Sunday, June 15, 2014

St Louis Cardinals

St. Louis, home of the mighty Cardinals. A team rich in heritage, rich in tradition, rich in fans and fans that must be just plain rich. I suppose I should just get right to the point. The Cardinals have an awesome of the best I have seen. Yet the overall ballpark/hot dog experience only gets 51 points. Why? Because the game was nearly sold out, which I would normally think a good thing, we need more baseball fans. Bur for a STANDING ROOM ONLY ticket, which was the cheapest, it cost a whopping $45. I didn’t pay that much to see Joan Jett. ATTENTION CARDS FRONT OFFICE: It’s a baseball game, not a airline ticket to Argentina. Again, dynamic pricing in play. Imagine you are an electrician with a spouse and two kids and want to catch the game. You do the math. Somebody is going to need a second mortgage. Enough bitching about ticket prices yes? No. At that price I will deride the Cards all year. At least until someone else trumps their pricing madness.

Speaking of bitches, it was “Pooches in the Park” night. I love it when fans can take their dogs to the game. A nice bonding experience between master and canine. It must be hell for the dogs though, the smell of all those hot dogs wafting through the air. The pets were treated to a real winner of a park otherwise. A real retro affair crafted mainly from red brick and green steel lattice. The St. Louis skyline, along with its iconic giant arch, decorates the view beyond the outfield wall. The outfield itself is well manicured with alternating light and dark green swaths of grass. The signage is reminiscent of olden times and the ardent Cardinal fans ensure a packed park at each game.

Bun-fresh and steamed.
Taste-the Nathan’s Famous frank was salty and fatty. In other words….wonderful.
Price-ay caramba! $8 for a hot dog is way too pricey.
Toppings-grilled onions and kraut are available at the counter. Mustard and relish finish off adorning the dog at the condiments station.
Portability-nice sized paper wrapper.
It Factor-surprisingly low. Other than the regular dog there is a bacon-wrapped version and some brats.

Location-perfectly situated downtown near the Gateway Arch.
Access-all modes including the St. Louis Metro.
GA Ticket Price-you have already heard my rant above. It’s worth repeating: $45 bucks for the cheapest ticket, especially when you are expected to stand for 3 hours, is nuts. If I were not committed to visiting all 30 parks I would have walked away. NOW….on the other end of the spectrum….I make my ratings on what the average Joe would pay. Meaning most of you. As a military person I was given a FREE ticket. That is a $45 value free ticket. The Cardinals do an over the top job of treating our military to a game. I am grateful for their gesture of kindness and acknowledgement of service. Their generosity to our military does not go unnoticed by us. Thank you. I give the Cardinals a 1 instead of a 0 for that.
Cleanliness-the ballpark was pretty clean. The restrooms were only ok and got progressively worse throughout the game. Not nasty, but other teams do better.
Fans-Cardinal fans rival Cubs fans as the best. They are fiercely loyal and many plan their vacation around seeing an out of town Cards games. Great fans.
Ambiance-excellent job providing a venue that exudes baseballs. Great ballpark….if you can afford it.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price1
It Factor3Fans5
The Cardinals could have vied for top spot had it not been for one issue: money. Sure, the game was sold out so a lot of people did find the cash to get in the gate. But baseball is for the people...all people. This isn’t the NBA for Christ’s sake. Anyone should be able to walk up to a ticket booth and afford a seat at the game. Maybe not a great seat, but a seat nonetheless.

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