Author Topic: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL  (Read 2235 times)

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Offline JudgeDredd

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Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« on: September 07, 2017, 02:10:23 AM »
I'd just be interested to find out what it's like for you when going to a sports game.

I've got my US sports crush going on - sorry. I was wondering if any of you go to MLB or NFL games? If so, what team/city?, What's the experience like? What are your stadiums like? Amenities? How long is your day from arrival to departure? How often do you go (baseball is like a 5 or 6 day run isn't it?)?

From my perspective, going to an international Scotland rugby game involves
  • Getting an over crowded train where it's standing room only for an hour
  • Getting to Haymarket (just outside Edinburgh) and trying to squeeze into one of the many pubs that line the 1 mile route to the BT Murrayfield Stadium
  • Trying to get served in one of the many pubs that line the 1 mile route to BT Murrayfield Stadium
  • Mostly giving up and walking, probably in the rain or at least in the very cold temperatures
  • Getting to BT Murrayfield Stadium and queuing for a considerable amount of time to buy a beer that's been poured probably half an hour ago and has lost it's fizz
  • Queuing excessively long to buy pretty poor food
  • Standing around drinking and eating either in the surrounding grounds of the stadium watching a single big screen with another match somewhere else
  • Going into the stadium and walking around bland, blank, empty concourses to find your seat
  • Using the most basic (and I can't describe basic enough), dirty toilets known to man
  • Going back to the train station with 60k+ people all exiting the stadium at the same time
  • Getting to the train station and being literally squashed into the train...cows being transported for slaughter have more space and I'm not exaggerating!
The whole day (for a 1pm game) starts probably around 10am and finishes at perhaps 5 or 6 and with

I'm not making any of that up. However - whilst it sounds bad, the actual experience - as in the whole day - is pretty cool. But the point was the stadium is pretty poor and they try and make the most of it by putting on things in the grounds around it.

Nothing beats hearing Flower of Scotland being pelted out to a single solitary piper standing on the roof of BT Murrayfield and then going silent for the second verse and hearing 40000 Scottish fans belt out the second verse. After that, of course, it's all sit 'cos they often lose!

I make myself go through this ritual (which includes a flight up to Glasgow on a Friday and back on a Sunday with virtual strip searching (because I wear my kilt) at both ends of the flight).

Anyway - I'd be interested to hear what your experiences are like.
Alba gu' brath

Offline bbmike

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 07:02:17 AM »
Wow, that sounds like an ordeal! For me it's a little easier. I live in DC and usually walk to Nationals Park (about a 20 minutes). If I don't walk I drive about halfway there and park (no trouble finding a spot). Getting into the stadium is quick even though attendance has skyrocketed with the Nats being so good now. The food choices are good and I usually sit in club level. There are a lot of beer choices and there are also bars that serve other stuff, even wine.

Outside of DC I try to see minor league games which to me are even better. Much less expensive, you are closer to the field, and you see a lot of funny, rookie plays that you would never see in MLB. Plus there's usually something funny going on for the kids on the field between each inning. 
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Offline JudgeDredd

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 09:12:09 AM »
Nice one. Sounds easy.

I saw in the Mariners video I was watching the guy reckoned they sold alcohol (he mentioned beer specifically) at $22 and $18 for a hot dog...is that even feasible?
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 10:43:09 AM »
I've got my US sports crush going on - sorry. I was wondering if any of you go to MLB or NFL games? If so, what team/city?, What's the experience like? What are your stadiums like? Amenities? How long is your day from arrival to departure? How often do you go (baseball is like a 5 or 6 day run isn't it?)?

Haven't been to an NFL game live since 1989, but been to a LOT of college football games since then (over 200?  very likely)

I've been to MLB games in 4 different ballparks (Candlestick, Oakland Coliseum, Cincy, and AT&T in SF), and like BBMike, enjoy minor league games whenever I can get them during the summer.

Depending on where you're going, most US sports you're driving to.  In the big cities there's some public transportation to some of them, but even in the bigger cities the arenas / stadiums might not be along a good transportation route (looking at you, Cincinnati!) or out on the edge of town (the 'Stick)

The newer stadiums have fantastic amenities, but are expensive.  Drinks, snacks, etc are crazy expensive, but in many cases, are restaurant quality food.  Older stadiums aren't quite as nice, and many places (especially smaller teams) are limited to more traditional concession stand snacks like popcorn or nachos.

The college football games have the closest atmosphere you'll find to European soccer / rugby.  The NFL stadiums these days are built to maximize profits for TV guys and corporate sponsors, so the stadiums don't have the same charm as places like Athens, GA  or either of the Death Valleys or The Big House or Neyland Stadium.  The fans are closer, more rabid, usually waaaaay more drunk, and - especially with the bands there - much more boisterous and involved.

In the US, though, you'll get an all-day experience not so much from the transportation, but for the tailgating and pre-game congregating around the stadiums.  Folks in Baton Rouge start arriving in RVs on Wednesday afternoon for a Saturday game, and the gumbo pot is going every day.  Barbecue in the Carolinas (throw the whole hog in the smoker that you're towing behind your truck) or sausages up north or burgers in Texas - the food is the key, and the gathering with folks pre- and post-game is where the fun is.
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Offline Marty Ward

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 11:20:27 AM »
Most major stadiums are located near highways or have decent driving routes to them and have a lot of parking available so it is not like what you deal with JD. Football games at colleges can be a different story depending on what school and where they are located.
Baseball is different than football. There are so many games that you can usually get a ticket on game day. Many times I get home from work at 5:30 and decide then to go catch a 7:00 baseball game. I usually make it there before the first pitch and it's about a 45 minute drive to the stadium from where I live. With so many games it is rarely as crowded as a football game so it is much easier to go on the spur of the moment.
Football is a once a week thing and there are only 6-8 home games a year so it is more of an event. It is much more crowded on game day and can take a while to get to the stadium. Many people show up early to tailgate and make a whole day out of it anyway so the time isn't a big deal. College fans make it a whole week sometimes depending on their opponent!
Brant is right though, it is expensive to go to any major game. No $3 bleacher seats and a $2 beer anymore. It will cost $100 or so for 2 people at Camden Yards and that's without alcohol :)
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Offline JudgeDredd

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 01:32:06 PM »
Thanks for sharing lads. I like to hear about others experiences.

I may have made my experience worse than it is. I mean, it is that bad - but the actual experience of going to a game is very special and worth all the aggro I explained.

It can be made easier by getting an earlier train and getting there early. However you will find yourself in a pub where you do not want to go to the toilet for fear of losing your prime position at the bar (if you get there early enough and get in one!).

But the experience is worth the hassle once or twice a year
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Offline Bison

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 06:40:16 PM »
I got 4 tickets a few rows up in right field at Kauffman Stadium for less than a $100.  Every team has deals for seats, food, and drinks.  A little pre-planning can reduce costs significantly for a professional baseball stadium experience.

Frankly for me a college football stadium experience beats a professional one by a large margin.

Offline airboy

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 10:10:21 PM »
I have season tickets to multiple Auburn sports.  I have scholarship tickets for men's basketball.  The scholarship seats are close to red carpet treatment with reserved parking, programs, meal, snacks, and non-booze beverages.  I've also Benn to multiple conference and college tournaments.

We also have been to about 70 percent of major league baseball parks.  I have a kindle travel guide to major league parks that has been very useful.  We take mass transit when possible and usually get good seats since we see most parks only once.  We usually go to MLB when the team stinks or at the early part of the season.  We read up on the parks, food, transit, how to get seats, and other things to do in the city.

There is a huge difference in seat comfort, amenities, and customer service if you have season tickets and the level of season tickets.

Sometimes the sport is not that popular and you are treated great, meet players, etc.... at a very low cost.  My Auburn women's basketball season tickets are $25 each.  I got women's SEC tourney tickets for $125 and go to several meals for $15 or so a person.  I know many of the regulars at the games.

In retirement Ill get basketball for men and women, women's softball and volleyball, and baseball if we stay in Auburn.  It is inexpensive and fun entertainment if you like live sports.  Only the men's bb tickets are expensive, but the seats are awesome and we get a lot of perks.

Offline OJsDad

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Re: Sports experiences - Particularly MLB and NFL
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 10:05:37 AM »
The first NFL game I ever went to was in Wembley Stadium, St Louis Cardinals vs the Minnesota Vikings. 
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