Baseball, philosophy, video games, snarky anti-Bush rants, and all other various and sundry topics. Not necessarily in that order.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Jacobs Field - colder than witches' teats, but warm and fuzzy in spirit

Well, I just got back from CLE to watch the Sox win Cleveland's home opener. Woo hoo!

In honor of my having visited three parks in the last two weeks, I've decided to start my own Ballpark tour diary. So first I'll do Cleveland, since I'm essentially fresh off the plane.

"The Jake" as it is affectionately called by Clevelanders, is a pretty nice park, I must say. It has good seats for cheap ($10 in the LF upper deck, $6 around the corner in RF), a very pretty downtown location, and lots of dedicated fans who show up pretty regularly.

My initial seats Monday were in section 575 , which is reasonably priced at $10. The view is nice, almost even with the infield. Unfortunately, for a day game, it is squarely in the shade the whole time - which, combined with a -50 degree arctic wind off of Lake Erie in April, made for a very unenjoyable time.

So my party and I moved all the way around to section 504, which was in the sun. Good lord, what a difference that made. These $6 seats have a bit of obstruction, as you can't see the RF corner. But all in all, since amputation of my extremities was avoided, it was a nice upgrade. I was especially pleased that there were no security goons trying to block the seat switch - one of my absolute pet peeves at a ballpark - especially if you are 'downgrading' in terms of price. On the downside, Cleveland security does NOT allow a fan to take a bottle of water into the park - a blatant price gouge if I ever saw one. Niehter do they allow umbrellas - apparently in response to the rash of umbrella-rifle sniper incidents suffered by ballparks of late.

Cleveland concessions are squarely in the middle to upper-middle of baseball prices. A dog was $3.75, beer was $5.75 (I did not partake, owing to my near death from exposure). A blanket was $40, and a program with scorecard was $2 (I wanted just a scorecard for $1, but I was too incoherent from freezing to complain). One particularly good deal was the bratwurst basket - a brat, pickle, and heaping helping of fried for $5.25. The layout of the UD concourse made things difficult, as there were many rolling booths placed directly opposite permanent concession stands - making for a big cluster-f@#$ of frozen fans as we tried to make our way around the concourse to the sweet sweet embrace of the sun.

Cleveland fans were pleasant and into the game. I don't think I heard one swear word uttered, and only a few obviously drunk fratboys were in evidence (just wait for my Wrigley Field review...) I am told that Injuns' tix were impossible to score in the 90s, but are a bit easier now (I was at their opening day, so I guess so.)

Okay, so let's try this the ESPN way as linked above. I cut out a few categories that they have, since I never buy certain things and some seem redundant.

Seat comfort: 4 - Nothing mind blowing, but both seats I sat in were pitched nicely and were not uncomfortable.
Concessions: 4 - Average across the board. The dog I had was good, but pricey. Availability was extremely spotty. Good deals on combo meals make up for it, though. Fresh squeezed lemonade is a nice touch.
Scoreboard: 4 - A nice big color job with loads of stats, easily seen from all angles.
P.A. system: 3 - Tinny, distorted and annoying. Average for MLB parks.
Ticket Prices: 4 - The Indians have some good deals for budget hounds. Their LD tix, however, are a terrible deal.
Exterior Architecture: 4 - The outside is relatively uninspiring compared to the interior. There are, however,some neat ways to look into the park from the street.
Arch.: 4 - Downtown views. Can't complain. Nice concourses except for the line mishaps, good bathrooms. Some obstructed views bump this down a tad (note the RF picture above)
Access: 4 - Nice downtown location, plenty of people willing to gouge for parking.
Ushers: 3 - Minus points for not allowing water or umbrellas. Plus points for not being seat hawks..
Trading up: 4 - No problems even on opening day. Sweet!

Points out of 50: 38


Post a Comment

<< Home