Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hohokam Stadium

Out west things appear to better out east. That is, the ballparks on the east side of the greater Phoenix area seem to be better than those on the west side of town. Today I downed a dog in Hohokam Park (named after an ancient Indian tribe), the spring training home of the Oakland A’s. To further the east/west thing, and probably the only MLB case of its kind, the ball club's spring training facility (east of Oakland) is nicer than its actual MLB stadium (west of Phoenix). You know how I feel about the ballpark in Oakland. If the A’s could hire Paul Bunyan to use a giant shovel and move Hohokam Park to Oakland it would be a huge improvement.

The park is glistening in new green paint depicting the Athletic’s colors. It has a steeper than most grandstand that seats a large capacity crowd. It has the largest grass berm area to date and sports the Cactus League’s largest scoreboard. It is the first ballpark this spring that has a major league feel to it. Before today most reeked of bush league ambiance. It is also in a more urban area than the previous three stadiums.

Bun-fresh and tasty-5
The Chili Cheese Dog
Taste-Hohokam uses a Miller frank. If you read my blog last year you know how I feel about Miller franks. They just don’t have any taste. I give Hohokam credit for trying to make the experience like it is in Oakland (Miller is a central California supplier) as Miller is a typical California League offering. Tip: switch to Hebrew National-3
Toppings-a chance to score big here falls flat as, in Cactus League style, only mustard and relish are suitable topping available-3
Price-the most affordable dog yeat at $4.50-5
Portability-again, the dreaded cardboard boat. It wasn’t enough to keep a fly off of the dog of a fan next to me-2
It Factor-nicely done with dog varieties called the Oakland, California, Chicago and Chili Cheese-5

Location-close to what passes as downtown Mesa-4.5
Access-mostly drive to but walkable from some neighborhoods-4
Cleanliness-nicely kept-5
GA Ticket Price-slightly more expensive than a few others at $9-4.5
Ambiance-it has more of a baseball feel than most, and a major league feel at that-4
Fans-good crowd that were there to actually watch a baseball game-4.5

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability2GA Ticket Price4.5
It Factor5Fans4.5

A score of 49.5 is not bad for the league. A little tweaking on the dog and Hohokam could pull in top score. If it came down to only having time for a few Cactus League games while in Phoenix, I’d put Hohokam on the list.

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