Stadiums You Have Been To...

Stadiums You Have Been To...

Postby Nelson Muntz » 21 Jun 2005, 14:41

Conversation in the Box got me thinking --> what stadiums have you been to? Please add some Zagats like comments.

* Yankee Stadium -- I'm biased but I love this place. Overpriced in every way, marginal-at-best food. Say what you want about the lovely and talented "Mystique" and "Aura," now on the main stage, but there is history there, albeit less than there was before the remodeling in '74-'75. Looking forward to the new Stadium.

* Shea Stadium -- The best thing I can say about Shea is goodbye.

* Veterans Stadium -- What a shithole this place was. Got harrassed by the cops outside tailgating, the seats were a mile high, turf was hideous. Two words -- yecch. Going to hit Citizens Bank this summer, heard some things.

* Fenway Park -- Some might say it's blasphemous for to admit it, but I loved it. Much smaller than I thought, but I'm used to Yankee Stadium. Great atmosphere outside. I had good seats (eight/ten rows behind the visitors' dugout), so I can't comment on how some seats there suck. Good crowd.

* Oakland Coliseum (Network Associates?) -- The Mausoleum. I had great seats -- club level, down the first base line -- and I enjoyed them. Had a great game as well -- late inning comeback during their 20-in-a-row back in '02. Huge foul territory puts you further away from the action than I'd like.

* Camden Yards -- The Pantheon. Can't say enough good things about it. Eutaw Street rocks. Not a bad seat in the park, good food and drink all around.
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Postby Frank the Tank » 21 Jun 2005, 15:20

Good topic. It's tough to compare new and old stadiums though. Take Fenway for instance. It's my favorite park because of the team that plays there and the history that surrounds it. However, from a pure architecture standpoint it's not up to snuff when compared with the newer places. So I'm just going to rank the sixteen parks I've been to leaving Fenway out of the ranking system.

#0 - Fenway Park - There's something undeniably cool about sitting in the same park your grandfather sat in during his youth, and the non-cookie-cutter field dimensions give it some panache. I can't stand sitting in sections 1-10 though.

#1 - PNC Park - Pittsubrgh - Great views from every seat in the park, wide concourses, lots of reasonably priced concessions (well, reasonably priced compared to other ballparks), great view of the Pittsburgh skyline over the entire outfield wall, retro-style scoreboard in right field... the perfect example of what a park should be.

#2 - SBC Park - San Francisco - San Francisco took advantage of its prime location, and I love just being able to stroll along the right-field walkway and looking into the Bay between innings. Views are pretty good from most places. Points subtracted for putting the bullpens in foul ground instead of having secluded pens (this is a pet peeve of mine). Get the garlic fries if you go.

#3 - Wrigley Field - Chicago - I've seen two day games here, and I'm not sure I'd like the park nearly as much at night. However the history of the park overwhelms the true baseball fan. I love the neighborhood and how it's easy to just spend time in one of many great watering holes before and after a game. The $35 for "easy-out" parking is a bit much though.

#4 - Jacobs Field - Cleveland - Great sight lines even from the upper decks along the foul lines. The area of Cleveland where the park sits is getting better as more and more bars/restaurants fill the area. Good upkeep. A slight ding to the ticket nazis who did an excellent job of keeping me from moving down to better seats in a nearly empty park. One note: this is a major step down from PNC and SBC, which are the only two stadiums that have ever made me say "WOW!!!"

#5 - Comerica Park - Detroit - It's not in a good area and there's nothing to do immediately outside the stadium, but once you're safely in the gates it's really nice. Good views everywhere, and the upkeep is good. However this is a major step down from PNC and SBC, which are the only two stadiums that have ever made me say "WOW!!!"

#6 - Camden Yards - Baltimore - Deserves a lot of credit for ushering in the new "old-school" stadium boom, but it's been surpassed IMHO by some of the newer entries. I can't comment on the upper-deck views since I wasn't allowed to wander around up there, but sightlines are good from the lower level. Some good family entertainment for the kids in the park, great concessions, and the Inner Harbor is a great place for pre- and post-game entertainment.

#7 - Minute Maid Park - Houston - This park gets a bad rep in part because of the stupid train and the hill in center field (which doesn't bug me at all but apparently really pisses off some). However all-in-all it's a good stadium. Roomy seats, pretty good sightlines (the deep foul line seats in right are pointed a bit askew), relatively cheap beer (it is Texas after all), and easy access. The stadium's in good shape and the wide concourses have plenty to see. Be careful if you come in through the train station during BP as the balls flying over the left field fence will clock an unsuspecting patron.

#8 - U.S. Cellular Field - Chicago - This park is maligned because (a) it's no Wrigley, (b) it's not exactly in Chicago's ritzy district, and (c) it was built one year before Camden Yards set a new standard. All this is true, but it's still not a bad park. Good views and roomy seats in the upper deck. Easy to see a detailed scoreboard from pretty much anywhere in the park. It's another place where it's difficult to improve your seat though in a poorly attended game.

#9 - Dodger Stadium - LA - Minimalist baseball at its best. There's nothing spectacular about the stadium itself, but they didn't fuck anything up. It's a simple place with decent room and good views to watch a baseball game. Then they just let the jumbotron show hot girls between innings and let the California sun round out the baseball experience.

#10 - Kauffman Stadium - Kansas City - This reminds me a lot of Dodger Stadium. There's nothing "special" about it (save for the fountains) but given what they had to work with its stood the test of time very well. Great BBQ is available at the concessions (not as good as KC's best restaurants, but better than the BBQ I can get in Connecticut, that's for sure). It's a very pleasant place to watch a game.

#11 - Turner Field - Atlanta - It's okay. There's nothing that really stands out about this ballpark. If you go I recommend getting the cheapest seats you can find for a sparsely attended game then getting a table at the bar/restuarant in right field and just down a bunch of pitchers.

#12 - Busch Stadium - St. Louis - Nothing terribly great about this park, but I admire how many people are true baseball fans in St. Louis and how virtually everyone stays until the end of the game on most nights. There's an energy in this park that many stadiums lack.

#13 - Miller Park - Milwaukee - This is the one "new" stadium I've been to where I really think they blew it. It's ugly from the outside, the seats stack up too high since they didn't want to extend the footprint too far out (since they were putting a retractable roof on). The views from many seats cut off a portion of the field. The concessions aren't anything great, though they're not terrible. Parking and traffic on the way out are horrible. I just don't like it.

#14 - Yankee Stadium - New York - Yes, I'm biased. I don't appreciate its history nearly as much as I appreciate Fenway's or Wrigley's and my anti-Yankee bias is absolutely playing into that. Sue me. I don't like the difficult access to the park, the upper deck seats lose left or right field unless you're sitting directly behind home plate, and the concourses/vending are rudimentary. I'm sure many Yankees fans feel the same way about Fenway. I don't blame them.

#15 - Shea Stadium - New York - No redeeming value. I'm sure it wasn't as bad when it was first built as it is now, but the cookie cutter stadium with seats pointing in all the wrong directions is now outdated. It's time for Shea to go.

I have not been to the other 14 active parks for baseball, but I did attend the NBA draft at Skydome in 1995. I didn't get a real good feel for it though.
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Postby nerf66 » 21 Jun 2005, 16:29

Wrigley Field - The one and only.

Arizona Bank One Ball Park - I like it, but some people don't

Dodger Stadium - I agree with Frank. I don't think there is a bad seat in the stadium

Busch Memorial - My dad saw the 1966 All-Star game here and had told me a stories aobut that game. It was good to go there.

Old Milwaukee Stadium - haven't been to the new one.

San Diego - Long time ago to see the Padres. Don't really remember it. Could have been my first major league game...not sure.

Angels - New Stadium. I liked it. Had good food and beers. Saw them beat the ynakees in a come-from-behind win in which the Rally Monkey played a huge role. With out a doubt, the rally monkey is my favorite thing about the Angels.

I haven't been to many MLB games. Probably 25 or so....and most of those have been in LA.
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Postby jack_daniels » 21 Jun 2005, 19:38

Not one outside this country. Been to the O in Montreal once, and I go to a Jays game a few times a year. Skydome (by the way the name has changed to The Rogers Centre after Rogers(Candian telecom. company like Bell) acquisitioned the T.V. and radio broadcasts. It still sucks. food sucks, too expensive, beer is lame, and no smoking inside the park unless you sit in the nosebleeds. What a crock. Good thing though is the affordability. First level seats will run you at most $100 on any given day, and they have $5 Tuesdays for all midlevels. So they got that going for them.
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Postby TheWolf » 22 Jun 2005, 07:46

I've only been to three parks so far unfortunately, but here's my take anyway.

Fenway: Of course there's a lot of bias here, but I just can't imagine ever enjoying a game as much as I do at Fenway. Yeah the seats are small and uncomfortable, and of course there are a few obstructed views, but the atmosphere is like nothing I've ever seen anywhere else. Just stepping foot inside that place makes me forget about the outside world and soak in the history and beauty of all things Red Sox.

Tropicana Field: If I didn't hate yankee stadium so goddamn much, this place would definitely be at the bottom of my list, and I assume anywhere else I go in the future will be ahead of it. This place just sucks. It's one of the ugliest structures I've ever seen from the outside. The stupid catwalks are just plain retarded. And most importantly, baseball should not be played indoors. Until I actually walked up from the councourse and looked out onto the field, I felt like I should be at a basketball game. It did have a couple decent features, most notably the affordability (although I did splurge for decent seats). I was actually pretty impressed with the concourses, especailly the 28 oz. beers and the wide selection of beer. And the on-site parking lot is definitely a nice convenience compared to Fenway and yankee stadium. But all in all, just not a good place for a baseball game.

yankee stadium: Or as I like to call it, Satan's Palace. I fucking hate this place. I've sat in the upper deck both times I've been, once behind the plate and once behind first base. These were unquestionably the two worst seats I've ever had for a baseball game. From the first base side you can't see the whole field, as Frank said. From behind the plate, at least you can see everything, but it's about 9 miles away. Just fucking terrible. The place is way too big, and the area licks balls too. I hate all the stupid bullshit like monument park, which I'm pretty sure is actually just a cover for the massive team orgies that take place out there after games. This place just has fucking nothing going for it IMHO. Of course I'm very heavily biased, but I've enjoyed absolutely nothing about my yankee stadium experiences, and I will never pay to attend another game there unless it's against the Sox. Fuck yankee stadium.
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Postby JohnnyDamon » 22 Jun 2005, 08:52

Comiskey Park at U.S. Cellular Field-On a quiz bowl tournament, I got to see the White Sox face the Yankees on Memorial Day. Sadly, I was about 4 rows from the very top of the stadium, and my acrophobia came into play. This place sucks. Period. The only thing it's got going for it is that it shares the same town as....

Wrigley Field-The best park I have ever been to. Admittedly, I haven't been to Camden Yards, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, SBC Park, or PNC Park, but it was a great place nonetheless. The sight lines were great, the atmosphere wonderful, and you could feel the 94 (at the time) years of futility for the Cubs as they walked on the field. In that fashion, they blew a 9th inning lead to Pittsburgh as the fans watched in disgust.

Turner Field-Blah. It's better than Comiskey though.

Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium-Ditto.
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Postby TheDooze » 22 Jun 2005, 10:16

I'm just gonna list them for right now, with comments later:

Fenway Park
Tiger Stadium
Comerica Park
New Comiskey Park
Jacobs Field
Tropicana Field
Oakland-Alameda Coliseum
Wrigley Field
Miller Park
Riverfront Stadium
Olympic Stadium
Candlestick Park
SBC Park

Rankings and comments later on.
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Postby Briandong79 » 22 Jun 2005, 10:25

Since Iowa doesn't exactly provide easy access to many stadiums, I don't have a lot to share, but here goes:

Wrigley--Yes, I'm biased, but this is unquestionably my favorite.

A's Coliseum--Don't know what its called now. Perfectly functional, not a lot to it, but good views.

Qualcomm--Was there in one of its last years, sat directly behind home plate in the very last row of the stadium, so a good overview of the field but obviously not very close

Metrodome--Weird to be inside, but a lot of fun. It was the first game that the Twins and Sox played after the Nomar trade last year (of course also involving Mienketisiweaisoidirtaeuwicz going from the Twins to the Sox), so it was an interesting environment.

And Jacobs Field in about a week, and that's it.
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Postby TheWolf » 22 Jun 2005, 10:53

It's either ridiculously unfair or ridiculously untrue that Dooze is 17 years old and he's been to 15 ballparks. I'm insanely jealous.
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Postby Frank the Tank » 22 Jun 2005, 11:04

TheWolf wrote:It's either ridiculously unfair or ridiculously untrue that Dooze is 17 years old and he's been to 15 ballparks. I'm insanely jealous.

Only 12 active ones. I deleted demolished stadiums from my list, though I haven't been to many. When you consider that Pittsburgh went from Three Rivers Stadium (a complete hole) to PNC Park (the epitome of what a ballpark should be IMHO) I think it's one of the best worst-to-first stories in sports. When Kevin McClatchy complained about PNC not having a roof when the stadium was completed I wanted to slap him in the face. The roof helped ruin Miller Park. Deal with the rainouts and leave the stadiums open unless you're in a place with absolutely oppressive heat (Houston, Arizona) or rain that threatens to wipe out a third of your home slate (Seattle).
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Postby Dunking Donut » 22 Jun 2005, 11:13

I don't have much to write about but here goes:

Fenway - Aura and mystique abound. Still, it's cramped, expensive, and only some of the seats provide good views. The new owners have made it a lot better - I really like the area around the park now. Making my annual pilgrimage on 6/29.

Yankee Stadium - Not bad but nothing special either except some of the monuments to past Yankee great. I had particularly good seats for this game (Yanks vs. Jays). 10 rows up, right behind third base. I will definitely be taking the subway if I go again. It is in a really shitty neighborhood ('da Bronx).

Veterans Stadium - Really wasn't horrific - the seating was much, much better than Fenway - meaning all 75 inches and 230 pounds of me fit. However, an absolute fucking fiasco to get there. I live 70 miles away and left 3 hours before game time and still got there in the third inning. No alternate routes to the park. I haven't gone to the new stadium - tickets are available for the Sox this weekend but no one wants to go with me!
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Postby NFL Outsider » 22 Jun 2005, 11:24

In no particular order

Anaheim Stadium (pre-Rams) There's nothing like watching a game with little kids racing around outside of the outfield wall on their BMX bikes. Great atmosphere.

Anaheim Stadium (Rams days) The filled out ring took away a little bit of the intimacy of the smaller ballpark, but the place was electric during the 1986 ALCS. The place was filled to the rafters and ready to party. But it was a burden during the periods when the team was bad. The $3 GA tickets in the early 1990s were a good value for this struggling college student.

Angels Stadium Combines the best of the original structure with some fancy new touches, like the Knothole Club in right field. It's the only place in the stadium that "free pours" alcohol. Plus the day games bring out the hot chicks.

Dodger Stadium A dump. If you need more information, read this:

Jack Murphy Stadium A multi-purpose stadium that was better served for football. Became combursome for baseball when they added extra seats for the Super Bowl.

Petco Park Great ballpark. I can understand why homerun hitters would hate to play here. But it would be must first free agent stop as a pitcher. Fans can purchase a $5 SRO ticket and stand behind homeplate. Awesome. It also has a great atmopshere outside of the stadium with the legendary Gas Lamp District. The watering holes are the one thing that Angel Stadium needs a little bit more of. (Although a lot of bars aren't open early for day games). Fans in Orange County can take the train down and the ballpark is within walking distance of the Amtrack.

Yankee Stadium Maybe I was too naive to realize that it was such a back neighborhood. But it was impressive to sit in an old-time stadium. The stadium itself wasn't too impressive outside of the history, but the Yankees will lose something when they move into a new ballpark.

Fulton County Stadium Almost too young to remember, but I saw my first game here, Atlanta v. Cincinnati.

Wrigley Field Bad view from my mom's womb.

Bank One Ballpark It has a lot going for it outside of the stadium. But it's too big inside, like one of the hangars at the Tustin Air Corps base.

Network Associates Coliseum You wanted the Raiders back?
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Postby Theny » 22 Jun 2005, 11:27

Dolphins Stadium: sucks. There are no other words to desribe this place. Especially the location. It's way north of Miami and way inland, which means it's really hot with no breeze all the time. There's supposedly trying to get a new stadium for the Marlins over by the Orange Bowl, which is a pretty ghetto place to build a stadium. For the life of me, I don't know why they wouldn't just build a stadium in downtown. There's a huge piece of bum infested, run down, city-owned property just to the north of American Airlines Arena and just south of the bridge that takes you into South Beach that's right on the water. I can't understand why you wouldn't build a stadium there.

Turner Field: Has Andruw Jones and his twenty home runs. Other than that though, eh, OK.
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Postby TheWolf » 22 Jun 2005, 11:31

NFL Outsider wrote:Wrigley Field Bad view from my mom's womb.

I got a good laugh out of this one. Nice work NFLO.
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Postby Frank the Tank » 22 Jun 2005, 11:34

Dunking Donut wrote:Itickets are available for the Sox this weekend but no one wants to go with me!

Darn it I wish I knew there were tickets available before! I thought this would be a great opportunity to knock off a stadium but when I tried to buy tickets long ago the Saturday game was marked as sold out. I can't go on Friday because it's my anniversary (note: going to a Sox game on your anniversary when your wife is a Yankees fan is probably a good way to speed up those divorce proceedings) and Saturday I have to take my son to a birthday party. I wonder if I could convince anyone to let me go on Sunday?
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