Nothing heralds the decline of an empire quite like the construction of an expensive new headquarters.
Louis XIV built Versailles after his power had peaked, and before much of Europe united against him. Park Avenue’s Pan Am Building went up not so many years before the iconic company went under. Enron was still completing its postmodern skyscraper in Houston when it filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
All of which brings us to the New York Yankees and their $1.5 billion-plus stadium, baseball’s monument to America’s pre- crash hubris. Entire sections of the ballpark, opened in 2009, sat empty during the opening two games of the American League Championship Series last weekend against the Detroit Tigers. Those fans who did show saved their boos for the home team. “This is a very easy place to play now,” Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry said after Game 2, issuing the ultimate indictment.
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