The Best Place to Watch a Game, Part III: The Stadium
At long last, my third and final piece breaking down the best places to watch sports. Today, I take you to the stadium. Grab some popcorn, sit back, relax and enjoy.
Viewpoint (5): Clearly, this hinges on the sport you are watching, what stadium you are watching from, and where in that stadium you are sitting. If it’s baseball and you’re at Fenway Park, there’s a good chance you might be in a wooden seat, directly behind a pole, sitting between two 450lb men (or women). Then again, no one goes to Red Sox games anymore.
Climate (7): While you can check the weather before the game, the in-stadium climate (domes aside) is completely out of your control. However, that’s part of the fun. At the Patriots-Broncos playoff game last January I couldn’t feel my feet, hands or face it was so cold. But tailgating with spiked hot chocolate and throwing snow in the air after a Brady touchdown pass (which there were 5 of…in the first half!) made it well worth it.
Sound (8): You’re able to hear players grunt as they hit one another at the line, the crack of the bat, the crowd cheering and the hot dog guy screaming “FRANKS HEAAA”. You also are able to watch and listen to B-List celebrities sing the National Anthem. The one downside, of course, is the lack of color commentary. Although if you need it that badly, you can always be that idiot with the radio.
Food and Drink (2): $11.00 bud lights and $6.00 hot dogs are too steep for a struggling entrepreneur like me. Pass.
Social Environment (9): Whether you are at your home stadium or in a violent away arena, being at the game is always a blast. People care more when they’re at the stadium. Drunk guys fighting in the stands, people singing “Love that Dirty Water” and tailgating make the social experience at the game a special one.
Access to Bathroom (2): Waiting in lines makes me angry. There are always lines at games. Enough said.
Access to Spogo (8): Go with a full battery, and be prepared for sketchy service. Kudos to Gillette for being the first stadium to implement wifi this season! I have a feeling we’ll see many follow their lead, making in-stadium Spogo a seamless experience.
Nostalgia Value (10): While the stadium may not be the most comfortable or most affordable venue to watch your favorite team, there’s no way to replicate this game-day experience. To this day, when I walk up the ramp at Fenway and see the field, I get chills. There’s something magical about being there. You feel the energy and emotions of the ballpark, the players and the crowd. The competitive spirit courses through your veins, and if there’s a good finish (or controversial one), you’ll never forget it.
As the past three posts have made clear, there are positives and negatives to watching the game on the couch, at the bar and in the stadium (don’t forget, you can play Spogo at all three!). For me though, I will never turn down a ticket to a game. Sure I’d love to sit at home with a blanket, my HDTV and my bucket of wings, but what if something historic happens? Turning down tickets to a game is against my moral fiber.
So with that, I present to you the winner of “The Best Place to Watch a Game” — The Stadium.