SBD/14/Facilities Venues

WHEN THE WALLS COME CRUMBLING DOWN: YANKEE STADIUM CLOSED

          A 500-pound "chunk of steel" fell from the upper deck
     of Yankee Stadium into the empty stands yesterday just hours
     before a scheduled Angels-Yankees game, postponing the game
     and "raising questions about the future of the 75-year-old
     park," according to Sherman, Robbins, et al. of the N.Y.
     POST.  New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that the
     ballpark will be closed until Friday for inspections and
     repairs.  Officials "hope to reopen" the stadium for
     Friday's series opener against the Tigers (N.Y. POST, 4/14). 
          WHAT NOW? The Yankees will play the Angels tomorrow at
     1:00pm ET at Shea Stadium, with the Mets scheduled to host
     the Cubs at 7:40pm ET.  If Yankee Stadium is found "unsafe"
     after a closer examination, Giuliani said the Yankees'
     three-game series with the Tigers would also be played at
     Shea, while the Mets are on the road (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
     4/14).  Late last night, Yankees General Counsel Lonn Trost
     said "there was a chance" that Wednesday's game could be
     played at Yankee Stadium (NEWSDAY, 4/14).  Yankees Owner
     George Steinbrenner, reached by phone in Tampa, FL, last
     night, said, "We'll overcome this one, but we've got to be
     sure it doesn't happen again.  If that means a new stadium,
     we'll have to see."  In N.Y., Murray Chass writes that the
     incident could "prompt the Mayor to renew his offer of a
     Manhattan address for the Yankees."  More Chass: "If
     Steinbrenner has been reluctant to bid adieu to the Bronx,
     even though he has bad-mouthed it more times than any other
     individual, now he has a reasonable excuse to ask out" (N.Y.
     TIMES, 4/14).  Giuliani said that the incident gives
     Steinbrenner "a more dramatic argument that the Yankees need
     a new stadium" ("CBS This Morning," 4/14).  In N.Y., John
     Harper: "This was a bargaining chip from heaven, a potential
     tragedy to be pocketed and exploited" (DAILY NEWS, 4/14).  

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