Built at a cost of $2.4 million (1923), the dimensions of the old Yankee Stadium are 399 feet (122 m) at left center, 385 feet (117 m) at right center, 314 feet (96 m) at right field and 408 feet (124 m) at center field. The backstop measures 84 feet (26 m). It was first opened on April 18, 1923, closing on September 21, 2008.
Changes in Yankee Stadium Measurements
The stadium underwent numerous renovations, changing the dimensions in the process. In 1923, the left field line was 285 ft. The straightway left field was 395 ft and the left center 460 ft. The straightway center field was 490 ft. Right center was 425 ft and straightway right center was 350 ft. The right field line was 295 ft and the backstop was 82 ft.
The dimensions of the old Yankee Stadium were altered in 1937. The left field became 301 ft; the straightway left field became 415 ft and the left center 457 ft. The straightway center field was reduced to 461 ft.
The right center became 407 ft and the straightway right field was reduced to 344 ft. The right field line was increased slightly to 296 ft. The backstop was unchanged.
1978 and 1985 Renovations
In 1978, the dimensions were changed again. The left field line became 312 ft and the straightway left field line became 387 ft. The left center became 430 ft. and the straightway center field measured 417 ft. The right center measured 385 ft and the straightway right field was 353 ft. The right field line became 310 ft. and the backdrop was changed to 84 ft.
The 1985 renovations changed the dimensions of the old Yankee Stadium again. The left field line was unchanged, but the straightway left field became 379 ft. The left center was 411 ft and the straightway center field was 410 ft.
The right center was 385 ft and the straightway right field was 353 ft. The right field line and the backstop were not changed. The stadium would be renovated again 1988, leading to the present day specifications.
In 1923, the capacity of Yankee Stadium was 58,000. In 1927 it became 82,000. Six years later in 1928, renovations changed it to 62,000. In 1937 the capacity was 71,699; in 1942, it was 70,000; for 1948 it became 67,000.
Changes to the dimensions of the old Yankee Stadium in 1958 increased the capacity to 67,205. The capacity was 67,337 in 1961 and became 67,000 in 1965.
The 1971 capacity was 65,010; in 1976 it was 54,028 and in 1977 it became 57,145. In 1980 the capacity was 57,545 and during its final year in 2008, had a capacity of 56,936.
One of the stadium’s most popular features was the Monument Park. It contained retired jersey numbers of famous players, monuments and other mementos. These monuments have since been moved to the new Yankee Stadium. Other prominent features were the facade, the playing of the Hammond organ and playing Frank Sinatra’s “Theme from New York, New York”.
The dimensions of the old Yankee Stadium allowed other sporting events to be staged there. Boxing matches, football games and soccer have been held there.