I think this discussion is more applicable to minor league parks than major league. I'm curious as to when other chasers will count a park as seen.
I've been compiling a list of non-major parks visited, and am curious as to when a a park is included your total (from your perspective). For me, the number 1 qualifier is that you've seen a baseball game there, not a football game, concert, or other event. However, is it any baseball game, any game played by a team for which the field is its primary home field, only games played by the anchor tenant and the park, some completely different criteria?
I've been to a handful of games at the US Steel Yard, but never a Gary-South Shore Railcats game...only NCAA tournament, Horizon League tournament, and Valparaiso University (not their primary field) home games.
We had this discussion last season and really it's up to the individual. No one should make your criteria for you. You can count it if you just step into it. For me, current parks should only count not only if it's the anchor tenant, but only if the game is official. I'm a little loose on defunct parks since I saw football games only at Olympic Stadium and Kingdome.
This would be my hierarchy:
Counts: Present for an official baseball game by the current anchor tenant
Counts w/Asterisk: Present for baseball game by current anchor tenant but game was not official due to weather or other problem AND I got to have at least one beer
Doesn't Count - At least I can say I've been inside: At park for non-anchor tenant baseball game, concert or non-baseball sporting event
Doesn't Count - Tour: took a tour at a time when the anchor tenant was not playing
Doesn't Count - Walkaround: there at the park when anchor tenant is not playing and not even able to get inside
Really Doesn't Count - As seen from a moving vehicle
Definitely have to have a beer to have it count! That's something I'm adding to our trip this summer (30 parks/84 days): a new local beer in the park!
My personal criteria that I have used since 1950:
1. Game must count. Exhibitions do not. Post-season, yes. All Star Game, definite maybe.
2. Game must become "official,' by playing 4 1/2 or five innings as appropriate. I have victimized by this standard many times, but don't feel that merely setting foot in a ballpark constitutes "seeing a game."
3. As long as the event is an official baseball game that counts in the standings, I don't care which teams play there. I count defunct parks, and count games seen overseas or at different venues, such as when the Rays played a few games in Orlando some years ago.
4. These criteria apply to major league games. The minor leagues, with different levels of play and affiliated and independent leagues, create all kinds of wrinkles as to when a game counts, none of which I have thought out.
5. Ultimately, you answer only to yourself. Ballpark Chasers have no commissioner, no rule book,and no umpires. Make rules you can live with.
An example of how the "rules" can be flexible: I took my dad, then in his eighties, to see a game in old Tiger Stadium. The place was packed with Blue Jay fans who drove over from Canada. Those were the days when they used to sell out every game in Toronto, so when their Jays played in "nearby" Detroit, many Canadians made the pilgrimage. We ended up high in the upper deck for the night game. Temperature at game time was still over 90, not a breath of wind, and plenty of humidity. Throw in 50,000 warm bodies, and it was just impossible in the stadium. After three innings we looked at each other and decided to leave, a decision we did not regret. I had already had seen a game at Tiger Stadium, but still would have counted this visit if it had been my first time. Yes, we didn't stay for 4 1/2 or 5 innings, but as far as I'm concerned, it was a valid visit to Tiger Stadium.
Here is the other time it was brought up on here. I say it's up to you. http://www.ballparkchasers.com/forum/topics/when-does-a-visit-to-a?