Well I have only been to 13 stadiums in my life time, however, of those thirteen, I have been to Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, old Yankee Stadium, and Dodger Stadium which are often referred to as four of the greatest ballparks ever to exist. So, due to the lack of big time baseball news and issues, I am going to state my opinion on the four baseball diamonds…
Fenway Park: This gem in the middle of Boston is my favorite stadium that I have ever been to. Until I first stepped into what now is the oldest stadium still in use, its 100th birthday I believe is this upcoming season, I never understood why the stadium was so loved. The first game I ever went to there I had a less than pleasant experience. Long story short, never sit next to a row of drunk people. The second time I went was actually on a stadium tour. I went everywhere from the dugout, to the press box, to the green monster. Despite the fact that you can’t really see much, the green monster could possibly be the greatest place to enjoy a ballgame, except for in the dugout of course. The third and fourth time I went I saw actual games. Both times I was amazed at the crowd’s singing of Sweet Caroline and the enthusiasm they have even when there team is losing. The reason why it is my favorite stadium in the end is a result of the experiences I have had there. The last game I went to at Fenway, the Sox were down 4-0 to the Blue Jays. Despite the fact that they were losing, all the fans stayed until the last pitch. Now that is an example of loyalty.
(OLD) Yankee Stadium: I only went once and I must say I wasn’t impressed. The stadium was old yes, but having been to both Wrigley and Fenway prior to my visit to the house that Ruth built, I was surprised at how worn down it was and how depressing it looked. The pressbox was covered in wood, the “luxury” boxes were made out of cement with small holes to look out of. And the concourses were filled with copious amounts of walls of cement. I do admire the history of the old stadium however for a team as flamboyant as the Yankees, I expected a lot more.
Wrigley Field: The first time I visited the friendly confines was on a cold March afternoon for opening day. I came thirty minutes before the game started to find almost no fans in their seats. As the game drew closer more fans arrived and I realized, why on Earth did I get to the stadium 30 minutes early just so I could freeze my butt off. Nevertheless, it is still one of my favorite games I have ever been to. Since then I went on a stadium tour. Sitting in Harry Caray’s press box was neat however what was cooler was walking behind the ivy, sitting in the clubhouse and dugout, and then walking up to the plate. The stadium is well kept even though it is ridiculously old. To me, it seemed like the stadium was brand new except for when I looked out in the outfield to find not one, not two, but zero electronic scoreboards. This was my favorite part of the tour because without Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, it would be tough for newer baseball fans to learn about and understand baseball’s past when players weren’t awarded $15MM dollar signing bonuses just because they were the first pick in the draft, cough Stephen Strasburg, cough.
Dodger Stadium: Before McCourt bought the Dodgers, Dodger Stadium was the ideal stadium. It had new technology, good food, and was a safe environment. Halfway through McCourt’s tenure, when he installed those awful pastel colored seats, the stadium was no longer the ideal stadium that fans used to rave about. Now on the outside, Dodger Stadium looks old and also like the classic stadium fans love. However, on the inside it is totally different. It is both too nice to be a 50 year old stadium but at the same time disturbing. Last season when I went to a game there I noticed graffiti and gang signs written on some of the seats. Family friendly huh? Many people have said that the first thing a new owner should do is upgrade Dodger Stadium and I agree. That, and restore the Dodgers’ franchise as a whole.