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I'm sure it'll come as a surprise to Ichiro but Progressive Field, previously named Jacobs Field, was rated number one in a fan survey conducted by SI.com when it comes to the overall ballpark experience.  The Rogers Centre ranked 18th.

The categories that each ballpark were graded in were affordability, food, team quality, tradition, atmosphere, fan IQ, hospitality, promotions, traffic and neighbourhood. 

What I was most interested in was fan IQ and Jays fans earned a top-25 ranking in the IQ category - only beating out Texas, Washington, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Florida.  To be honest, I'm surprised the ranking was that high.  The supposed baseball IQ level of Jays fans has continued to take a beating when it comes to the post-game show.  One fan complained about Halladay's nerve to pitch a complete game and wished his leg was broken again and another suggested that Ernie Whitt should be the team's new general manager.

Before I relocated out west, I was getting tired of the ever-increasing number of drunken, stupid fans at the ballpark.  That was on full display during Opening Night and the alcohol-fueled Toonie Tuesdays. 

I could go on a lengthy soliliquy on my feelings about idiot Jays fans (and I'm not certainly including the fine folks who visit this fine site) but I'll save some bandwidth.  The survey is there for your perusal.  Your thoughts, Bauxites?

SI Says "Cleveland Rocks!" (When It Comes To Watching A Ball Game!) | 23 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#186060) #

The Jake is the best place I've ever watched a live ballgame. Yankee Stadium had the aura by a long ways, but comfort and food options were lousy.

The Ballpark in Arlington (or whatever it's called now) is way, wayyyyyyyy better than the old Arlington Stadium, but not close to the Jake. Speaking of bad stadiums, the worst I've ever been in -- easy, Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium (not sure that's the right name, but it was terrible.)  

My favorite place to watch a game, though, was old Tiger Stadium (haven't been to the CoPa) ... talk about your knowledgeable fans!

Never been to Wrigley, Fenway or Coors, but suspect those would all have "best of" moments, too.

 

Bid - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#186061) #

We were in Cleveland a couple of years ago for a series with the Angels...the game where K-Rod blocked the plate with his butt while tagging the runner coming down from third. Nice park...standing in the centre field gallery, facing the plate, overlooking the stacked bullpens is a unique perspective.

The food however was another matter. Few ballparks offer the authenticity of old Tiger Stadium (sausage & peppers...the guy way up in the rightfield corner...sigh), or a satisfying grease job from Tom Matte's Ribs in Baltimore; but the damp, ,fluffy brat-crap at  (then) Jacob's Field is real dismal. We're not especially well served at the Rog, but it's better...and of course you can get fine street dogs on the way in.

jeff mcl - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#186062) #
I went to a D-backs-Tigers game in Arizona a week and a half ago and the concessions at Chase were outstanding, better than any park I've ever been to by leaps and bounds.  Fantastic bar (especially margaritas) in the club seating, which I appreciate at a ballpark since I usually have to travel/stay over night to see real baseball and want to make a night out of it.  The fan IQ was dismal though, on par with what you'd overhear at a Preds game down in Nashville.  Enthusiastic lot, though I would be to with that kind of success in the club's first decade.

It's actually kind of surprising to overhear the groupthink on "charming" Fenway.  I found it to be a drafty, mould-encrusted dump with cramped seating and a major shortage of urinals.  I'm no giant, but anyone over 6' 2" is simply not going to be able to fit into the 1912 grandstand seating. To anyone thinking of going I'd recommend buying a bleacher seat and watching the game standing up from the concourse behind home plate.


Rob - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#186063) #
I found it to be a drafty, mould-encrusted dump with cramped seating and a major shortage of urinals

Well, stop drinking margaritas at Chase Field and you'll be able to last a full nine in your tiny, tiny seat.

Actually, Fenway's pretty awful. Hot dogs are criminally soggy and sightlines don't exist on the 3B side. I'm still not sure what "fried dough" was, but it was everywhere on the way in. Glad I went so I could say I was there, but even happier to not return.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#186065) #
Glad I went so I could say I was there, but even happier to not return.

You've just described my Fenway sentiments as well. I was at an evening game, humidex about 400, sitting down the right field line with my seat facing center field but my head turned 90 degrees to the left, aimed at the batter, and, simultaneously, the setting sun. The charm of Fenway was lost on my that particular night.
soupman - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#186066) #
IN the IQ section its pretty funny how highly BoSox and Yankees fans think of themselves.

Tiger Stadium was great - recently I've really enjoyed The Great American Ballpark - Reds fans are great. Maybe its just sports in Ohio in general or the fact that we happened to be at Dirty Ryan Freel TShirt night... AT&T Park was really cool too; watching Bonds blast a dinger is something I won't soon forget.

Anecdotally - what is Angel stadium doing ahead of Dodgers stadium? sure Chavez Ravine is notoriously annoying to get to - but isn't part of the experience waiting in traffic with friends/family talking shop/listening to the pre/post game show? Ok, so that would probably be annoying if it was actually your team.

Rob - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#186067) #
Also, 18th? Here's a reasonable argument in favour of the Rog Mahal:

The stadium is in an easily accessible downtown location. The facility is clean, comfortable and never has rainouts. Jays fans donít realize how good they have it.

The only problem with that argument is where it came from.
Mike D - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#186068) #
I've been to over half the parks on this list, and my favourite ballpark experience is in Pittsburgh (I've been twice). Milwaukee and Cleveland are both fun parks, but Pittsburgh is an outstanding ballpark with outstanding amenities in an outstanding neighbourhood. They got docked for their dead-last ranking for quality of team (which: fair enough), but on the bright side, this means that excellent seats are available. If you get the chance to see the Jays for their weekend interleague series in June, by all means, do.

The Coliseum in Oakland is a dump. REALLY a dump. Tropicana Field is totally uninspiring as well, but it's at least clean and comfortable.

One pleasant surprise from the survey: U.S. Cellular Field gets well-deserved props for its food. The White Sox sell EXCELLENT ballpark food, and the food stands are many and varied.
VBF - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#186069) #
The Dome is great in a lot ways already mentioned. It's extremely accessible, the walk from Union Station along Front Street to the RC is really nice with the various food trucks lined alongside. Tickets are reasonable and the outside atmosphere especially on a weekend is relatively festive. The place is clean and is somewhat nice to look at and around. The greatest thing about the Dome that I think we all took for granted is that you can pretty much roam anywhere you like, anywhere in the park. This is great for watching batting practice, trying out different foods and getting player's autographs. Cleveland had a few 'invisible walls' and US Cellular Field restricts each level's access to fans holding seats there only.

Since the crackdown of security, there's really less drunk fans, not to be confused with the blogging variety, and the drunks stand out pretty well and are are quickly dealt with. The price is somewhat invasive security: guards now ask some people to remove clothing, list shirts up, pat downs, etc, and now you have to actually go to the gate on your ticket which is a pain, but I haven't seen a fight since it became a big issue.

Overall I find that the Dome for a downtown stadium really feels secluded from the ongoings in the city and it is probably due to the inclosing structure. If they are one day able to find a way to renovate it so that there are less seats and the inside of the stadium can be viewd from the outside, that would be great. And if you can put a man on the moon, you can find a way to get real grass. Unfortunately all of these changes probably rely on the RC becoming a baseball-only facility, which is most definitely not going to happen until the NFL abandons the idea of a team here five years from now, or a team does come here and gets its own stadium.

I will be travelling to Pittsburgh for June 21st and 22nd to see the Jays in PNC Park. I suspect that all the great things that have been reviewed about PNC will hold true when I get there.

Amazingly, in as soon as three years, the Dome will be the fourth oldest Major League Baseball stadium (Wrigley, Fenway, Dogder; I excluded parks undergoing extensive renovations like Angel Stadium and Kauffman). I wonder how long it will be until people clamour Rogers to build a new stadium?





Original Ryan - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#186070) #
The stadium is in an easily accessible downtown location. The facility is clean, comfortable and never has rainouts. Jays fans donít realize how good they have it.

I've said this before but it's worth repeating: Rogers Centre is one of the few truly distinctive ballparks in baseball.  The so-called "retro parks" are becoming the new cookie cutters, with contrived idiosyncrasies and few unique features.  It's to the point where many of these new parks are starting to blend together in my mind.  While some are very distinctive (such as Camden Yards and PNC Park), others seem more generic and not terribly memorable.  The Rogers Centre is underrated by many Blue Jays fans, in my opinion.
electric carrot - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#186071) #
I've only been to four stadia -- exhibition park, rogers centre, yankee stadium and fenway park and as far as i'm concerned it's not even close. Fenway crushes all of them. Intimate atmosphere, even in the bleachers you can see the game pretty well, extremely knowledgeable fans who are fun (and arrogant) extremely fun 8th inning where the whole crowd (always a full house) belts out Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline (ba da ba ba.) I could care less about the other things on the list (food -- whatever, eat before if you don't like it) the only thing that matters to me is the atmosphere, the fun traditions, the crowd and feeling like i'm a part of the game. Yankee stadium I found cold and unfriendly and the players were the size of my outstretched thumb where I was sitting. And I prefer the Ex to Rogers Center which in my mind is mind-blowingly dead and modern in the way that the West Edmonton Mall is modern -- or say Disneyland. Just my opinion. Go jays.

Barry Bonnell - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#186078) #

I've been to the Rogers Centre, Tropicana Field, Yankee Stadium, Safeco, Comerica, Veterans (no longer in use) and Jacobs Field. I will be going to PNC Park in June to see the Jays. I can't wait.

I thought Seattle was overrated. It just wasn't visually appealing to me. Cleveland and Detroit were very nice.

I think in a few years when the Trop and the Metrodome are retired the Rogers Centre will be very unique. I know a lot of Americans who come here to see a game are pleasantly surprised and enjoy the experience.

jeff mcl - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#186080) #
The greatest (and only major) downside of the RC is that godawful field turf, a constant visual reminder that this is a multi-purpose sporting facility rather than a ballpark.  I get it that it has to be easily removable for the CFL/monster truck ralleys/whathaveyou, but why not cut it into much larger pieces and create fewer seams? 
AWeb - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#186081) #
Safeco, the Dome, Coors, and the Big O for me. I really liked Colorado, actually, not just because I got free tickets (showed up in the second inning when a rain shower started and the scalpers were running for cover and giving tickets away. The rain soon stopped. So my award for "least cutthroat scalpers" goes to Colorado.  The trees in  centre, which is noticably deeper than anywhere else I saw, look a lot better than Seattle's shrubbery. The Mile-high line  (in the upper deck) is a nice touch too. It was a sparsely attended afternoon game, so I can't speak to the general atmosphere much, but the game itself was a good one.

Safeco was marginally better than the Dome, and the Big-O wasn't that bad...10,000 fans could make a lot of noise with those plastic seats. I'm not a big fan of over-priced concessions whereever I go. I think calling the Dome a middling stadium is fair. It's older, designed for multi-purpose, and home to a consistently average team the last decade. The upgrades made it look better for sure,  and I'm glad they didn't gimmick up the walls (aside from the dead-spot power alley scoreboards which helped the Jays for a few months until opponents got used to the utter lack of bounce) in a hopeless attempt to make it look retro. SkyDome basically ended the "giant dome sports stadium" era in North America, and when it came in it was certainly one of the best 10, maybe top 5 (did people think that highly of Yankee stadium or Fenway when neither team was winning? I recall no, but I could be wrong) . Once teams removed turf, imploded domes, and stopped using football stadiums, it's no surprise that the Dome feels a little outdated.

The "old-timey" stadiums jumped the shark and then some with Houston, which just looks utterly ridiculous sometimes, like they hired 10-year olds to design it (the hill, the train, the extreme short porch, the strange left field power alley wall...it's a little much). Not that they haven't made good ones since, but I think that one showed that just because you go for a retro feel, doesn't mean it won't stink. 
Paul D - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#186082) #
I find the food at Rogers Centre extremely disappointing.  I know it's going to be expensive, but does it have to be so bad?  Why can't there be any interesting options?  This is one of the most multi cultural cities in the world, it would be nice to see that reflected in the food choices.
KevinJaysFan - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#186083) #
The food at the Rogers Centre is a disappointment, but it has improved slightly in the 100 level.  At least there are some options other than the over-priced (and terrible) hotdogs, pizza, and subs that the 500 level currently gets.  Still not great, but a step in the right direction.

I agree completely about the Rogers Centre feeling removed from the downtown area in Toronto.  Its strange, but it just doesn't feel like downtown.  Opening up the stadium would probably help, but at the end of the day, its still going to be removed from the action of downtown.

I'm also heading to Pittsburgh to see the Jays in June and am really looking forward to seeing PNC Park.  Also good to see that some other Jays fans are making the trip as well.

I've been to Olympic Stadium, Tiger Stadium, Three Rivers, Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, and RFK Stadium.  Camden Yards is definitely at the top of my list.  Just an absolutely tremendous place to see a game.  I wonder if PNC will top it for me.
Dr. Zarco - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#186084) #
I just went to Progressive Field a few weeks ago to see the Jays, and it lived up to its billing.  Great place to watch a game.  Certainly near the top of at-game experiences.  Right up there with my other favorite, US Cellular, which has even better food, more choices, easy to get to, neat outfield attractions.  They're my 1-2.  I haven't been to all 30, but I know my #30.  Wrigley.  Small, cramped, some bad seats (behind poles), expensive food that is bad, crappy beer, and stupid, fairweather fans who show up late, leave early and rarely pay attention to the action.  I'll agree with Original Ryan, Rogers Center is underrated, but it's not near Cleveland or ChiSox. 
VBF - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#186085) #

I'm also heading to Pittsburgh to see the Jays in June and am really looking forward to seeing PNC Park.  Also good to see that some other Jays fans are making the trip as well.

It certainly sounds like there`s a large number of fans making the trip there. I know quite a few myself. Shame we couldn`t have organized some sort of mass rally at some local bar or anything.

As a shameless advertisement, I also have three extra tickets available for the Friday game. Section 107, row W. Drop me a line if you`re interested.
Magpie - Thursday, May 29 2008 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#186087) #
I find the food at Rogers Centre extremely disappointing.

Never touch it myself. I get my ballpark dogs before the game from the vendors outside, down around Gate 8.
Eyan Logan - Thursday, May 29 2008 @ 02:27 AM EDT (#186088) #
My thoughts on the active stadiums I've been to:

Jacob's Field (or whatever it is called now) - went the 1st season it opened as a 16 year old with some friends. Magical experience
(old) Busch Stadium in St. Louis - pretty unremarkable, very knowledgeable fans and great location though
Comerica Park - great stadium, excellent sightlines, good crowd
Shea Stadium - not as bad as I thought it might be, a little charmless and cold, but not uncomfortable.

I like the Skydome. Sure it is a little bland, but not being exposed to the elements in April is really nice. I have a soft spot for the boiled hot dogs, but am certainly not going to claim they are good. If the park ever became baseball only it would make a big difference.

I too am heading to PNC for the Jays series in June. Do you think Jay roadtrippers will outnumber Pirates fans?

owen - Thursday, May 29 2008 @ 02:49 AM EDT (#186089) #
RC is alright but I don't think we should puff it up too much.  The game just feels too far away from you, no matter where you are sitting.

I loved the Jake when I was there (watching Toronto get swept last June).  We got the best seats I have ever had from our scalper, right behind home plate, and there was a near brawl (maybe it looked like a minor scuffle on TV, but sitting behind the dish you could feel the tension).  I have never been at a game when the dugout has cleared.

Looks like I'll be seeing lots of you in Pittsburgh next month.

KevinJaysFan - Thursday, May 29 2008 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#186102) #
It certainly sounds like there`s a large number of fans making the trip there. I know quite a few myself. Shame we couldn`t have organized some sort of mass rally at some local bar or anything.

As a shameless advertisement, I also have three extra tickets available for the Friday game. Section 107, row W. Drop me a line if you`re interested.

Thanks for the offer, VBF.  I already have my tickets for the series though.  I'll be in section 115 for Friday's game.

Its going to be a lot of fun with so many Jays fans there.  Agreed - it is too bad we couldn't have organized something.
vw_fan17 - Friday, May 30 2008 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#186155) #
The Coliseum in Oakland is a dump. REALLY a dump.

Well, maybe.. I was just there today to watch the Jays dismantle the A's.. And I have to say: for a DUMP, the seats were EVER SO MUCH BETTER than the Dome.. Everytime I've been in the last 10 years (maybe 4-5 times) the seats have felt uncomfortable, cramped, and loose (whole rows would wobble because the screws had come loose).

The seats today were nice, solid and had a GREAT view of the field. YMMV, I guess :-)
SI Says "Cleveland Rocks!" (When It Comes To Watching A Ball Game!) | 23 comments | Create New Account
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