Baseball Parks

05/12/2012
Oh how I miss thee. Especially the whole winning all the time thing.
Notice the contrast of darkness and light. Shamu has an overbite?
Just right.
2nd game ever played at Target Field I believe. I was not there. Boo.
Because I love this photo. So close!
Hello Seattle!
The Trop!
I want to go to there
No hit in Anaheim
Smoggy California
A brief glimpse of Petco
Stunning.
Get out da way!
Taft is a big deal in DC
Hey look! Another ballpark!
Attempting to check out all 30 ballparks. A few notes on each one we've been to throughout the years. Will try to put together a ranking system, but for now these are in chronological order.

Metrodome

I am biased when it comes to this dome, I’ll admit that right up front. (Although I would never vote for it as the best ballpark because I have standards.) I was able to witness a lot of great Twins moments in this place, and so my ratings are much higher than the average baseball fan's.
The Metrodome overall, is not a place one should watch baseball games at. The football stadium just happened to be able to convert to a baseball field for 30 years. Seats, even the good ones, don't face the field the correct way and some seats can be very high up. If you needed to go to the bathroom or get more food during a game, be prepared to miss at least half an inning, if not a whole one. Foodwise, there was not much selection, but can you ever really go wrong with a dome dog? The answer, rhetorical or not, is no. Before the trouncings that inevitably occurred during the postseason games that I attended, the atmosphere was pretty awesome. Everyone yelling and clapping and waving their homer hankies was quite the sight to behold, the feeling was electric. The closest I came to watching a post season victory was Game 163, which occurred in 2009. The game is regarded as one of the best ever played, and I tend to agree with the experts on that one. When the game ended in the 12th inning, with the Twins victorious, 54,000 people exploded with joy. Truly amazing. There were other moments, obviously. Watching Brad Radke battle through his last regular season game, his shoulder allowing him to go one last (regular season) time, giving up just 1 run and the Twins coming back to win it in the 10th for him. The countless times they played ball the Twins way, and battled back for some miraculous 9th inning wins. Did I mention the bobbleheads? To be honest, I have not explored the cities as much as I should have, considering how many games we go to, so I don’t have a lot to say about it, other than it has potential.

Miller Park

My initial reaction to this baseball stadium was one of amazement. Having only been in the Metrodome, this park was literally a breath of fresh air. I was not impressed with the food I had at the park, (the hotdog seemed like it had been sitting in water for hours and had no flavor) but just seeing a game played “outside” was refreshing enough. Going back a second time, however, you can tell a lot was sacrificed just so a roof could be added onto the park. The shadows on the field are annoying and the park doesn’t have the closeness that other parks have. Everything had to be built straight up, so if you have upper level seats, you really have upper level seats. It’s a very batter-friendly field, and one of the times I was there, I witnessed like 5 homeruns by the Brewers. That’s fine I suppose, Fenway has the same issue.

Busch Stadium

I may like this ballpark even more than Target Field¸ perhaps for nostalgic purposes of going on that road trip. Target Field closely resembles Busch Stadium, and by doing so is a great ballpark as well. The view of the arch and the city in center field is spectacular, and you can’t find a bad seat. The food was good, the people baseball knowledgeable and friendly. On the days we were there, it was about 110 degrees, the staff made sure everyone was hydrated and moved people into the exclusive air conditioned areas, regardless of what your ticket said. It’s an excellent place to take in a ball game.

Target Field

After having the Metrodome be your home turf for so many years, going into Target Field was awesome. A wide variety of food choices, bathrooms everywhere, (so that a break only costs you the time in between innings), Target Field is hard to beat. The technology, such as the gigantic jumbo-tron and Twins Tower are pretty cool, and they’re always trying to update things, even though the park is only 3 years old. I love this place more each time we go, and we still haven’t taken advantage of everything it has to offer.

Kauffman Stadium

Truly a hidden gem of a ballpark, I’m not the first to say that, nor will I be the last. People going to the All-Star festivities this year will be in for a real treat. The city itself is pretty fascinating and the BBQ restaurants are amazeballs. The park is beautiful, with the fountains and waterfalls in the outfield. The jumbotron is ginormous and when they put the fire on their scrolling video screens for their (currently DL’d) closer, you feel the heat. The food is pretty good (mmmm Stroud’s) and they offer some great deals on other concessions. They keep you entertained during the half inning breaks with various games and prizes. There is also a museum in the ballpark which is very informative and you secretly kind of want to root for the Royals after attending some games.

Safeco

I love Seattle the city, so it’s not hard for me to love Safeco. It’s how retractable roofs are done right. Very beautiful ballpark and you don’t mind the train whistles that occur every so often. The food is delicious; I enjoyed the garlic fries for sure. For beer connoisseurs, they proudly offer over 99 different types. They have a restaurant in right field, it’s fun to watch the game from there. The roof glides easily and quickly into place, however it does not lose the sense of being an outdoor ballpark, as the sides remain open, it is never fully enclosed. It’s truly an experience.

Tropicana Field

You can’t beat the views that the city’s hotels have to offer of the gulf and the ballpark is not as crappy as the Rays would have you believe. While I can’t attest to the playing field, the rest of the dome was enjoyable (minus the cowbells). They really go all out to make you forget that you’re in what’s considered one of the worst ballparks in America. There is lots to do once you pass through the gates, including being able to visit a pool of sting rays in right centerfield. Food is abundant, and while I didn’t try anything extraordinary, I remember the food being good. The attendants are great, and really make sure nothing impedes your enjoyment of the game. Also, kudos on the catwalk. ;)

Fenway

A park reeking of historical importance (much like the city of Boston), there’s a sense of awe as you walk to Fenway and in through the gates. It’s disappointing to actually watch a game in the 100 year old monument. Pillars block a good portion of the seats and the fans are dolts. The monster is monstrous, but the field is really small. You understand how David Ortiz was able to make a name for himself as a homerun king. Other than the historic significance of the field, it was an otherwise disappointing experience. (Just the stadium, the city was unbelievable and I’m jealous of its inhabitants.)

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

As you enter the stadium, you’re greeted by two giant Angel hats and several enormous baseball bats. The surroundings of the field are neat, especially the waterfalls. For being recently renovated (within the last 15 years) it’s a little disappointing that seats along the baselines don’t really face the infield. They have the usual ballpark food, but some other interesting things as well. For example, I had a skeeter, a giant footlong hotdog in a bun, covered in pulled pork and BBQ sauce…mmmm tasty! The stadium opens two hours beforehand and you can watch the home team’s batting practice, which is a little unusual. For the three games we attended, we received a monkey beanie and a retro Angels hat, that Friday they were giving away a Cinco De Mayo rally monkey (stuffed). Fans seemed more interested in getting Torii Hunter’s attention than watching the game itself. When Jered Weaver threw the no-hitter, the group to the right of us left in the 8th inning, which seemed totally inexplicable to me.

Dodger Stadium

While we didn't attend a game here, we did take a tour. Even though it is the 3rd oldest ballpark still being used today, it did not show its age. Every year we have Jackie Robinson day, but it didn't really hit me on how cool that was that we were at this stadium until we walked in the gate. I really want to go back and catch a game or two there at some point. We were able to walk on the field and at one point of the tour, the guide made a point to tell us that we were in the hallway where Prince Fielder went crazy. Fun times. Time magazine recently published an article that listed Dodger Stadium as the 10th worst ball park in all of sports. The reasons they listed were the difficult manuvering it takes to get to the actual field (verified) and the violence that takes place there. Since we didn't get knifed or anything, I found this ballpark to be quite enjoyable.

Petco Park

Drove by the stadium but couldn't find parking and the neighborhood looked kind of scary. We could've gone to a Brewers/Padres game, while we were out there but there was an overlapping between that and the Twins game (which turned out to be the no hitter), so we passed. Next time. California has too many ballparks.

PNC Park

The best ballpark in America, and it's tough to disagree with the professionals, (although I've seen it done and it's made me weep for society). Tickets are cheap, food is good, and the view is spectacular. I would find myself staring at that beautiful view not believing that I was there. What is that building built with a big hole in it anyway? This park reminded me of Busch Stadium and how the skyline fits in perfectly with the park. There were different food items that were very local. I wish I would've tried a perogie (I did enjoy the perogie races, although thought it was unfair that the girl one had to carry a purse as she ran), and the wings looked really good too. I had another hotdog that was topped with pork and fried onions, very delicious. Their club level was very posh, leather chairs and pool tables were plentiful. Overall, a very cool experience, and it earned extra points because a casino was only a few blocks away. I was a little disappointed that there weren't any giveaways at the gate, but with the Twins in town, who needs 'em? They do have Free T-Shirt Fridays, which sounds like fun.

The Great American Ballpark

I didn't really have high expectations going into this ballpark, it just made sense to go after driving all that way to get to Pittsburgh. I didn't know ahead of time that the Reds are the oldest professional baseball team in America, so that was cool. I enjoyed their mascots, although I'm not sure any team really needs 4 of them. I enjoyed the mascot races and the running gag that they played dirty to win (even Rosie!). Since the ballpark is right on the river, the theme of the outfield is boats and smoke stacks. The smoke stacks release great balls of fire with each strikeout of an opposing player, and somehow the simplicity of that gave me great joy. Especially the Saturday the Reds got 9 strikeouts, if they would've gotten 11, everyone in the stands would've gotten a free pizza and ice cream from a local pizzeria. Of course, the first game of the first series after the Twins the Reds pitchers accomplished that feat, nuts! So close. Every Friday home game has fireworks afterwards. I was expecting something like what happens at Target Field, which is just a little ho hum show. No, Cincinnati blew even Disney World out of the water with their dazzling fireworks display. It was incredible, well worth the price of admission and then some. I also liked the free drawstring bags and bobbleheads they gave that weekend as well. The fans were not proficient in baseball etiquette, but it doesn't seem like people are in general anyway now a days. (get off my lawn!) The city is known for their five way chili, which consists of spaghetti noodles, onions, beans, chili, and a ton of cheese. It's a very good combo. At the ballpark, they offer hotdogs smothered in the chili and cheese, onions optional. The first bite seemed too sweet, but overall a delicious hotdog experience. There was a stadium fair stand and I was interested in trying the fried kool-aid, but showed some restraint and didn't go for it. They also had some funnel cake fries which looked amazing as well. This was definitely an enjoyable ballpark. It's funny to think that we've only been to 2 (3 including the Dome) AL Central parks, but have been to 4 NL Central stadiums.

Nationals Park

The first green park (but the seats are blue) Nationals Park has a few things going for it. The most glaring thing absent from the park, which is disappointing, is the skyline. DC has so many important and beautiful landmarks but you can only view the Capitol and Washington Monument when in the third base skyline concourse. Everything was relatively new, the jumbotron was jumbo and there were cool hang out spots within the park. As mentioned by another senior writer, Target Field is really crammed into its space, so there's no room for a nice fake lawn with lawn furniture spread across it casually. The jumbotron seemed underutilized, although I'm not sure what they could've done with it. Useless trivia on the batter? A kiss cam? There's a reason why I'm an accountant, someone else should be creative. They did have a one man cheerleader who seemed to have an unending supply of energy and voice. Options for food were good but not spectacular. They did offer something from each visiting team's park when there. For example, with Minnesota playing, they offered Jucy (juicy?) Lucy's. They had a Shake Shack, and the shake I had was pretty darn good. Ben's Chili Bowl had a few restaurants and their half smokes were definitely something to try (especially with onions and jalapenos). The most enjoyable part of the stadium (besides watching Joe Mauer being awesome) was the presidents. There was a President's Race similar to the sausage race at Miller Park that had the same type of hi-jinx as witnessed at GABP. My favorite was Howard Taft with his belly. I didn't think Abraham Lincoln should've been quite so jolly, but it's been a few years so I'll let it pass. A slightly random thing that was cool was playing almost walk up music for the away team. Some of the songs related to the previous outs, but cool nonetheless. I thought the ushers were excellent and they even had signs telling people not to walk up and down the aisles during at-bats. There was a bar called the Red Porch/Loft which I can only assume is where the commies hang out.
Overall, an impressive ballpark, but I think they just need a few more tweaks before it's great.

Sarah enjoys watching football from the comforts of her own living room.
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2912 Posts
05/12/2012 @ 11:32:31 PM
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While it is the same franchise, Jackie Robinson was retired by the time the Dodgers left Brooklyn.
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sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
05/12/2012 @ 11:59:46 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 11:32:31 PM
While it is the same franchise, Jackie Robinson was retired by the time the Dodgers left Brooklyn.
Right, but you can't go to Ebbetts Field anymore.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
05/13/2012 @ 12:15:45 AM
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Yeah, although I think the Mets have been trying to "harness" some of the Brooklyn Dodgers/Jackie Robinson legacy in New York.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - How do you use these things?
05/13/2012 @ 07:55:25 PM
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True, but it's not theirs to harness. It moved to LA over 50 years ago.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 08:20:39 AM
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Miller Park is 10th in the league in "hitter-friendliness". And we've talked about this before, but if you are buying food INSIDE Miller Park, you are missing out part of the Miller Park experience.
http://www.parkfactors.com/MLW

Busch Stadium has problems with shadows as well, and from what it sounds like, can be even worse than Miller Park.
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110905&content_id=24286228&vkey=news_mil&c_id=mil
http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2011-10-05/dark-shadows-players-have-legitimate-gripes-about-conditions

I rather enjoyed Safeco Field. It was quite different than Miller Park while both are retractable roof domes. Safeco was much more "open" feeling than Miller Park. And while I had a hard time finding my seat in the upper deck in left field (it was like the last level of Mario 1 to get to the upper deck in left field), the experience was quite enjoyable.

I never enjoyed Tropicana Field. There were some neat things under the seats that were nice. There is a nice Hall-of-Fame type museum in the stadium, which was kind of neat. But all the other "ammenities" don't matter to me when compared with the small, cramped seats (even for a small guy like me) and the horrendous loudness only amplified by the cowbells that are simultenously banned and encouraged by the same organization (the media guide says they are forfidden in the stadium, but they sell them in the stadium). It would seem that I judge a ballpark by the experience I have while watching the game. People talk about how much there is at Miller Park to do other than watch the game, but when I'm at a game, I almost never get up from my seat to walk around. So my weighting system would give 9 points to "watching experience" and then the remaining 1 point would be split among food, attractions, ammenities, attendants, etc. (I suppose there could be some excitement generate by a legendary catwalk-off home run.)

I've never been to Petco, but the park is so Pitcher-Friendly (or anti-hitter, whichever political perspective you come from) that Padre hitters even complain about it. The Western Metal Supply Co. building being built right into the stadium (or rather, the stadium being built into the building) is quite remarkable.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/keown-120510/giancarlo-stanton-angst-marlins-park-fences-illustrates-ongoing-discord-ballpark-dimensions


I'm pretty sure I've only been to County Stadium, Miller Park, the Metrodome, Safeco, and the Trop, so that's all I can comment on. All-in-all, good commentary, Sarah. Let's just say I'm rather envious.
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Scott screwed with this 4 times, last at 05/14/2012 8:39:55 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8424 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 10:35:20 AM
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Well, again, every ballpark is going to cast shadows, and sometimes the shadows are going to be a problem. That's different than shadows that are so ever present that growing grass on half the field is a concern, and having to partially close the roof for many games so that the problem the Brewers/Cards discussed above doesn't happen in essentially every day game.

Also, considering a major sponsor is Klements, maybe they should see to it their hot dogs aren't warm, soggy, mush.
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Jeremy perfected this at 05/14/2012 10:41:13 am
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
05/14/2012 @ 10:41:57 AM
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Well, right. The Cardinals have problems it seems in games that start at 3:00, when the hitters literally cannot see the ball as it's thrown. So it doesn't happen often, but it apparently happens enough and to a degree worse than other parks. At least the Brewers have the ability to combat it, which still might not be saying much, since it's supposed to be an openable roof for sunny days. But obviously, a dome is more likely to have issues with shadows moreso than an non-domed stadium. The cardinals wanted to have a view of the city, and in doing so, there are times when the batters are looking directly into the sun.

I don't think I've ever had a hot dog at Miller Park, so I wouldn't know. I assumed that the racing sausages were the reason for the Klements sponsorship.
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 05/14/2012 10:44:00 am
scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 10:48:31 AM
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Bleacher Report ranks Miller Park number 10 based on the food.

Bleacher Report also ranks the stadiums overall. Miller Park is 9th, Target field is 22nd (the guy says he marked down Target Field because it "has a similar problem as PETCO with the power-sapping dimensions". Park Factor has Target Field at -87 making it quite pitcher-friendly. Although, that's with only 2 years worth of data.

Sports Illustrated has Miller Park ranked 2nd, but this is voted on by the fans, so this is more a "how satisified are the home fans with their own stadium" than it is an objective review of stadiums. I also think this survey is from a few years ago. Things might be different now, especially since there have been a couple new stadiums in the past few years.

Yelp has Miller Park at 11.

*edit: I added some references to this post.
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Scott edited this 6 times, last at 05/14/2012 11:13:33 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
05/14/2012 @ 10:52:59 AM
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I'm going to guess without looking that they get that primarily out of some sort of vague appeal to "Eating a brat/sausage in Milwaukee feels so right" rather than any sort of specific appeal to any particular food item.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
05/14/2012 @ 10:56:34 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:52:59 AM
I'm going to guess without looking that they get that primarily out of some sort of vague appeal to "Eating a brat/sausage in Milwaukee feels so right" rather than any sort of specific appeal to any particular food item.

Or the judger could be thinking "I hung around outside for a while before the game and food there was better than most stadiums have inside."

Also, how good can a hot dog be? Did you try a brat, polish sausage, italian sausage, chirizo?
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Scott edited this at 05/14/2012 10:57:43 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8424 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 02:56:21 PM
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Trying the park's hot dog is par for the course. Some are amazing. (RIP Dome Dog.)
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - How do you use these things?
05/14/2012 @ 09:13:54 PM
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How can you not have good stadium food in WI? Does not compute.
Do they have food from the stadium outside of the stadium or do you just nibble from everyone tailgating? The first time I went to Miller Park we bought subs and ate them by the car, which I guess constitutes as tailgating. The second time I went, some dude bought two cans of beer and drank them as we walked toward the gates. emoticon We don't do a lot of things at the stadium other than watch batting practice and then the game, but we do try to at least take a walk around the whole field to see what they've got going on for funsies. I don't think there are any bad stadiums, let's face it, if you're at a ballpark, things are going pretty well.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 09:42:36 PM
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I thoroughly enjoy tailgating. So I often get all the food I need from the grocery store and sit in a sizzling hot blacktop parking lot, toss a baseball around, throw something on the grill, and enjoy the serenity. Since Miller Park lets you bring food in, if I don't tailgate I go the cheap-o route and pack a couple sandwiches in my bag. Is the food that bad at Miller Park, though? I mean, have you tried anything other than a hot dog? Maybe since their thing is sausages, they put most of their efforts into the sausages and let the hot dogs be just a hot dog.
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2887.gifAlex - 3588 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 11:46:41 PM
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Sarah Wrote - Today @ 09:13:54 PM
The second time I went, some dude bought two cans of beer and drank them as we walked toward the gates. emoticon


I was going the cheap-o route and carrying in my beer.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/15/2012 @ 08:28:34 AM
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Are you allowed to bring beer into Miller park? Or was is the sneak-variety?
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jon.jpgJon - 2407 Posts
05/17/2012 @ 03:06:51 AM
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Scott Wrote - 05/14/2012 @ 09:42:36 PM
Is the food that bad at Miller Park, though? I mean, have you tried anything other than a hot dog? Maybe since their thing is sausages, they put most of their efforts into the sausages and let the hot dogs be just a hot dog.


First of all, the Klements hot dog I had at Miller Park was one of the worst hot dogs I've ever had. Or at least was among the most disappointing in relation to my expectations. How many bad hot dogs do you remember? Not many for me. But I remember eating that and being completely underwhelmed at best. I think MLB should investigate. How does a ballpark not have good hot dogs? Should the organization be fined or just contracted altogether?

I've had a bit of their other food, but pretty standard stuff. I've had their chicken fingers and fries basket multiple times and enjoyed them. I think that item is sort of a staple these days, but I don't think the dome ever had them so I liked the new option. I also had one of those loaded nachos. I don't remember much, but I think I liked that. Again, kind of a basic item and hard to mess up. Might have had a smoothie once. If I did, it obviously didn't make a strong impression either way, so I assume it was satisfactory.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8424 Posts
05/17/2012 @ 05:52:26 PM
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It's funny that you, Sarah, my brothers, and I have all had, at different times with you, Sarah, and I, and simultaneously with my brothers, the same experience with the Miller Park hotdog. On some level I chalked it up to a bad batch, at least as far as it being water logged mush. While my brothers and I all simultaneously had the same "this is the worst hotdog ever" experience, they were all from the same vendor. Evidence is starting to mount that they just are that bad.

However, even though I could have gotten a bad dog, I was still ok counting it against Miller Park out of fairness, because all the other parks (other than the Dome and Target Field) only got one chance too.

Incidentally while at the park, I really was hoping there would be one stand, even on the off day, going with Dodger Dogs. It wouldn't be crazy, cause there's lots of people milling about, especially employees. (Though evidently they get free food behind the press box.) The Dodger Dog seems to be the one where it's either the greatest thing ever, or the worst thing ever, with zero in-between.
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Jeremy messed with this at 05/17/2012 5:55:31 pm
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
05/18/2012 @ 07:54:50 AM
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http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/dining/chez-ballpark-whats-good-to-eat-at-miller-park-ie5e72h-151902265.html
I found this interesting given our current discussion:

"When people come to Miller Park, you have a brat. That's what you do," Clope said.

And of the 10 major-league ballparks where Sportservice dishes up food, hot dogs are the top seller - except in Milwaukee, where it's the brat.


I'm not trying to be a Miller Park Food apologist. But maybe you should try the brat. I stopped eating hot dogs when I turned 12.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - How do you use these things?
05/18/2012 @ 10:18:20 AM
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Brats are gross.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/18/2012 @ 11:36:59 AM
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There are people in Wisconsin that don't like Brats?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
05/20/2012 @ 11:08:37 PM
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Maybe the brat is the top seller because the hot dog is wet dogshit on a soggy bun.

On second thought, dogshit probably actually tastes like something.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 07:52:39 AM
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You know it's interesting. Bear with me as this gets long. I met a guy from Queens, NY, on a cruise we took in February, and at dinner one of the menu options was cheesecake. That lead to people asking the Queens guy if he had ever been to Junior's Cheesecake (some place in NYC famous for cheesecake). He said that you can get cheesecake many places in NYC, but Juniors is the real deal. He then said to me, it's kind of like you can probably get a brat at lots of places in Wisconsin but you know of one place where they are really known for them. I went along as I wasn't necessarily thinking much about it.

So this weekend, I grilled brats. I boil them in a mixture of beer, onions, and mustard, and then grill them up. They are delicious. I then realized the next day that I don't know of any place where brats are better than when they are made on someone's grill. I've never (or rarely) had a better brat than the ones that I make. And if I have, it certainly wouldn't have been from any sort of vendor.

The bad hot dogs thing also might indicate that Wisconsin generally doesn't care about hotdogs.
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sarah.jpgSarah - So's your face
05/21/2012 @ 06:11:14 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:52:39 AM

The bad hot dogs thing also might indicate that Wisconsin generally doesn't care about hotdogs.


Then why offer them at a baseball park where people go to eat hot dogs, drink beer, and watch the game???? I can't imagine nobody else has asked to buy a hotdog at Miller Park. Unless maybe that's why they're so soggy and tasteless, they've been sitting in the water since 2002.... Yuck.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
05/21/2012 @ 06:18:54 PM
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Well, good brats, and the fact that you can eat before you get there, don't really excuse serving crap.

I don't see how the fact that the best food at the ballpark is made by drunks on filthy/portable grills in the vicinity of the park is a "plus" in the ballpark food column, and either way that doesn't make the hotdogs not ass.* It's a plus that there are some good restaurants near Target Field. If someone completed the nearly impossible task of sampling 25% of the types of foods Target Field has to offer, and they were mostly terrible (not a matter of taste), then I could disagree with them. However, saying "Yeah, well, you're supposed to eat before you get there, silly! There's fast food! There's 5 star restaurants! All within 3 block, many accessible via the skyway!" that's not really addressing their point. Plus, yes; excuse, no.

For the record, Target Field has 4 hotdogs, and I'm not in love with any of them, though I keep forgetting to make a note of which I've actually tried. That said, they didn't make me want to leave them out in the sun for a week and let them dry out a bit before I kept eating, and Klements is a much bigger sponsor of the Brewers than Schweigert is to the Twins.

*To the extent any hot dog is not, technically speaking, made mostly of ass.

Edit: And I don't mean to imply that I've taken some big sampling of what Miller Park has to offer, only that while I, for the most part, even though 3 of us had the same instant reaction, wrote it off as a bad batch, but every time the sample size grows, it points to "evidently that just is how they are." If you sampled a few things from TF and they were actually bad, I could agree, or disagree, but those are the options. "Only kids eat those", "Well, don't order those.", and, definitely "the best ballpark food is food you drag there and make yourself while looking at the ballpark" don't really address the issue.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 05/21/2012 6:25:24 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8424 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 06:28:11 PM
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Sarah Wrote - Today @ 06:11:14 PM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:52:39 AM

The bad hot dogs thing also might indicate that Wisconsin generally doesn't care about hotdogs.


Then why offer them at a baseball park where people go to eat hot dogs, drink beer, and watch the game???? I can't imagine nobody else has asked to buy a hotdog at Miller Park. Unless maybe that's why they're so soggy and tasteless, they've been sitting in the water since 2002.... Yuck.


Even if that is why, then fix the problem, or stop serving them. Don't take my $6, hand me some mis-prepared garbage, and then go "most people get brats" when everyone complains they're nasty.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 11:09:44 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 06:28:11 PM
Sarah Wrote - Today @ 06:11:14 PM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:52:39 AM

The bad hot dogs thing also might indicate that Wisconsin generally doesn't care about hotdogs.


Then why offer them at a baseball park where people go to eat hot dogs, drink beer, and watch the game???? I can't imagine nobody else has asked to buy a hotdog at Miller Park. Unless maybe that's why they're so soggy and tasteless, they've been sitting in the water since 2002.... Yuck.


Even if that is why, then fix the problem, or stop serving them. Don't take my $6, hand me some mis-prepared garbage, and then go "most people get brats" when everyone complains they're nasty.


Well, maybe the premise is wrong. Maybe people go to most ball parks to eat a hot dog and drink beer and watch a game. But maybe, since Brewer game goers tailgate and order brats, the demand for hot dogs has diminished so much that they go as cheap as they can simply to offer a hot dog for the few people that actually want to get one. Why would they spend money when they only sell 6 hot dogs per game, and usually to a handful of Twins fans coming from Eau Claire? It's really that simple.

It would be like going to a restaurant that specializes in expensive steaks, but you ask for a cheeseburger. They prepare their cheeseburger in the most plain way imaginable because cheeseburgers aren't really their thing. And then when you leave, they ask you how your meal was and you say "your cheeseburgers aren't very good". From a business standpoint they don't see the value in addressing their "bad burger problem" because it would only take away revenue from their main business since most people get steaks. You don't go to Ruth's Chris to get burger, so don't go to Miller Park and get a hot dog and then complain about the food!
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Scott messed with this 3 times, last at 05/21/2012 11:17:32 pm
jon.jpgJon - 2407 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 12:33:30 AM
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First of all, Jeremy, you seem to be very angry about the hot dogs. I feel like we need to explore that at some point.

As for the brat-centric theory for the poor hot dog quality, I don't buy it. Not out of the realm of possibility, but here's why I disagree. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed this but, most, if not all, Brewer games have a race run by sausages. Mind you, they are not actual sausages, but rather people in sausage costumes. Now, this is probably documented somewhere, but I believe there are about five different sausages in the race. You've got your brat, you've got your italian, you've got your polish, you've got your chorizo, and you've got your...wait for it...hot dog. Now, aside from being ethnically insensitive, these sausages also serve as a promotional tool for Klement's. What better way to whet someone's appetite than to have your food product run around the field in front of them? So, now, we see that not only has Klement's put their name on all of the ballpark's hotdogs, both real and anthropomorphic alike, but they have in fact, also given the hot dog a featured spot in their most visible promotion of all. I question highly if they would go to such lengths if they did not intend to have that hot dog be of the highest quality.

And if indeed they are purposely serving inferior dogs not only to civilized Twins fans, but to all those who have not yet reached the age of 12, I say "Ha!" because those youngsters will associate that hot dog with the Brewers experience and will probably become Cubs, White Sox, or Twins fans.
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Jon messed with this at 05/22/2012 12:34:50 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
05/22/2012 @ 10:28:08 AM
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I'm not upset about the hot dogs, I just don't understand the "if you don't get the very best item on the menu* then the establishment can't be criticized for serving you something barely edible" line of apologetics. It's funny, because I had an almost word for word thing about a steakhouse typed up, reaching the opposite point, but decided we'd gone on this enough. If Ruth's Chris served you a hockey puck on a bun they soaked overnight, yes, of course, you'd have a right to criticize it. This isn't about expecting the worlds best burger, and then being disappointed it fell short. The worst item on your menu should still be good, or not on it.

*And I'm not totally convinced the brats are particularly all that good comparatively, or all that different from what you can make at home. I'm guessing their #1 sales is because everyone just does that because even the Twins broadcasters for some reason pretend that brats don't exist outside of Wisconsin despite the fact that they probably have to walk about 10 steps in any direction to get one at Target Field. Or in other words, I'd wager it's overwhelmingly custom over "OMG YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!" Hot Dogs at ballparks, on the other hand, are generally different than you could make at home. Even "Ballpark" franks are 1/4th the size. (No foot longs.)
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Jeremy edited this 3 times, last at 05/22/2012 10:38:42 am
scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 10:40:48 AM
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Brats aren't the easiest thing to find out of wisconsin, or at least out of the area. My sister lived in Central Illinois for a while and had a cook out for her coworkers that consisted of beer brats. Virtually none of them had ever had such a thing. And in Florida, the only brats I could find in the grocery store except on rare occassions were the precooked brats, which are nowhere close to the same thing. So if brats aren't exclusive to Wisconsin, they are likely more of a northern midwest thing, or at least the "Wisconsin style" is hard to find elsewhere. Afterall, they are generally a german food, and Wisconsin is high on german heritage.

And also, to my earlier point, the best brats I've ever had never come from a vendor. I suppose the brat itself is likely the same thing that I could get elsewhere, but the way in which they are prepared is different; and the preparation makes all the difference for a brat.

That all being said, I'd say Jon's point about the racing sausages is a good one. Also, to my point that hot dogs are for 12 year olds, I never liked brats growing up, but when I started liking, I've never gotten a hot dog when a brat was also an option. So it wasn't a knock on hot dog eaters (cake eaters?) being immature, but rather my own childhood history with the different forms of tubular bunned meats.

Maybe the Twins broadcasters actually think the Miller Park brats are good. Ever think of that?

*I'm finding my arguments funny in that I could probably count on a couple of fingers how many times I've bought food inside Miller Park.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 05/22/2012 10:46:23 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
05/22/2012 @ 10:48:03 AM
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They aren't talking about Miller Park, apparently Dan Gladden "knows a place" and the TV guys go too. They just talk about going to the 3 games in Milwaukee like it's their one time to fill up on brats for the season.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/22/2012 @ 10:51:01 AM
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But I do suppose that "hot dogs" is synonomous with baseball games, so comparing apples to apples, it would be appropriate to compare different ballpark food by comparing each parks hot-dog quality. That being said, maybe the better comparison would be to compare each park's signature foods. Maybe philadelphia has cheesesteaks at their park. Maybe Boston has clam chowder. Maybe colorado has rocky mountain oysters.
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Scott messed with this at 05/22/2012 10:51:20 am
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/22/2012 @ 10:53:22 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:48:03 AM
They aren't talking about Miller Park, apparently Dan Gladden "knows a place" and the TV guys go too. They just talk about going to the 3 games in Milwaukee like it's their one time to fill up on brats for the season.


also, for what it's worth, in other parts of the country, I've actually seen menu items called "Wisconsin style brat" or something to that extent. So there might be something to it.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/22/2012 @ 10:56:58 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bratwurst#United_States
Wisconsin is also the origin of the "beer brat"

I don't know if this can be verified, but wikipedia says so.

And...
http://thehungariangirl.com/2009/04/14/all-about-bratwurst/
In Sheboygan, Wisconsin it is informally known as the “Bratwurst Capital of America”.


http://www.bratwurstpages.com/brats.html
Read up on all you need to know about proper Brat etiquette.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 05/22/2012 11:03:29 am
hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3565 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 04:58:29 PM
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Angel Stadium had brats, and lots of people were ordering them, but they pronounced it like the spoiled kid and not the meat product. Needless to say, I did not try one.
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jon.jpgJon - 2407 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 10:35:31 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 10:40:48 AM
That all being said, I'd say Jon's point about the racing sausages is a good one.


I thought my point was a good one too. See, because you've got your italian, you've got your bratwurst, you've got your polish, you've got your chorizo, and you've got your hot dog.

I usually cheer for the polish because of my heritage. I also like the chorizo, for the same reason.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
06/21/2012 @ 11:51:14 AM
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I'll add a few comments about Safeco here since I've been there also. A couple things Sarah noted about safeco are true. For being a domed stadium, it is nice that when the roof is open you are definitely outside. Unlike Miller Park where even when it's open you have the two main panels above the stands. The main reason for this is that Safeco doesn't have to protect against cold temperatures. It only has to protect against the rain. So it can have a structure that covers the stadium but doesn't have to enclose the stadium. Miller Park's design serves two functions. It protects against rain, but it also has to protect against the cold in April and May (and sometimes late september and october). It can still be pretty brutally cold in April and May in Milwaukee. So they designed a stadium that will serve the local fans that way, but also made it as open as they possibly could have made it by installing panels in the oufield that could open up. The function of the two roofs were designed for different purposes.

Regarding the beer, that's an interesting point. While Wisconsin is known for Beer, you'd be surprised by the lack of microbreweries that exist in that state of Wisconsin compared to Washington state. Being a lover of beer, It was shocking at the selection of local beers anywhere you went in Washington and around Seattle. There are two reasons that I see for this. A big part of this is that Hops pretty much only grow west of the Rocky mountains now, thanks to a blight that killed the hops crop in the rest of the country. And with that, prohibition may have ended in the 30s, but thanks to some shoddy legislation, homebreweries were still against the law until the late 70s (did you you that Sprechers Brewery in Milwaukee has the claim to America's original microbrewery, but it wasn't founded until the mid 80s?). So until the 1980s, the only breweries producing beer were the same big guys that were around before prohibition and had survived the dry period. Put these two things together, and it would have been much easier for microbreweries to spring up in Washington, California, and Oregon who could have grown their hops locally than it was in Wisconsin where they would have had to buy their hops from across the continent. So, that's why it is really easy for Safeco to have so much more beer and Miller Park only has like 4 different kinds (Miller, Lakefront, Sprechers, and Leinies; there might be a handful more). Just a little piece of history you might find interesting.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3565 Posts
06/26/2012 @ 09:29:20 PM
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http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22546653&topic_id=&c_id=mlb&tcid=vpp_copy_22546653&v=3

Can anyone spot the nerds in the crowd cheering on Willingham's homerun? (hint - look at the section under and over to the left from where the ball landed)
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Sarah perfected this 2 times, last at 06/26/2012 9:40:30 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
06/27/2012 @ 11:03:20 AM
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I know some people who were on TV! That must make me famous by long-distance-internet-blog-association! #Winsconsin?
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2912 Posts
06/27/2012 @ 04:17:00 PM
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Since it doesn't look like she mentioned it, it seems Sarah has updated this article due to the latest road trip.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8424 Posts
06/12/2013 @ 10:41:20 AM
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For the record, I was fairly underwhelmed by the park. Could have faced the mall, or the water, but faced some generic buildings. Just an all around really generic park. Nothing big wrong with it I guess, but nothing all that special either.
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Jeremy perfected this at 06/12/2013 11:37:23 am
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2912 Posts
06/12/2013 @ 03:10:06 PM
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Matt Wrote - 06/27/2012 @ 04:17:00 PM
Since it doesn't look like she mentioned it, it seems Sarah has updated this article due to the latest road trip.


Again.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:41:20 AM
For the record, I was fairly underwhelmed by the park. Could have faced the mall, or the water, but faced some generic buildings. Just an all around really generic park. Nothing big wrong with it I guess, but nothing all that special either.


Yeah, there was nothing really wrong with Nationals Park, it was a nice place to watch a game, but there was also nothing that really stood out either. As for the skyline/field orientation, maybe there were some technical reasons why they couldn't do it, but not allowing for a better view of the Capital/Washington Monument (which you can only see from certain areas of the park) seems like a huge mistake.
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scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
06/12/2013 @ 04:05:11 PM
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http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2013/official_baseball_rules.pdf

Rule 104 states: It is desirable that the line from home base through the pitchers plate to second
base shall run East-Northeast


with the majority of seats in baseball stadiums being in foul territory, it may have made for a huge challenge to make it possible to view the Washington Monument which is Northwest of the stadium. The capital may have been possible, but perhaps there were just too many buildings in the way.

Nationals Park on Google Maps
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
06/13/2013 @ 12:04:54 PM
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You can see the Capital, though it isn't exactly towering. Either way part of feeling like it was a lost opportunity could include putting the park where it is at all.

From the left field corner, upper deck, on the way out of the stadium
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 06/13/2013 12:07:47 pm
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
06/13/2013 @ 01:34:58 PM
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Here's a document about the planning project. DC has a height limit for buildings that is pretty unique compared to most big cities. The limit is pretty much around 100 feet, a feature which many believe ensures the beauty of the city anti preserves vistas to the U.S. Capitol dome. So to build a stadium in DC, you either have to build it outside the city and still call it DC, or you have to build in an area that allows for below grade construction. (Apparently DC has a fairly high water table in some areas, meaning below grade construction would be impossible in those areas) Apparently the only way to meet this criteria was to build a fair distance away from the Mall area.

They had 5 different sites they considered, all of which were about the same distance away from the Capitol as the current site. The closest was just north of Union Station, which would have been within walking distance of the Capitol, but it was still north and east of the Capitol, meaning the liklihood of being able to see the Capitol would have been slim.

I haven't looked that hard that the document I linked, so I can't say this with too much certainty, but the "lost" opportunity might have been like "no" opportunity. If they wanted to build the stadium with any sort of view of the monuments in mind, they would have had to go west of the Potomac into Virginia, or further north into the Georgetown area, both of which would probably have been so far away that the "benefit" of having a nice view of the monuments may have been overshadowed by the loss of having the stadium so far outside the city.
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Scott edited this 3 times, last at 06/13/2013 1:35:55 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8424 Posts
06/13/2013 @ 01:58:58 PM
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Well, I don't doubt that technicalities and/or regulations combined to make it either not possible, or prohibitively expensive, but from an experience standpoint it's still a bummer to know they aren't far, you can't see them, and the stadium isn't facing anything cool at all. I highly doubt they got done with it and someone said, "on second thought, maybe we should have faced the mall" which lead to forehead slaps and people saying "Of course! What idiots we are!". Good reasons doesn't change that it overlooks nada though. Unlike St. Louis, PNC, Target Field, Baltimore, etc, there's nothing at all there that says, "you're in Washington DC". Not many places get the chance to use the Washington Monument as the left field foul pole while one of the most famous buildings on the planet sits prominently past center field, so it's a shame it didn't work out better.*

On top of that, it's a pretty generic ballpark on the inside too with nothing at all unique/special to try and put a stamp of some identity on it. Millier Park looks out onto a dirt farm, but at least inside the stadium there's no mistaking where you are.

*There are places where you can see both of those. We could even see the Washington monument from our last seats, but if was one of those "oh, that pole that looks fatter than the other poles is because the Washington Monument is behind it" type of "can sees". (Look to the left of the parking garage they build to dominate the view to see it in all its iconic, and heavily scaffolded, glory) I don't doubt there are seats in the stadium where both are visible, but there's no missing the arch in St. Louis, for example.
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Jeremy screwed with this 3 times, last at 06/13/2013 2:08:51 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6091 Posts
06/13/2013 @ 02:12:41 PM
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Well, right. I wouldn't expect one to say "it was physically impossible to have it face anything cool, so the nothingness is pretty cool inspite of that".

Regarding the inside, that's really a shame too. One thing I like about Miller Park and Lambeau Field is that they are designed to, in some way, reflect the culture or the city. Milwaukee is/was a manufacturing/brewing town, so the red brick facade and steel supports were supposed to be reflective of the history and culture of the city. The same is true of Lambeau Field and Green Bay. You would think that a cool way to design Nationals Park might have been to have large stone columns (temple frount) at the entry way to reflect or imitate the classical architecture of the monuments and capital buildings. Perhaps they didn't want to have it be "America's ballpark", so they went the other way, making it as generic as possible.

In my opinion, what makes a venue good is how well it reflects it's surroundings, including historical, cultural, environmental, etc. A ballpark in Miami doesnt' need to look anything like a ballpark in Wisconsin or Michigan, as long as it reflects what locals might expect a venue to look like, or gives outsiders an idea of what the surrounding community is all about.

Baseball parks are like local museums in a way. We make great memories watching a great sport, and we should come away learning a little bit about the community we just spent a little bit of our transformed childhoods enjoying.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
06/13/2013 @ 02:16:10 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 02:12:41 PM
A ballpark in Miami doesnt' need to look anything like a ballpark in Wisconsin or Michigan, as long as it reflects what locals might expect a venue to look like, or gives outsiders an idea of what the surrounding community is all about.


And also has tailgating, even if most locals don't give a crap. emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
06/13/2013 @ 02:17:26 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:16:10 PM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 02:12:41 PM
A ballpark in Miami doesnt' need to look anything like a ballpark in Wisconsin or Michigan, as long as it reflects what locals might expect a venue to look like, or gives outsiders an idea of what the surrounding community is all about.


And also has tailgating, even if most locals don't give a crap. emoticon


Wait, are you saying most Milwaukee locals don't care about tailgating? Or that somehow Milwaukee fans think that every ball park should have tailgating? Or was it just an innocent jab at how high Milwaukee fans value their tailgating?
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Scott messed with this at 06/13/2013 2:19:20 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
06/13/2013 @ 02:27:51 PM
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That last thing.

Brewer fans often rip other stadiums, such as Target Field, because you can't tailgate there. Which I would liken to a Pirates Fan saying Miller Park sucks because you can't get a pierogi there, except worse because 90% of the time they're not even correct that you "can't" tailgate at said stadium. Though some people do tailgate pretty much everywhere the "the game is secondary to the standing in the parking lot 3 hours and maybe not even going in to the game" outlook on it is a regional thing.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
06/13/2013 @ 02:43:38 PM
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Ah. My beef usually is people ripping a stadium like Miller Park for being so far from downtown, when having a downtown stadium would have taken away a big part of what going to a baseball game in Milwaukee is all about. If someone doesn't like sitting in a hot parking lot, they don't have to. But that's the local culture. Building the new Yankee Stadium outside the city to allow for more spaciousness would have made as much sense as building Miller park downtown. Although, you can't blame Wisconsinites for being a proud people, can you? I mean, what don't we have to be proud about (besides choosing to live in a state known for it's bitterly cold/horrible winters)?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
06/14/2013 @ 10:29:47 AM
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Well, on that I have 2 thoughts.

1) Like above, the fact that they might have had some reason to make it look out onto nothing doesn't mean it doesn't look out on to nothing. It's a negative no matter what degree you think it's counter balanced.

2) Even if you think tailgating, even to the degree WI fans take it, can only exist in a setup where you have a surface lot ecosystem so large it has it's own zipcode, and I'm not so sure that's the case, this whole setup doesn't have to take place 62 miles from civilization. You could also easily place the stadium on the edge of parking lot death valley once the whole thing is moved so it's even closer to the skyline/water/something. There's little room to argue, IMO, that trading half the surface lots for the people that don't care about tailgating for a ramp, or whatever it would take within reason, which might be almost no changes at all, isn't worth having miller park's view be something like (albeit presumably not from what I'm guessing is taken from Lake Michigan...although the first ever floating stadium would probably be pretty cool.):

Milwaukee_skyline.jpg


(Or at the very least I think it's a reasonable criticism of the park/experience, given all the parks that do, with or without a "good reason".)
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Jeremy messed with this 6 times, last at 06/14/2013 10:48:00 am
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