Thursday, May 22, 2014

Colorado Springs Sky Sox


At first I thought it was the frigid temperatures was causing hypothermia-induced hallucinations at Security Service Field, but it was actually the scoreboard. Every time a Sky Sox player came to bat and his picture was flashed on the jumbotron I thought he looked familiar. Turns out they are familiar. The Colorado Springs Sky Sox is the next step up from AA Tulsa Drillers, the team where I reside. Seen those guys plenty last year in Drillers much warmer temps.

The ballpark itself is somewhat unimaginative, particularly for a AAA facility. The colored block structure is low slung with an uncovered grandstand. The concourses are tight and crowded and from the outside it reminded me of a corporate headquarters for a mid-sized company. The field is well kept and the park seems in good condition and overall I’d rate it average. If I was factoring in level of play I would say below average. I have been to plenty of AA ballparks nicer than Security Service Field. I did appreciate that the stadium focuses mainly on the game and hasn’t built in amenities found at a playground rather than a baseball diamond. Once the game started it had a decent vibe. Had the park been turned around 180 degrees a nice view of the mountains would be visible over the outfield wall and more closely associate the team with its geography. Instead fans are treated to a view of a suburb. Only a circling Air Force C-130 cargo plane gave any respite to that unwelcome vista.

Bun-stale. Not a good way to start. Hard to recover from a stale bun.
Taste-surprisingly good. The bun distracted from it some. Had a hard time finding anyone that could tell me who made the frank. As I suspected it was Hebrew National. They make a distinctively tasty frank.
Topping-they had the standards; mustard, relish and onions...but in packets. Condiment packets are what hot dog aficionados get when they end up in hell.
The Standard Dog
Price-I had the “kids” dog because that is the regular sized dog. $3.75 is not too bad.
Portability-a nice simple sheet of aluminum foil does the job well.
It Factor-the Sky Sox have a few specialty dogs, and they did look good, but pricey.

Location-sort of in a field sandwiched between the suburbs and a series of strip malls. Not appealing and not near downtown.
Some Ardent Sky Sox Fans
Access-if you live in one of the ‘burbs you might be able to walk, but mostly a drive-to stadium. And I had to pay $5 to a dirt lot. Scandalous.
GA Ticket Price-$10 for a bleacher seat on the third base line is average for AAA. NOTE: aluminum bleachers in cold weather makes for some frosty buns...and I ain’t talkin’ dogs here.
Cleanliness-good, but not perfect like many other parks.
Fans-great crowd, probably 75% full and active. It was military night in a military town (the Air Force Academy is here) so that might have helped.
Ambiance-Security Service Field tries, but misses the mark slightly. I’d still see a game here, I just wouldn’t go out of my way to do it. I like the feel inside, but was put off by the exterior.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price4
It Factor3Fans5

With an overall score of 42 I wouldn't call in the wrecking ball for the Sky Sox ballpark just yet. The same park in a different location would have gotten a much higher score. The dog is easy to improve by ensuring fans get fresh buns and at a minimum pump condiments. Right now this AAA team is serving up a A dog. While I wouldn’t make a special trip to Colorado Springs for a game, it would make a nice addition to a trip to see a Rockies game.

Selfie With Mascot

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