As the Bronx Bombers prepare for tomorrow’s home opener in their new stadium’s second season, cranes are dismantling the old Yankee Stadium across the street where neighborhood kids were already supposed to be swinging bats.
Instead, the kids whose fields at Macombs Dam Park were paved over to make way for the new stadium, will have to wait until fall 2011 for Heritage Field to open.
“I was upset when they took away the old park. It left me stranded,” said Obencio Espinoza, 25, who worked up a sweat on the new synthetic turf track and field that opened at Macombs Dam Park last week.
The park atop a parking garage in the shadows of the glittering stadium and crumbling old one drew runners and football and basketball players.
“As long as they’re doing this right, I’m OK,” Espinoza said. “As long as I get my workout on, I’m happy.”
Espinoza may not have minded the loss of grass. But Geoffrey Croft of NYC Parks Advocates does. He found field temperatures of 150 degrees last week — synthetic turf is known to contribute to the urban heat island effect since it absorbs rather than reflects. Croft also criticized the 5:30 p.m. bathroom closing time for the park that’s open until 10 p.m.