Absurd Yankee Stadium Rule Forbids Fans From Bringing Their Bike Helmets Into Ballpark

James Rather had to leave his helmet in a $20 off-site locker rental in order to see Wednesday's NYC FC game.

Yankee Stadium. Photo: Groupe Canam/Wikimedia Commons
Yankee Stadium. Photo: Groupe Canam/Wikimedia Commons

Here’s some not-so-great advice: If you’re biking to Yankee Stadium, you have to leave your helmet at home — or you’ll have to risk losing it or pay $20 to stow it off-site.

Sports fan James Rather discovered that the hard way before Wednesday night’s Major League Soccer match between NYC Football Club and the New England Revolution. Rather, who lives in Alphabet City, uses Citi Bike every day for work — and always uses a helmet. But on Wednesday, he arrived at Yankee Stadium only to learn that his live-saving helmet was not welcome inside.

“I wasn’t about to throw away a $75 helmet; leaving it fastened to the nearest signpost or tree would also be tantamount to throwing it away,” Rather told Streetsblog.

Security guards told him about a fallback plan: S&A Sports, across from the stadium on River Avenue, rents lockers for $20 a pop, which the store has been doing for about a year, earning a nifty profit from the stadium’s absurd no-helmet policy.

“There’s no explanation for the policy,” said Rather, who watched the NYCFC loss without further incident. “It’s just idiotic.”

The Yankee website says that helmets of all sorts are prohibited — along with masks, selfie sticks, GoPros, costumes, confetti, skateboards, and laptops. (In contrast, Citi Field, the home of the Mets, allows all of those things.)

Abdul Salahi, who works at S & A Sports, said the store began offering locker rentals last season. Ballpark-goers drop off their prohibited items, pay $20, and come pick them up before the store closes at 11:15 p.m.

“A lot of people want a locker,” Salahi said. “A lot of people come in.”

That didn’t surprise Rather.

“I’m sure they make a lot of money out of that,” he said. “It almost smacks as a racket — this little sporting goods store has a back room full of lockers.”

Keep it in mind for all upcoming Stadium events. Next up? Saturday afternoon’s contest between NYCFC and DC United.

Streetsblog reached out to the Yankees for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

  • JarekFA

    This is fucking insane!

  • com63

    I agree, stupid policy, but why not lock it to your bike? It is not 100% effective since someone could cut the strap, but it works in a pinch. In the future, you could bring a small cable that passes through the helmet vent and lock it even more effectively.

  • Nawc77

    Just another reason to hate the Yankees

  • AMH

    I often do that, but the subject of the article carries a helmet to use while CitiBiking, and presumably did not have a bike handy to lock it to.

  • com63

    doh! I guess that really is a problem then.

  • HamTech87

    Because it will be gone. I’m always amazed at the stuff ripped off bikes, especially secured by anything other than a U Lock.

  • MtotheI

    Well, I mean, bicyclists are terrorists. Just ask Marcia Cramer how dangerous a bike lane going by the UN can be.

  • kevd

    I’ve done that many many times.
    tends to work fine.

  • kevd

    ah. makes sense.

  • kevd

    Yankees suck, go Sox.
    And now I finally have a reason to choose between the New Jersey Red Bulls and NYCFC. Still no reason to care very much, but at least I know where I stand.

  • Toddster

    Things that have value. A helmet with a broken strap doesn’t have resale value and isn’t worth the investment to fix the strap and resell when they can just steal a seat or basket or wheel from another bike. The worst that happens is someone leaves an empty togo container in it.

  • JarekFA

    You going to ride your bike to Harrison NJ from NYC?

  • The Phillies’ ballpark has valet bike parking. I presume that this means that cyclists can have their helmets stored securely along with their bikes.

  • I have done it. The only difficult part is the section between Jersey City and Newark on the Kearny peninsula. The bridges over the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers have walkways that are open to bikes; but they are poorly maintained and often covered with sand.

  • Joe R.

    Don’t wear a helmet. Problem solved. Nobody worries about what to do with helmets in the great cycling countries because almost nobody wears one.

  • Joe R.

    My late father would have called that heresy. 🙂

  • kevd

    One of the guys from Times-UP used to lead a group ride to Red Bull Arena for a game every summer. (he was also sponsored by Red Bull for alley cats and the like).
    I’m not sure if they took the GWB or the Ferry.

  • MKDAWUSS

    Sounds like there’s a kickback policy going on.

  • 1soReal

    True, but you’re thinking way too logical. People will steal anything, even if it doesn’t make any sense. Either out of ignorance or simply just because they can and the opportunity presents itself.

  • JoeDokes999

    You guys don’t get it – our system is based on cars and oil. Anything that deviates from the car and oil industry supremacy in travel is forbidden and must be crushed. This means bikes, scooters, streetcars – anything that threatens the system is the enemy. It’s not random.

  • JoeDokes999

    Why presume that?

  • Emmy Lors

    The policy kind of makes sense. Helmets are bulky items that are hard to store while watching the game. People will often place their helmets on the ground by their feet making it a tripping hazard for other people walking by. When the cyclist leaves the stadium he or she will often forget to take the helmet, making more work for the clean up crew who has to do the work of logging the helmet into the lost and found.

  • Because that presumption makes sense. I doubt they force you to bring the helmet into the ballpark.

  • Joe R.

    Looks like about 25 miles each way from where I am in Eastern Queens. It’s certainly feasible. I’ve already gone on 50 to 60 mile rides without breaks. 25 miles each way with a break in between is even less strenuous.

  • William Lawson

    Just get one of those collapsible helmets which fits in a bag. Or better still, don’t wear one.

  • Rex Rocket

    LOL. What about all the food people are buying and keeping on the ground between their feet? Or their jackets? Or their just-bought fan merchandise? Or Programs? No one can trip on those? Yes, bike riders forgetting their helmets–even though they remembered to bring them from home on their bikes–is a major problem in the world, and “forgotten” bike helmets are now polluting the ocean, let alone baseball stadiums.

  • JarekFA

    But how will get to NJ? Over the GWB or take a ferry from Manhattan?

  • Those are the options.

    The ferry from Brookfield Place (Vesey Street dock) to Jersey City (Paulus Hook) takes about 5 minutes, and is bike-friendly.

    Otherwise you can add 20+ miles to the trip by going over the George Washington Bridge.

  • com63

    I’m picturing a helmet ban is in place because there have been soccer hooligans in other countries who bring helmets and use them while getting in fights with opposing fans 😉

  • MWaring

    “The Yankee website says that helmets of all sorts are prohibited — along with masks, selfie sticks, GoPros, costumes, confetti, skateboards, and laptops. (In contrast, Citi Field, the home of the Mets, allows all of those things.)”

    Sounds like they are banning anything that can be used by soccer hooligans, which in context, makes some sense. That said, they can do better. Like you should be able to bring a helmet but not be allowed to wear it inside (i.e. about to get in a fight).

  • Knut Torkelson

    This a remarkably dumb comment, friend.

  • Bike rider

    Yankees have an unused bike racks under their empty parking lots. One would hope that Brian Cashman would see the benefits of biking to a game which could lead to more seats sold and better attendance.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Cliff Lee, the “Southpaw Straphanger,” Rides Again

|
Here’s a makeshift screen grab from Game 2 of the World Series, describing how Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee made his way to Yankee Stadium for Game 1 last Wednesday. According to Fox Sports, after catching a cab from a Midtown hotel, Lee was stuck in traffic an hour later, having traveled about as far as […]

Stadium Deals Drain Cities

|
We’ll kick off 2010 with a post from Streetsblog Network member Hub and Spokes about the perils of subsidizing stadiums in the hope of getting a big economic return: Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium turned out to be a raw deal for taxpayers. (Photo: wallyg via Flickr) This seems like a lesson that every city needs […]

Wolfson: Sponsor of Mandatory Helmet Bill Is No Friend of Cyclists

|
In case you missed it yesterday, City Council Member David Greenfield was bombarded in the Twitterverse after the Wall Street Journal reported that he plans to introduce a mandatory bike helmet law. (Streetsblog joined the fray with enthusiasm.) City Hall is also having none of it. Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson shot down the helmet law […]

A Compulsory Helmet Law Won’t Make NYC Cyclists Safer

|
The great thing about arguments favoring compulsory bike helmet laws is that they tend to stay on topic instead of degenerating into fruitless bickering over cyclists’ interactions with pedestrians, bike riders’ claim to the streets, and other tired subjects. The bad things about such arguments are many. Here are three: They ignore the possibility that […]

John Liu: Cyclists Need Helmets, But Not Bike Lanes

|
What does John Liu think of bikes in NYC? That’s hard to say, and it’s not clear that Liu knows either. On the day when thousands signed up for the city’s bike-share program, exceeding expectations and setting the stage for a major shift in the way many New Yorkers get around, Liu chose to engage […]