I want to come clean by saying that I’m not a huge baseball fan. I will occasionally go to games when tickets are cheap or free. I prefer baseball in the form of ESPN highlights where the top 10 plays of yesterday are shown and I can see the score of all the teams in a quick recap.
Last night, I want to a St. Louis Cardinals game at Bush stadium. The current Bush stadium had its first game in 2006. It replaced the old Bush stadium that seemed perfectly fine to me. In fact, the new stadium could not be completed until the old one was torn down, because they shared a very similar footprint. The new stadium looks very much like the old one as far as I’m concerned. So I figured that the new stadium must be far superior than the old one. Before last night’s game, I had always had very good seats for games. Always in the lowest level, an occasional box seat and one right at the field. Each of these seats had an amazing view. The experience was as good as it should have been. Until last night…
I sat with my family in section 358. We had to go up the fourth level of the stadium to get to our seats. Logically I would consider the section to have a number in the four hundreds [like 458]. So it took a minute to figure out how to get to our seats. Once we got to our seats, I was surprised at the view. It was actually better than I expected for being as far up as we were.
Once we were settled and started watching the game, this is where the experience went down hill quickly. The quality of the loudspeakers in our section was horrible. We could not hear what was going on when announcements were made. We had the stadium effect where there was an echo, but no meaningful sound. I felt like I was sitting in the back seat of a car with the radio on, trying to listen to a conversation in the front seat. It just wasn’t working.
But I didn’t need to worry about hearing, the new stadium has two large video screens. So after a close play at first, I looked up to the screen for a replay. I kept waiting for the replay and it never came. The next video to play was highlights of the next batter going to the plate. I don’t understand the point of having a video screen if you can’t show replays on it. Every other stadium I have been to with a video screen provides replays on the screen.
So I’m stuck in seats where I can see the game, but not hear it or get replays. I can’t imagine why any fan would pay third fourth tier seats a second time. I would have been better off to take my family to a bar and watch the game. We could have ate and drank like kings and seen/heard the game.
As a tax payer, I’m not happy that a perfectly good stadium was raised for a new one that isn’t better. I’m not telling anybody not to go to baseball games at Bush stadium, but caveat emptor!