It's hard to find a bad seat at Miller Park
Three Batter Minimum

Three Batter Minimum: A Good Stadium

I was driving the other day, I do a lot of driving during the week for many reasons, and boring my fiancée with some sort of baseball talk. At one point we were talking about the various professional stadiums we’ve seen a game at together. At some point, I’ll probably start a running list on here ranking all of them. However, what I want to do right now is what I look for in a great day at the ballpark.

  1. Sightlines. Every stadium has bad sidelines, which is why I try to make sure I know the angles of a stadium before I attend. I’m not someone who spends a lot of time on his phone at a game or traveling to the concession stands. I like to watch and talk with the person I’m with about the game at hand. I’m not judging people who are on their phones or view the gameday experience as something different than mine. But, for me, the game is the most important thing and I need to be able to see what is going on.
  2. Food. I know I just said I don’t spend a lot of time at concessions, but the food still matters. For me, a ballgame is an experience and food is a very big part of that. I’m not too complicated, give me a cold soda (I don’t drink alcohol so no beer over here), a brat (or a hot dog), and I’m happy. I’ll try new stuff, I’m not opposed to that in any way. But, you have those few basic things and I’m going to be very happy.
  3. Space. This one may seem odd, especially since I love Wrigley Field so much, but I really love when I have room to move around at a park. Whether that’s walking the thoroughfare or sitting in my seat, I don’t like to feel like I’m being crushed by other fans. This likely plays into the fact that I don’t ever like big crowds. I can tolerate them more at a ballgame, but I do need a comfy seat and some space when navigating the park, if possible.
  4. Good fans. No one likes a jerk, simple as that. I love when fans are loud and cheering on their team, upset with their team, the other team, whatever. I am huge on fan interaction and a lively crowd. That being said, the idiot who spills his beer on everyone or the woman in the back row who keeps yelling at the top of her voice that “insert player’s name” fucking sucks, no thank you. Be rowdy, talk trash, but don’t be an obnoxious jerk about it, that’s all.
  5. A good game and good company. The most important element of all. You can have one without the other, but when you have both at the same time, man, that’s a great time. In my eyes, baseball has always been and always will be a communal event. It’s a chance to share a large part of my life with others and it’s even better to do that when the game is good. I don’t need my team to win, though that’s nice. If the game is competitive and fun combined with having someone with me who I love engaging with (hi Emilie), that’s as good as it gets.

That’s all I have, at least off the top of my head. Maybe none of this sounds like a fun time at the ballpark to you. That’s fine, I’m me and you are you, no problems there.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Ballpark Digest

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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