As the 150th anniversary of the Lehigh-Lafayette football rivalry is set to begin, fans and students of the two schools in the Lehigh Valley are slowly starting to pack into Yankee Stadium. Media members here to report on the game are sitting in the press box and preparing for the game to begin.
The press box at the stadium that is built to seat over 50,000 is located in the second deck right by what is normally the Yankee Stadium home plate (the Lafayette end zone). Media members go through a special gate where they pick up credentials. After getting through, they have access to the stadium.
Once here, there is a complimentary cafeteria available to media members. People with press passes, including myself, were allowed a short time to take food, which I did before the game.
The press box is under cover in case of bad weather, but it is outdoor. On a cold day of about 43 degrees fahrenheit, the box is still exposed to some of the elements from the outside, so I am prepared.
While the pre-game festivities are happening, including countless player and coach interviews and a performance by Lehigh’s Marching 97, are happening, members of the media are getting familiar with the lay of the land, including making sure they connect to the Internet and familiarizing themselves with programs available to them.
Even though this is a “work” day, it is still a surreal experience. It is a privilege to be able to sit in the press box of the one of the most recognizable sports facilities in the country. Win or lose, it will also be an amazing feeling to see our classmates on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks football team play on a field that has defined greats such as Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and pitcher Mariano Rivera.