NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Yankees’ new stadium will have party suites, a members-only restaurant, a martini bar and a price tag to match all the luxury – $1.3 billion, up from a $1 billion estimate last year, the team said Thursday.

“We tried to reflect a five-star hotel and put a ballfield in the middle,” said Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost, who hosted a media tour of the new stadium, which he said is on schedule to welcome fans on Opening Day 2009.

The new ballpark, in the Bronx directly across the street from the old House that Ruth Built, is now a welter of cranes and construction trailers, with hard-hatted workers instead of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez patrolling the infield.

The granite and limestone exterior is designed to evoke the Yankees’ original 1923 stadium before it was remade in the 1970s.

But inside there will be amenities unheard of in Babe Ruth’s day – or in Reggie Jackson’s.

There will be a conference center with video conferencing so that a corporate group could have a daylong meeting and then stay for a ballgame, Trost said.

A concierge will be available to procure theater tickets or restaurant reservations.

There will be 51 luxury suites, two large outdoor suites and eight party suites with seating for up to 410 people in total.

The 58-by-103-foot center field television screen will be six times the size of the video screen at the current stadium.

The dimensions of the field will be the same as at the old ballpark, which will be demolished.

Trost said the cost overruns included $150 million in enhancements such as the giant video screen, $138 million in food and beverage costs not included in the original estimate and $50 million from delays due to a lawsuit by community groups that sought to halt construction of the stadium.

The community groups sued because two city parks were razed to make way for the new stadium. The Yankees have said the lost parkland would be replaced at the site of the old stadium and elsewhere in the Bronx.

Asked if the Yankees had been securing additional financing, Trost said, “We will be.”


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