Beauty is in the Eye of the Ticket Holder

What makes a great baseball experience for you?

We all have our reasons to rate one team or stadium above another. Whether it be ticket price; a winning team; a team with a rich history and tons of tradition; a stadium with a great atmosphere, food, promotional give-aways and in-game entertainment; great uniforms; hot players; home run hitters; or a fan base who really knows baseball.

Over the years, I’ve seen many team/stadium rankings; some rely on attendance records or a team’s winning percentages, others on game day affordability – the average price for the typical family of four to park, buy cheap tickets, share a bag of peanuts, scarf down one hotdog each, drink (sodas for the kids and small beers for the adults), buy a game program and share a single souvenir to share. But I’m guessing that each of us has our own unique way to evaluate and appreciate a team or ballpark—our own "weighted average" of those factors important to us, none of which mirror the guy sitting next to us. We are not a homogenized group of “baseball fans”, we are individuals, right?

So without getting into which team or ballpark is the ABSOLUTE BEST IN THE WORLD, let me know what makes YOU tick? The 7th inning stretch organist? The food? Your team (no matter how crap the stadium)? Or do none of these really matter because you go purely for the love of the game and would be happy as a clam just about anywhere?

For me, the best ballpark or "game experience" is a mosh of so many unquantifiable factors. It could be watching the look on the face of a kid catching their first foul ball; of witnessing an in-the-park home run, triple play, a player batting for the cycle or pitcher nearing a perfect game. Or it could come down to the ballpark where I was introduced to baseball as a kid (the Big A), or the stadium where I saw my first World Series game (Chase). To me, baseball is baseball. No matter which stadium or seats I sit in or who is playing, I've never had a bad experience at a ball game.

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Tags: ballpark, baseball, experience, rank, rating, stadium

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Comment by Dominic Pace on May 5, 2012 at 11:43pm
Great weather...fans that are social and friendly in our section..unique food to the stadium..i.e. Primanti Bros sandwich in Pittsburgh. Architectural uniqueness thats fitting to the town. In DC they use Limestone. They also designed the ballpark with a cool view of the Washington Monument, along with Blossoms. Denver's Purple and Black colors come from their mining/ore industry. Its the uniqueness. I agree with Thequesters Too however, Dodger Stadium is not one of my faves, and I live in LA.
Comment by Thequesters Too on April 12, 2012 at 7:38pm
I was at Dodger Stadium and the Cubs were playing about 5 fights broke out before the third inning. Dodger just seems to attract the morons.
Comment by Paula Vaughnn on April 11, 2012 at 8:04pm
Although I've never witnessed really bad customer service, what kills a good ballpark experience for me are mean, nasty crowds - the like of which I haven't witnessed since April 5, 1999 when the Diamondbacks (Randy Johnson) opened the season at Dodger Stadium (Kevin Brown)... That was a scary game to attend!
Comment by Thequesters Too on April 11, 2012 at 6:01pm
Paula I forgot to add one thing to my post. After visiting JetBlue Park in Spring Training the staff can instantly kill an experience for you. Wonderful park, really bad customer service.
Comment by Mary (14) on April 11, 2012 at 9:34am
... And a memorable game helps too!
Comment by Mary (14) on April 11, 2012 at 9:34am
I find myself looking for distinctive things that you don't see in other places like food specialties, memorabilia displays - especially like when these sting up spontaneously like the home run markers on Eutaw Street in Orioles Park, distinctive events - fist pump cam is a great example in San Francisco, and friendly, proud staff - we are still happily remembering the food clerks in Detroit who handed us our change with a smile and "go Tigers!"
Comment by Tim Choiniere on April 8, 2012 at 7:37pm

For me, its the history and the atmosphere of the stadium first that make the stadium for me.  After that, its the design of the park (especially sightlines, seats, etc).  You definitely need a good team on the field too but I am content seeing any team anywhere...

Comment by Thequesters Too on April 8, 2012 at 10:57am
For my son and I it's the food,the history of the ballpark and fan interaction. Coke and Pepsi generally taste the same anywhere but the hot dogs and local food do not. Plus each ballpark has its own history whether that is new, Marlins Park on the site of the Orange Bowl, or Rickwood Field. But if the players, coaches or bat boys don't interact with the fans the experience becomes stagnant and boring.

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