Stadium Reviews

Inside PNC Park – Baseball Park Reviews

Stadium Name: PNC Park

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

League: MLB – National League Central

First Date Visited: 2007

Opposing Team: Washington Nationals

Date Opened: 2001

Date Closed: NA

Overall Rating: (1-10) 8

Notable Award: Easy to walk to from downtown and great views of the 3 rivers and downtown Pittsburgh.

PNC Park is a new park, but you can tell it was built for a small market team. Likes its sister city to the east, Philadelphia, the Pirates were a victim of a concrete donut which they shared with the cities football team, the Stealers. The former stadium was Three Rivers Stadium and was built in the early 70’s a result to build two new stadiums for the cities sports team for the price of one. As talked about earlier, the concrete donut was a staple to many cities in America during this time.

In the late 90’s Pittsburgh and their teams decided they needed to break up and get their own stadiums. PNC Park was designed and built for the Pirates, who at this time were already in a 10 year playoff drought, so the fund were not exactly their for them, and the stadium design reflects that directly.

Now don’t get me wrong, the stadium is very nice, but basic. It reminds me of a slightly bigger minor league park. It is a cookie cutter of a basic ball park with nothing special about it to make it unique. The facade along the stands is an odd choice of slate that has a pink tone to it. It seems like it was placed their in a last ditch cheap effort to cover the concrete.

There is a Outback in left field, where if you get in before the game and order food and drinks during the game, you can watch the pirates for free, which is a really cool feature. The crew and I spent a few innings in there prior to getting to the game. The game we went to was against the Nationals, who at this time had just become a team a year prior and as a result, there wasn’t a huge turn out but we had a good time.

While sitting in the stands there is a beautiful view of downtown Pittsburgh, the rivers and the beautiful yellow painted bridges that cross them. One such noted bridge is the Roberto Clemente Bridge. We stayed downtown and we walked about 20 minutes from our hotel, over the bridge and to the game. It was a beautiful summer Sunday. Pittsburgh has a very limited subway system, so walking really was the only way.

As for being Sunday, that led to absolutely nothing to do downtown after the game. We walked back to our hotel, went down to the restaurant and that was empty. we searched for a bar or a strip club and there was nothing. The city looked like a set of a movie with hardly any cars anywhere. It was just as well though, we had left Phillie that morning at 5:00AM to make the 1PM game. It was about a 4 hour a drive from Phillie to Pittsburgh. We took a nap after the game an went exploring.

My cousin and I went down to the bar in the hotel to check it out. There we met a bartender who was very helpful at he Double Tree we were staying. He sent us to this park of town which for the life of me I can’t remember. It was a 10 minute cab ride and about a 30 minute walk back. It was a street in Pittsburgh full of bars, pizza joints and little dive restaurants. For a Sunday night the club we went into was hoping. It is in fact the only city I have ever been to that the girls weren’t impressed with the Boston Accent.

If you are planning on visiting PNC, I would suggest stay downtown, walk to the game and maybe plan for a friday or Saturday night. There will probably be more going on in the old blue collar town. I heard there are a lot of bars to check out before the game around the stadium. Would definitely visit again and the experience was nice, I was just a little disappointed with the over all stadium design specially after seeing Camden and CBP prior.

Stadium Reviews

Inside Citizens Bank Park – Baseball Park Reviews

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Stadium Name: Citizens Bank Park

Team: Philadelphia Phillies

League: MLB – National League East

First Date Visited: 2007

Opposing Team: Boston Red Sox

Date Opened: 2004

Date Closed: NA

Overall Rating: (1-10) 9

Notable Award: Like Camden Yards, its a newer model stadium with the feel of an old time baseball stadium. A batters park, with great views from any seat and the cheapest beers in the majors, 6 dollar 22oz Sam Adams, can’t beat that!

With the red brick facade, large open concourses and nice view of downtown Phillie, Citizens Bank Park makes its way into the top 5 parks in the majors. Opening in 2004 and replacing the old Vet stadium, which was a multi-purpose stadium for baseball and football, the Phillies improved their appearance over night. The Vet was built in the days of the concrete donut style which in the 60’s, cities seen as a great way to build a modern stadium for two of their pro teams and save money, but the concrete donut never made a good baseball park.

In the late 90’s, there was a movement within baseball teams to make their stadiums more of a baseball park, and less of just a building that they play in. They wanted to make the stadium park of the team, and the Phillies jumped on that band wagon.

The city of Philadelphia took over the souther part of their city and dedicated it to all their sports teams. They built several complexes to hold their football, basketball/hockey teams and of course Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies. All the stadiums have huge parking areas for tail gating and ease of travel. Also the SEPTA has trains that run right down to the fields, so if your staying downtown, you can get their in about 30 minutes with no problem.

Once inside the stadium, you’ll see easily navigable concourse that are wide, easily marked and have great views of the field while you walk around the main level. Once you get to where your seat is, you’ll find several choice of food and drinks, included those cheap 22 oz beers. Now this was in 2007, so things may have changed since then, but at the time it was the best value in baseball.

In the outfield where the bullpens are, you can stand over and watch the pitchers warm up. This feature also is found in the Phillies spring training park in Clearwater Florida. Its a nice standing room only area where you can enjoy the game and see the process a pitcher takes to get warmed up for the game. In addition to this, the park is completely accessible 360 degrees, meaning you can get to all parks of the park by walking in both directions on the main level.

In addition to a great park, Phillie is a great city. A small major town that feels a lot like Boston. Boston and Phillie are both the little brothers to NYC, but are a stones throw away if you want to go for a quick visit. Philies transit system is easy to use and gets to all parts of the downtown area. if you were going to stay the night, I would suggest staying downtown, near broadway. When your there, visit the museum of art and run up the stairs like in rocky, go check out the Liberty bell and of course have a Phillie cheese stake.

Our Reviews, Stadium Reviews

Inside Dolphins Stadium (MLB) – Baseball Park Reviews

Stadium Name: Dolphins Stadium

Team: Florida Marlins (Now Miami Marlins)

League: MLB – National League East
First Date Visited: 2005
Opposing Team: Arizona Diamond Backs
Date Opened: 1987
Date Closed: 2011 (still open for football)
Overall Rating: (1-10) 2
Notable Award: Worse place I have ever watched a baseball game, until I went to oakland lol. The reason why football & baseball should never share stadiums

Walking down the streets of South Beach, a very nice lady gave me 4 free tickets to a marlins game on a wednesday night. My cousin, 2 friends and myself were planning on going to the game anyways, but wow now for free. As we drove to the stadium we were a little skeptical that free tickets would just be given way but never the less it was worth the try. Dolphin stadium or what ever the hell its call now was about 30 mins north of South Beach. We finally get there and BOOM the tickets work.

We were their fairly early so we did a lot of walking around. This stadium has NOTHING to offer. Its a football stadium that in 92 when Miami was given an expansion team, the fine folk of MIami were like hey just put them with the dolphins. There was so much foul ground in this place that pitchers ERA had to be one of the best in the majors when they pitched here.</p>

They had hot tubs in right field and i think there was only 10k people there, if that. Our tickets were deep right field with a value of 1 dollar on them, we moved to 10 rows behind the plate. There was this unique beer vendor who would yell get your beeeeeeerrrrrrr heeeeeeeerrrrre; it was great. We stayed till about the 7th inning. We did get to see an unassisted triple play that game from Mike Lowell. Its a rarity in baseball incase you didnt know.

The food stunk, soggy hot dogs and pretzels. must of been all the humidity down there. The bread was like i sat on it with wet pants on. Other then the beer guy, one of my most memorable events there was hitting on the hot chick who was from Ft. Lauderdale and worked at the visa table. I signed up for a credit card for her and she gave me a towel, very nice. After flirting for an inning and a half she ended up giving me more towels, t shirts and marlins crap I will ever need for a lifetime. I got much use out of those towels!

This is another stadium with nothing around it. A concrete block in the middle of a parking lot. I have been here 2 times, once for baseball and once for football. As a football stadium, its average, for a baseball park, it stinks. Out of 30 i have been to this is easily #30, Im glad this didnt cost me a dime. The marlins are lucky now, they play in a much nice, more baseball feel stadium. They are very lucky they got the hell out of Miami Gardens Florida.

Our Reviews, Stadium Reviews

Inside Angel Stadium – Baseball Park Reviews

Inside Angel Stadium – Arty 84 Baseball Park Reviews

Stadium Name: Angel Stadium

Team: LA Angels

League: MLB – American League West
First Date Visited: 2011
Opposing Team: Washington Nationals
Date Opened: 1966
Date Closed: NA
Overall Rating: (1-10) 5
Notable Award: cool little rock water fountain in center field and a large old school A in the parking lot

4th oldest active ball park in the majors. Built in 1964 but fully renovated in 1998. For an ok’d stadium has a late 90s early 2000 feel in it’s architecture. Very clean and very kept up.

Very Disney like. You can tell they once owned them with the giant angel a in the parking lot and the 2 large angel hats when you walk in.

Center field has a cool rocky waterfall. The stadium although is a standard shape and layout the architectural aspects give it an uniqueness. It’s all small park made nicely for batters. Deepest fence is a little more than 400 feet. The fence height ranges from 10 to about 20 feet.

The stadiums main color is a dark green. Over right field stands there is a large modern big screen. There is also a smaller one over left field. The stadium is very easy to get around. The 2 large ramps to the upper deck work very well. Parking is very east also very little grid lock getting into the game. Although the city of anahiem doesn’t do a very good job with marking the stadiums exit with a sign in the highway.

Parking is 10 dollars and merch beer and food prices are about average in the majors.

Stadium views arnt bad. Mountains in centerfield but it’s kind of blocked by buildings and the highway

There really isn’t anywhere to go after the game. It’s a tailgate park. And public transportation doesn’t look like it exist to here.

The backstop like dodgers stadium is see through and has seats located there. Fan base is pretty good. For a Monday it’s about 75% filled.

Our Reviews, Stadium Reviews

Inside Dodger Stadium – Baseball Park Reviews

Inside Dodger Stadium – Arty 84 Baseball Park Reviews

Stadium Name: Dodger Stadium

Team: LA Dodgers

League: MLB – National League West
First Date Visited: 2011
Opposing Team: LA Angels
Date Opened: 1962
Date Closed: NA
Overall Rating: (1-10) 4
Notable Award: The best views in baseball.

Built in 1962. The 3rd oldest active MLB ball park and it looks it much of it doesn’t appear to have been updates in a while. Certain parts of the stadium are unaccessable from
Other parks. Different exits and entrances. The out field setup looks exactly like the old Shea stadium. Stands in right and left with nothing but a giant blacked off area in center. Old fashion 70s style scoreboard in right field with a newer post 2000 big screen in left. Ease of keeping track of the score and inning very easy. Stadium built in the side of the hill like an amputheather. A def batters park. Deepest fence is 395 with about a 10 foot fence around the whole outfield.

Men’s room still has trorths like fenway had

A pain to get to. Traffic is terrible on a Sunday can only imaging a week day night. No sign of efficient public transportation. Very large parking lot thought

Nicest views in baseball. Great views of the Hollywood hills, downtown la and the mountains in the background. 2nd is coors field in Denver.

Fans for a Sunday not a lot considering it’s a freeway series vs the angles.

60s contemporary architecture to a minimum. Still holds the esseants of the old concrete donut designs. Very little shady areas. The hot la summer sun makes a day game difficult to sit all the way through.

Parking is 15 and can get up to 35.  Ran out of shot glasses!! Wth had to get a baseball instead. Need to order a shot glass online.

After game life? None. In a rough neighborhood on the side of a hill on a side of a freeway. Like the royals rangers and marlins stadium you show up an then you leave not much in walking distance.

Stadium Reviews

Inside Nationals Park – Baseball Park Reviews

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Inside Nationals Park – Arty 84 Baseball Park Reviews

Stadium Name: Nationals Park

Team: Washington Nationals

League: MLB – National League East

Years Visited:
2010 & 2016

Opposing Team:
New York Mets & St. Louis Cardinals

Date Opened:
2008

Date Closed:
 NA

Overall Rating:
(1-10) 7

Beer Price Rank (2016): 9th highest in the MLB

Ticket Price Rank (2016): 6th highest in the MLB

Baseball, Bars & Bedlam Rank: 15 out of 33

Baseball, Bars & Bedlam Visit Order: 17 out of 33

Notable Award:
The stadium carried the same name as the early 1900s parked that housed the original DC team, Nationals/Senators

Review:

Nationals stadium is a modern day park located near the navy yard in Washington DC. When the Expos moved from Montreal in 2005, Washington became their new home. Playing the first couple years at RFK stadium, the Nationals finally moved to their new home in 2008.

There is a lot I like about his stadium and there are also a lot of miss opportunities as well. First with the likes: it’s easy to get to and from via the Metro. A station is right across the street from the stadium. The concourse on all levels are easily moveable. They are big and wide and have  plenty of vendors available for you to grab some brews and grubs. Also the overall look and appearance of the stadium from the inside is beautiful, for the most part. Great finishes on the building and nice layout.

Now for the bad stuff. There was so much stuff about this stadium that drove me crazy. So many things that could of been easily changed and were left on the table. The first thing that kills me is the view. If the had rotates the field 90 degrees, center field would face the capital building and Washington monument. If they rotated 90 on the other direction, you would of had a great view of the river.  Another thing that annoyed me was the dumpster I was looking at behind the center field fence. There was this big open area used to store crap that everyone could see. Why not cover this area with grass like you did right next to it? Finally the thing the bothered me the most, other than the 9-10 dollar beers, was the parking garages the surround the stadium. You can’t see the stadium from 3 of the 4 streets. They built parking garages around it so there are no grand entrances.

Overall the Park was nice, as I said, a few things that could of been done better, but I have seen worse places in the MLB. The Nationals have been a very good team the last few years, but the three games I went to, there seemed to be more or the same amount of visitors then hometown fans. According to Statista, the Nationals are #6 for highest ticket prices in 2016, see link for all MLB teams prices. They are also the 9th highest in beer prices according to business insider, see link for all MLB teams prices. If you are in the DC area, take in a game. Arty tip: Go to Stubhub for a better deal on tickets and stay away from the hot dogs, overcooked and nothing to write home about. Go to the Fairground across the street after and before the game too!

Pictures from the Park:

Stadium Reviews

Inside MetLife Stadium (NYG) – NFL Stadium Reviews

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Inside Metlife Stadium – Arty 84 NFL Stadium Reviews

Stadium Name: MetLife Stadium

Team: New York Giants

League: NFL – NFC East

Years Visited:
2016

Opposing Team:
New Orleans Saints

Date Opened:
2010

Date Closed:
 NA

Overall Rating:
(1-10) 8

Beer Price Rank (2015): 28th highest in the NFL

Ticket Price Rank (2015): 7th highest in the NFL


Notable Award:
Was home to Super Bowl XLVIII which was the first modern outdoor super bowl in a northern climate.

Review & Journey:

After seeing all the MLB Stadiums out there, the next task was to see all the others sports stadiums and arenas. This was my second time at MetLife stadium, firs time was to see the Jets, but this was a lot better of an experience. First off, Giants fans are a lot nicer than Jets fans. Second, I had gone in September where it was a beautiful day, rather then ice cold like the Jets game. Third of course is because this time i took the first lady along with me on the trip, wink wink.

We left early morning from our DC apartment and heading up to East Rutherford. The ride is about 4 hours so we planned on getting into the parking lot around 9/9:30. Getting into the stadium parking was very easy. They have their own exit right off the highway. Once we got into the parking lot, that was a different story. Apparently you need to buy a packing pass ahead of time to park in the lots, which no one told us about. Luckily this is an issue that happens all the time (5 other cars behind us had the same issue) so there was an easily solution. The lady told us to go on Stubhub and buy a pass from there and show it to here, once we did that we were ready to party.

The Blue lot is where we ended up and it was a quick 10 minute walk to the stadium gate. Tailgaters where a good time and we were able to setup camp with the white van and no one bother us, even after we raised the saints flag high above us. I cooked up some treats, made some drinks and other than the wind taking the tent away and scratching the guy next to us Audi, everything went pretty good.

The stadium was easy to get into. Last time I was here I went in via train and it seemed like more of a cluster bang, but walking in this time was a lot easier. Even though there was a terrorist attack in the day before in NYC, the security was pretty simple to get in. Once in, it is very easy to navigate around the stadium. Wide concourses and lots of signs makes it easy to get to the seats. There are plenty of restrooms to get to and plenty of options of food and drinks, and the lines we not to bad, evening on a sold out opening stadium day.

The game ended up with a home team Giants win over the Saints 13-16 and lots of happy Giants lovers. “Why did the guy bring the ladder to the game? the giants where playing” We did a post game tailgate to wait for the traffic to die down and then hit the road about an hour after game time. At that point the flow was lighter than after game time and we moved consistently until we got to the turnpike then we were home free.

The overall experience was great. NFL stadiums seem to have it down with getting people in and out and getting around. This was one of the easiest in and out and very convenient when you needed stuff. This is diffidently a stadium to go to if your team in playing NY. Either drive to the game or take the bus or train from Manhattan. When your there, where your team colors proud to, Giants fans are real football fans and respect what the NFL, not like the animals in Philly, sorry Philly.

Pictures from the Stadium:

#nflstadiums #NewYorkGiants

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Stadium Reviews

Battle at Bristol Motor Speedway – Tennessee vs Virginia Tech 9/10/16

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Date: 9/10/16

Objective: The first lady and I went off to Tennessee for the day to see her University of Tennessee Volunteers take on Virginia Tech at a neutral locations at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol Tennessee. This game at the race track broke the world recorded for the largest crowd at a football game at 156,990 people present at the game. The Last Great Colosseum, as they call Bristol, is now home to the new world record. The 2013 Michigan v. Notre Dame game, where attendance numbers reached 115,109, previously held the title of the largest football game.

The Adventure: The two of us dropped the babies (puppies) at their hotel on Friday night, packed up the van and hit the road by 8PM. The ride to Bristol is about 6 hours, so the plan was to get down there early, sleep a little, tailgate all day then spend the night. Since hotels down there are a minimum anyways, we decided to camp out, which most people usually do for the race. There is a camp ground/RV park about a mile from the racetrack that has free shuttles to and from. I did some research and figured that we can park the van and camp inside there for the night with an air mattress.

We got to the site around 4AM after a quick stop at Walmart to grab a few more things. We unloaded the van, set up the tents and equipment and got about 90 minutes of sleep before we kicked off breakfast and a day of drinking, football and bad decisions.

I had got some equipment that allowed us to watch cable TV using a sling box, my phone, a battery back up system and a TV that runs off a DC connections. In addition I bought a HD TV antenna so we can watch basic TV too. I also got a battery powered audio system that has a 50 hour battery, can charge your phone and has a mic input. It works great. Along with some solar powered lights and tons of charcoal, we were ready to go all weekend.

After to much champagne and some corn hole, I was wasted by 5PM. The first lady was feeling pretty good too, but we made it to the racetrack. The bad part about this trip was that the Stub Hub location was located on the other side of the track. We had to walk completely around to get the tickets and then back around to get into the stadium. One we were in, the first lady and I went the wrong way and had to walk a half mile, literally, around the place, almost died in a large group of people who were charging in and finally made our way to the stair way we needed.

Once we got to the seats, it was great. We had a great view of the game, but the e only problem was we apparently were sitting in the VT section. At the beginning it sucked because VT was actually doing good, but as time went on UT took the lead and that section got empty very fast. UT won 45-24 and I am not a college football fan, and by default UT is my team.

Pictures

Arty 84