Remember where you were on this date in history: Mike Francesa admitted to being wrong in a debate.
Francesa and Chris Russo did a “Mike and the Mad Dog” reunion on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday, and host Molly Qerim brought up the infamous debate the two had about Yankee Stadium bathroom lines before George Steinbrenner’s new stadium opened.
“The bottom line was Dog did not want them to knock the stadium down. George needed his luxury boxes,” Francesa said Wednesday. “They needed to have new technology. But in retrospect, he’s right. Losing the Stadium has killed the Yankees. It has killed the Yankees. I’m telling you. The new stadium has never replaced the old one. I totally admit Dog won that argument.”
Francesa continued to expound on the aura that’s been relinquished.
“It lost its appeal,” Francesa said. “This new stadium has never intimidated opponents like the old one did.”
The Yankees opened their new stadium in 2009.
In the 2008 clip, which has been viewed over 250,000 times on YouTube, Russo argued that the Yankees didn’t need a new stadium because they had no problems driving attendance and revenue.
Francesa did not concur.
“I’ve been a fan forever and I’ve been going there since 1961. I’ve gone there thousands of times and I personally felt that they needed a new stadium,” Francesa said. “Because I think it’s cramped. Underneath it [in the concourses] is cramped. They don’t have any of these modern amenities that Camden Yards, or any of these wonderful new ballparks have, that I think are very fan-friendly and make the experience at a ballgame a lot more fun.”
Eventually this devolved into a spirited argument about how you could go to the bathroom quickly at Camden Yards but it would take several innings at Yankee Stadium. Russo asked Francesa, “What are you nuts? I have gone to 100 playoff games there and I have had no problem going to the bathroom.”
Francesa emphasized: “When I go to the bathroom during the playoff games, I go in the press box.”