Sitting nice and comfortable at home, I’ve had time to reflect on our 30 stadium trip and rank the top stadiums according to my tastes. I’ve lumped them into 4 categories namely, modern, traditional, domes and football.
Modern stadiums (13) are for the most part quite nice with a walk-around concourse feature which makes it easier to find your car or friends sitting elsewhere. The food areas are spacious and usually number in the dozens selling all different types of food and drink. Most feature one unusual feature to set it apart from the other modern stadiums. For example, Baltimore has the food court outside the stadium proper but still inside the stadium grounds so you can pig out and still return to your seats. Detroit has the kiddy rides, San Francisco has the wine bars, Pittsburgh the downtown view, Texas has the obscene number of sky boxes and St Louis with its Standing Room Only ticket areas. But the coziest is the Jake in Cleveland where you feel right on top of the action yet you sit far enough away from Chief Wahoo banging that **** drum in the centerfield bleaches.
The football stadiums (3) that currently house baseball teams are just plain ugly with the playing field far too large and some of the seats just too far away to enjoy a baseball game. Oakland is the best of the 3 but its upper deck is closed off and looks like a going out of business club. Washington and Florida (despite the fish chicks) are just bad news.
The domed stadiums (7) are built for weather reasons that I can understand but I just don’t like them. Losing the ball in the roof just isn’t baseball to me. I realize the cost of these covered giants is as high as some of their seats but looking at people across from you in a different time zone just doesn’t do it for me. However, I do like the Twin’s dome because it is smaller and somewhat closer to the playing field on a relative basis. Ron Darling called it a garage the other night on Sports Net, I think of it as the Pillsbury Dough Boy and 45,000 of his closest friends.
The traditional stadiums (7) are the best of the lot to my old fashion tastes. Parking is usually better (save for Fenway and Wrigley), the concourses narrower, the food usually tastes better, especially the hot dogs, and the fans appreciate the game more. The stadiums are older, but have been witness to many great baseball events over the decades whether it’s the Yankees winning or the Cubs losing it is nevertheless baseball. Shea is not pretty but it is as comfortable to me as sitting at home watching a Mets game. We had the best times at these stadiums especially at Wrigley where I thought I had gone back in time to the early 1960 when my dad used to take me to ballgames. The smell of the hot dogs, the stale beer and the cut grass was baseball heaven. A Field of Dreams.
Well the tallies are in with Cleveland, Oakland, Minn and Wrigley leading in each of my 4 categories. And the winner is……. Wrigley!! Shea is my #3 choice by the by.
I added up my gasoline bills for our 15,306 mile adventure where we made 45 purchases of gas in 27 states. $2,121 beans —Holy Gas Pains Batman! Remember if you are planning a mini stadium tour, the complete baseball schedule comes out in early February and all tickets can be purchases via mlb.com
We would like to thank everyone who responded with comments and those who read the blog but chose to remain in the shadows. The mileage winner is Rich F who is entitled to a free dinner at my house. Mrs merk will do the cooking.
Well on to the playoffs! I will post as often as possible during the Mets run to the World Series.