FanDuel - WFBC

September 13, 2006

SI's MLB Fan Value Index.: Like the piece says - let the arguments begin.

posted by Ufez Jones to baseball at 05:53 PM - 29 comments

I went to my first White Sox game this year. I know people are all happy they won the world series, and they don't want anyone to forget that. In fact, they say it about 3743242390489023 times before the game starts. Yes, we know, get on with the game. Also, the seats in the upper deck were so steep, I had vertigo the whole game. I'm not a fan, so I doubt I go back. However tonight, I'm going to go sit in the drizzling rain to watch the cubs lose to the dodgers. Now that's fan appeal.

posted by corpse at 06:53 PM on September 13

Uh hey! At least we did well in Atmosphere! /Boston Brightsider

posted by jerseygirl at 07:15 PM on September 13

The only appeal to going to any ball park is a winning team!

posted by INOALOSER at 07:38 PM on September 13

I've been to eight of the parks on this list, and I can't argue any of the points they make about any of them. And, if you take away the team-quality element, my ranking of those eight would be pretty close to how they fall relative to each other here. The survey is very useful as independent analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of each park experience, but the ranking is a little silly since the overall score gives equal weight to each category. And INOALOSER has it about right -- when I go to a restaurant, I'm more concerned about the food than the atmosphere. When I go to a ballpark, I'm more concerned about the play on the field than the variety of concessions.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:50 PM on September 13

I very seriously doubt that Cubs fans would rank the Cubs and Wrigley that low. Wrigley is the only thing that they go to the games for anymore it seems.

posted by kidrayter2005 at 08:18 PM on September 13

When I go to a ballpark, I'm more concerned about the play on the field than the variety of concessions. Well, I think the list is intended more for the casual fan than the die-hard that's keeping score and sticking a cork up their urethra in order to sing Take Me Out instead of hitting the head. I know a lot of people (including some of the local sports radio squawk-boxes) that would really prefer Ameriquest ditch all of the State-Fair-esque "How fast can you throw a ball?" and "Let your kid hit a whiffle ball homer in a 30' field" sideshow crap and go more for the reputed hardcore everyone is watching the game atmosphere of a place like Fenway. The only problem is, that's not going to fly in the vast majority of pro stadiums. The casual fan is there to make a night of it, and yeah, the game is cool, but really, it's the Rangers against the Indians and the starting pitchers are Kameron Loe and Rafael Betancourt, so I mean, really...what are the expectations other than hoping to see the fireworks a bunch and a speaker play some bell sound every time a home run is hit? Ameriquest seems to have cracked the top five due to the fact that the tickets are cheap and nobody's at the game so you don't have to wait long for a urinal. Huzzah?

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:19 PM on September 13

Just for the record, I have never stuck a cork up my urethra. At the ballpark.

posted by BullpenPro at 08:38 PM on September 13

I'm a casual baseball fan. I'm a nominal Red Sox Fan, but I've watched a lot more of the Mets in the past few years than I have the Sox. It's not my favorite sport, to be sure, but I love going to games nonetheless. The rankings were pretty interesting to me, because I've only been to Fenway (28), Yankee (19) and Shea (29). I had no idea that at some stadiums the food is cheap(ish), the travel is easier, and you don't have to plan your piss-breaks in advance. Still, I have to say the biggest reason I really enjoy going to the games is for the fan reaction. I can eat cheap food at home. I can use a clean bathroom at home, too (if I cleaned the bathroom first, but whatever), but I can't get that same feeling that a floor-shaking chant can give me when I'm watching a game on TV. I'd be interested to hear a comparison from someone more in the know - maybe a comparison of one of the higher rated stadiums vs. the lower rated stadiums.

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:45 PM on September 13

I definately agree with Samsanov's last point I would love to hear from a fan who has been to numerous parks (especially for teams of which they are not fans) and see which stadiums that they favor. I cannot however fathom any ranking that places Dolphins Football Stadium (by any name) higher than Fenway Park and places Wrigley at 24th?

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 10:20 PM on September 13

In the last few years I've been to Coors, BOB, and just last night Safeco. All of them were nice, but all were too expensive for my taste. I prefer more affordable venues.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:19 PM on September 13

but I can't get that same feeling that a floor-shaking chant can give me when I'm watching a game on TV. I have only been to two baseball stadiums so far. The new Comerica Park, and Jacobs Field. IMO they were right about the same atmosphere, when they were full. Samsonov14 has hit it on the head, the Jake is not that great when there is only 5,000 people or less inside. You just do not get the same feeling. While I can see where this survey is comming from, I think they left a little bit out.

posted by jojomfd1 at 11:51 PM on September 13

From the story: "The Fan Value Index is an effort to find the ballparks that offer the best experience for the money, not the ballpark that has the best experience in an absolute sense." Now the funny part about that is that "the best experience for the money" is a ranking that's entirely useless. If I live in, say, Boston, which got ranked near the bottom, then what am I gonna do with this information? Move to LA to better afford baseball? Heck no. What matters IS the experience -- what sticks in my mind at the end of the day, when I'm resting my head and starting to nod off, and I think about the great time I had at ballpark X watching team y with my friends z, z, and z...and what factors contributed to that. I'm certainly not thinking about how I could have had all that for ten bucks cheaper on the other side of the country. Now I understand that you gotta measure even menaingless stuff from time to time to get to a bigger point. But that's it -- it has to go somewhere, allow me to derive meaning from all this data. And in this case, it just ain't there. It's a needless exercise.

posted by diastematic at 12:09 AM on September 14

PNC Park in Pittsburgh is one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. They lose a bunch of points for not having a good team, but I'd watch a tee-ball game there it's so nice. I've been to Dolphin Stadium for a football game. Can't imagine there are many redeeming qualities for baseball. Of course traffic's not an issue. It's right on a highway out in the middle of nowhere. And I bet there are plenty of bathrooms since it's designed for 60,000-plus but gets 10,000 for baseball. Surprised to see Baltimore so low. A day at the Innner Harbor capped off by a game at Camden Yards is one of my favorite days. I'm really surprised to see Minnesota so high. I'm not a Yankees fan, but I would think any big baseball fan (maybe outside of Boston or Baltimore) would rank Yankee Stadium one of the best places on Earth. It's a dump, but the tradition alone is amazing. But I suppose that's my subjective opinion and this is more objective. I would guess the same would go for Wrigley, though I've never been there. Tradition doesn't count for much in this survey, not that there's anything wrong with that.

posted by SummersEve at 06:37 AM on September 14

In all honesty I hate the Yankees but that thought entered my mind. Any discussions of great stadiums always includes Fenway (28)Wrigley (24) and Yankee stadium (19) but I have never heard that discussion ever focus on Angel stadium (1) or the Metrodome (10), the Metrodome that they are making efforts to tear down?

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 07:40 AM on September 14

Any list that puts Fenway, Wrigley and Yankee stadium lower than Coors Field and the damn Metrodome is not a list for me. Criteria be damned.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:15 AM on September 14

Trash bags vs Green Monster ... Hmmm.

posted by SummersEve at 08:44 AM on September 14

My sampling of the current list of ballparks is small, but I really liked my experiences at Safeco Field. Arizona has a nice park, but I thought I must have been speaking a foreign language when I tried to talk baseball to some of the fans. Curt Schilling was throwing a good one vs Philadelphia, and these guys were more interested in who was in the pool. Dodger Stadium was just so-so, but that's just my opinion. Yes, Fenway is indeed a cathedral, but to continue the metaphor, the Eucharist is just as meaningful at the corner chapel. I think SI has its overall comments about right. Go once, if you can. To me Fenway was better in the early 60's, when I used to cut my afternoon Electrical Engineering labs at Northeastern to go to afternoon games in the spring. For less than 5 bucks you watched a good game, had a beer or 2, worked on your tan in the bleachers, and sometimes you could even chat with the guys in the bullpen. That was fun then, now it's entertainment, but nowhere near as much fun. Then again, everything is better when you're in your early twenties. I miss Tiger Stadium, but I haven't been to its replacement, so I can't judge. Memorial Stadium in Baltimore will always have a special place for me, because my wife and I used to date there before we were married. I do agree that a day at the Inner Harbor, topped off by a game at Camden Yard, would be a good day indeed.

posted by Howard_T at 09:09 AM on September 14

I would think that atmosphere and team being the 2 most important categories and should make up at least 50% of the ranking, instead they get 28%. The combined rank of the stadium's accessibility and neighborhood get the same 28%. Lame. The HHH is an amazing bargain(4$ student tickets when I was there right before they were good, 1$ 'dome dogs') but it's just an awful place to watch a game.

posted by tron7 at 09:14 AM on September 14

How did they compute average tickets to a Cubs game to be $34?

posted by timdawg at 09:32 AM on September 14

mr_crash_davis brings up a good point, that a great (and affordable) baseball experience is to be had at most minor league parks around the country. The grass is just as green, the beer just as cold, and the level of play, while not major league quality, is good enough to scratch the itch.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:46 AM on September 14

I'd rather go to the metrodome than any minor league park if they're the same price.

posted by tron7 at 10:01 AM on September 14

Howard_T writes: Yes, Fenway is indeed a cathedral, but to continue the metaphor, the Eucharist is just as meaningful at the corner chapel. and: To me Fenway was better in the early 60's, when I used to cut my afternoon Electrical Engineering labs at Northeastern to go to afternoon games in the spring. For less than 5 bucks you watched a good game, had a beer or 2, worked on your tan in the bleachers, and sometimes you could even chat with the guys in the bullpen. That was fun then, now it's entertainment, but nowhere near as much fun. Nail on the head in both cases. It's a puff piece by SI, and clearly they're aware that their "best ballpark" analysis, of necessity, crosses the divide between the fun experience and the entertainment experience. Nowadays my live baseball experiences are almost all high school games, Legion ball, and summer collegiate leagues: it's fun, not entertainment, and not only the fan experience but the fan interest is different than what you have at a major league park. Typical interaction at the college league park: guy next to you (stranger) turns to you after a close call and says, "Wow, we got hosed on that one, huh?", or the old guy in front of you with the scorecard turns around and asks, "How would you score that one?" Do that in a major league park these days, and chances are whoever you're talking to wasn't paying enough attention to the game to have any idea what you're talking about -- doesn't know enough about baseball to know what you're talking about -- and regards you as a nutjob for talking to them.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:22 AM on September 14

it's fun, not entertainment I like that. Seems like entertainment gets less so every year.

posted by yerfatma at 10:38 AM on September 14

I'd rather go to the Metrodome than any minor league park if they're the same price. Well sure, if not just to see the big names, but as a venue, the Metrodome is sorely lacking in aesthetics and amenities in comparism to many minor league ballparks. And, what lil_brown_bat and Howard_T stated so eloquently, as well.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:26 PM on September 14

Well, I think the list is intended more for the casual fan than the die-hard that's keeping score and sticking a cork up their urethra in order to sing Take Me Out instead of hitting the head. So thats how you last through the entire game.... interesting ; )

posted by Kendall at 03:56 PM on September 14

Well sure, if not just to see the big names, but as a venue, the Metrodome is sorely lacking in aesthetics and amenities in comparism to many minor league ballparks. That's my point, however bad the aesthetics in a Major League stadium are I'd rather see the major league game than the minor league game.

posted by tron7 at 12:36 PM on September 15

i'm surprised to see Safeco so far down on the list. i liked it better than Camden Yards. of course my view is heavily skewed because i like the city of seattle much more than baltimore. and after seeing a game at the kingdome, anything is vast improvement. i echo Summer's sentiments on PNC. it's a beautiful park and cheap as hell. uh, i have an extra ticket for sunday's new york/boston tilt if anyone is interested. right field bleachers. $12. sox fans welcome, but encouraged not to wear any boston gear. or cheer for boston. or act like you know me.

posted by goddam at 01:44 PM on September 15

The best value is Oakland on Wednesdays. $2 bleacher tickets and $1 dogs.

posted by boxscore jr. at 09:44 PM on September 15

And a good team too. Tough to argue with that.

posted by yerfatma at 08:50 AM on September 16

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