Bronx, NY: Having a business across any stadium in the country is considered a great investment, as that is a prime location for pulling in customers. Customers are usually abundant and available, depending on what the business has to offer and if the team draws hefty crowds.
Unlike many other stadiums that are located outside the city, the Yankees are in the middle of the South Bronx community. A community surrounded by tenements and two subway stations, a metro stop and a ferry making it easy for any fan who wants to visit without having to drive to the stadium. That is great news for the businesses located across the street from the stadium. Those businesses are well known. Several of the bars, restaurants and shops to buy Yankee apparel and items have been around for decades.
Stan’s Sports Bar located right across from the original stadium, now one block south of the stadium has been serving the Yankee fans since 1979. Up one block on 161st is the Yankee Tavern, the oldest watering hole near the stadium. This bar has been around since 1927 and once the favored after game spot for Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra and Babe Ruth who was known to always buy a round after the game.
One of the first McDonalds in the Bronx (owned by a Puerto Rican) is directly across the new stadium, which was once the favorite place where Thurmond Munson would send to get his cheeseburgers. One to two blocks away up 161st there is a variety of businesses and vendors. Pizzeria’s, Chicken Spots, Vega Alta Bar, a Bodega, a Latin and two Jamaican restaurants, a Supermarket and a number of other franchise and local spots. You also have a number of local folks selling everything from water to bootleg Yankee T-shirts and hats.
Everyone of these business owners do well during the regular season. However, they all pray for a Yankee Postseason as their sales literally go though the roof during a postseason. The owner of Yankee Tavern, Joe told me that every Postseason game he sells as much as he would in a week during the regular season. The manager of the McDonalds told me that in the first Postseason game on Friday they “sold a lot.” When I asked what is “a lot” she opened her eyes wide and repeated, “a lot, the store was packed every minute.”
Thus while the lucky fans who had tickets were inside rooting for their team, business owners, vendors and street sellers were all equally rooting for the Yankees as they also represent an economic lifeline that is important for one of the poorest communities in the country. Thus, there are a lot of reasons why many fans and non-fans that live, or work in the community chant: Let’s Go Yanks and wish they would go all the way to the World Series.
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