Friday, March 6, 2015

Goodyear Ballpark

You can see the bird can't you?
Goodyear may be a tire brand, but it is also a city in the far west reaches of the greater Phoenix area. That burning rubber smell in the air isn’t the skidding of the tires, it is the tires in the parking lot melting from the heat….and it’s only March.

Thanks to about a half of a gallon of sunscreen I was able to avoid being admitted to the local hospital for 3rd degree burns, but is was a solar smack in the face after the sub-freezing weather of Tulsa. To make it more bearable I was able to commiserate with fans from Cleveland, including one that was pretty darn pregnant. If she can take it so can I...I ain’t no wimp.

Good Choice
But enough about my experience with superheated plasma rays, lets talk about Goodyear Ballpark. You cannot miss it, it is pretty much the only thing sticking out of the desert in the area except for the Goodyear Airport. But it is an oasis of baseball goodness. It is fairly new and opened in 2009, with both Ohio teams (Indians and Reds) using it as their spring training home. It is a combo of fake wood squares that look like armor and silver tin-like metal (or at least it looks like metal), it gives the stadium a very modern look that is pleasing to the eye and is topped off by a large artwork that looks like a giant airplane propeller blade sticking up in front of the main entrance. It is supposed to represent the mythical bird Ziz (google is your friend on this one). It is a gem of a ballpark despite it being basically on the moon.

Chef Kat Wenker
The dog was very tasty. It was a lot like the dog at Tempe Diablo except more toppings were available and it was less costly. I spoke with Chef Kat Wenker and she has brought decades of restaurant experience to Goodyear and it shows in the quality of offerings. She is working on a dog that is wrapped in a tortilla with all sorts of goodness inside and when she perfects the art of keeping it all together expect it to be the talk of the Cactus League. In the mean time, there is a slew of speciality dogs to try including a Chicago Dog, Cleveland Dog, NY Dog, Arizona Dog and a Cincinnati Dog. The Cincinnati affair pays homage to the Skyline Chili Dog served up at Great American Ballpark. If you can’t find a hot dog to suit your needs here you need to take up curling as your sport.

Bun-nice and soft-5
Taste-a juicy National Deli frank-4.5
Toppings-I would give them a 4 since there was only mustard, onions and relish, BUT, they also offer BERTMAN’S MUSTARD...a Cleveland original-5
Price-I had the jumbo dog at $4.75 which is the same dog I had yesterday at $6. Nice price and top score-5
Portability-a cardboard boat gets a 3.5 score.
It Factor-with a specialty dog line up that looks like a Donny and Marie variety show how could you rate it anything but tops?-5

Location-I think this is where Amelia Earhart landed-2
Access-I love downtown ballparks, but I am not sure Goodyear actually has a downtown. A must drive to park. I give it the benefit of doubt-3
Cleanliness-great job-5
Ambiance-great baseball vibe and nicely meshed modern features-5
GA Ticket Price-$8 for an MLB game on the lawn is fair-5
Fans-once the music and PA system stopped it was quiet as a morgue. Those Cleveland fans need to liven it up, or drink more alcohol.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability3.5GA Ticket Price5
It Factor5Fans3.5

A score of 51.5 blows Tempe Diablo away, but it is still early. Other ballparks may score better. I can’t rave enough about the concessions offerings. If you don’t like hot dogs, first of all what the hell is wrong with you, but secondly there is a large variety of other dishes to scarf. With the exception of its location, Goodyear Ballpark is a top notch facility and a good place to take in a spring training game...if you can find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment