While the new Yankee Stadium was still under construction, Yankees COO Lonn Trost was fond of describing it as a “five-star hotel with a ballfield in the middle,” as if this was somehow what fans had been begging for. Well, Trost's claim has been given credence — and then some! — as today, the stadium will receive the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Six Star Diamond Award for “a commitment to excellence in luxury and service.” Huzzah!
A look at the award’s previous winners confirms that this honor tends not to go to professional sporting venues but to things like hotels, golf courses, resorts, and cruise ships. But that didn’t shut out Trost! (We’d like to imagine him like Al Pacino in Ocean's Thirteen these last few months, desperately seeking the maximum number of stars and/or diamonds for his property.) We’ll also assume that this distinction is based on the luxury boxes and Legends Suite seats that we’ll probably never watch a game from, because while the garlic fries in the upper deck are tasty, we can’t say we’ve found them particularly luxurious.
Oh, and if the award itself isn’t bizarre enough, for some reason it’ll be presented to Hal Steinbrenner by Muhammad Ali. Because now that they’re officially the classiest ballpark around, why should they settle for anything other than the Greatest?