What Stadium Offers the Best Fan Experience For Watching MLB?
Every single person who has attended a MLB game leaves the ground with their own personal memories of what made the experience great. It could be the atmosphere in the ground, the food, maybe they had some killer seats, or maybe they just lucked out and happened to be sitting next to the right people!
With an average attendance at 2015 MLB baseball games being well above 20,000, this means that there are over 20,000 of these personal memories being generated each game, and that begs the question – why is the fan experience so rarely talked about?
After much internal discussion, we here at Barry’s Tickets have decided to break down the ‘fan experience’ into 3 main categories:
Today, we’ll be assessing these factors to come up with some of the best and worst seats, views, and food to help you decide which ballparks you should really go out of the way to visit, and which, well… maybe they’re worth a look if you’re already in town, I guess.
Great seats are about having a good view of the game, having an unobstructed view of all the action, not having to stand up and lean over to see that line drive fly down the line and into the corner at the wall or the bullpen. There’s extra points from our judges up for grabs if the seats give you access to special services like food delivery. Basically, great seats are the opposite of this:
Image courtesy of branddunk.com
Here’s a short list of what we at Barry’s Tickets consider to be the best seats in baseball:
- Legends Suite on the 1st Base Line, Yankee Stadium (NY Yankees) – These seats are some of the most famous in baseball. Not only will you be close to some of the most elite athletes in the MLB, but no other section will have you rubbing elbows with more A-List celebs than the Legends Suite seats behind the Yankees dugout. These seats however, come at a hefty cost, a single seat will run you up $400+ on any given day.
- Bleachers 101-105 behind right field wall, Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) – These are the seats you want if your idea of a great night at the baseball is to walk away with a souvenir. During BP, baseballs will be showering down on you from the Diamondbacks power hitters. The unique advantage of these seats is that they are right next to the pool, so in the downtime during the game, there’ll be plenty to keep your attention.
- Park Club On the 1st base side of home plate, PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Now these are some fantastic seats. You get an unobstructed, incredible view of the entire ballpark, access to 3 different club areas, which not only have amazing concessions (more on that later) but can provide you with respite from the cold on the chilling Pittsburgh nights, and in between the action, as you can see from the image below, you get a gorgeous glimpse of the scoreboard, the Roberto Clementine bridge, and the Pittsburgh skyline. The part that gives this the top spot over the others in the category, however, is that these seats usually cost around $50-$60, where seats of similar quality in other ballparks would run you $200-$400, easily.
Image courtesy of rsvlts.com
Views are features in a ballpark that add another element to the game. At their very best, the views can provide a reason to go to the park by themselves. We’ve collected a short list of views and attractions that we believe add the most to their respective ballparks.
- Water Fountains, Kauffman Stadium (KC Royals) – The Water Spectacular behind the right field wall in Kauffman Park truly lives up to it’s name. It is the largest privately funded water fountain in the world, clocking it at 322 feet. The waterfalls are constantly flowing before and after the game, and in between innings, and are absolutely worth going to the game to see!
- The Green Monster, Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox) – It’s kind of a cliché, sure, but it’s a cliché for a reason. The Green Monster is a feature like no other, as it often has a legitimate impact on how the game is played. How often have you seen a laser beam come off the bat that would be a homerun in any other ballpark, expertly played by the Boston left-fielder at the time to restrict the hitter to a double? No other view in baseball has such an impact as the Green Monster, and we honestly believe that it should be seen, and sat atop, by every true fan of baseball.
- The Nation’s Capitol (Washington Nationals) – It would definitely be unpatriotic of us to not have this in the leadoff slot. No more fitting tribute to the great nation exists, in our opinion – being able to see such a marvelous building while enjoying the entertainment of the nation’s most beloved past-time. It is a constant, symbolic reminder of why America is the number one nation in the world, that we can come together and enjoy being alive while the tough decisions are made in the background. We believe that the true value of baseball is represented in this landscape, and that every fan should come and see this view at least once in their life. This is why it sits at #1.
Image Courtesy of JDLand.com
Don’t underestimate the value of great food at a ballpark! Whether your team is up 10-0 or hitless through the first 6 innings, an amazing burger will still be an amazing burger. Our short list will give you a taste of some of the most outstanding signature food that’s available around the MLB stadiums.
- Primanti Bros. Sandwich, PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Turns out that the great Park Club seats aren’t the only reason to pay PNC Park a visit. Their signature Primanti Bros sandwich begins with either steak or pastrami, then cheese is added, along with a topping of fries, slaw and tomato. All this goodness is packed in between two slices of Italian bread that are each an inch thick. The Primanti Bros. sandwich is an entire meal fit in between two buns, and it’s brilliant.
- Halo Dog, Angels Stadium in Anaheim (Los Angeles Angels) – The Halo Dog is not your standard hot dog, although it does begin with the standard pure beef dog. The difference is that it’s covered in bacon, charro beans, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and trademark Anaheim peppers. The Angel’s Mexican twist on the traditional LA hot dog tastes, dare we say… heavenly?
- Schmitter Sandwich, Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies) – Termed to be ‘Philadelphia’s big league sandwich’, the Schmitter is synonymous with Citizens Bank Park, although it was not created there. The Schmitter sandwich is a tribute to the traditional Philly cheesesteak, containing grilled salami on top of a Kaizer roll, finished off with a sauce consisting of hot sauce, lemon juice, smoked paprika, mayo and ketchup, among other things. It sounds a little off-kilter, but trust us, the result is truly mouthwatering. We have no doubt in awarding the Schmitter sandwich the award of being the best item of food in baseball.
Image Courtesy of womansday.com
So, how did you like our lists? We hope you enjoyed seeing our opinion on some of the components that make up a great MLB Fan Experience! Let us know whether you agree or disagree with the rankings we’ve made. If you think of a category that really adds to the fan experience that you think we’ve missed, let us know! We might include it in a future article.
Last of all, if you want to visit these parks and see whether the real thing stands up to the hype that we’ve given it, then the best place to pick up tickets to visit these grounds is right here at Barry’s Tickets!