At some point on your way out of Yankee Stadium this season, you may have been handed a flyer spreading the word about the fight to “save Gate 2.” Or maybe you’ve seen a postcard with the same message on the counter at Stan’s across the street. Or perhaps you’ve read an article, or visited a website making the case. If you have, then you know a group is trying, against some pretty steep odds, to preserve Gate 2 of the old Yankee Stadium — the gate closest to the corner of 161st Street and River Avenue, and also the one that most closely resembles a gate from the pre-renovation structure. They’re hoping to incorporate the gate into Heritage Park, which will eventually occupy the site of the old stadium. But, according to the Times, the fight isn’t going well.
Because the gate isn’t freestanding — it’s part of a massive baseball stadium, after all — Andrew Brent, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, says it would have to be “severed, shored up, and fully reconstructed” in order to be saved, a process that would cost $10 million. Meanwhile, Liam Cavagnaugh, the first deputy commissioner of the Parks Department, says that they’ve committed to opening the new park by the fall of 2011, and that preserving the gate would be time-consuming.
Still, the Save the Yankee Gate 2 Committee has a plan. They argue that the cost could be financed by selling bricks on a planned walkway from the park to the Metro North station, similar to what the Mets did outside of Citi Field. The Mets made $3 million selling their bricks — their proceeds went to charity — and demand was so high that they’re selling 5,000 more. Mark Costello and John Trush, members of the Save the Yankee Gate 2 Committee, plan to speak up at a hearing next week when the Parks Department presents its revised plans for Heritage Field to the city’s design commission. And since their tongue-in-cheek backup plan is to get Derek Jeter to pay for it (it is gate No. 2 after all), speaking up in front of the right people is all they can really do.