A Quick Fix to the Bronx Bandbox ProblemPosted: May 27, 2009
The new Yankee Stadium has opened to a plethora of empty seats, walk-off wins and long home runs.
The new house has become a launching pad, a homer-happy haven for hitters. The Bronx Bandbox has yielded 87 homers in the first 23 games, just off the all-time pace set in the mile-high homer haven at Coors Field in Denver in 1999, where 303 home runs were hit.
After a thorough inspection of the new Stadium, the SportsLifer has uncovered the problem and knows how to fix it.
Listen I’m no rocket scientist, but I work for a company that employs thousands of brilliant engineers and scientists. And my father is a retired engineer. So perhaps some of that engineering expertise has rubbed off.
Anyway, here’s my premise. First of all, the dimensions of the new Yankee Stadium are identical to the old one, so that shouldn’t have any impact on increased home run rates.
And it’s not as if the new Stadium is located in another part of New York City at a higher elevation with differing weather and wind patterns. Heck, it’s right across 161st Street from the old place.
Air Flow in The Upper Deck
The answer lies in the upper deck, enclosed in the old ballpark but with open spaces in the new Stadium. In fact, on the upper concourse at the new house there is an open gap, roughly 15-feet high. This gap, above the concession stands, allows the prevailing westerly flow entry into the park, especially on the third base side.
That airflow is then channeled into a smaller gap, about six-feet high, between the upper deck and the terrace level, where it eventually flows out to right field from the third base side (or left field from the first base side).
The majority of home runs in the new Stadium have been hit to right and right-center, which is no coincidence. They have been helped by that prevailing air flow.
The solution is a simple one according to this self-anointed engineer/architect. Put up protective tiles on the outside of the ballpark to cut down the wind flow in the upper deck. Problem solved.
With a diminished wind flow the home run ratio is bound to go down, and everyone but the hitters will be happy.