a garage.

The New York Yankees are about to unveil a proposal to build a new $700 million open-air stadium across the street from Yankee Stadium, built in 1922. The new place would have 4,000 fewer seats than the existing stadium. But wealthy corporate clients would find a congenial home, as the new stadium would include 50 luxury skyboxes.

Crain's New York Business reported last week that the deal is all but done. City officials are more cautious, stressing that no public dollars would go into a stadium. That leaves open the possibility, however, that city officials might spend $100 million or more expanding and terracing nearby parkland.

A Yankee decision to remain in the Bronx would come as a great victory for local officials. For years, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has cast a covetous eye at the Upper West Side of Manhattan and at the New Jersey Meadowlands, in hopes that somewhere taxpayers would build a new stadium for his very profitable team.

As for the old Yankee Stadium? Plans are for the dowager to get a makeover, as a parking garage with a soccer field on top.

-- Michael Powell

Is Renovated Soldier Field

Too Futuristic to Be Historic?

Some love it, some hate it. Many compare it to a flying saucer.

The $660 million renovation of Chicago's Soldier Field expanded the stadium and gave it a new look. But now it may be removed from the National Register of Historic Places and lose National Historic Landmark status.

The National Park Service has recommended that Soldier Field be removed from the list of historic sites, because the renovation destroyed some of its key elements and changed its character significantly.

A report from the National Park System advisory board states that Soldier Field "no longer retains its historic integrity. . . . The futuristic new stadium bowl is visually incompatible with the classical colonnades and the perimeter wall of the historic stadium."

A decision about the listing will be made in September. Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) has played down its significance, because the listings do not affect funding or protected status. But several local preservation groups who opposed the renovation say they are not surprised -- and support the removal.

"It's a shame, but the fact is the city knew they might lose historic status when they completed the addition, and they did it anyway," said Jonathan Fine, president of the not-for-profit group Preservation Chicago.

-- Kari Lydersen