Category Archives: Sports stadiums

That’s Entertainment?

I’m pretty sure that a lot of sport nowadays is purely about the money making potential, with providing the general public with value, and entertainment a mere side issue. At least at times it feels that way.

I’m not even going into football, given the crazy sums that they charge people to go to a Premier League match nowadays, and even what some of the lower league sides charge, for an event that lasts about 90 minutes, crazy! But given I cant stand the sport, and have no wish to make it personal, lets leave it at that.

Not that (going up my scale of like) Horse Racing is an awful lot better now, what is charged for some of the major meetings (especially at weekends) sounds crazy to me, especially given that on top of the entry fee, you’re going to end up gambling more money, which may, or may not add to the cost of the day out. Fine, some days it might pay for it, but anyway…

And OK, I’m not going to defend what some of my beloved US sports charge for a seat, especially the better ones, because they can be pretty outrageous too. On top of which, you pay a good sum just to park your car, which given the prevalence of out of town stadiums seems a bit unjust too, if thats the only way you can get there?

But ironically, the sport getting my ire tonight is one of my favourites, cricket. Yesterday saw one game where not only was 126 a good score, it was a winning score, which for leading pro’s sounds crazy. Yes, I gather the wicket was to blame for that, which sounds daft, given that people pay to go and be entertained, not to see batsmen barely able to cope with conditions.

However, that wasnt as low as it got. Sky Sports were covering the game from Cardiff, due to the early end to the test match. It was a wicket that had previously been used, and sort of got back together for another match to be played on it. The commentators described it as an interesting wicket. Well, it was interesting if you want to see bowlers totally dominating, on a wicket where just about anything could happen. But for the people who’d paid a good sum, to see an entertaining cricket match, never mind!

The awful state of the wicket really showed up in the 2nd innings of the match, when both Hampshire batsmen got hit badly, by balls that leapt up from the pitch in a crazy fashion. Another ball in between, barely bounced! Anyway, after the second incident, the umpires declared the game abandoned, due to the unsafe state of the pitch. So not only did the paying public not get to be entertained, they got barely over half the match they’d paid to see.

Fair enough, if you want to pay large sums of money to go to sporting events, then go ahead and do it. I might add, that when on my own, I always go in the cheaper (though not the cheapest) seats at Baseball matches. But sporting teams, please at least provide conditions suitable for the contest, given how much you expect the public to pay to go and watch it.

The video, well its a question about yesterdays cricket, shall we say?

Oh, and fine, for the last time, given its now in its last 3 days, may I just ask that if anyone has a few spare pounds, dollars, euros, or whatever, and would like to help me change my name, the link is https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/e10ypc/ab/c2hJdb

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The pleasures of baseball

Though I’m sure many of my European readers will be thinking what pleasure is there in a game of ’rounders’ lol! Dont get me wrong, I dont entirely understand the game (to put it mildly), but love the atmosphere of the games, and hey, its fun! Also the fans dont have to be segregated, unlike our wonderful soccer fans in most of the world!

One of the things I really love are the stadia. No, not the modern iniquities like Philadelphia, or the indoor dome of Minneapolis (no longer used) but the delights of Wrigley Field (Cubs), AT&T Park (Giants) and now I can add Fenway Park (Red Sox) to that list.

AT&T is new, even more so compared to the other 2, but it doesnt have the feel of a modern behemoth. It also has the major advantage (for night games at least) of having the sun setting over the bay while watching the game. Fenway and Wrigley are just the opposite. They may have been greatly modernised, but both stadiums still have that unique feel of having been built a long time ago. And they were, both fast approaching their 100th Anniversaries. Also fairly uniquely for sports stadia nowadays, they are both very much part of their city. Part of their problem actually, is the ability to expand to take modern sized crowds.

But I love these places, there is real soul in these places, not just somewhere for fans to sit and watch a game, as is so often the case nowadays, and I love that. I know, time has to move on, but all the same…But as AT&T has proved, you can build a modern stadium with heart, just wish a few more designers realised that!

And I leave you with the ultimate baseball song, recorded even before Fenway, and Wrigley were built!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4-gsdLSSQ0