Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Lane's are Empty, but the Bag Checks are Full

By Jeff Vandam
The New York Times
October 10, 2004

This weekend, the little enterprises that dot the streets around Yankee Stadium were cleaning up after two home playoff games. While, as of Friday, the Yankee post-season was still uncertain, the shops near the stadium - the anti-Boston clothing business, the bobble-head business, the slightly-below-Stadium-price beer business - were counting their profits.

And in the last few years, one of those Bronx businesses has taken off, a mini-industry spurred by a Yankees security policy put into effect after the attacks of Sept. 11. Since that day, brusque guards have turned away fans with any bag larger than a purse. When that happens, the bag checkers of River Avenue are pleased to offer their assistance. And to charge for it.

No less than three stores along the avenue have converted rooms inside their premises into large bag-holding dens. The first to do so, and perhaps the most well known, is Ball Park Lanes, a 50-alley operation at East 157th Street that charges $5 a bag.

"The fans say: 'What am I gonna do? Go back home?' " said Ivery Black, a senior bowling coach at the alley who stands on the sidewalk before games with a sign advertising the service. "It's good for us and good for the fans."

Read the entire article on the New York Times website