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Major league baseball has only one new stadium opening this year, so we’ve focused a little attention on some of the new ballpark offerings in the minor leagues. The tickets are cheaper, the promotions are more ridiculous, and if they’re feeling generous there’s usually a dollar-per-beer night rather than a dollar-per-hot dog night.
Here’s our picks for three stadiums where the seats and sod are still fresh:
· BB&T Ballpark
The Winston-Salem Dash have opened the season at their new home, and they have plenty of options dedicated to fun. If your kids are stir-crazy before the seventh inning stretch, swing by the specially designed kids zone. It’s 12,000 square feet of bounce houses and slides. There’s even a refurbished carousel—all they’re missing is a roller coaster. For the more serious fans or serious spenders, the stadium offers Dugout Suites. It’s $600 per game, but the suites are practically inside the home team’s dugout. Fans actually enter the suites through the same tunnel as the players, so you know it’s close. The stadium was supposed to open last year, so we’ll just assume that the delay was due to the installation of more cool stuff.
In case you missed it, major league baseball has been getting ready for the 2010 season in both Florida and in Arizona, and after all that practice it’s almost time to get the season officially underway.
We’re big fans of ballparks around the country, and this year there’s one that’s getting us particularity excited. The new home to the Minnesota Twins—Target Field—is set to hold its first major league game this month. It’s also the first time Minnesota fans will be sitting outside to watch a game after years of being trapped inside a dome.
The Twins will first set foot on the stadium’s fresh grass this weekend, but it's only for exhibition games. The St. Louis Cardinals will be in town to check out the new stadium for themselves, but they’ll also be getting a couple last practice games in on April 2 and 3. There will be all kinds of special stuff to commemorate opening weekend, including the unveiling of bronze statues dedicated to Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew. To see some real games where the outcomes matter a little more, you’ll need to stick around and wait until April 12 when the Twins host the Red Sox.
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If you were busy watching last night’s Home Run Derby, the contest to see which big leaguer was able hit the most dingers, then tonight you'll be similarly glued to the tube when the All-Stars try to impress their fellow players and fans. This year, however, we say give some love for the AAA All-Stars. They are trying their best to make the jump to the majors, so their game will be even better because they want it so badly. Also, their team nicknames are far more amusing than those in the majorsIsotopes, anyone?
The 2009 Cricket Wireless AAA All-Star Game will be held in Portland at PGE Park tomorrow night, July 15. Future stars from the International League and Pacific Cost League will face off against one another in a friendly little competition. Many current big leaguers were all-stars during their time in the minors, so make sure you stay after the game to score some autographs to sell on eBay.
While Los Angeles is busy celebrating their NBA Champions, The Lakers, with a parade in downtown today, we've got our sights on the city's next hopeful champions-- The LA Dodgers. The Dodgers took a hit earlier in the season when superstar hitter Manny Ramirez was suspended for 60 games over questionable drug use but the team has actually held their own this season.
They are currently the best team in the baseball and the town's hoping they can keep it up all the way through November. Which is why a trip to Dodger Stadium will be worth your while this summer.
Dodger Stadium is a completely different pace from the new Yankee Stadium. It's currently the league's third oldest ballpark, having been first constructed in 1959. Despite its years, it doesn't feel run-down thanks to a bunch of recent small-scale renovations like replacing all the stadium seats in 2005.
And while Dodgertown is close to downtown Los Angeles, the ballpark sits on nearly 360 acres in Chavez Ravine. In overdeveloped Los Angeles, this huge an amount of space for a ballpark is both unusual and sacred. Plus, Dodger Stadium keeps it old school with its corporate-free name. No First Mutual Bank of North Washington Citi America bank name here.
In keeping with our tradition of visiting a ballpark on our trips to big cities, we caught a Yankee game at the new Yankee Stadium the other night. As the innings progressed we thought either the Yankees were a powerful hitting team or else the MLB has some more performance enhancement drug testing to do. (The Yanks had four home runs, Tampa Bay had one.)
But we're not the first ones to wonder if there are more home runs than usual (So far there's been 105.) Most people have even speculated that there was a wind tunnel over right field which was causing the balls to fly outta the park (or really, into the stands.) But Accuweather.com has smacked down any talk of a wind tunnel, saying the ball park is actually shorter in some spots.
"The wall structure is slightly different than the old park," AccuWeather said. "The main difference involves curvature. The gentle curve from right field to center field seen in original Yankee Stadium has largely been eliminated at the new stadium. This is due in large part to the presence of a manual scoreboard embedded within the wall. Losing this curvature has resulted in a right field that is shorter by four-to-five feet on average, but up to nine feet in spots.
The Yankees of course insist that the new ball park dimensions are exactly the same as the old. Maybe people just hit better in a new park. Either way, attending a game here should guarantee you some home run action.
If you’re in the Bay Area and are looking for something classy to do on a Friday night, then have we got the perfect event for you. The San Francisco Opera is putting on a free simulcast performance of Puccini’s Tosca at AT&T Park. Sure, it’s just a live stream of the performance, but we’re pretty sure this is one of only a few opportunities to have opera glasses in one hand and a hot dog in the other.
Things get underway this evening starting at 8:00 pm, but you’re welcome to spread out your blanket and get a good spot from 6:30 pm. Just remember to pre-register your group online, or else you won’t get early access to the festivities. For the best seats, head straight to the front of the stadium’s 103-feet wide high-definition screen.
Leave your Two-Buck Chuck at home, because the ballpark rules are still in effect. Also, no unsealed bottles of any kind, and no picnic baskets. You can bring in picnic-type foods; they just have to be in a soft-sided container. Squished sandwiches don’t sound like a great accompaniment to a night at the opera, so swing by the concession stands for garlic fries instead.
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If time and tickets are too tight to make it around all of Ohio’s major league ballparks, then we recommend zeroing in on a trip to the new home of the Columbus Clippers. After teaming up with 360 Architecture and shelling out about $55 million, the new Huntington Park recently opened for all to enjoy in the Arena District of downtown Columbus.
The stadium is huge with three different levels to explore, plenty space for the 10,000 fans in attendance to spread out and order hot dogs without hitting someone in the face. Of course the most rowdy fans will likely be getting down to business in one of the park’s three bars. Our pick is the Roof Top Bar on the left field building; unfortunately for you may have to slightly sacrifice your view of the high-def scoreboard for some beers here.
We're big fans of checking out the local sports scene when visiting new cities. Going to games gives you an experience that lasts a few hours (while sitting down), involves drinking beer, eating hot peanuts and being loud. Plus it's a great way to see how the locals take pride in their hometown. And it's the one place where you won't feel like a total tourist.
So when we visited Seattle and learned that the Seattle Mariners were playing the Oakland A's, we bought some tickets.
This being rainy Seattle, Safeco Field (Pronounced: Safe-Co) has a retractable roof that covers, but doesn't enclose, the ballpark. The night game we attended was during a downpour so the roof was up which kept everyone nice and dry but it was still cold. Luckily we had with us a hat and the aforementioned hot peanuts and beer.
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Baseball is one of the best spectator sports in the world. The cheer of the crowd, the crack of the bat, the hot dogs, and even the public restrooms make the whole experience that much better. Well, maybe not the restroom part, unless you are lucky enough to take in a game at the Seibu Dome just outside of Tokyo.
It all started a couple of years ago when the Boston Red Sox seduced star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka away from the Seibu Lions. Through MLB’s agreement with the professional league in Japan, US teams had a precious few days to make an offer on Matsuzaka through something known as the posting system. Basically, the Red Sox won this type of auction, and paid about $50 million through the nose for the rights to the popular pitcher. As a result, the Lions were swimming in an udon soup of hot new cash.
Now that spring is finally here we can finally start planning our travel around baseball games and their new stadiums. No matter who wins or loses, it’s fun just to check out what some of the new stadiums have to offer. Ever since the Baltimore Orioles opened their retro stadium in the 1990s, take me out to the ballgame has been way more exciting.
Unfortunately, most MLB teams already have new stadiums, so the building craze is finally slowing down. However, New York City’s two teams finally finished building their new homes—and we can’t wait to check them out. They’ve spent loads of cash, and it looks like these two beauties will not disappoint.